iTunes App Store hits 1.5bn download mark

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iTunes App Store hits 1.5bn download mark

Service closes in on first birthday with milestone.

Apple's iTunes App Store has now served up more than 1.5 billion downloads.

The company said the service, which offers third-party software for both the iPhone and iPod touch, had hit the sales milestone prior to the first anniversary of its launch.

Apple launched the store in July 2009 to coincide with the release of the iPhone 2.0 software update and the iPhone 3G model as well as international availability for the iPhone.

The service allows developers to submit applications to Apple. If the company approves the software, the application can be sold on the App Store at a cost of the developer's choosing.

Since the store was launched, Apple said that it has amassed some 65,000 applications and has enrolled more than 100,000 developers in its partner programme.

"The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality," boasted Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs.

"With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up."

The App Store has not, however, been without some controversy. Developers have complained that Apple's approval process is inconsistent and that applications which do not appear to violate any rules have been rejected.

Apple has maintained that it will not allow unlawful or pornographic content on the store, as well as applications which provide services Apple already offers with its own iPhone software.

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