Apple Boasts 1.5B App Store Downloads in First Year

App Store Anniversary

Apple (s aapl) likes numbers, and shoving said numbers in our faces every time they reach a milestone of any kind. To celebrate the App Store’s first birthday, the company’s got a suitably huge figure to brandish: 1.5 billion. That one, five and eight zeroes indicates the number of iPhone apps downloaded within the store’s inaugural year. It’s an impressive number on its own, but it becomes even more impressive when you recall that it was only a little over two months ago that Apple hit the 1 billion-mark.

That’s half a billion downloads in around two and a half months. To say iPhone 3.0 and the new 3GS hardware probably had an effect on app downloading volume would be a gross understatement. A cursory and very unscientific examination of Twitter at the time of the official release of 3.0 saw a massive surge in interest surrounding the App Store, as people frantically shared and searched for any news of what the first push-enabled apps would be. And then probably downloaded those apps in droves as they came out.

As is now becoming standard again for Apple press releases, the official word from Cupertino includes a (rather bland) quote from returned CEO Steve Jobs, who had this to say:

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

Basically, Jobs is reiterating what tech pundits, analysts and bloggers have been saying since Apple’s rivals started introducing their own applications stores. Nice that he at least sounds sporting about it, almost like he’s issuing a challenge.

For more info on the recent massive uptick in App Store downloads, including a lovely chart to show you just how Apple managed to amass so many downloads in such a short period of time, check out CNN’s Fortune blog post about the press release. As they rightly point out, this meteoric rise can’t continue forever. The question is, when and where will it end?