APPLE users have downloaded 25 billion apps from the iTunes App Store, the company announced at the weekend.
To celebrate the landmark Apple gave a $10,000 iTunes gift card to the user who downloaded the app, Chunli Fu of Qingdao, China. The app he downloaded was Where's My Water? Free.
Apple began the countdown to its 25-billionth app download last week and the milestone was reached over the weekend.
Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services, said: “When we launched the App Store less than four years ago, we never imagined that mobile apps would become the phenomenon they have, or that developers would create such an incredible selection of apps for iOS users.”
The iTunes App Store opened in July 2008, a year after the release of the iPhone, and within a year 50,000 apps were available and the store had seen more than one billion downloads.
Apple announced 10 billion app downloads in January last year, meaning that a further 15 billion have been downloaded in a little over a year. There are now more than half a million apps available in the app store.
Google launched its Android Market for apps in October 2008. In December last year Google said that 10 billions apps had been downloaded. At last week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google's Andy Rubin said the Android Market offered more than 450,000 apps.
Apple's other rivals offer similar services. BlackBerry App World, launched in April 2009, has around 60,000 apps and around two billion downloads, while the Windows Phone Marketplace, which opened in October 2010, offers more than 70,000 apps.
On Wednesday evening Apple is expected to launch its new iPad. The new tablet is rumoured to have a 'retina' display, offering a much higher screen resolution than the iPad 2. If true, that is likely to lead to a flurry of new apps.