Apple has announced that the App Store opened the year with is busiest single day ever on New Year's Day.
This was the cap on a holiday season that had already broken several records with breakout app hits and unprecedented developer earnings.
Indeed, some USD 240 million (AUD 325 million) of customer purchases were made on January 1st, with app developers earning a combined total of USD 20 billion over the course of 2016 – a 40 per cent increase compared with the corresponding figure recorded in 2015.
Since the initial launch of the App Store in 2008, developers have earned over USD 60 billion. This has seen the emergence of a creative community that has created a wide range of app experiences for customers across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac.
It also means that the past 12 months accounted for a third of the total earnings – and this trend of impressive growth looks set to continue after a remarkable start to 2017.
Customers broke all-time records throughout the holiday season, with purchases from the App Store topping USD 3 billion in December.
In the same month Super Mario Run from Nintendo made cemented its place in the app download history books, as more than 40 million downloads were made in the first four days after its release. It was also the most downloaded app worldwide on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Super Mario Run entered the top ten most downloaded apps all over the world for the full year, despite only being available for the last month.
The top spot went to Pokemon Go – another app based on a franchise that made its debut on a Nintendo video game console. The app quickly became a cultural phenomenon in the summer.
Other successful apps for the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac were Prisma, Reigns, Procreate, Lumino City, Sweat With Kayla and djay Pro respectively.
The total number of apps offered by the App Store now exceeds 2.2 million apps, up by more than 20 per cent from last year.
Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, said: “2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating USD 20 billion for developers – and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1st as the single biggest day ever on the App Store.
“We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created – which, together with our products – help to truly enrich people's lives.”