Consumers worldwide helped Apple set a new record for sales on its online App store in the first week of January: nearly US$500,000,000.
And New Year’s Day 2015 marked the single biggest day ever in its App Store sales history. These milestones follow a record-breaking 2014, in which billings rose 50 per cent and apps generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers. To date, App Store developers have earned a cumulative $25 billion from the sale of apps and games. The introduction of iOS 8 gave developers the ability to create new apps and offers innovative features which proved wildly popular with App Store customers around the world.
And China – Apple’s fastest-growing market, played a significant part – thanks to China UnionPay being accepted as a payment option for customers in China last November.
China UnionPay is the most popular payment card in China and provides App Store customers with a simple and more convenient way to purchase apps. Customers can easily link their Apple ID with a UnionPay debit or credit card for one-tap purchases.
“The ability to buy apps and make purchases using UnionPay cards has been one of the most requested features from our customers in China,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of Internet Software and Services.
“China is already our second largest market for app downloads, and now we’re providing users with an incredibly convenient way to purchase their favorite apps with just one-tap.”
As a bankcard network, China UnionPay operates China’s national inter-bank clearing and settlement system, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network, promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders. To date, the total number of UnionPay Cards issued both at home and abroad has exceeded 4.5 billion.
“This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community,” said Cue.
“During the holiday season App Store customers helped make history with their support of Apps for (Red), a special initiative on the store with exclusive content where all proceeds went to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Apple donated a record-shattering $20 million in the quarter, and since partnering with (Red) has donated over $100 million.
Developer innovation on the App Store in 2014 was fueled by iOS 8 featuring Swift, a new programming language that makes it easier for developers to create apps, as well as the introduction of frameworks HealthKit and HomeKit. HealthKit lets health and fitness developers share data with the Health app while HomeKit is a framework allowing developers to create software that discovers, configures, communicates with and controls devices for home automation.
Since its October release, Apple Pay has been embraced by a growing number of customers, merchants and app developers. More banks and credit unions continue to add support for Apple Pay, now representing about 90 per cent of credit card purchase volume in the US. Retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Disney Store, Duane Reade and Walgreens have adopted Apple Pay, along with popular apps including HotelTonight, OpenTable, Target and Ticketmaster.