Apple has announced that it is nearing 25,000,000,000 app downloads in the time the App Store on the iPad and iPhone has been running.

To celebrate the fact that its millions of iOS users clearly like downloading apps, Apple is turning to the same trick it has used in the past and promising a massive prize give-away of you are the lucky one to download the 25th billion app from the App Store.

"The countdown has started. And there's going to be a winner," states Apple. "As the 25 billionth download approaches, we want to say thank you. Download any of the more than 500,000 apps on the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad - if you download the 25 billionth app, you could win a $10,000 App Store Gift Card."

The App Store has been open since July 2008, but the pace at which users are downloading apps is growing at an astonishing rate.

It took Apple two and a half years to hit 10 billion App Store downloads and then only another 6 months to take the total to up to 15 billion in July 2011. Now, 8 months, on it has added a further 9 billion.

the tally is current around the 24.3bn marker - suggesting you've got sometime yet before you have to have your finger primed on the download button, but at the rate the apps are being download that shouldn't be too long.

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