Apple nearing 50 billion app downloads

Company closing in on new download milestone; top paid downloads include Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, and Minecraft.

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Apple is closing in on 50 billion app downloads, the iPhone and iPad maker announced today. The company also launched a special countdown page with a live ticker constantly climbing toward the milestone.

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The person who downloads the 50 billionth app will receive a $10,000 App Store gift card, while $500 gift cards will be given to the individuals who download the first 50 after that.

To mark the milestone, Apple also revealed (via VentureBeat) the top 25 most downloaded free and paid apps. Facebook has the top free app, followed by Pandora, and Instagram.

The first game to reach the free list was Words with Friends Free (6), followed by Temple Run (9), Angry Birds Free (13), Draw Something Free (14), Fruit Ninja Free (18), and Pac-Man Lite (23).

Games dominated the top 25 paid app list, with Angry Birds the number one overall app, followed by Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, Cut the Rope, and Angry Birds Seasons. Also on the list is Minecraft: Pocket Edition (23), The Sims 3 (25), and Plants vs. Zombies (12).

The iOS app store launched in 2008. At press time, 49,255,738,404 total apps had been downloaded.

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