On Monday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced that its iTunes App Store has now hit more than 40 billion downloads, with almost half of that total being downloaded in 2012. Last month saw 2 billion downloads, in part due to many consumers receiving iDevices for the holidays and promptly loading up on apps.

The App Store now has at least 500 million active accounts and credit card numbers on file. There are more than 775,000 apps available in the App Store for iOS devices, including 300,000 apps optimized for the iPad. Apple has paid out a total of $7 billion to developers since the App Store's launch.

Apple senior VP of Internet services Eddy Cue said, "It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community."

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