Apple has made a habit of being vague about Apple Pay growth, citing only numbers of Apple Pay-enabled terminals in the past with optimistic verbiage about the mobile payment system's rising popularity.

There is no arguing Apple Pay is becoming available in more places. Executives noted in August that the system would launch in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates this year. And executives recently confirmed that those launches are still in play for 2017. Such coverage gives it 20 countries and nearly 4,000 issuers in the Apple Pay fold.

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

But the impressive fourth-quarter earnings Apple announced Nov. 2, nearly $11 billion, put an exclamation mark on its digital content and services group. That's where Apple Pay numbers are tucked away along with Apple Music, iCloud, AppleCare and other licensing services.

That group delivered $8.5 billion in revenue in the quarter for Apple, a jump of 34% from the previous year. It is a tricky equation to say for sure where Apple Pay falls in the pecking order of revenue generators, but it is safe to say that Apple's digital content is contributing to what was reported as $52.6 billion in total sales, or a 12% increase, for the quarter.

The sales of Apple Watch are in an "other products" category that also includes Apple TV, Beat products, iPod touch as well as Apple-branded and third-party accessories. This group also showed strong growth to $3.2 billion in revenue, a 36% jump from the previous year.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry