Apple's App Store reaches 40B downloads, almost half occurred in 2012

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Apple on Monday announced that more than 40 billion applications have been downloaded from the iOS App Store, with nearly 20 billion of those in 2012 alone.

There are more than 500 million active accounts on the App Store, and those users helped to drive a record breaking December in which more than 2 billion applications were downloaded. There are now more than 775,000 applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and developers have been paid more than $7 billion to date.

"It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world."

The press release issued by Apple on Monday comes as the annual Consumer Electronics Show gets underway. CES is the biggest tradeshow in the electronics industry, but Apple does not participate.

The company used the opportunity to highlight a handful of apps on Monday that have found success among the hundreds of thousands of options on the App Store. Those mentioned include:

Among the 775,000 applications on the App Store, more than 300,000 are native to the iPad. The App Store is available in 155 countries, and options on the store fall under 23 categories.