China has overthrown the U.S. as Apple’s biggest source of app store revenue, as per a new opinion from app store intelligence App Annie.
Chinese customers contributed a record-breaking $1.7 billion on iOS apps and games last quarter.
This will mark the first time China has overtaken the U.S. in overall iOS app revenue, and with a healthy margin: Chinese customers contributed 15 percent more on apps and games than their U.S. counterparts.
In just two years the cumulative amount spent on the app store in China has risen five times higher than it was ago.
This is a welcome signal for Apple and its investors, especially as China has been very unpredictable for the company’s business. Hardware sales in China have been hit hard this year, with revenue sinking 33 percent year-over-year during the last reported quarter.
Apple began selling movies, TV shows, books and music in China a year ago. It is doing so amid intense local competition, but without some of its biggest U.S. competitors.
Google, for example, is not active in China at all, after leaving the market in 2010 in response to cyber attacks and censorship requests.
Apple will be launching another product on Thursday with the tagline “Hello again” — a reference to the wording used for its 1984 unveiling of the Macintosh.
Apple being Apple doesn’t typically say ahead of time what is being launched, but the company is universally anticipated to launch a new Macbook Pro, and may also launch a new iMac.
Some reports point to Apple reinventing the MacBook’s keyboard with the addition of a touch screen control bar that could be used to display different buttons based on the app in use.
The control bar would replace the existing function keys, and for example display pause and play buttons when a consumer was using Spotify, or even app shortcuts to launch often-used apps.
Apple isn’t just making more money with phones than with computers, but service-based revenue has overtaken computer hardware revenue.