Small business owners have had to find creative ways to keep their businesses afloat in this changed business landscape. Apple’s App Store, with over 1.7 million apps, has been a boon for developers, especially small business owners.
A recent Apple-commissioned study has found that more than 1.9 million jobs have been created thanks to the App Store. In addition, it has opened up new pathways of success and economic opportunity to small business developers. This study points to the fact that the App Store has been a major source of growth and success for small businesses.
Let’s take a closer look at the findings of the Apple-commissioned study and how the App Store continues to help small businesses in the new normal:
Overview of Apple’s App Store
The App Store is Apple’s digital marketplace for mobile applications on iOS devices. Launched in 2008, the App Store offers over 2 million apps, many of which have become essential tools for people worldwide. Since its launch, the App Store has been credited with creating billions of dollars in revenue, widening access to previously untapped markets and revolutionising how people communicate and interact with their devices.
Apple conducted a study to evaluate the impact on small developers who have used the App Store as a platform for their businesses, and the findings are hugely encouraging. The data suggests that since 2008, when the App Store opened its virtual doors, more than 1 million jobs were created in Europe alone by small developers born out of a new wave of innovation enabled by Apple’s platforms and markets.
The study looked at small business developers in 29 major European countries who used the App Store within two years of its creation – indicating how widespread iOS has been adopted within this region since its launch nearly ten years ago. The results show that job growth accelerated significantly after 2012 – likely due to larger smartphone adoption – so it will be interesting to watch how quickly this develops over time as iOS continues to become widely adopted worldwide.
Apple also revealed that small business employees generated an estimated €15 billion (around $17 billion) in wages last year. Their collective contribution to national GDP was estimated at €178 billion (roughly $204 billion). Moreover, Apple found that these smaller businesses’ apps accounted for more than 30 percent of total downloads across Europe, proving that this platform makes it possible for entrepreneurs and independent developers to connect with customers globally.
Apple-Commissioned Study Touts App Store Job Growth and Success of Small Developers
Apple recently commissioned a study on the App Store job growth and success of small developers. The report, titled “Gathering Momentum: The App Store at 10,” looks at the impact that The App Store has had in developing and supporting entrepreneurs, creating jobs around the world, and transforming businesses of all sizes.
The study looked at data from January 2012 to April 2019, and found that iOS developers have created over 1.6 million jobs in the US alone. This includes jobs in software development, related activities, and ancillary support for app makers. To emphasise the importance of its availability on the App Store for developers worldwide whether large or startup companies., Apple also found that small businesses make up more than half of all app publishers on the App Store globally.
Moreover, companies with fewer than five employees make up 40% of all app revenue since 2008 (when The App Store opened). Small app publishers have collectively earned more than $61 billion since launch (nearly 44% of total developer earnings). This highlights the incredible success many small developers have seen by listing their apps on Apple’s platform. As these apps continue to gain traction through organic search and consistent downloads, even more small business owners are turning to The App Store to monetize their services.
With millions of people downloading these applications daily from approved vendors such as Apple stores across countries such as United States etc., many startups are launching innovative products which is proving beneficial for global society as a whole with new features improving our lives and creating better experiences for everyone who uses it often making complicated tasks smoother and easier to accomplish ultimately helping us stay connected even if we are miles apart.
Apple recently commissioned a study to highlight the success of small app developers and measure the impact that the App Store has had on job growth and economic stimulation worldwide. The study’s results are very intriguing and show that the App Store has created millions of jobs and has been a key factor in driving success for millions of small businesses.
Let’s take a look at some of the key findings from the Apple-commissioned study:
Findings of the study
The Apple-commissioned study conducted by Analysis Group, Inc. analysed the combined economic impact of the App Store and its many successful creators across four countries: the United States, Japan, Germany, and Mexico. The study found that:
- Developers of all sizes generated more than one million jobs across six major categories in these four countries – from software engineers to marketers and call centre representatives;
- The collective impact of App Store developers within these four countries was a cumulative total of $519 billion in 2019;
- App Store developers directly contributed 61 billion dollars collectively to U.S. GDP with over 675 thousand jobs directly associated with app development;
- 46 percent of job creation was attributable to comparatively small businesses (defined as organisations with 500 or fewer employees); and
- Despite significant challenges due to COVID-19, Apple’s developer community continues to thrive, with developers releasing nearly 20,000 new apps in the first quarter alone.
These numbers highlight how crucial the App Store has played in jumpstarting business opportunities for entrepreneurs while creating high quality jobs worldwide – not just within tech but across numerous other industries.
Impact of the App Store on Small Business
A recent study commissioned by Apple has highlighted the increasing success of small business developers who use the App Store. The report found that over 80% of software developers on the App Store are small businesses, each with fewer than 20 employees. In addition, these developers have profited from an average 100 percent increase in revenue since 2015 thanks to the App Store’s influence.
In addition to generating new revenue, Apple found that the App Store has created more than 1.5 million jobs globally since its inception in 2008. This job growth didn’t just come from large tech companies; more than 70 percent stemmed from “sprout-up” organisations that started as individual teams or solo endeavours and grew after their mobile app launch.
The App Store has also helped create a powerhouse wave of entrepreneurs succeeding globally. Between 2013 and 2018, approximately 6,500 new developers earned $1 million or more each in profits on their apps – an 11-fold increase over the five years per data from Apple’s study. Some of these became so successful they could build multi-million dollar companies on app revenue alone.
These numbers prove that the App Store is a platform for success for small developers and entrepreneurs alike; providing access to global markets, allowing emerging products and services to thrive, and offering unique opportunities for those willing to take advantage of them. The days when opening a business was only possible if one had plenty of capital and resources are quickly fading away with this new wave of app economy driven by Apple’s innovative platform—the App Store helps level the playing field for any aspiring small business looking to enter into commerce.
Benefits of the App Store
According to an Apple-commissioned study, the App Store has drastically helped with job growth and the success of many small developers. The study showed that the App Store has helped to create over 1.9 million jobs across Europe and enabled entrepreneurs and developers to make more money than ever before. So it is no wonder the App Store is so popular with developers and entrepreneurs.
Let’s explore the various benefits that the App Store has to offer:
Apple’s App Store has given smaller businesses increased visibility, leading to increased download and purchase activity. A commissioned study by Apple revealed that App Store purchases have resulted in over $120 billion in cumulative revenue for app publishers as of 2020. This includes both one-time and subscription-based purchases.
The study found further evidence of how the App Store can help promote small businesses: Those who participated in Apple’s developer program derived roughly 84% of their total iOS revenue from the App Store, indicating that these developers rely heavily on it for success. In addition, smaller developers received 77% or higher of their iOS revenue from the App Store, suggesting that Apple has created an environment where small players can thrive.
Overall, the App Store has enabled more than 500,000 jobs associated with app development and is spread across all 50 states and American territories worldwide. Approximately two-thirds of jobs were held by small businesses (defined as companies with fewer than 500 employees), and half were earned by self-employed developers independently creating their apps. Additionally, more than 24,000 app start-ups had exceeded $1 million in combined earnings since 2008—with a majority coming from small businesses and self-employed developers creating innovative apps through the App Store platform. In this way, the App Store has enabled entrepreneurs to succeed with relative ease compared to other sectors—creating positive economic expansion opportunities that have benefited entire countries worldwide.
Easy Access to Customers
The App Store provides a marketplace of nearly two million apps with over 500 million global active users. This level of convenient access to customers, who can discover and purchase products quickly and easily, has been key to the success of small businesses worldwide.
According to a recent Apple-commissioned study, mobile app developers are increasingly influential in driving economic growth for both large and small businesses.
- The study found that App Store buyers within the United States spend approximately $2 billion per year with mobile app developers, resulting in over 55 million jobs created or supported across Europe.
- In addition, the App Store generated roughly $1 million daily revenue for small business app developers worldwide, an increase from $459 thousand seen in 2017.
With easy access to customers through the App Store’s large population of users, small developers can now easily reach a wide range of customers and develop a sustainable user base using innovative new technologies that tap into their customer’s needs. In addition, the availability of powerful tools such as Core ML (Machine Learning Framework), Combine (Apple’s advanced framework) and SwiftUI (rapid user interface development) has enabled small developers to quickly create high quality apps available on any Apple device using only a few lines of code.
The benefits of the App Store’s services are not limited to commercial usage; they extend widely into education, empowering teachers, educators and parents alike by providing online platforms that facilitate quality learning experiences outside of traditional classroom settings. In addition, providing continuous support for innovation, Apple’s platforms make it possible for students from kindergarteners to college students to gain unfettered access to knowledge resources that previously were beyond their reach.
A July 2018 Apple-commissioned study confirmed that the App Store is a powerful platform for small businesses, highlighting several ways it has enabled developers to increase their revenue. The study by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) surveyed 1,500 app developers and distributors. It revealed that 74% of respondents got at least half of their revenue from apps on the App Store in 2017.
Furthermore, due to apps in the App Store, over two-thirds (68%) reported that their business experienced growth. This is attributed to how the App Store has allowed larger groups of customers to access their products easily and purchase digital services and content with no additional fees or commissions required.
Additionally, nearly all (97%) of those who completed the survey felt confident about their ability to continue innovating on existing products or creating new ones for customers based on consumer data. Leveraging consumer data enabled businesses to target audiences more effectively and modify their product strategy accordingly to create higher levels of appeal for customers. Such strategies have allowed many small businesses to use a combination of paid marketing services offered by platforms such as AdMob, iAds and so forth to build visibility and drive more traffic into their apps.
Of those studied in the survey, 83% reported having seen an increase in sales due directly to using this combined platform promotion strategy. Furthermore 48% believed they would have gone out of business if not for the App Store which shows how much value businesses derive from its presence alone without even factoring any other business metrics applicable like increased customer base or reach etc into account (EIU). These findings make it clear that not only does the App Store benefit economic growth but it also provides great benefits from both an entrepreneurial and a corporate perspective; thus helping grow job opportunities amongst small developers globally.
Challenges of the App Store
With the App Store, Apple has created an ecosystem that allows millions of small business owners to showcase their products and services to billions of customers worldwide. However, it is important to recognize that the App Store has its fair share of challenges.
For instance, the rules and regulations of the App Store can be convoluted and difficult to navigate, and the commission charged by Apple for every successful purchase can be hefty.
This article will look into the challenges of the App Store for small business owners.
The Apple-commissioned study found that competition for App Store space is fierce and that developing for the platform can be challenging. In particular, small developers struggle to differentiate their apps against the vast majority of competitors in the market. In addition, launching high-quality products is essential with more than 2 million apps vying for attention in the App Store.
To stand out in such a crowded space, developers must build an impactful presence on Apple’s App Store and create promotional strategies that include optimised content, targeted campaigns and engaging in influencer marketing activities. Developers must also update their products frequently and integrate powerful user engagement tools to keep customers loyal to their apps.
Moreover, app developers must constantly evaluate trends and find ways to make their products stay ahead of curating algorithms so their app can be featured prominently within the platform and reach new audiences. Finally, developers must balance staying competitive on quality and price; too much emphasis on one over another can mean success or failure for an app almost overnight.
Complex App Review Process
The Apple App Store has been a great success in helping small business developers and entrepreneurs get more exposure for their mobile apps. However, getting into the App Store isn’t as simple as it seems. To be accepted by Apple, developers must go through an app review process that is highly complex. The process begins with submission of detailed information about the app and ends with review and acceptance by Apple before the app can be downloaded in the App Store.
Often, developers will get rejected or delayed due to seemingly small issues that could easily be fixed. So why is this review process so detailed and biassed towards apps developed by established enterprises?
Apple’s app review process is designed to ensure strict security standards are met and that all applications perform at a high level on their platform. In addition, the rules state that apps must have “great user experience, functionality and quality”, meaning that any bug fixes or enhancements must also be submitted for review before being rolled out.
The review process is highly complex as it checks source code for any violation of guidelines such as copyright infringement or use of prohibited APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Additional attention must also be paid to user privacy issues such as asking for payment information before an account has been created or prompting users unnecessarily for sensitive information like GPS location data or camera access permission. All these points are considered while reviewing an app on the Apple store.
Unsurprisingly, developers need to carefully consider their options when submitting apps to the App Store. In addition, careful steps must be taken to properly validate the product meeting Apple’s demanding requirements and anticipated customer reception to ensure a successful launch of your application.
High Cost of Development
According to an Apple-commissioned study highlighting the success of small developers and job growth in the App Store, there is still a barrier to entry for many small players and unique opportunities in the mobile app market. One of the most reported challenges for those entering the App Store is the high development cost. It can be seen to present a significant entry barrier, relative to other digital platforms, due to both higher development costs and more stringent review processes.
Research further describes some key challenges with creating mobile app experiences on iOS that hinder wider participation in the App Store. These include:
- The technical complexity of building custom apps
- The hard cost investments associated with developing apps such as server hosting or analytics integrations
- Navigating Apple’s review process which requires a considerable time commitment and unfamiliar learning curve
- Limited resources including time and budget constraints that organisations often experience while setting up their products.
The high development cost and associated barriers make it difficult for many organisations regardless of size or resources to enter into iOS app marketplaces on an even footing with bigger developers. For potential entrepreneurs just starting down their paths, this fact coupled with getting lost within Apple’s guidelines underscores how differently newcomers view how success within The App Store could be realised compared to established, organised teams.
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