Apple announced that billings for the App Store during the first week of January set a new record, with customers spending nearly $500 million on apps and in-app purchases. Apple said New Year's Day was its best day, making it the biggest day ever in App Store history. Apple didn't disclose sales figures for New Year's Day.
"This year is off to a tremendous start after a record-breaking year for the App Store and our developer community," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a press release announcing the data. "We're so proud of the creativity and innovation developers bring to the apps they create for iOS users and that the developer community has now earned over $25 billion."
The App Store sales follow up on an extraordinarily strong 2014 for Apple. Apple said billings rose 50% and apps generated $10 billion in revenue for developers. With Apple taking a 30% cut of sales, that means Apple itself generated around $4.3 billion in revenue from app and in-app revenue.
There are more than 1.4 million apps in the App Store available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. There are 725,000 apps available just for the iPad, more than any other tablet.
Apple cited its new programming language for iOS 8, codenamed Swift, as well as the HealthKit and HomeKit frameworks for its success. iOS 8 also showed off Metal, Apple's graphics technology that maximizes the performance of the A7 and A8 chips, to allow developers to make console quality games on mobile devices.
Traditionally when consumers get new iPhones or iPads, they download a flurry of new apps. Judging by the numbers, some analysts who are expecting Apple to have sold around 70 million iPhones during the December quarter may be onto something. Apple is scheduled to report fiscal first-quarter results on Jan. 27. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Apple to earn $2.54 a share on revenue of $66.49 billion.
Apple also gave an update on its mobile payment initiative, Apple Pay, which it announced in September. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple noted that the U.S.-based banks and credit unions that support Apple Pay now represent about 90% of total credit card purchase volume in this country.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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