Apple Talks Up Its 2021 Services Successes

Posted on January 10, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Cloud, iOS, iPadOS, Mobile with 32 Comments

Apple now has over 745 million paid subscriptions with its App Store delivering over $60 billion in revenues in 2021.

“Apple’s world-class portfolio of services proved essential in 2021, as people worldwide sought new ways to keep entertained, informed, connected, and inspired,” Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue said. “Apple continues to connect the world’s developers, artists, and storytellers with users across more than a billion devices, delivering powerful tools, content, and experiences that enrich their lives in profound ways every day.”

Apple said that the App Store has generated over $260 billion in revenues since it launched in 2008, up from the $200 billion it reported a year ago for a yearly record of $60 billion in 2021. About 600 million people access the App Store each week across 175 countries. And Apple Books now has about 100 million users each month.

And that’s pretty much it for the hard numbers. In the softer category, “millions” of apps were downloaded from the App Store in 2021. Apple Music Radio has “tens of millions” of subscribers worldwide. “Millions” of people asked Siri to play music last year. And listeners now tune in to “millions” of shows every minute with Apple Podcasts.

It’s amazing what you can do with a captive audience of people using over one billion devices.

Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (32)

32 responses to “Apple Talks Up Its 2021 Services Successes”

  1. matsan

    $6/user quickly adds up when you have a billion users.

  2. j5

    When I was on Android and it was for years I never once purchased an app except for PocketCasts. When I switched to iPhone a few years back I've purchased several apps. I don't know what it is about Apple's App Store that causes it's user to purchase apps and subscriptions on it more than the Google Play Store? Even to this day with some of the great Android phones some of my friends use they refuse to pay for apps or subscribe to an app. I wonder if it has anything to do with the longevity of the hardware, the phones? I mean typical Android users have to upgrade to new phones every 2 or 3 years to get Android updates? I don't know. The App Store has some psychological game going on that just makes you comfortable purchasing apps.

    • wright_is

      I bought some apps on Windows Phone and Android, but more on iPhone - usually, because there is no other real option, either the functionality isn’t there or it is time limited.


      On Android, you usually have an advert laden option, which many are happy with.


      For me, after going iOS, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile and then Android, it was also the case, that I never felt Android was a permanent option, so I was unwilling to invest yet more money, buying the same apps over and over again. I did re-buy a few, when I went to Android, and switching back to iOS this year, I have bought a couple yet again. But it has to be a very good app, that I really need to get me to part with money, yet again.

    • yoshi

      For me it's a quality issue. I bounce between Android and iOS quite a bit, and the apps are generally nicer on iOS. That gives me more confidence when spending money within the App Store. It feels as though the developers are more committed to iOS, which boosts consumer confidence. (if that's true, who knows. It's just how I feel).

  3. wright_is

    It is a shame that world-class service isn’t a world-wide service.


    For example, I like the sound of the News+ service and that would actually be something I’d be willing to pay for. But it isn’t available here.

    • Greg Green

      This apathy is amazing, since it seems to me it wouldn’t take many people to staff a few foreign offices to curate local and regional news. A few for Eastern Europe, a few more for Northern Europe, etc.

      • wright_is

        It isn’t curating a news feed, it is providing access to dozens or hundreds of publications. You have to be able to make an agreement with each publication to carry their content.


        And you need that for each country, as their are very few that share the same language.

      • Stabitha.Christie

        I doubt apathy is the cause. If I had to speculate I’d say that is more likely around licensing and using intellectual property. For those that remember, the iTunes Store had a fairly slow international rollout due to navigation of rights and distribution. My guess is that seems deceptively simple to get these things done.

  4. nbplopes

    This is what happens when a company is allowed to usurp the value created and delivered by others by forcing its own cash register to any business (in app payment). Fundamentally Tim was able to create a business model that taxes any business that goes through their customers devices. He managed to turn an OS is into a business hijacking machine on our devices, a Man In The Middle Attacking device. For a billion users its able wasn’t App Store was not just able to connect, its the only connection.


    Remember, a 0% tax is still a tax in this model … anytime it can be 30%.


    Microsoft Store is nit comparable. It was not designed to be a man in the middle business attack machine.


    Oh. By the way, that proxy they made to “protect users privacy” still in beta … wait until becomes the norm like did the App Store. They will be able to shutdown access to any business site on billions of users with a touch of €button€.


    Eyes wide shut much?

    • Stabitha.Christie

      "Oh. By the way, that proxy they made to “protect users privacy” still in beta … wait until becomes the norm like did the App Store. They will be able to shutdown access to any business site on billions of users with a touch of €button€."


      It is somewhat hard to figure out what you talking about here because Apple doesn't run a proxy server service. I assume you are talking about Private Relay which is part is an opt in, paid for service. If that is the case then what you are describing can't happen. Your destination website is encrypted and Apple can't see it. So, there would be no way to block access to a business or site.

    • wright_is

      The Microsoft Store was designed to be the same as the Apple Store, but it never caught on, so they slashed the margins, still no one used it and now it is free for developers.


      But, most companies I know of block the Store on all their business PCs, so it is only consumers that see the store, and they are generally less likely to pay.

      • nbplopes

        No. The Microsoft Store on Windows was designed to be like the macOS App Store. These numbers and success aren’t from this line of business … no way it is. The business model around macOS is entirely different from iOS … thus would be impossible.


        Now. I’m not defending MS … I have no doubt the company would like to be in this position. It tried a decade ago and was barred … because was not capable of wrapping the all thing so effectively.


        I believe it’s time to regulate tech devices as cars, planes … so on and so forth are. Hey, but the government and democracy sovereignty as not been under such attack by Big Tech and very upper class in society.



        • nbplopes

          Apple’s world-class portfolio of services proved essential in 2021, as people worldwide sought new ways to keep entertained, informed, connected, and inspired’


          Sic: Your business is now our business. With only one service, we have a portfolio of millions services. A miracle as Tim would say, the multiplication of bread as the bible would describe, Tim Jesus.

    • nbplopes

      Oh, and tax payers are being used to enrich this systems … you know … those drivers license and ID that are now to support Apple Wallet. Not peoples wallets, Apple Wallet.

      • Stabitha.Christie

        I presume you are taking about the U.S. and people in some states being able to add their state ID or driver’s license? That is an open standard ( ISO 18013-5) that Apple implemented. Any other digital wallet could do the same.

        • nbplopes

          I guess the standard also established a service contract between Apple and the governamental institutions.

          • Stabitha.Christie

            Also worth noting that some of the states in question had already adopted the standard and were delivering IDs to their own wallet apps on both iOS and Android. So this "Apple Wallet. Not peoples wallets, Apple Wallet." is objectively wrong. People have had this well before Apple got involved.

          • Stabitha.Christie

            When entities work together they tend to have contracts that delineate their respective obligations. That is in no way abnormal. Nothing in this situation precludes any other digital wallet from using the same standard that the states have adopted or benefiting from the infrastructure the states are building to support it. Your claim is that only Apple Wallet is supported. That isn't accurate. What is accurate is only Apple is putting in the work to get their wallet supported. This is really easy, name the company that States of declined work with?

            • nbplopes

              From cherry picking facts to factoids.


              “Nothing in this situation precludes any other digital wallet from using the same standard that the states have adopted or benefiting from the infrastructure the states are building to support it.”


              Ops … a factoid.


              In iOS no other apps but Apple Wallet has access to the device NFC capabilities required by the standard workflows. This means that the Gov itself could not provide an app that does processes the identification workflow ig not through the Apple Wallet.


              On Android any dev has access to the device NFC capabilities. So the Gov can provide its citizens an App that does the above.


              “Your claim is that only Apple Wallet is supported. That isn't accurate.“


              In iOS that is a fact. Only Apple Wallet app has access to NFC capabilities. Not even Gov apps.


              “What is accurate is only Apple is putting in the work to get their wallet supported.“


              That is not true. In other OS, with direct access to devices NFC capabilities the gov is developing Apps to process the identification. There is no need for one vendor only wallet.


              Cherry picking facts and factoids removed … allow me to go back to my point. By collaborating with Apple artificial strong hold around the devices NFC capabilities, the US gov is in effect contributing to Apple’s strong hold in contactless payments … present in 50% of Americans pockets. In effect the US government digital infrastructure is being used to enrich such a system.


              Now, given this I believe that the US Gov is selling it self very very short to Apple … like very much everyone by the way. In my view, in order to help Apple enrich its Wallet, it could very well require the company to rise the artificial strong hold it has over the devices NFC capabilities. Considering that in other OSs, such as Android such restriction does not exist.


              Another option could be requiring Apple some billions in order for the company be able to enrich their system this way. Much like say, China required Apple to pay billions on other matters and it complied. But I guess this option in a democratic state would be harder to understand.


              Cheers.





              • Stabitha.Christie

                This conversation is more or less impossible to have as you seem to make things up that support what you would like to be true vs what is reality. Seems to be a bit of a habit of yours as you did it with Private Relay above. There are several examples of where you just got things wrong in your comment, like governments can’t make their own apps to download IDs. Not only is it possible, it’s has already been done. You are confusing NFC transfer with downloading and ID to a phone. I think the most glaring bit of not knowing what is happening is this

                :

                ”I believe that the US Gov is selling it self very very short to Apple … like very much everyone by the way.”


                The U.S government doesn’t issue I.D. Cards or Driver’s licenses. That is done at a state level and Apple is working with the states to get this done. The government provides passports which aren’t included in this Apple wallet.

                • nbplopes

                  "Your claims that only Apple has access to NFC is incorrect."


                  For the purpose of implementing the standard that you have mentioned ... they are correct.


                • nbplopes

                  Indeed I'm not versed how the US gov is organized. In Europe, ID cards and drivers license are emitted by each government, so I assumed it was the same in USA.


                  As for the Colorado, Arizona ... example ... it uses QR Code / Bar Code reading not NFC ... as some European governments have implemented for iOS around its NFC limitations. I collaborated in a project of one of them around this a couple of years ago.


                  Maybe you are confusing NFC with QR Code / Bar Code / Infra Red Scanners tech. Some people do, its not the same thing. If that is the case it is indeed impossible to have a conversation.


                  Indeed you seam to be conflating multiple platitudes together with facts in order to create some factoids to justify your initial opinion. It's not necessary ... no problem in being mistaken.


                  Have fun.

                  PS: Third party access to NFC in iOS back in 2017 was read lonely (read tags). It evolved to also write to NFC Tags ... I believe with iOS 13 but access is still limited. Neither if this is enough to say process Id or authorise data transactions (payment or user data). So for the purpose of this discussion my claims of lack of NFC access by third parties and support by third party devs are correct as far as I know. Not very much interested in rhetorical observations.

                • Stabitha.Christie

                  For reference here are the states that had apps on iOS that have digital IDs/Drivers Licenses that use NFC prior to Apple's announcement last year.

                  Arizona

                  Colorado <-- Since 2019

                  Deleware

                  Oklahoma


                  Your claims that only Apple has access to NFC is incorrect. Apple introduced CoreNFC in 2017 which allows apps use read and write NFC tags. It is limited for sure, but your claims are demonstrably false.


        • Dan

          Shame on you for bringing facts into and argument from ignorance.

  5. dstrauss

    Wonder how that compares to the Microsoft Store...

  6. brettscoast

    wow the numbers don't lie do they, staggering.

  7. csteinblock

    Not sure it is the best look to be bragging about the billions your getting from a product your being investigated about!