A study commissioned by Apple and carried out by economists at Analysis Group has found that the App Store “facilitated half a trillion dollars of trade” last year.
The study found that 85% of transactions through the app did not result in a commission being taken by Apple, which usually takes a 30% share of digital goods and services.
However, total transactions included the sale of physical goods, services, in-app advertising, food deliveries and subscriptions across platforms including iOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac.
In total, the study claimed that this had generated $519bn (£406bn) in sales, with physical goods and offline services taking the biggest chunk at $413bn.
Because of this large percentage of non-commissioned transactions, Apple representatives said they were proud of the trade they had generated and welcomed further scrutiny, following increased attention from anti-competition and trust authorities.
Recent calls from the US House Judiciary Committee and the European Commission to tech leaders, including Apple’s Tim Cook, raised concerns about the global app ecosystem and look to compel digital giants to disclose internal information regarding markets and investigate practices such as taking fees from apps while also running competing apps of their own, such as Spotify and Apple Music.
As a result of suggestions that giants such as Apple are so powerful that such practices are now unfair, many have called for intervention and enforcement of changes such as a 10% reduction in Apple’s cut of sales, the right to charge upgrade fees for major software changes, and an end to ads in the App Store which unfairly stop search results from prominently displaying a competitor’s product.
These calls for change have been made ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will run from the 22nd June to the 26th and will be a digital-only event in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. New software is expected to be announced at Apple’s keynote event, and the week is certainly going to be closely watched by those with an interest in the constantly adapting digital market.