Apple flies 25 billionth app winner to Beijing to collect $10,000 prize

At the beginning of this month, Chinese citizen Fu Chunli performed the prize-winning feat of downloading the 25 billionth app from Apple’s iOS App Store.

Chunli, from Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province, downloaded physics puzzle game Where’s My Water, bagging a $10,000 iTunes gift certificate in the process.

According to reports, last week Apple flew Chunli to Beijing to present her with the prize at one of its stores in the Chinese capital. Apparently, the winner of the gift certificate was not actually a big fan of Apple (presumably she is now), having owned her iPhone for just a month. She didn’t even know there’d been a competition until an Apple representative called her to tell her she’d won.

Hardly surprisingly, she thought the caller was playing a joke. This sounds familiar — at the beginning of last year, a UK woman who won a prize for downloading the 10 billionth app also refused to believe Apple when the company contacted her, telling the caller, “Thank you very much, I’m not interested,” before hanging up. Apple eventually convinced her it wasn’t a prank call.

Chunli, too, was eventually persuaded that she had indeed won a prize and went to collect it last week. According to a MIC Gadget report, Chinese media are now calling her “the Apple girl of China” — music to the ears of the Cupertino company’s PR people, no doubt. Don’t forget, China is a fast growing and potentially massive market for Apple, and one in which the tech company desperately wants to succeed.

The $10,000 gift card, presented to Chunli in a small white presentation box, had a short message written just below it: “Congratulations on downloading our 25 billionth app. Now you can download a few thousand more.” 

According to reports, the prizewinner appeared to spend a good few hours looking around the Apple store, trying out its various offerings and speaking to local reporters about her lucky win.

Since its launch in 2008, the iOS App Store, stocked with more than half a million apps, has been a huge hit with owners of Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.

Apple said recently it had paid out over $4 billion in royalties to app developers, of which there are reported to be nearly a quarter of a million based in the US alone.

[Source: MIC Gadget via Tech in Asia]

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