Apple Reaches 1 Billion App Store Downloads Milestone

Apple announces that 1 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store, which was launched in July 2008. Despite the global downturn, Apple has been posting strong results in most of its product categories, including the shipment of 3.7 million iPhones last quarter. With the introduction of business-oriented apps, the iPhone has become a stronger device for enterprise use.

The 1 billionth application was downloaded from the Apple App Store on April 23. The company did not announce the name of that lucky billionth app, nor the winner of the contest associated with the milestone.

Apple printed large ads in The New York Times and other media outlets to trumpet the event.

In a contest linked to the event, a random app downloader would be selected to receive a MacBook Pro, an iPod Touch and other products. The winner will presumably be named in coming days.

Since its July 2008 launch, the App Store has grown to offer more than 25,000 applications. According to the company, the most-downloaded free applications include Facebook for iPhone and Google Earth; in the paid category, the most popular apps include Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D and Koi Pond, a rather meditative app that lets the user poke at swimming Koi fish.

The iPhone has also become a stronger device for the enterprise with the inclusion of business-oriented apps by SAP, and others.

Despite the global downturn, Apple announced strong quarterly results on April 22, with shipments of 2.2 million Macs, 11.01 million iPods and 3.7 million iPhones for the quarter. Net profit rose to $1.21 billion from $1.05 billion a year earlier, with gross margins of 36.4 percent.

The App Store wrestled with a bit of controversy this week after groups protested a controversial "Baby Shaker" application, which let users "shake" a virtual baby quiet. Apple pulled the 99-cent app, which a spokesperson described as "deeply offensive," from the store.

Roughly 17 million users in 80 countries are iPhone users, according to the company.