iOS App Store kicks off 2017 with record-setting New Year's Day

It looks like the iOS App Store is off to a strong start to 2017, with Apple announcing today that New Year's Day was a record-setting one for the digital storefront. On top of that, Apple also announced that 2016 was a "record-shattering year," for the App Store. It seems that now is a good time to be an Apple developer, assuming you can claw your way into the top grossing and most popular charts.

Apple says that App Store developers made a whopping $20 billion in 2016, a figure that has increased 40% of the total revenue for 2015. Of that $20 billion for 2016, $3 billion came in December alone, which makes sense when you consider the number of iDevices that were likely purchased as gifts.

The top-grossing apps for 2016 include Monster Strike, Fantasy Westward, Clash Royale, and – of course – Pokemon GO. In fact, it won't come as much of a shock to many people to hear that Pokemon GO came in as the most downloaded app of 2016. The app turned out to be a cultural phenomenon around the world, breaking App Store and Google Play Store records left and right after release.

However, Pokemon GO has seen a new challenger appear in Super Mario Run. A success from the second it launched, Apple says that Super Mario Run was the most downloaded app on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. That suggests we haven't yet made it to the point where Super Mario Run's popularity drops off. The app managed to work its way into the top 10 most downloaded apps for 2016, which is particularly impressive when you consider that it only launched in December.

In all, the App Store – and, by extension, the developers who produce apps for it – pulled in $240 million by the time the sun set on January 1. With 2.2 million apps now available on the App Store, 2017 is set to be even a better year, especially if New Year's Day is any indication of success throughout the rest of the year. We shall see, but don't be surprised if 2017 manages to beat 2016's $20 billion figure.