In 2016, payments to app developers grew 40% year-over-year to more than $20 billion in 2016, the company said in a statement. App developers typically receive 70% of sales revenue, while Apple takes a 30% cut, according to the company's website.
"2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a statement.
Meanwhile, New Year's Day served as the highest single sales day for the App Store since its launch in 2008, generating about $240 million in purchases. The holiday season tends to be a busy time for the App Store: the App Store made $144 million in sales on New Year's Day in 2016.
Games were the most lucrative apps on the platform this year, Apple said.
Nintendo's (NTDOY) Super Mario Run app, which debuted exclusively on the App Store Dec. 15, was the most downloaded app on Christmas and New Year's Day, Apple said. Super Mario Run, which is available initially for free but then costs $10 to access additional levels, saw 40 million downloads four days after its release.
For the full year, Pokemon Go was the most downloaded app. The app became available in July and is free aside from in-app purchases.
Pokemon Go has taken the gaming world by storm since its release, reaching 100 million downloads less than a month after its debut, according to app analytics site App Annie.
Apple has increasingly been turning attention to its services segment, which includes the App Store, as iPhone 7 sales continue to soften. The technology giant is reportedly trimming 10% of its annual oz[jpmr production in the first quarter, after conducting supply checks.
In its most recent quarter, Apple's services revenue grew 24% year-over-year to $6.3 billion, driven by App Store sales, which grew 43% year-over-year during the 2016 fourth quarter. Apple's services business made up 13% of its total revenue in the quarter, Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White said in a recent note.
Jim Cramer manages the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio as a charitable trust, wrote in a recent post that Apple's services segment continues to deliver "explosive growth," buoyed by Apple Pay's global growth and continued momentum and engagement from the App Store.
"We cannot overstate the importance of the company's Services business, which delivers higher growth at higher margins with a higher degree of visibility given the recurring nature of its diversified revenue stream," they said.
Shares of Apple were trading flat at $116.09 on Thursday around noon, and are up