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Apple's App Store Birthday Means Free Apps for You

Monday, 8 Jul 2013 | 11:27 AM ET
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Apple's App Store is about to turn 5 this week, and it looks like a lot of developers—who make their livelihood off Apple's platform—are celebrating by giving away iPhone and iPad apps.

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A number of applications in the iOS marketplace—mostly gaming apps—are now free.

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Apple does not directly control the pricing for third-party apps and the company did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. But the developers' move to adjust the rate could be a limited time offer in response to the coming birthday of Apple's App Store, according to The Verge, which was the first to report on the slew of apps changing their price.

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Apple's new product lines could provide earnings growth and share price appreciation, ISI Group's Brian Marshall says.

Some of the apps that are now free include ones for such games as "Infinity Blade II," "Tiny Wings," "Badland" and" Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP." One of the most notable markdowns is a DJ software app called Traktor DJ, which normally costs $19.99.

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Considering more than $10 billion has been shelled out to developers of the 850,000 apps that have been available on Apple's App Store in the past five years, it's kind of a no brainer that developers may want to do something to thank iOS users, but some of the sales also may have been a part of Fourth of July specials.

In May, Apple said customers are downloading more than 800 apps per second, which translates to about 2 billion apps per month. However, while Apple's App Store still generates the majority of app revenue, Google's Play Store is gaining share, according to the app analytics firm Distimo.

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.