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China has reached an iOS App Store milestone, shattering revenue records by generating $1.7 billion in the third quarter for Apple, according to App Annie, an app intelligence firm. Since 2010, Americans have been the biggest iOS Store shoppers, but that changed this year as well.
Chinese buyers outpaced Americans for the first time, by a hefty 15% margin. The Chinese market is now Apple’s source of revenue for the iOS App Store, with America notching second place (at just under $1.5 billion) and Japan in third.
This is great news for Apple, which has struggled to compete in China against the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi. It’s a promising sign that Apple’s cutting-edge wares are continuing to attract buyers and gain acceptance in the world’s largest smartphone market. Today, Chinese App Store customers spend five times more on iPhone and iPad applications than they did just two years ago. App Annie predicts that China will become the most significant revenue driver for Apple by 2020.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the Games category, (read: Pokemon Go) which accounts for 75% of App Store revenues. Pokemon Go has been an unprecedented global success– putting AR on the map single-handedly and pulling off the most successful app launch to date– and the Chinese market has been no exception.
But other categories have also grown dramatically in popularity in China. The Entertainment and Social Networking categories tripled their revenues in the past year alone. The Entertainment category leapt from $100 million to $350 million thanks to popular video streaming apps like iQIYI, Tencent Video, and Youku, which are beginning to adopt in-app subscription models.