Apple

Apple's App Store generated record sales

Apple Inc. said its App Store generated record revenue of more than $20 billion for developers in 2016, as that business roughly maintained its growth rate even as iPhone sales volumes declined.

The figure released Thursday implies the App Store’s total revenue topped $28.5 billion, with Apple collecting about $8.5 billion based on its 30% share of such sales.

A year ago, Apple said only that its App Store billings in 2015 exceeded $20 billion, suggesting developers took in more than $14 billion and Apple’s revenue topped $6 billion.

That implies growth of roughly 40% in 2016, matching Apple’s estimated growth for 2015. The company doesn’t provide exact figures that would allow for a definitive comparison.

App Store revenue has soared over the years on rising sales of iPhones world-wide, but with iPhone volumes down in the last fiscal year, growth came from a mix of surging app sales in China, new games and rising subscription billings.

Apple said last year’s sales of apps rose 90% in China, where the App Store has faced pressure from the government. For example, Apple on Wednesday confirmed that it had pulled the New York Times from its App Store in the country, following a request from Chinese authorities.

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