It was a very happy New Year for Apple's App Store. Last year, Apple said December 2016 was the App Store's biggest month ever, bringing in $3 billion in revenue; this year, it doesn't seem to have broken out the monthly data for December (though we've asked for it).
Apple's payout to developers was 30% more than past year. Apple's acquisition of the startup could lead to vastly improved workflows for developers making apps for iOS devices. Hit games a year ago included titles like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Monument Valley 2, King of Glory, Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga.
Developers typically get 70% of that revenue, though the proportion increases to 85% after customers have completed a year's subscription to an app.
Aside from new hardware sales which inevitably spurted sales, Apple also places some of the responsibility for the increased income on the new App Store saying that it made "app and game discovery fun and easy for the over half a billion customers that visit the App Store every week". And with Apple's growing emphasis on Augmented Reality, there are now 2,000 ARKit enabled apps on the shelves. AR shopping apps from Wayfair and Amazon also have been quite popular.
"We are thrilled with the reaction to the new App Store and to see so many customers discovering and enjoying new apps and games", said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a press release issued to iPhone in Canada.
Developers who make apps for iOS earned $26.5bn in 2017, Apple said in a statement on Thursday, as users snapped up breakout hits including games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Monument Valley 2. And Pokemon Go nabbed the top app spot once again, re-launching the app late in the year with new AR features - which Apple, naturally, pointed out were built on top of ARKit.