updated 12:40 pm EST, Fri February 17, 2012
Apple to give 10K prize to 25b app downloader
Apple capped the week with a countdown that confirmed it was getting close to its 25 billionth App Store download. The figure is the first App Store-related countdown since the 10 billion mark in 2010. As in its more recent countdowns, Apple is promising a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card to whoever either downloads the 25 billionth app or makes a free contest entry at that point.
The milestone underscores the overall higher business on the App Store versus competing platforms. Android is now considerably closer in the number of apps it stocks, but it only just recently hit 10 billion downloads. Apple had the advantage both of several months' lead time for when its mobile app store started as well as a user base more inclined to pay for apps. Android's success being limited to smartphones may have also played a role, since Apple can count on iPad and iPod touch users where Android tablets and MP3 players are in the minority.
Its countdown roughly lines up with talk of a March 7 iPad event that could see Apple tout 25 billion downloads shortly before a new device appears.