$8bn handed over in last year
Apple is continuing to increase how much it pays to developers as it battles for supremacy in the app market with Google’s Android. At a conference in Sans Francisco, CEO Tim Cook revealed that a colossal $8 billion had been paid to developers in the past 12 months, up from the $7 billion announced last month [January 2013] and hinting at an average new bill of $1 billion a month.
Just before Christmas Apple’s App Store crossed the 775,000 app mark, with a good chunk of those designed for the iPad. Cook noted the number of iPad apps on the store as a clear differentiator for the company in the tablet race, describing Apple as the “poster child” of the post-PC revolution.
By comparison Android is said to drive between 625,000 and 750,000 apps depending on the source, though many are free and supported by advertising.
Though developers generally make more with Apple apps, the company’s devices are out-numbered by those running Android with the latter likely to increase in dominance. Apple also takes a 30 per cent cut from sales.
According to research firm Strategy Analytics, iOS and Android together accounted for 92 percent of all shipments for the fourth quarter of 2012.
In the last quarter Android accounted for about 152 million smartphone shipments, compared to 47.8 million for Apple.
* A the same Golman Sachs conference yesterday, Tim Cook revealed he was “seriously” considering returning more of Apple’s $137bn cash hoard to investors, hinting at higher dividends beyond the $45 billion to which the Cupertino company has already committed.
He also refuted fund manager David Einhorn’s charge that Apple has a “Depression-era mentality” about preserving its cash.
Asked about new products, rumoured to include both cheaper and larger-screened iPhones and a Dick Tracy-style smart watch, Mr Cook did not rule anything out, saying “the only religion that we have is we must do something great.”