These are Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. In South Korea, the move is made because of a 10% value-added tax (VAT) which is now included in app prices. For developers based outside of South Korea, Apple will collect and pay that tax. Developers who are in South Korea will need to take care of this themselves.
As for the other three countries, the coming price hikes have to do with exchange rates. Customers who have auto-renewable subscriptions enabled in South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey will need to resubscribe following the pricing change. They will be notified by Apple through email about the new price levels and will get an option to re-enable their subscriptions. The situation will be slightly different in Mexico, where existing subscriptions won’t be interrupted. However, customers will still be notified of the changes, and they will get an opt-out mechanism.
Additionally, Apple is making two new low-price tiers available to developers for the following countries: India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. These will be called Alternate Tier A and Alternate Tier B, and they’ve already been used in the Chinese market up until this point.
A positive data-point from Apple
You can calculate the App Store has generated about $17 billion in revenue for Apple since 2008 and approximately $6.4 billion in 2015. The $6.4 billion was 50% growth year over year from $4.3 billion in 2014 and would account for about 32% of Apple’s $19.9 billion yearly services revenue but note that this is a calendar vs. fiscal comparison.
Apple Services revenue was $19.9 billion in fiscal 2015 and grew 10% year over year. While its offset by a quarter the $2.1 billion App Store revenue growth looks like it accounts for all of the revenue growth in Apple Services.
iPhone install base helps with App store growth
The growth of the App store can’t all be attributed to more iPhone and other iOS devices being sold during the holidays but these certainly help. Both BMO Capital and Stifel have done a deep dive on Apple’s iPhone install base which helps drive App Store revenue growth. However until Apple announces its December quarter results and gives March quarter guidance the general trend of analysts cutting iPhone estimates will weigh on the stock.