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Apple has announced that the App Store ecosystem facilitated $643 billion in billings and sales during 2020, a 24 percent year-over-year increase.

The number of small developers worldwide has grown by 40 percent since 2015 – and they make up more than 90 percent of App Store developers.

An independent study by economists from the Analysis Group defines small developers as those with fewer than 1 million downloads and less than $1 million in earnings across all their apps in a given year.

“The apps we’ve relied on through the pandemic have been life-changing in so many ways — from groceries delivered to our homes, to teaching tools for parents and educators, to an imaginative and ever-expanding universe of games and entertainment,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“The result isn’t just incredible apps for users: it’s jobs, it’s opportunity, and it’s untold innovation that will power global economies for many years to come,” Cook said in a statement on Wednesday.

Apple is set to hots its annual WWDC 2021 developer conference from June 7-11 in a virtual avatar.

More than one in four small developers who sell digital goods and services on the App Store have grown their earnings by an average of at least 25 percent each year for the past five years.

Nearly 80 percent of small developers on the App Store are active across multiple countries’ storefronts – and on average, these developers see earnings from users in more than 40 countries.

KidloLand, an app that makes learning fun for young children, was launched in 2012 by brothers Aditya and Nishant Mohatta in India.

Since then, the app has been downloaded more than 6 million times and has grown to a team of more than 40 people.

“To know that children in 174 countries have played our songs more than half a billion times – it means a lot to us, especially as fathers,” said Aditya Mohatta.

“During the pandemic, we were able to donate food and medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators, for those who were in dire need,” he added.

Apple said it has helped this thriving community of small developers build incredible apps with more than 250,000 application programming interfaces (APIs) included in 40 software development kits (SDKs).

The more than 10,000 graduates of Apple’s Developer Academies 00 which offer classes for new and aspiring developers looking to hone their skills – have launched over 1,500 apps.

The App Store, which launched in 2008, is the world’s safest and most vibrant app marketplace, currently home to 1.8 million apps and visited by more than half a billion people each week across 175 countries.

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