A central theme to this year’s WWDC seems to be one of openness: iMessage, Siri, etc. can now be connected to other apps. This is a pretty big about-face for a company historically with a very walled garden view of the world.
But to me, one of the even more interesting pieces of info released was that Apple just passed $50B in app-related payments to app developers. That means Apple’s mobile apps are generating $71B (before publisher revenue split) a year in total gross revenue.
Just think about that for a moment.
If Apple mobile app revenues (just revenues related to mobile apps and nothing else) were a country, it would rank 67th in terms of GDP of all nations. It looks like to be doubling every 2 years at current growth rate. So in 2 years time, it could be on par with New Zealand’s GDP.
With all the talk of mobile adoption plateauing in developed countries and innovation needing to find the next big platform such as VR, we tend to forget how large mobile and by extension, mobile apps as a business, has become.
This is why we are starting to see mobile pure-play specialists like Twilio going public with annual revenues of $160M. The continued growth from the $50B payout will trickle down into more and more specialists and layers that ultimately produce and support mobile apps. This trickle down will create new large companies and new industries.
While mobile adoption may be slowing down, the ecosystem that supports the whole industry is only coming into its own.