Apple on Wednesday highlighted research that says the iOS app economy now supports more than 2.2 million jobs in the US and is helping fuel success for small businesses. The two new pieces of research -- one from economists it hired at Analysis Group and the other from the Progressive Policy Institute -- come as Apple faces continued accusations that the power it wields over its App Store hurts competition and innovation.
While earnings for all developers on the app store grew over the past two years, small developers -- defined as those earning up to $1 million a year with fewer than 1 million downloads -- saw the most notable jump, according to the Analysis Group report, which was based on data provided by Apple. Total App Store earnings of small developers that were active in 2019 increased by 113% over the past two years, with small developers in the US seeing an increase of 118% since 2019, according to the report.
"More than 90% of developers on the App Store are considered small developers, and the App Store ecosystem continues to attract thousands of new small developers every year," the study's authors at Analysis Group wrote.
Apple and other tech giants face continued scrutiny over how much power they should have over their respective app stores and platforms. Lawmakers, regulators and developers have argued that Apple should loosen its restrictions, which don't allow for alternative app stores or alternative payment systems for in-app purchases.
Apple has relaxed some rules amid regulatory pressure. Last month, the company began letting some "reader" apps, such as music and video streaming services, direct customers to their website outside the App Store to sign up for subscriptions.