Today Apple announced that, since the launch of the App Store iOS, users have downloaded more than 40 billion apps. More than half that number of apps: downloaded in 2012 alone.
Apple’s announcement comes after a “record breaking” December. Users downloaded more than 2 billion apps for iPhones, iPod touches, iPads and iPad minis in the month of December 2012. That only includes unique downloads only. Apple doesn’t include re-downloads or updates in its download numbers.
Apple also announced that its network of app developers now have more than 775,000 apps for iOS devices in the App Store. Apple paid those developers more than $7 billion dollars since the launch of the App Store, which means Apple made about $3 billion from app sales throughout the store’s lifetime.
As part of the announcement Apple highlighted apps such as Temple Run, which saw more than 75 million downloads in 2012. The freemium game first launched in August 2011 and remained one of the top downloaded apps in 2012.
Other freemium game developers such as Backflip Studios and Supercell made over $100 million combined in 2012 from their respective games DragonVale and Clash of Clans.
Apple also highlighted Autodesk as a large company that makes high quality apps for iOS devices. Autodesk, which makes the popular SketchBook apps, saw 50 million downloads in 2012, less than the number of downloads Imangi Studios saw for Temple Run in 2012.
In September 2012 Google Announced that it saw more than 25 billion app downloads from the Play Store over the course of its life. Google may have caught up to Apple by now, or it’s at least within a few billion downloads of the iOS device maker. Recent studies, however, show that as a whole iOS users tend to pay for apps more than Android users.
Microsoft, one of the many companies vying for the third place spot after Apple and Google, hasn’t recently announced download numbers, but it does have far fewer apps than either app store