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Technology giant Apple said in a statement that customers have downloaded more than 15 billion apps from its iTunes App Store.

The latest figures shows that customers have downloaded around 5 billion apps so far this year as in January the company said it had passed the three billion mark for the number of mobile applications downloaded from its iTunes App Store.

Apple has paid developers more than $2.5 billion to develop for its online store. App Store offers more than 425,000 apps, out of which over 100,000 apps is exclusive for iPad.

The massive jump shows the success of Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod touch products, in that not only are customers buying them -- they are using them at an astoundingly increasing pace. Apple says it has more than 200 million iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users worldwide.

In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen, said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a statement.

The App Store, which opened in July 2008, is a digital application distribution platform that allows iOS users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store. Depending on the application, they are available either for free or at a cost. The applications can be downloaded directly to a target device, or downloaded onto a PC or Mac via iTunes.

Apple says apps have been sold to consumers in more than 90 countries around the world. Among the most popular paid apps available at Apple's iTunes App Store are games including Angry Birds (#1), Fruit Ninja (#2) and Tiny Wings (#3), which sell for 99 cents, while the most popular free apps include ICEE Maker (#1 in the entire app store), Gravity Guy (#2), and TalkingJustin Bieber (#3).