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Apple apps downloads 15 billion

 A new in-store app is seen on an iPhone at the Apple store in New York May 23, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The latest figures from Apple show that customers have downloaded around 5 billion apps so far this year, considering the company said in January that it had just passed the 10 billion download mark.

It took roughly 2-1/2 years to reach 10 billion downloads — but much of the period was spent without the popular iPad tablet, which has driven the demand for apps.

Apple has paid developers more than $2.5 billion to develop for its online store, which currently contains around 425,000 apps for iPads, iPhones and iPod touches, it said.

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