As Apple marks the fifth anniversary of the App Store, we decided to revisit our 2012 study, Apps Across America, a report originally requested by the House Energy and Commerce Committee for its hearing “Where the Jobs Are: There’s an App for That.”
Twelve months later, we return to the same topic, but narrow our focus to the most successful apps to determine which companies are having the biggest impact on the mobile economy. We reviewed the top ten iPhone apps in the categories from our previous study – Business, Productivity, Education, and Games – with particular attention to company size, job openings, and geographic diversity. We also revisited the impact of U.S. companies in the China App Store.
Apple’s stature as the top-earning platform for app developers, combined with the five-year anniversary of its store that launched the app economy, made it an obvious subject for our study. Apple has paid over $10 billion to developers through the App Store, half of that in the past year alone. Revenues paid to developers from the Apple App Store are more than two-and-a-half times greater than the nearest competitor, a remarkable achievement considering the iOS market share is less than 20%.
The sharp increase in App Store revenues over the last twelve months reflects the dramatic growth occurring throughout the app economy which is expected to surpass $140 billion in total revenues by 2016. Job growth has also been an enduring feature of this industry expansion. In December 2011, Michael Mandel determined that 466,000 jobs had been created in the app marketplace.His July 2013 study has seen that figure rise above 750,000.