In 2022, 90% of billings and sales facilitated by the iOS App Store ecosystem occurred outside of the App Store, meaning Apple did not receive a commission on these transactions.
That’s according to a new report commissioned by the company, conducted by international economic consulting agency Analysis Group vice presidents Juliette Caminade and Jonathan Borck. According to their research, the Apple ecosystem facilitated $1.1 trillion of transactions, with +29% growth in 2022 of the ecosystem and that, interestingly, since the end of 2008 the number of games on the Apple ecosystem was only 3,200 - whereas now that number has skyrocketed to 220,000.
It should be noted, as the authors write “The direct monetisation of apps represents a small fraction of the overall commerce the App Store facilitates.” So much of this $1.1 trillion will not form a direct part of app revenue in specific categories, such as games. However, it shows the sheer size of even a part of the overall global mobile ecosystem, and the amount of money flowing through it.
The report is an interesting glimpse into the growth and size of the Apple ecosystem, which gaming forms a significant part of. Despite the clarification above, it’s noted that as for direct monetisation, games form the majority of transactions under this category. Meaning that despite Apple not collecting commissions on 90% of transactions, games are still paying a significant amount as these direct transactions are affected by Apple’s 30% cut.
No more bites from the Apple
It should be noted however, that this indicates that Apple does not have as much of a stranglehold on spending via their ecosystem as some may think. This is good news for developers as it means that, despite the often vexing nature of Apple’s “Walled Garden” ecosystem, that there is room to operate outside of it to an extent. We’ve seen this with certain developers, most notably Supercell, investing in web stores and bringing their games to services like Razer Gold for in-app purchases. Of course, most infamous is probably Epic’s long, public spat with Apple, which didn’t exactly work out in their favour.
Overall, it also indicates the long-term health of the iOS app ecosystem. While it may be restrictive, and the growing competition from competitors like Android, Google and Huawei will hopefully push Apple to be more magnanimous towards developers, there’s no denying that the Apple audience is one many developers and publishers rely on.
We listed Supercell as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.