App Store counts 1.5 billion downloads in first year

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Apple announced Tuesday that more than 1.5 billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store in its first year of operation. The App Store is the official mechanism through which iPhones and iPod touches access third-party software.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered a shot across the bow of Palm, Nokia and other phone developers who hope compete for the attention of consumers with online stores of their own, intended for devices that they make.

“The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality,” said Jobs in a statement. “With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up.”

More than 65,000 applications have been posted to the App Store, according to Apple, which also noted that more than 100,000 developers have enrolled in the iPhone Developer Program.

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