Apple's App Store has passed more than 15 billion downloads, according to the company. Currently, the online storefront holds some 425,000 applications, including 100,000 native iPad applications.
Apple also claims some 200 million devices are running iOS, its mobile operating system.
That represents a considerable bar for rivals such as Hewlett-Packard and Google, which also offer application storefronts. Of those competitors, Android Market perhaps comes closest to matching Apple's capacity, with hundreds of thousands of applications available for mobile devices running Google Android. However, the number of applications for Apple's iPad greatly exceeds those optimized specifically for Android tablets.
With its soon-to-be-released Mac OS X "Lion," Apple will include a baked-in Mac App Store with access to a variety of full-screen applications for the company's laptops and desktops. It is a spiritual descendent of the App Store for iOS devices, and perhaps one of the biggest examples of how Apple's advances in mobile-device software are beginning to influence its entire product line.
Apple's upcoming iOS 5 will offer a host of improvements, many of them seemingly designed as a response to competitors such as Google Android and Research In Motion's BlackBerry franchise. Certainly the "iMessenger" conversation platform is an answer to RIM's BlackBerry Messenger. Of greater importance to some users may be Apple's iCloud service, due to ship this fall, and which will sync content and push it to various devices via the cloud. It is integrated with applications, ensuring automatic updates.
During a June 6 presentation to unveil iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion, Apple executives claimed the company had sold more than 200 million iOS devices and occupied some 44 percent of the mobile operating system market.
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