It may have been a very 'appy Christmas for smartphones and tablets of all stripes, but Apple's just announced some truly staggering statistics. Since the arrival of the iPhone in 2007 some 40 billion apps have been downloaded on iOS devices. About 20 billion of those downloads happened just last year.
Apple notes there are now 775,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch around the world, and that over 7 billion dollars have been paid to developers.
To put these figures in context, the app downloads are equivalent to nearly 6 apps for every person alive on the planet right now (how many of those are Angry Birds?), and for every 9,000 people in the world, there is one unique iOS app. In terms of payouts, the $7 billion paid to developers means Apple has pocketed $3 billion--so total payments to buy apps are about $10 billion, or the same pile of cash Bank of America has just agreed to settle with Fannie Mae over improper mortgage handling.
Apple's biggest open secret was also updated in the press release: There are now over 500 million active iTunes accounts. That means Apple's global database of credit card numbers is likely nearing the 600 million cards in American hands in 2010. And that database is ripe for a push into the mobile payment space.
How many iOS apps have you downloaded? (My figure: Somewhere above 400...blame my job)
[Image: Flickr user Phil Aaronson]