"Facebook" iPhone App. Photo: AFP
As Apple's App Store approaches the 50 billion download mark, the company is promising to give away a $10,000 App Store gift card to the lucky user who downloads the milestone app.
Apple has posted a countdown meter in its apps store to capture the moment the store hits its latest milestone. Launched in 2008 there is little doubt that the App Store (and competing efforts from BlackBerry, Google Amazon and Microsoft) have revolutionized both smartphone and tablet use.
When the apps section went live some five years ago, it offered a mere 500 apps but that number has rocketed in recent times and there are currently and estimated 700,000 applications available across gaming, productivity, business, education, creativity and lifestyle.
It took the fledgling store a full year to hit the 1 billion download mark but by January 2011, downloads had already hit 10 billion and by February of this year that number had grown to 40 billion.
As well as a $10,000 voucher for the 50 billionth downloader, Apple is also giving away $500 App Store gift vouchers for the first 50 customers to download an app once the 50 billion mark has been reached.
As well as announcing the prize giveaway, Apple has also revealed the top paid and free apps of all time. Unsurprisingly the top paid app is Angry Birds and the top free app is not Google Maps, but Facebook.