Apple passes 25 billion app downloads

APPLE hit 25bn app downloads this weekend, continuing a string of milestones reached in the last month by the world’s most valuable company.

And the announcements are set to keep rolling as Apple is expected to reveal the latest iPad to the world this Wednesday, exactly a year after the iPad 2 was released in March 2011.

After running a countdown clock on its website for the last fortnight, Apple announced at around 6am GMT yesterday that it had dished up its 25 billionth app by writing on its website: “A billion thanks. 25 times over.”

The App Store was launched in July 2008 and took just nine months to serve up its billionth app download. The fast-growing service delivered five billion apps by June 2010.

The 10 billion milestone was hit on 22 January 2011 when Gail Davis – from Orpington in the London borough of Bromley – downloaded the popular Paper Glider app. Apple said it will disclose the app and person – who will receive a $10,000 iTunes giftcard – responsible for the 25 billionth download later this week.

Apple invites anyone to create an app to add to its 500,000-strong library, covering genres from gaming and entertainment to news and business.

The Cupertino-based company takes a cut of about a third from every app or in-app purchase.

In 2011, combined net sales for the iTunes Store, App Store and iBookstore came to $5.4bn (£3.4bn) – a 33 per cent increase on 2010.

The 25 billionth app download marks the latest in a succession of milestones for Apple, which saw its share price hit $500 for the first time three weeks ago and its market cap reach $500bn last week, making it the world’s most valuable company.

Apple also recently overtook Samsung as the world’s top smartphone vendor, according to Gartner, after selling 35.5m smartphones in the fourth quarter of last year.

Apple shares closed at $545.18 on Friday, valuing the firm at $508.31 – over $100bn more than Exxon, the world’s second biggest company.