Apple's efforts to get developers to create subscription-based apps now have a noticeable impact on the revenue of the App Store. According to a new Sensor Tower report expected later this week, revenues generated by the US iPhone rose 36 percent, from $ 58 in 2017 to $ 79 last year. As is typical, much of this increase can be attributed to mobile games, which account for more than half of this average per device. However, the company has found that non-gaming categories have seen more growth, including those where subscription-based applications tend to dominate rankings.
According to the report's findings, per-device enforcement spending in the United States has grown faster in the past year than in 2017.
From 2017 to 2018, iPhone users spent an average of $ 21 or more in in-app purchases and downloaded app downloads, an increase of 36% from 23% between 2016 and 2017, when per device rose from $ 47 to $ 58.
However, the figure for 2018 was slightly lower than the 42% increase in average spending per device observed between 2015 and 2016, when revenues went from $ 33 to $ 47, Sensor Tower noted.
As usual, mobile games have continued to play an important role in spending on the iPhone. In 2018, gaming accounted for nearly 56% of average consumer spending, or $ 44 out of the $ 79 spent on iPhone.
But what's more interesting is how the non-player categories behaved this year.
The company found that certain categories – including those where subscription – based applications dominate the rankings – recorded even higher growth from one year to the next in 2018.
For example, entertainment applications increased their spending per device by 82% in 2018, to $ 8 per year. Lifestyle apps increased 86% to $ 3.90 from $ 2.10 previously.
And while not one of the top five companies, health and fitness apps also grew 75 percent from the previous year to an average of $ 2.70 vs. $ 1.60. in 2017.
Music and social networking applications are also among the top five categories, with growth of 22%.
These data indicate that subscription applications play an important role in increasing iPhone consumer spending.
This news comes at a time when Apple has announced a slowdown in iPhone sales, which pushes the company to rely more on services to continue to increase its revenue. This includes not only subscriptions to the App Store, but also items such as Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, search ads in the App Store, AppleCare, and so on.
As subscriptions grow in popularity, Apple will need to remain vigilant against those who abuse the system.
For example, a number of sneaky subscription apps have afflicted the App Store in recent weeks. They cheated users by charging them paying subscriptions with complicated buttons, hidden text, instant tries converted in a few days and the use of other deceptive tactics.
Apple has subsequently dried up by deleting some apps and updating its developer guidelines by enforcing stricter rules regarding the appearance and operation of subscriptions.
If we do not properly control the App Store or if we do not limit the abuse of subscriptions, this could prevent users from downloading new apps, especially if they start to think that each application is after a long-term financial commitment.
Developers will need to be discerning to convert users and retain their subscribers as part of this transition from paid apps to those that come with a monthly bill. Application makers will need to market the benefits of their subscription and even consider bundling to increase value.
But in the short term, the big advantage for developers is that there is still much to do on the App Store, even if iPhone sales slow down.