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Apple vs. Epic ruling reveals 70% of App Store revenue comes from a small fraction of customers playing games

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Key Points
  • Apple's App Store revenue is made up almost entirely of users playing games, according to a court ruling released Friday that concluded Epic Games failed to prove the iPhone maker is a monopolist.
  • According to the ruling, gaming apps account for approximately 70% of all App Store revenue.
  • That 70% is generated by less than 10% of all App Store consumers, the court said.

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Tim Cook
Source: Apple

Apple's App Store revenue is made up almost entirely of users playing games, according to a court ruling released Friday that concluded Epic Games failed to prove Apple is a monopolist.

According to the ruling, gaming apps account for approximately 70% of all App Store revenue. That 70% is generated by less than 10% of all App Store users, the court said. By contrast, more than 80% of all accounts generate virtually no revenue, as 80% of all apps on the App Store are free, according to the document.

As of January, there were 1 billion active iPhones and 1.65 billion Apple devices in use around the globe.

Apple has for years taken a 30% cut of revenue from purchases in apps distributed through the App Store. Developers have alleged that Apple's App Store platform is unfair to smaller companies, and last year Apple lowered the commission to 15% for apps with less than $1 million in annual net sales on its platform.

On Friday, federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed down the decision in the trial between Epic and Apple, and ultimately issued an injunction that said Apple can't prohibit developers from providing links or other communication directing users away from Apple in-app purchasing.

The injunction goes into effect in December.

Apple doesn't disclose how much revenue its App Store makes per year. Rather, the company releases data points that include the total amount Apple has paid to developers since the App Store launched in 2008. According to a CNBC analysis, Apple's App Store had gross sales of around $64 billion last year.

The company said earlier this year it has paid developers $200 billion since 2008, up $45 billion from January 2020.

— CNBC's Kif Leswing contributed to this report.

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