Apple app developers brought in more sales than McDonald’s in 2017

What’s on your phone?
What’s on your phone?
Image: Reuters/Benoit Tessier
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It’s a very good time to be an Apple developer.

The company announced Jan. 4 that developers who make apps and games for its iOS mobile operating system earned $26.5 billion in revenue in 2017. That’s an increase of 30% over what developers generated from sales in 2016, and more than the annual revenues of Starbucks, Qualcomm, DuPont, Kraft Heinz, or McDonald’s, according to Fortune. Apple said iOS customers made $890 million in purchases alone during the seven-day period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.


Apple, which takes a 15% cut of App store sales, puts the successes down to new features available on its mobile devices, including ARKit, which allows most modern iPhones and iPads to run augmented-reality apps with ease.

Since launching the App Store in June 2008, developers have earned over $86 billion in revenue from sales. But it’s not all good news for app builders: As Bloomberg’s Shira Ovide points out, the growth rate is actually down from 2016, when developers earned 40% more than they had a year earlier.

Regardless, the record-breaking numbers are welcome news for Apple, as sales of its latest smartphone, the iPhone X, may well prove to be lower than analysts had previously expected.