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Apple's App Store has best month ever

Apple's emphasis on software and services seems to be paying off.

The company had its highest monthly sales ever in the App Store in November, tweeted Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

The App Store's new milestone comes after two record-setting quarters for Apple's services division, as the company has tried to lure more developers to its platform. It has released a a new, easier-to-learn language, Swift, and coding environment, Swift Playgrounds, a faster app review process and a new revenue-sharing model for subscription apps.

While the iPhone is still the biggest money maker for Apple, its software and services is now the fastest-growing source of revenue, according to the company's latest earnings report.

CEO Tim Cook has attributed much of Apple's research and development spending in 2016 to services. And Apple has big ambitions for services like Apple Pay, the App Store and Apple Music, which it expects to reach the size of a Fortune 100 company by 2017.

To be sure, Apple's rapid software expansion has not been without challenges. Developers have told CNBC that while Apple's new features have unprecedented potential, the execution is often buggy and unpredictable. For instance, counterfeit retail apps have slipped through Apple's new fast approval process.

Still, in addition to a new App Store record, Apple's other services have hit new highs. Apple Pay saw more transactions in the month of September than across all of fiscal 2015, Apple said in its latest earnings. And Apple Music hit 20 million subscribers, Apple's internet software and services senior vice president Eddy Cue told Billboard.

Apple may even be pushing deeper into the movie rental business to bolster iTunes, according to a Wednesday Bloomberg report. Apple is pressing Hollywood studios to get higher priced, early availability of movies just released in theaters,according to Bloomberg.