Apple announces 40 billion app downloads

The App Store has topped 40 billion downloads to iOS devices, with almost 20 billion last year. But how many of those were Google Maps?

Apple claims a whopping 40 billion downloads have been sucked from their App Store to date, with almost half occurring last year alone.

The impressive number (which does not include repeat downloads or updates) is equal to nearly six downloads for every man, woman and child on earth. Despite this, Apple says there are a mere 500 million active Apple Store accounts, which is still pretty impressive.

More than 20 billion of the downloads were in 2012, possibly due to people filling up their shiny new toys. Last year saw updates to the iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV, two generations of iPad, plus the launch of the iPad mini. December proved a bumper month, with more than two billion apps coming down the digital chimney. Apple failed to mention how many were people grabbing Google Maps to replace its own ridiculed mapping software.

And Google's not just ahead on maps – the search giant is catching up to Apple in app numbers, too. The iOS App Store currently has over 775,000 apps, while the Google Play store for Android hit 700,000 apps last October. Meanwhile The Sociable predicts Google will reach one million apps this June, beating Apple to the milestone.

Regardless of the app store rivalry, the news is enough to make even the angriest bird smile.

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