Apple’s App Store reaches 50 billion downloads milestone

50 billion app downloads Apple’s App Store topped 50 billion downloads Wednesday, a milestone which has taken just under five years to reach.

The Cupertino company said it will shortly reveal the identity of the downloader of the 50 billionth app, with the lucky person set to receive an App Store gift card worth a whopping $10,000. The next fifty downloaders will each receive a not-to-be-sniffed-at $500 gift card to spend in the App Store.

On its website, the tech giant offered users of its App Store “one really big thank you”, understandable when you consider it takes 30 percent of each app sale and in-app purchase, a set-up which has netted it several billion dollars since the store’s launch in 2008.

50 billion downloads – that's a lot of zeros (with a five at the start).

50 billion downloads – that’s a lot of zeros (with a five at the start).

The App Store achieved its 50 billionth download just over a year since reaching its last major milestone back in March 2012 with its 25 billionth app download. Chunli Fu from Qingdao in China received a $10,000 gift card for helping the store reach the 25 billion mark with the download of physics puzzle game Where’s My Water.

Apple also presented a gift card to UK citizen Gail Davis back in 2011 after she downloaded the 10 billionth app from the store.

Both Chunli and Davis were informed they had won a prize via a phone call from Apple. Perhaps not surprisingly, both said afterwards that they thought someone had been playing a trick on them. Davis even told the caller from Apple, “Thank you very much, I’m not interested,” before hanging up. Fortunately, a second call from the company succeeded in convincing her that she really had won a gift card.

The App Store now offers almost a million different apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users, with Apple having paid out more than $7 billion to developers in the last five years.