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Apple's App Store hits 10-billion downloads mark

January 22, 2011 | 10:27 am

Apple

Apple's App Store has hit 10 billion downloads.

The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant announced the milestone on its website Saturday morning. Apple said it was going to award a $10,000 iTunes gift card to the visitor who downloaded the 10 billionth app, but the company hasn't yet said just who that person is or what that winning app was.

The App Store officially launched in July of 2008 with 500 apps available. Today there are more than 300,000 applications available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch -- each running Apple's iOS mobile software.

The 10-billion mark arrives at an interesting time for Apple.

Its blockbuster smart phone, the iPhone, is headed to Verizon next month, after more than three years of exclusivitiy in the U.S. with AT&T. The iPad has been a smash success, with millions of the tablets sold and rumors churning every day about the iPad 2, which is expected to arrive in a few months.

And Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and CEO, announced Monday that he's taking an indefinite leave due to health issues.

Tim Cook, the company's chief operating officer, is taking over Jobs' day-to-day duties, though Jobs and Apple have said the CEO will still be involved in major decisions during his leave.

Apple also announced record earnings on Tuesday, with quarterly profit up 78% to $6 billion, a day after the news of Jobs' leave broke.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: Apple.com's online announcement. Credit: Apple

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