Apple has used the one-year anniversary of the iTunes App Store to announce 1.5 billion plus application downloads.

Apple claims 65,000 paid and free apps are now available for download in 77 countries, while more than 100,000 developers are currently signed up the iPhone Developer Program.

"The App Store is like nothing the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, now back at work after a leave of absence due to ongoing health issues.

"With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up."

Apple has shipped over 40 million iPhone and iPod touch devices according to a press release.

In April, Apple surpassed the 1 billion app download mark, which suggests the rate of downloads is increasing, with half a billion downloads achieved in just a few months.

For downloading the billionth app, Bump, Connor Mulcahey, 13 from Weston, Connecticut received a $10,000 iTunes gift card, an iPod touch, a Time Capsule and a MacBook Pro for his troubles.

Apple didn't offer any customer incentives for reaching the 1.5 billion milestone.

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