Apple’s iTunes Store Hits 50 Billion Downloads

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    (CNN) — At 4:54 pm ET on Wednesday, someone downloaded the 50 billionth app from Apple’s online App Store.

    Apple will give the lucky downloader a $10,000 iTunes gift card. The next 50 people to download an app after that will each receive a $500 gift card.

    There was no immediate word from Apple on who won. Apple had a live countdown ticker on its iTunes Web page.

    The promotion is yet another reminder of the massive success of Apple’s App Store, which opened in 2008, added to the appeal of the iPhone and spawned many bad “there’s an app for that” headlines. It also inspired online app stores by Google, BlackBerry and other companies.

    The contest was open to entrants 13 or older in a country where the App Store is available. People also could enter without downloading an app by filling out an online form.

    This marks the second time in three months that Apple has celebrated an iTunes milestone. In February, Phillip Lupke of Germany received a 10,000 euro (about $13,528) iTunes gift card for downloading the 25 billionth song.

    How massive a number is 50 billion? According to Apple, counting to 50 billion would take a person 1,600 years.

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