App Store (iOS)
The App Store is a
The App Store was opened on July 10, 2008, with an initial 500 applications available. As of 2017, the store features over 2.2 million apps.
Developers have multiple options for monetizing their applications, ranging from free, free with in-app purchases, and paid. However, App Store has been criticized for a lackluster development environment, prompting the company in June 2016 to announce a "renewed focus and energy" on the store. Major changes introduced in the following months include ads in search results, a new app subscription model, and the ability for developers to respond to customer reviews. Additionally, Apple began a process to remove old apps that do not function as intended or that don't follow current app guidelines, with app research firms noticing significant numbers of app removals from the store. Furthermore, with the release of
After the success of Apple's App Store and the launch of
The term app has become a popular
In February 2013, Apple informed developers that they could begin using appstore.com for links to their apps. In June at its
In November 2014, due to pressure from the
In January 2017, reports surfaced that documentation for a new
In March 2017, App Store submissions containing pricing details, such as "free", in the name started getting rejected. Developers had previously been advised in developer guides in
In October 2016, in an effort to improve app discoverability, Apple rolled out the ability for developers to purchase advertising spots in App Store to users in the United States. The ads, shown at the top of the search results, are based strictly on relevant keywords, and are not used to create profiles on users. Apple expanded search ads to the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in April 2017, along with more configurable advertising settings for developers. Search ads were expanded to Canada, Mexico and Switzerland in October 2017. In December 2017, Apple revamped its search ads program to offer two distinctive versions; "Search Ads Basic" is a pay-per-install program aimed at smaller developers, in which they only pay when users actually install their app. Search Ads Basic also features an easier setup process and a restricted monthly budget. "Search Ads Advanced" is a new name given to the older method, in which developers have to pay whenever users tap on their apps in search results, along with unlimited monthly budgets. At launch, the Basic program is only available in the U.S., with international rollout expected "sometime next year".
Apple also offers an iTunes Affiliate Program, which lets people refer others to apps and other iTunes content, along with in-app purchases, for a percentage of sales. The commission rate for in-app purchases was reduced from 7% to 2.5% in May 2017, while affiliate rates for paid apps, music, movies, books, and TV shows remained at 7%.
App Store received a major design overhaul with the release of
Prior to September 2017, Apple offered a way for users to manage their iOS app purchases through the
On January 4, 2018, Apple announced that the App Store had a record-breaking holiday season according to a new press release. During the week starting on Christmas Eve, a record number of customers made App Store purchases, spending more than $890 million in that seven-day period. On New Year's Day 2018 alone, customers made $300 million in purchases.