updated 11:25 am EST, Sat January 22, 2011
Apple reaches 10 billion app mark
(Update: winner named) Apple overnight said it had reached 10 billion downloads on the App Store. The milestone came just over a week after the countdown began and saw Apple accumulate about 250 million downloads in just the past week. The company hasn't yet said who has won the $10,000 iTunes gift card offered for the download or the free contest entry.
The App Store's growth rate has been accelerating ever since it was launched in July 2008 and has so far made it the most popular mobile app portal on any platform. Apple took nine months to reach its first billion but managed to double that figure just five months later. It reached three billion slightly over three months later and was at seven billion by October of last year.
The diversity of the store and the variety of the devices have been credited for the increasing growth. Apple started with just 500 apps but now has over 300,000, at least twice as many as Android Market. Unlike the Google portal, it has over 35,000 apps specifically optimized for tablets. A strong contingent of MP3 player users is also a factor, as iPod touch owners can buy apps without needing a cellular subscription.
Most competing stores don't publish their lifetime app store download counts but either started later or don't have very large app stores. BlackBerry App World, for example, reached 15,000 apps.
Update: the 10 billionth download was for Paper Glider (free, App Store), a take on the classic Mac game Glider. Gail Davis of Orpington in Kent, UK won the iTunes card.