Apple App Store Holiday Season Sales Skyrocket

Naysayers have reasons to step back: Apple is all doing well, thank you very much! The tech giant has just announced its holiday season sales for the App Store. And the numbers are incredible. This should scare off all those stock market analysts who love to predict Apple’s downfall every New Year’s eve, potentially ruining the party for all investors who have big numbers put on APPL.

The truth is plain and simple: over the course of the holiday season Apple App Store users spent a mind-boggling $1.1 billion on apps. That’s more than 5% compared to the sales for the whole of 2015. And the amazing news doesn’t stop here: Apple also announced that for New Year’s Day, the App Store generated a total of $144 million. Needless to say, investors should be thrilled. We’re here to discuss the App Store in detail: what made this huge success possible, and how are its prospects looking now. All this and more in the article below.


How Did App Store Sales Get so High?

The question remains: how did the Apple App Store manage to get so much cash over the holiday season? Two days ago, on Wednesday, January 6, Apple made the boastful announcement of $1.1BN sales over the holidays. Not only is this the largest holiday sale ever to hit the App Store, but it also encompasses the largest sale over such a short period of time (two weeks), as well as the largest single-day sales (on January 1st).

Basically, those numbers come from three different sources. Funny enough, the paid apps on the App Store performed worse than those that have in-app purchases, as of January 3rd the day the holiday season ended. Here’s a list of how money can be gathered via the Apple App Store:

  • In-app purchases. A feature more and more common among apps these days, in-app purchasing is a cow that’s being milked dry by developers. From the annoying strategy of “you can’t play anymore unless you pay” to the “get this booster to up your game” one, there are countless ways of securing profit.
  • Paid apps. People that appreciate a certain app or developer are extremely likely to pay for the service. Still, paid apps hardly gross as much as apps with in-app purchases. Unless, of course, the specific app has both of them. However, paid apps with additional in-app purchases make people question whether the companies are only out for their money.
  • Ads on free apps. Interestingly enough, ads have two ways by which they generate money. First off, there’s the fact that companies pay for them. Secondly, it’s the in-app purchase that allows users to do away with all the annoying ads and pop-ups. However, the price people pay to get rid of ads more than often goes to the app developer, as paying off the ads is cheap and the rest is safely stored in the dev’s pockets.

These are the three major ways by which app developers make money. According to Apple, because of these App Store strategies, there are now more than 1.9 million jobs sustained in the US, as well as 1.2 million in Europe and 1.4 million in China. Let’s see some concrete titles that made the spotlight this year:

Apple App Store Top Apps

For this small list of three, we’re looking at the top grossing apps as of January 3, 2016, the date Apple ended its “holiday season.”

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is the highest grossing app of last year, according to app analytics such as App Annie. The app focuses on a strategy battle between the user and separate clans owned by other users. The app is such a hit not only because it is a simple one, but because it can become complicated on account of being a strategy game.

The money that makes this app the highest grossing one (both on iPhones and on iPads) comes from in-app purchases. These purchases can provide an ad-free play, beautiful items, and strong upgrades.

Game of War – Fire Age

Game of War is at the same time similar and different compared to the previous App store app mentioned. As of January 3, it was the second highest grossing app on the iPhone and the third highest grossing app on the iPad. The app features a fantasy middle-age setting with kingdoms and kings warring against each other.

Compared to Clash of Clans, the Game of War App store app is slightly more serious and has graphics that make it look more like a game for adults. Its money also comes from in-app purchases.

Candy Crush Saga/Spotify

This time, it’s a tie! Of course, Candy Crush Saga is the second highest grossing game in the App Store for iPads. However, iPhone users seem to prefer Spotify. Spotify is also the highest gross ranking non-gaming app. It feautres three types of subscription plans that allow users to listen to unlimited amounts of music – kind of what Netflix does for movies.

While Candy Crush Saga relies on in-app purchases such as power-ups and cool items, Spotify is a subscription based service.

Apple App Store – Conclusion

So which of these apps do you have? Have you tried all of them or none of them? Let us know and maybe we’ll consider your opinion the next time we write about App Store apps.


  • Fortune;
  • App Annie;
  • Images: here and here;

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