CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple celebrated another milestone over the weekend after passing 25 billion downloads from its App Store.
Apple made the announcement late Sunday on its website, where it featured a promotional countdown clock, saying "A billion thanks. 25 times over."
The company launched a campaign early last month, which promised a $10,000 App Store gift card to an individual who downloads the 25 billionth app. Apple previously said it would announce the winner within three days following the conclusion of the contest.
The Silicon Valley tech giant kicked off an app craze four years ago, when it allowed third parties to build and sell apps for the iPhone, released in March 2008. The store is now home to more than 500,000 apps.
Apple released a study Friday saying that the ecosystem associated with its devices has created 514,000 US jobs, with more than 200,000 jobs attributed to the app business alone.
The 25 billion milestone comes in the same week that Apple plans to unveil its next generation iPad at a media event Wednesday. Apple distributed invitations to the San Francisco event in email with a photograph of what appeared to be the corner of an iPad 3.
It is unclear when the new iPad will go on sale. In the past, Apple's new devices have hit store shelves about a week after their press debut.
The company has been celebrating a series of "firsts" so far this year. Apple's share price soared to $500 billion last week in anticipation of the iPad 3, making the tech giant the world's most valuable company.
The stock price closed up Friday by 0.13 percent at $545.18 a share.