Apple apps ... 40 billion and counting. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Apple has announced that more than 40 billion apps have been downloaded for its beloved gadgets, with the California company paying out billions of dollars to developers.
Almost half of those downloads for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices were done in 2012, with the App Store seeing a record-setting December in which 2 billion copies of mini-programs were snatched up.
"It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community," said Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue.
There are more than 500 million active accounts at the App Store, which is stocked with more than 775,000 applications for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices, according to Apple.
Apple said the amount of money it has paid out to app developers has topped $US7 billion.
A Temple Run game made for Apple gadgets by a husband-and-wife team at Imangi Studios was downloaded more than 75 million times, while the studios behind games DragonVale and Clash of Clans brought in a combined total of $US100 million.
"The success of our game Temple Run in 2012 was nothing short of astonishing," said Imangi Studios co-founder Keith Shepherd.
"We were simply looking to create a game that was fun and easy to play, but once it hit the App Store, the game took off."
Apple launched the App Store in 2008. The store hit the 10 billion downloads mark in early 2011. In March 2012, Apple announced that more than 25 billion apps had been downloaded.
The 40 billion milestone does not include updates or re-downloads.