The Apple App Store odometer was spinning furiously en route to the 50 billionth app download.
Apple on Thursday morning formally announced the passing of the milestone and named the winner of the race to reach 50 billion. That honor went to Brandon Ashmore of Mentor, Ohio, who downloaded Say the Same Thing by Space Inch. Along with bragging rights, Ashmore receives a $10,000 App Store gift card.
The threshold was reached Wednesday just before 2 p.m. PT when the counter on Apple's Web site. A tweet from Apple's App Store acknowledged the moment a few minutes later.
The 50 people who downloaded apps right after Ashmore are each set to receive a $500 gift card.
That really big round number is defined this way by Apple: it's 50 billion unique downloads, excluding re-downloads and updates.
And that number keeps Apple only just a little bit ahead of a key rival: Google announced Wednesday at its I/O conference that the tally for the Google Play store now stands at 48 billion app installations.
Apple said that its customers have been downloading more than 800 apps per second at a rate of over 2 billion apps per month on the App Store, which opened in July 2008 with 500 apps. That adds up to some serious dollars: Apple also said the app ecosystem enabled by its App Store has led to an overall payout to developers of more than $9 billion.
It took App Store customers 14 months to get fromto 50 billion.
The App Store offers more than 850,000 apps to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users worldwide, including more than 350,000 native iPad apps, according to Apple.
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