App Store hits 25 billion downloads ahead of iPad 3 release

The Apple App store has reached the 25 billion download mark, the company revealed today.

Apple made the announcement via a promotional display on their website saying, "A billion thanks.  25 times over.  The App Store has reached 25 billion downloads.  Thanks for getting us there."

The company announced the countdown on February 17th when the number of sales had hit 24.3 billion, along with a prize of $10,000 App Store Gift Card to the customer who downloaded the 25 billionth app.  Apple has no yet announced the winner, likely due to the verification process which, Apple says,could take up to three days.

It has taken Apple just three and a half years since the App Store's inception to reach the impressive milestone.  Apple hit the 10 billion download mark back in January 2011 which means it only took 13 months to add another 15 billion downloads.  It's an impressive number that only looks to grow with the iPad 3 which looks to be announced this week.

In addition to the download milestone, the company's value rose to a new high of $500 billion last week amidst the iPad 3 announcement speculation.

Last week, Apple began sending out invites to a "special event" being held in California this week where it is believed the company will reveal the new iPad 3.

The invitation included a photo of someone using an iPad with a line that read: "We have something you really have to see.  And touch."

There have been many rumors surrounding a March release of the iPad 3, but this is the first we've seen from Apple officially announcing something.  Earlier this month, Japanese website Macotakara mentioned Apple was planning a "Special Event to launch the third-generation iPad in early March".

The private event begins on March 7th, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, where the tech giant is expected to unveil the highly anticipated, and often rumored iPad 3.  Of course, we'll keep you up to date with anything we hear regarding the next-gen iPad.

[IT Pro Portal]