Apple on Monday commemorated the fifth anniversary of its App Store launch by starting a free app giveaway that included some of its most popular and praised iOS games.
"To celebrate we're giving everyone five landmark games and five groundbreaking apps for a limited time," a message on the App Store read.
The games included Badland, an Apple Design Award winner this year; Infinity Blade II, a multiple award winner; Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP; Tiny Wings; and Where's My Water? The five apps: Barefoot World Atlas, Day One, How to Cook Everything, Over and Traktor DJ for iPhone.
None were slouches: All but one have been rated at 4 stars or higher (out of a possible five).
Apple's App Store launched July 10, 2008, the day before the debut of the iPhone 3G. Prior to the App Store and the release of an SDK, or "software development kit," earlier that year, iPhone owners had to make do with the apps Apple included with iOS — initially called iPhone OS — or run web-based apps through the Safari browser.
Between the App Store's launch and late May 2013, customers downloaded 50 billion apps, according to Apple. Last month, CEO Tim Cook called the number "truly staggering." He also boasted that before July 2008, "nothing like the App Store existed" and claimed it had "fundamentally changed the world."
Cook also said that Apple had paid out more than $10 billion to developers, who receive 70% of all revenue. The remaining 30% goes to Apple for maintaining the e-mart. That means total App Store revenue has been at least $14.3 billion during the half-decade.
Other developers of mobile operating systems have adopted the App Store's model, whether taking a cut of sales or in the case of Microsoft's Windows Phone Store, banning app downloads from third-party outlets.
Approximately 900,000 apps now populate the App Store; collectively the 10 giveaways represented just 0.001% of that total.
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