Apple: free apps and games celebrate App Store's 5th birthday
To celebrate the fifth birthday of its App Store, Apple is offering free downloads of five games and five apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch until next week.
Infinity Blade 2 (around €6) , Where's my Water? and Tiny Wings are among the offerings, with Traktor DJ for iPad tumbling from €16 to free for the limited time.
In five short years Apple have grown to dominate the app market, growing from a mere 500 available apps at launch to over 900,000.
Software developers, established conglomerates and small startups have all been able to build pioneering and lucrative trade, all within an industry that simply didn't exist a decade ago.
More than 800 apps are downloaded every second, equating to over two billion apps downloaded every month.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the App Store had "fundamentally changed the world" in a keynote speech for the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference held last month.
"Customers love the buying experience and they love your incredible apps. And they have now downloaded 50 billion apps. This is phenomenal. That's a lot of zeros and a truly staggering number, for less than 5 years," he said.
Within the first weekend of the store's launch excited user downloaded over 10 million apps, and by the following month SEGA's Super Monkey ball had been downloaded 300,000 times, making it the number one app in the world.
Flagship app at launch Facebook remains the most popular free app for iPhone, followed by Pandora Radio and photo-editing phenomenon Instagram.
The top of the paid apps is the universally-adored Angry Birds, with David Cameron's favourite Fruit Ninja clocking in at second place. Angry Birds makes a further two appearances in the top ten with spin-offs Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Space.
The App Store surpassed 100 million app downloads by the September of 2009, and has continued to grow ever since. The launch of the first iPad in 2010 created an entirely new platform, allowing a greater degree of movement and dexterity for gameplay. Users could play and interact with their apps on a larger screen for the first time, with games topping both the free and paid for app charts.
The enhanced size of the iPad screen led to the boom in demand for the Netflix app, the third most popular free app of all time. Founded in 1997 but only available for UK users from early 2012, the app facilitated the growing trend for downloading and streaming video and live content online on the go.
With over 575,000,000 App Store accounts in 155 countries globally, Apple's majority share of the app market shows no signs of slowing down. As technology continues to develop an improve at a rapid speed, there is little doubt all eyes will be on Apple to see just what they can do next to change the face of the digital application marketplace.