Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced that customers around the world made this holiday season the biggest ever for the App Store®, setting new records during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s.

In the two weeks ending January 3, customers spent over $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases. January 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over $144 million. It broke the previous single-day record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.

“The App Store had a holiday season for the record books. We are excited that our customers downloaded and enjoyed so many incredible apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, spending over $20 billion on the App Store last year alone,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We’re grateful to all the developers who have created the most innovative and exciting apps in the world for our customers. We can’t wait for what’s to come in 2016.”

Worldwide, the App Store has brought in nearly $40 billion for developers since 2008, with over one-third generated in the last year alone.

Largely as a result of the App Store’s success, Apple is now responsible for creating and supporting 1.9 million jobs in the U.S. alone. Nearly three-quarters of those jobs — over 1.4 million — are attributable to the community of app creators, software engineers and entrepreneurs building apps for iOS, as well as non-IT jobs supported directly and indirectly through the app economy.*

Apple has previously reported that the iOS app economy has created 1.2 million jobs in Europe and 1.4 million jobs in China.

Gaming, Social Networking and Entertainment were among the year’s most popular App Store categories across Apple products, with customers challenging themselves to Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Trivia Crack and Heads Up!, and staying in touch with friends and family using Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Snapchat. Games and subscription apps dominated this year’s top grossing titles including Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, Game of War – Fire Age and Fantasy Westward Journey, as well as Netflix, Hulu and Match.

The launch of the all-new Apple TV® and Apple Watch® have paved the way for entirely new app experiences, changing how people consume content through their television and providing useful information at a glance on Apple’s most personal device yet. Since its launch in October, the new Apple TV’s most popular apps include Rayman Adventures, Beat Sports and HBO NOW. Chart-topping apps for Apple Watch owners include fitness apps Nike+ Running and Lifesum, and iTranslate and Citymapper in the Travel category.

*Job creation estimate based on research by Dr. Michael Mandel, Progressive Policy Institute. “App Economy Jobs in the United States,” January 6, 2016

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it. (Original Source)

Shares of Apple closed yesterday at $102.71, down $2.64 or -2.51%. AAPL has a 1-year high of $134.54 and a 1-year low of $92. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $112.91 and its 200-day moving average is $115.71.

On the ratings front, Apple has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy maintained a Buy rating on AAPL, with a price target of $179, which represents a potential upside of 74.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, yesterday, J.P. Morgan’s Rod Hall maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $145.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Erinn Murphy and Rod Hall have a total average return of -11.4% and -1.9% respectively. Murphy has a success rate of 29.6% and is ranked #3600 out of 3647 analysts, while Hall has a success rate of 29.2% and is ranked #2821.

The street is mostly Bullish on AAPL stock. Out of 31 analysts who cover the stock, 25 suggest a Buy rating and 6 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $145.15, which represents a potential upside of 41.3% from where the stock is currently trading.