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Countdown to Apple's 1 billionth app predicted for 23 April

Apple is preparing to celebrate the 1 billionth app download for its App Store, and a team of supercomputers and maths geniuses -- or at least one mobile analyst -- says that it'll happen in two days' time

We can stare at the countdown tickers at Worldometers all day. Wow, 9.3 billion toilets have been flushed so far today! So it's no wonder we love the Apple App store contest with its mesmerising flipping numbers counting us down to the one billionth app download, when some lucky punter will win shedloads of Mac stuff and a $10,000 (£6,700) iTunes gift card.

As the hour approaches -- we're topping 987 million and change at the time of writing -- mobileSQUARED, a research company, is helping us game the system by figuring out when the crucial moment will occur. According to their totally unchecked calculations, D-Day is the afternoon of 23 April, UK time -- so that's two days for another 13 million downloads, app fans.

mobileSQUARED notes that it took almost six months to reach its 500 million app downloads on 19 January, and the following 500 million downloads have taken just 94 days, so the rate is picking up.

If you want to get in on the action, you don't even need an iPhone or iPod touch: just enter online at the Apple Web site. We'd love the irony if an Apple-hater won, so get involved.