What’s more impressive – the company’s online storefront saw half of those apps downloaded in 2012 alone, illustrating once again the speed at which the ecosystem continues to grow.
It’s worth noting that Apple’s App Store launched in July 2008 with only 552 apps in its inventory.
“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said in a statement. “Developers have made over $7 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.”
A record-breaking December with more than 2 billion apps downloaded also boosted last year’s figures.
In its pres release, Apple named a variety of very successful apps, including the husband and wife team at Imangi Studios for its wildly popular Temple Run game, which racked up more than 75 million in 2012 alone.
“The success of our game Temple Run in 2012 was nothing short of astonishing,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. “We were simply looking to create a game that was fun and easy to play, but once it hit the App Store, the game took off.”
Apple also said in its statement that the App Store, which offers 775,000 total apps with 300,000 of those designed for the iPad, now has more than 500 million active accounts.
The 40 billion figure excludes re-downloads and app updates.