Apple has announced that its iTunes U content downloads have topped one billion.

In a press release sent out on Thursday, which adds to the growing pile of press releases from the company so far this year as it increases the frequency of such announcements, perhaps in reaction to negative publicity, Apple said that its iTunes U catalogue has seen more than one billion downloads since it launched in 2007.

Apple describes: "iTunes U features the world's largest online catalogue of free educational content from top schools and prominent libraries, museums and organisations."

"It's inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U," said Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, adding that there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them.

Interestingly, Apple highlights that more than 60 per cent of the iTunes U app downloads originate from outside the US, giving educators a global reach of 30 countries, including Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, which have recently been added. The courses can then be accessed in 155 countries through the iTunes U app.

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