May 25, 2022
New research sheds light on job growth, global small business success and app store entrepreneurs
Two independent analyzes show that the iOS app economy now supports more than 2.2 million jobs in the US and small developer revenue in the US has grown 118 percent over the past two years
The iOS app economy continued its track record of driving economic growth and opportunity in 2021, supporting more than 2.2 million jobs in the US and helping small businesses thrive more than ever. The insights come from two new research analyzes showing the iOS app economy’s support for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, innovate and reach customers during the pandemic and grow their teams of programmers, designers and creatives – what to one of the most successful contributing and innovative global markets that exist today.
A new analysis, “Spotlight on Small Business & App Creators on the App Store” — conducted by independent economists from the Analysis Group – found that developers’ revenues have increased significantly over the past two years. While revenue has grown for all developers, revenue for smaller developers active on the App Store in 2019 grew 113 percent over the past two years — more than doubling earnings growth for large developers. In the US, smaller developers, defined as those making up to $1 million per year and having fewer than 1 million downloads per year, have seen an above-average profit increase of 118 percent since 2019.
Additionally, a separate new analysis from the Progressive Policy Institute sheds light on job creation in the iOS app economy. This study examines how the iOS app economy has helped create millions of jobs – from software development to sales to designers and more.
Taken together, this study shows that despite the lifting of COVID-related restrictions in many parts of the world, these digital and hybrid transformations persist as more and more companies have used apps to reach their customers in innovative ways over the past two years. These developers and their apps have helped people find new and often lasting ways to collaborate with colleagues, find entertainment, enhance their creativity, and connect with friends and family.
Smaller and aspiring developers find global success in the App Store
In their study, Spotlight on Small Business & App Creators on the App Store, economists from the Analysis Group examine how entrepreneurs in the iOS app economy continue to innovate and grow. Overall, the study paints a picture of a thriving and dynamic app ecosystem where opportunity and innovation thrive.
In 2021, thousands of small businesses and new app developers from around the world joined the App Store. Of this group of new developers, approximately 24 percent came from Europe, 23 percent from China, 14 percent from the United States, 4.3 percent from Japan, and 34 percent from other regions including Korea, India, and Brazil. And over the last two years, the number of smaller and aspiring developers joining the App Store has grown – in the UK, for example, the number of small developers new to the App Store has increased by almost 40 percent since 2019, and in Germany , it grew by over 25 percent.
As these developers take advantage of the App Store’s capabilities, which make it easy to distribute apps in 175 global markets, about 40 percent of all app downloads from small businesses and aspiring app makers in 2021 came from users outside of the developers’ home countries.
The study also shows that the App Store has helped entrepreneurs launch new apps and scale their business quickly. To analyze the growth trajectories of developers making more than $1 million on the App Store in 2021, the economists looked back over time and found that 45 percent of today’s major developers were either not on the App Store or had less than $10,000 in revenue just five years ago.
Entrepreneurship in the App Store
The PocketSuite booking and payment app is designed to make it easy for service professionals, either alone or with small teams, to run their entire business. From booking clients and managing payments to invoicing and signing contracts, this app does it all right from an iPhone. Co-founder and CEO Chinwe Onyeagoro, a former management consultant who had moved on to helping small businesses find financing, saw that these companies were not growing because they were always cash-strapped. “I figured there had to be a better way for service professionals to get paid quickly and generate recurring income – so as a 7-year-old I went back to my roots and found ways to make money with friends at a lemonade stand at a babysitting Club,” explains Onyeagoro. “I wanted to make it easy for everyone, whether they’re a beautician, dog trainer, household cleaner, or DIY enthusiast, to reach their goal income so they can live a great life.”
When she shared her vision with her husband, co-founder and CTO Yang Forjindam, they knew they needed a mobile app to help professionals who are away from their desks four to five days a week to manage their entire business. Forjindam, an enterprise software architect, states, “I quickly realized that Apple is the easiest platform to develop,” and taught himself this to launch PocketSuite 2016 on the App Store. The team has since become early adopters of technologies like Apple Pay and EventKit, making it easy to offer smart tools to users of the app. These tools are part of Apple’s robust set of technologies to help developers of all sizes create innovative apps, including more than 250,000 Software Development Building Blocks (APIs) and more than 40 Software Development Kits (SDKs) to to harness the power of machine learning, augmented reality and other cutting-edge technologies.
Today, not only has the PocketSuite team tripled in size, from seven to 25 team members spread across the globe, they are also realizing their vision of empowering people who work for themselves: after just 45 days of using the app, the average user sees one 30 percent increase in income.
Launched in 2017, the science-backed panic and anxiety relief app Rootd has a simple mission to demystify panic attacks and provide users with instant relief. As a sole trader, founder and CEO Ania Wysocka has relied on a variety of resources to continue growing her business, including Apple’s Small Business Program. Wysocka describes participating in the program, which offers small developers a reduced commission of 15 percent, as a positive experience that has made a huge difference in their growth.
In the last year alone, Rootd has been featured multiple times in the App Store and has seen a nearly 200 percent increase in billings compared to the previous year. “When Apple recognizes a small company like me, it’s incredibly powerful – it helps us be seen by a larger audience around the world. This audience, in turn, recognizes Rootd’s raw quality, leaves great user reviews, and continues to share the app with others in their network. We had a keyword ranking of #1 for panic attacks and #3 for anxiety in the US and spent a week as the top health and fitness app in Mexico,” said Wysocka. These opportunities allow her to build on organic growth in new global storefronts in the App Store and continue to improve the app experience for users to reach her next goals of what she hopes is $1M in sales and 2M downloads is the near future. “One thing I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is to have goal posts and opportunities to stop, reflect and celebrate as much as possible when you reach them.”
The employment platform Chamba has identified a different path to success. With the launch of its first app in early 2020, Chamba aims to help as many people as possible find jobs in the United States. As Latin American entrepreneurs, co-founders Diego Montemayor and David Ruiz saw a need to create an employment resource for the Hispanic community, traditionally plagued by high unemployment. The need for the app became even clearer as people navigated a volatile job market during the pandemic and turned to their phones to find jobs that previously often came about through “word of mouth.” As Montemayor explains, “In early 2020 I was unemployed trying to start a business when the whole country was laying off people, but luckily Chamba made it, and better yet, we’re growing.”
Chamba has quickly gained popularity in cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City, allowing the team to grow from a team of two to 15 full-time employees. Over the past year, Chamba has seen a 900 percent increase in job seekers. Today, 66,000 active job seekers use the platform every month to find employment in fields ranging from hospitality to software engineering. Montemayor says, “It’s been quite a journey. I am very fortunate to be in this position which allows me to match employers with employees and serves all of our Hispanic communities across the US that have all too often been overlooked.”
The Analysis Group’s full study of small business developers and app makers on the App Store is now available.
Launched in 2008, the App Store is the safest and liveliest app marketplace in the world. It currently offers 1.8 million apps and is visited by more than 600 million people every week. Apple provides more than 30 million registered developers with all the tools, resources and support they need to build and deploy software on Apple platforms to over a billion customers around the world. App entrepreneurs also have access to the App Store Small Business Program, which includes a 15 percent reduced commission rate to support small and individual developers making up to $1 million in revenue and driving innovation for the next chapter of apps.
Katie Clark Alsadder
Apple Media Helpline