You know who had a great 2019? You guessed it.. Apple broke records and managed to not only overcome a market swoon, but get back to an all-time high stock price by the end of the year. Oh, and they managed to demonstrate that they really can deliver when it comes to new services and wearables. This is vitally important as iPhone sales level off and profits decrease.
As they do every year, Apple released some year end numbers for 2019 and they show that the App Store is still a vital and growing part of their services offering. While the mainstream buzz around iOS apps faded several years ago, Apple’s revenue from the App Store is still growing. According to Eddy Cue, Apple took in a whopping $38.75 billion in App Store revenue in 2019.
The growth continued through the new year, likely fueled by strong Christmas hardware sales. Apple made $1.42 billion from the Store between Christmas and New Year’s Day. They actually set their all time record for daily sales seven days ago with $386 million on New Year’s alone. That’s a 20% increase year over year and a solid win for Apple, no matter how you look at it.
The other notable announcement from Cue was that Apple News now has 100 million monthly users. This represents strong and steady growth after a rocky start for the news publishing and aggregation service in year one. That is a 15 million per month jump over last year. It is also notable that News is currently only available in four markets: The United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. That means there is a lot of additional room for growth in this service if Apple chooses to expand it. I can personally attest to this, as Apple News is by far and away our fastest growing publication outlet.
One thing we didn’t hear about is how Apple News+ is doing. Unfortunately, based on industry rumors and leaks, it doesn’t look like Apple’s reworking of the Texture subscription service for magazines had nearly as strong a start as the Apple Card or Apple Arcade. That said, Apple has proven that it can rescue products from difficult launches, with fast turnarounds for Music and News in year two and a longer rebound for Apple Maps. Considering the growth opportunity that Apple has in Apple News, I look for them to find creative ways to more effectively tie the paid News+ tier to the free version that is proving to be very popular.
It will be interesting to see how these numbers look when we get the word on the rest of the quarter in the near future, Until then, it looks like Apple had a strong close to 2019 and that 2020 is off to a good start.