This morning Apple Inc. established more world domination in the apps market, announcing it had generated over $10 billion in revenue in the Apps Store in 2013.
Apple cited hits like Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up, ProtoGeo’s Moves, Simon Filip’s Afterlight and Kevin Ng’s Impossible Road. It also credited some big hits such as Candy Crush Saga, Puzzles & Dragons, Minecraft, QuizUp and Clumsy Ninja, as well as naming some “developers to watch” including Duolingo (United States), Simogo (Sweden), Frogmind (UK), Plain Vanilla Corp (Iceland), Atypical Games (Romania), Lemonista (China), BASE (Japan) and Savage Interactive (Australia).
Given the importance of the developer community to the emerging mobile ecosystem, as we stressed in our Open Source Gone Wild story from this morning, this is a significant sign of Apple’s health in the mobile app market. However, investors were non-plussed, as Apple sank about $5 on the news, recently trading around $539.
Cowen & Co. analyst Tim Arcuri said in a morning research note that the App Store news indicates a developer revenue run rate of $8 billion in 2013. But he said the news was not enough to move the stock because investors were looking at a number of issues related to Apple, including concern about China Mobile orders. But he said these concerns may be misplaced and he is bullish on Apple stock, saying some investors might be missing the bigger picture.
“iPhone builds remain stable and iPhone 6 launch will leverage 64-bit and fold in more use cases and services oppty (payments, etc.) for iPhone while simultaneously launching worldwide,” wrote Arcuri in the note.
“In addition to Street iPhone unit numbers being ~10MM too low for C2014, the Street’s love affair with units continues to miss the transition that is underway to a services-based monetization phase that will accelerate dramatically w/the iPhone 6, which we think will be much more about a vastly superior software experience than revolutionary hardware innovation (beyond a larger screen) and will ultimately usher in AAPL as a major player in the mobile payments space.”
Cowen’s price target on Apple is $590 and it rates the stock an “outperform.”
(Disclosure: The author is long Apple Inc. (AAPL)