Apple says that its app store has hit the 10 billion downloads mark.
The milestone, announced on Apple Inc.'s website Saturday, arrives as the company's hugely popular smart phone is likely to become even more popular with the addition next month of Verizon Wireless as a carrier.
The company has sold tens of millions of iPhones since the device launched in 2007 and continues to expand the use of apps with its iPad tablet computer. Its app store has drawn an army of software developers hoping to piggyback on the company's success. The store now boasts more than 350,000 different programs for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Apple said it would give the 10 billionth person to download an app a $10,000 gift card to its iTunes store, which now offers movies and TV shows along with digital music files. The prize went to Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent, in the U.K. She downloaded a free game app called Paper Glider.