Apple Hits 1 Billion App Store Downloads

Apple's App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch has served its one-billionth application, only nine months after the store opened. Last night Apple celebrated the milestone on its Web site, thanking customers for their support. The lucky App Store patron who downloaded the one billionth app will win a barrel of Apple loot from company. Apple also took the opportunity to brag about its success in the mobile ad marketplace and for driving massive amount of mobile Net traffic.

Apple started the official countdown two weeks ago to its one billionth app served. The company hasn't announced who downloaded the billionth app yet. That person will win $10,000 in iTunes credit, a 17-inch MacBook Pro, a 32GB iPod touch, and an Apple Time Capsule.

More than 37 million devices are running Apple's mobile operating system: more than 21 million iPhones and more than 15 million iPod touches (with some 35,000 apps available in the store) according to the company. Besides driving the success of the App Store, these devices also helped Apple control 50 percent of the mobile ad market and drive the most mobile OS Internet traffic in the U.S., according to the latest market reports.

AdMob's research shows that the iPhone and iPod touch serve around 50 percent of the mobile ad requests in the U.S., followed by Research In Motion with 22 percent and Windows Mobile with 11 percent. Worldwide, Apple's handsets go neck-to-neck with Nokia's when it comes to traffic generated by smartphones. AdMob's data shows that Apple's devices drive the most traffic world wide, counting in at 38 percent.

However, despite its overall success, Apple's App store is not flawless. This week the company has come under criticism after releasing and the retracting an application which was considered by many offensive and unethical (read full story). Apple's selection process for application approval in its store also has a history of banned applications, leaving many developers unhappy with the company's decisions.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

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