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App Store downloads reach 10 billion mark

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Apps ahoy

When Gail Davis of the U.K. town of Orpington decided to download a copy of hit iOS game Paper Glider last week, she got more than she paid for.

A lot more.

Davis' download became the 10 billionth app downloaded from the App Store, Apple announced Saturday, netting the company a proud milestone -- and netting Davis a hefty $10,000 iTunes gift for simply lucking out and
grabbing a free game at the right time.

The moment was captured by Philip Schiller, Apple's senior VP of
Worldwide Product Marketing, who gleefully gloated in a press release.

"With more than 10 billion apps downloaded in just two and a
half years -- a staggering seven billion apps in the last year alone -- the App
Store has surpassed our wildest dreams," he said. "The App Store has
revolutionized how software is created, distributed, discovered and sold. While
others try to copy the App Store, it continues to offer developers and
customers the most innovative experience on the planet."

The 10 billion total includes apps downloaded for all compatible
iOS products -- iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad -- across a whopping 160 million
users, though that number could surge next month when the iPhone is released
from AT&T's grip and becomes a viable option for Verizon customers. Apple
further notes that there are 350,000 apps available for the service in over 90
countries.

While Apple is far and away the app market leader, the competition
isn't sitting still. Earlier this month, Microsoft formally challenged Apple's claim to the "App Store" trademark, insisting that the term is broadly generic.

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