Apple’s App Store Closes in on 25 Billion Downloads

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The lucky use to download app #25,000,000,000 will win a $10,000 gift card to the App Store.

Tick-tock: No, not the Kesha song. Rather, the sound that a giant clock is undoubtedly making over at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, as employees and enthusiasts gather to count down the days until the App Store hits its 25 billionth download.

That’s right – 25 billion.

For those looking to tune in at home, Apple set up a fun little counter page on its website that details the impending news as well as the parameters of a contest that Apple’s holding in conjunction with the milestone. The person who downloads Apple’s 25-billionth app – or submits an alternate entry form immediately after the 24,999,999,999th app download (now that’s timing), will win a gift card to the App Store worth a total of $10,000.

That’s a lot of $0.99 song downloads.

This isn’t the first time Apple’s run such a promotion: The person who clicked the “download” button in 2011 for Apple’s 10-billionth app won a $10,000 gift card, as did the downloader of Apple’s ten-billionth song within iTunes (back in 2010). It makes one wonder why Apple isn’t giving its 25-billionth app downloader a cool $25,000, but we digress.

We should also note: Before you rig up some fantastic software tool that automatically downloads a flurry of apps from the App Store – to win $10,000, that is, instead of just using such a tool to artificially inflate the ranking of a particular app – Apple is only allowing 25 “entries” into its app contest per day.

Assuming the 25 billionth app download hits in February, that means that Apple will have added a whopping 15 billion apps to its count between now and just over one year ago – Apple’s 10 billionth app was downloaded in January of 2011, and it took the company until July of 2011 to ramp up to 15 billion app downloads.

In contrast, Google’s Android Market hit a mighty 3 billion app downloads in March of 2011 before quickly ballooning up to 6 billion app downloads in July. Google announced in December that the Android Market had exceeded a milestone of 10 billion app downloads, and that users were now downloading apps at a rate of 1 billion per month.

Apple’s recent sales figures are certainly helping to propel the company to its latest app milestone. Prompted by demand for its new iPhone 4S, Apple took the top position among smartphone makers for the fourth quarter. The company sold 35.5 million units to grab a market share of 23.8 percent – total smartphone sales hit 149 million units for the quarter, an increase of 47.3 percent compared to the same time period last year.

For more, see PCMag’s 75 Best iPhone Apps slideshow below.

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By David Murphy, PCMag


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