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UPDATE May 11, 2023

Small developers on the App Store grew revenue by 71 percent over the past two years

An independent study found resilience in small developers, whose growth outpaces large developers
An independent study conducted by economists at Analysis Group found that small developers on the App Store grew their businesses and reached more customers around the world, even outpacing larger developers. With the support of a wide range of App Store tools and initiatives, small developers globally — defined as those earning up to $1 million a year and with fewer than 1 million annual downloads — grew their revenue 71 percent between 2020 and 2022.

Entrepreneurs Find New Possibilities and Global Growth

In a new study titled “Small Business Developers and App Creators on the App Store in 2022,” Analysis Group economists found that revenue growth for small developers active on the storefront since 2020 exceeded that of large developers as these entrepreneurs identified new ways to tap into the needs of their users. Small developers — who comprise more than 90 percent of all developers on the App Store — saw earnings increase across all app categories. In particular, health and fitness, sports, and lifestyle apps from small business developers more than doubled their earnings in the last two years.
Developers of all sizes have built successful businesses while benefitting from the App Store’s global reach in 175 countries and over 40 languages, and Apple’s installed base of over 2 billion active devices around the world. In 2022, nearly 80 percent of small developers were active on multiple storefronts and about 40 percent of total app downloads from all small developers came from users outside of each developer’s home country. Additionally, the economists found that developers who monetize their apps by selling digital goods and services on multiple storefronts have earnings from users on more than 40 storefronts on average.
An infographic titled “Global Entrepreneur on the App Store” contains the following statistics: 1) 90% of all developers on the App Store are small developers; 2) 71% increase in earnings for active small developers between 2020 and 2022; 3) 40% of app downloads for small developers in 2022 originated outside of their home countries; 4) 80% of small developers were active on multiple storefronts in 2020; 5) 4.5x growth rate in earnings for small developers compared to large developers; 6) 40% app creators making $1M+ who were not on the App Store or had less than $10K in earnings five years ago.
The research also found the App Store has helped developers grow beyond small teams to scale their businesses to establish a worldwide reach. Many developers who sold digital goods and services on the App Store and earned more than $1 million in 2022 were previously small developers. Of these global developers, 40 percent were either not on the App Store or had less than $10,000 in earnings just five years ago.
Analysis Group economists also found that thousands of new developers and entrepreneurs joined the App Store in 2022 from all over the world. Of this set of new developers, approximately 25 percent came from Europe, 23 percent from China, 14 percent from the U.S., 4 percent from Japan, and 35 percent from other regions including South Korea, India, and Brazil.

Developer Resources Are Growing

Developers of all sizes have built successful businesses while benefitting from the App Store’s global reach. Apple provides a number of initiatives to support small developers on the App Store, including the App Store Small Business Program, Apple Entrepreneur Camp, App Accelerators, the App Store Foundations Program, and Apple Developer Academies. Additionally, ongoing informational series like App Store sessions, Ask Apple, and Tech Talks offer developers even more opportunities to connect directly with Apple experts year-round for insight, support, and feedback on the latest features and technologies available.
An extensive suite of free tools and frameworks — including software development kits (SDKs) and developer services with more than 250,000 APIs — support developers building apps for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. These tools enable developers to add new functionalities to their apps easily and quickly, and harness powerful capabilities like machine learning, augmented reality, and many more. The Swift Student Challenge, as well as open access tools like Everyone Can Code and Swift Playgrounds, ensure the power of coding technology is accessible and inclusive.
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