Apple App Store was a major source of UK jobs and income last year

App store revenues 2019
(Image credit: Future)

Apple says its App Store now supports 330,000 jobs in the UK and generates £3.6 billion in revenue for British developers – annual increases of 7% and 22% respectively.

The company described 2020 as a ‘breakthrough year’ for the UK app economy, with lockdown restrictions and social distancing causing many people to move more elements of their everyday lives online.

For example, demand for fitness, health, and entertainment applications has increased significantly during the pandemic. This demand, coupled with a global market of 1.65 billion Apple devices to sell software to, has helped create opportunities for British developers.

Apple App Store ecosystem

The European iOS app economy now supports 1.7 million jobs in total and the UK has the largest share of this.

“In a year like no other, the UK has remained a vibrant and innovative hub for entrepreneurs and app developers,” said Christopher Moser, senior director of the App Store. “More people in the UK than ever before are working as part of the iOS app ecosystem, creating exciting apps enjoyed by people all over the world.”

The publication of the data comes days after it emerged Apple is facing an antitrust investigation by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) to determine whether Apple has a dominant position in the distribution of software on iPhone and iPad.

Since its launch in 2008, the App Store has been on the only way for developers to distribute its applications on iPhone and iPad. To be listed on the marketplace, apps must be approved by Apple and developers must agree to the company’s terms – including its demand for 30% commission.

Apple says the App Store is a “powerful engine for economic growth” in the UK, while last year it halved this commission for small businesses who earned up to $1 million a year.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.