Apple’s App Store facilitated a cool half a trillion dollars ($519 billion) in transactions last year, with sales of physical goods and services making up nearly 80% of total sales.

A study conducted by Analysis Group looked at the estimated sales and billing supported by the App Store globally in 2019. Across the board, physical goods and services generated some $413 billion of sales, generated largely by mobile commerce (m-commerce) applications.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, retail proved the largest money-maker within this category, generating $268 billion. This included apps belonging to brick-and-mortal high street stores as well as virtual marketplaces like eBay and Esty, but excluded grocery delivery.

Travel and ride-hailing apps were also proved significant sales generators. Booking services including Expedia and United Airlines accounted for $57 billion, meanwhile cab-booking apps – such as Uber and Lyft, generated $40bn in transactions.

SEE: Top 10 iPad tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Food delivery apps, including DoorDash and Grubhub, made up $31 billion of sales supported by the App Store in 2019.

Billings and sales from digital goods, including music and video streaming services, e-books and audiobooks, news, fitness and dating apps, comprised $61 billion of App Store transactions in 2019. More than 85 percent of the total $519 billion generated by the App Store in 2019 went to developers, Apple said.

It also noted that the figures presented in the study were not the same as total App Store billings, due to the fact that some digital services are purchased elsewhere and then consumed on Apple devices – Spotify and Netflix, for example.

At the same time, the study also subtracted billings made from in-app purchases made via the App Store, but then consumed elsewhere.

Games where the most-downloaded app type of 2019, Apple said, and therefore represented the largest generator of billings and sales within the digital service category. Gaming also accounted for nearly half (44%) of the $45 billion of in-app advertising sales generated last year.

SEE: Power checklist: Managing and troubleshooting Android devices (TechRepublic Premium)

Apple said it looked at 2019 data to capture “an accurate snapshot of the full App Store ecosystem,” noting that consumer’s habits had changed in 2020 owing to the coronavirus. As people spend more time indoors, more people are using social apps to stay connected, meanwhile education and workplace collaboration tools are also enjoying a sharp uptick in popularity.

Similarly, food and grocery delivery apps are seeing increased consumer demand as people attempt to limit their physical interaction with others. This means that retailers are channeling their efforts into mobile commerce as a means of staying afloat during the crisis. Conversely, apps related to businesses, and particularly those that require in-person interactions, have seen a sharp drop-off.

While Apple is keen to show off what a commercial powerhouse the App Store has become, not everyone is happy. The European Commission has just opened antitrust investigations into whether Apple’s rules for developers who distribute their apps via the company’s App Store violate EU competition rules.