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Apple passes the 50 billion app download milestone

apps Updated: May 17, 2013 12:16 IST

Brandon Ashmore of Mentor, Ohio downloaded word game Say the Same Thing from Apple's App Store and in the process, set a new record and won a $10,000 gift voucher.

The milestone was passed on Wednesday at 2pm PT and on Thursday, Apple officially confirmed both the achievement and the details of the lucky winner.

However, as well as Ashmore, who is now $10,000 richer -- at least in apps terms -- the 50 people who downloaded apps immediately after the milestone was achieved will also be receiving $500 app gift cards.

It has taken Apple only 14 months to go from 25 billion to 50 billion downloaded apps, and the company is quick to stress that the totals do not include updates or re-installs, just unique apps. That works out at 800 app downloads a second, every second.

No one, not even Steve Jobs could have predicted the impact that apps would have on modern, connected life. They have become such a part of the fabric of smartphone, tablet and, to a lesser extent, desktop use, that it's easy to forget that when the iPhone first launched in 2007, it was without apps. The App Store didn't open its virtual doors until July 2008 and when it did, iPhone and iPod touch users had a mere 500 apps to choose from. Today, that number has swollen to over 850,000.

The 50 billionth app downloaded, Say The Same Thing is described by its developers, Space Inch as "a totally new kind of word game," the object of which is to guess a word that connects two other words. The latest statistics provided by Apple show that the most popular paid-for app of all time is Angry Birds, while the most popular free app in the history of the store is Facebook.