China has "shattered" records with the highest iOS revenue quarter reported to date, for any country that has been tracked by app intelligence firm App Annie. In total, the country is now the number one largest market in the world for App Store revenue on Apple's iPhone and iPad devices, with its record-breaking number sitting at $1.7 billion for Q3 2016.
China is now 15 percent ahead of the U.S. in terms of iOS App Store revenue, with the U.S. sitting just below $1.5 billion on the charts. The U.S. had been the number one market in iOS revenue since 2010.
App Annie's report notes that Chinese iOS users spent five times more in applications on iPhone and iPad than they did just two years prior. Much of China's growth is estimated to be on the back of the Games category, a section it also bested the U.S. in during Q2 2016. Much of that is attributed to the worldwide success of Pokémon Go, which is described in the report as achieving "unprecedented global revenue."
Besides gaming, popular categories in the iOS App Store in China are Entertainment, Social Networking, Books, and Photo and Video apps. Each category has seen impressive growth from the year-ago quarter, with Entertainment apps increasing 3.5 times from its Q3 2015 revenue and all of the top categories more than tripling in revenue year over year.
App Annie predicts that iOS revenue for China will continue to grow, and the country will eventually "drive the largest absolute revenue growth for any country by 2020." Elsewhere in Apple's presence in China, the company recently announced plans to build a new R&D center in Shenzhen, with a focus on "strengthening relationships" with local partners and universities across the country.