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Apple launches countdown to 50B app downloads

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Apple on Thursday posted a countdown to 50 billion app download from the App Store, promising to give away a $10,000 App Store Gift Card to the person who downloads the landmark app.

50B Apps


First spotted by Macstories, the official countdown ticker is viewable within iTunes under the App Store section.

From the countdown page:

Apps have revolutionized the way we play video games, consume news, do business, education, communicate, create art, and so much more.


The performance of the App Store has been overwhelming, steadily growing in size and revenues since its launch in 2008. As an example of the store's explosive growth, Apple launched a similar countdown to 1 billion app downloads in April 2009, which was followed by a promotion for the 10 billionth app download in January 2011. Most recently, Apple started a countdown ticker to 25 billion downloads in February 2012, meaning download rates roughly doubled over the past year.

In addition to the $10,000 gift card for the 50 billionth app download, Apple will also award a $500 App Store Gift Card to the next 50 customers following the momentous download.

The iTunes page also has an updated list of the top all-time paid and free apps, with respective number ones being Angry Birds and Facebook.

As with any sweepstakes and giveaway in the U.S., no purchase is necessary, and Apple has setup an alternate entry webpage for those who don't wish to buy an app or download a free title. At the time of this writing, the page was still under construction.
post #2 of 27
Seems like only yesterday when it was 1 billion downloads.

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post #3 of 27
So, what free app will it be this time? 1wink.gif

Like the addition of the next 50 getting $500!
post #4 of 27
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Wish you could use that gift card to buy Apple hardware and not just software. 

 

Seriously.

 

How would you ever even be able to spend $10,000 on the app store? I don't think my iPad can hold that many apps!

post #6 of 27
Speculation warning....

I suspect Apple doesn't pick the x billionth app but picks out of an increasing growing list of x billionth apps that fit the app choice and possibly country code that best represents their product.

What do I mean by a growing list? Without even considering ever so slight variations of the strata pulled from the atomic clocks for network times I think there is a likelihood of multiple purchases at the same exact recorded time. Think about it. Apple uses transaction servers around the world for app purchases whose network times are probably only measured in 1,000th of a second (i.e.: milliseconds). This means there may be more than one app that would have registered on the year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and millisecond relative to timezones.

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post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

Seriously.

How would you ever even be able to spend $10,000 on the app store? I don't think my iPad can hold that many apps!
Same here. Some Mac apps though are expensive as are movies and TV shows.  I would probably buy mostly OS X apps if I won and not so many iOS ones. 

Though I have to admit I am addicted to one game I play on my iPad and iPhone called Modern War so I would probably spend $500 or so on "gold" in the game to update my base and units. I would never spend my own cash on a cell phone game but with free Apple money why not. 

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I would load up on movies and TV shows, and my wife would spend that on iBooks before I could blink.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Speculation warning....

I suspect Apple doesn't pick the x billionth app but picks out of an increasing growing list of x billionth apps that fit the app choice and possibly country code that best represents their product.

What do I mean by a growing list? Without even considering ever so slight variations of the strata pulled from the atomic clocks for network times I think there is a likelihood of multiple purchases at the same exact recorded time. Think about it. Apple uses transaction servers around the world for app purchases whose network times are probably only measured in 1,000th of a second (i.e.: milliseconds). This means there may be more than one app that would have registered on the year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and millisecond relative to timezones.

I assume they have some sort of counter/sequence/autonumber value associated with every sale.  It would be based on that, not by going back and looking at the logs.  Depending on how the sequence (to use the Oracle term for this) is set up, it might not be strictly correct, but close enough for this purpose.  (For example, if there is a central sequence then the servers around the world may pick up batches of to-be-used sequences every second or minute.)

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

...it might not be strictly correct...

That's my point.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Speculation warning....

I suspect Apple doesn't pick the x billionth app but picks out of an increasing growing list of x billionth apps that fit the app choice and possibly country code that best represents their product.

What do I mean by a growing list? Without even considering ever so slight variations of the strata pulled from the atomic clocks for network times I think there is a likelihood of multiple purchases at the same exact recorded time. Think about it. Apple uses transaction servers around the world for app purchases whose network times are probably only measured in 1,000th of a second (i.e.: milliseconds). This means there may be more than one app that would have registered on the year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and millisecond relative to timezones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

I assume they have some sort of counter/sequence/autonumber value associated with every sale.  It would be based on that, not by going back and looking at the logs.  Depending on how the sequence (to use the Oracle term for this) is set up, it might not be strictly correct, but close enough for this purpose.  (For example, if there is a central sequence then the servers around the world may pick up batches of to-be-used sequences every second or minute.)

indeed. evidenced by the fact that a purchase isn't even necessary to enter the sweepstakes. so they throw the non-purchase entries and some number of entries of those who purchased around the 50 billionth app into a pool, and that's the pool from which the winner is chosen?
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post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


indeed. evidenced by the fact that a purchase isn't even necessary to enter the sweepstakes. so they throw the non-purchase entries and some number of entries of those who purchased around the 50 billionth app into a pool, and that's the pool from which the winner is chosen?

The no-purchase necessary is a legal requirement, as far as I know, but but I wouldn't think the pool they pick from isn't completely random. For example, if the 50,000,000,000th app was Sex Positions Game - 18+ Free or Super Monster Bros by Adventure Time Pocket Free they might use one of the other viable candidates that all fall under the 50 billionth time stamp to better represent their store. They may even choose a country that would benefit by the advertising, like China or India.



This is just criminal and Apple really should get rid of these developers.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #12 of 27

I hope that I don't win, as I would be required to pay Federal and State taxes on the value of the prize.

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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Speculation warning....

I suspect Apple doesn't pick the x billionth app but picks out of an increasing growing list of x billionth apps that fit the app choice and possibly country code that best represents their product.

What do I mean by a growing list? Without even considering ever so slight variations of the strata pulled from the atomic clocks for network times I think there is a likelihood of multiple purchases at the same exact recorded time. Think about it. Apple uses transaction servers around the world for app purchases whose network times are probably only measured in 1,000th of a second (i.e.: milliseconds). This means there may be more than one app that would have registered on the year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and millisecond relative to timezones.

Well, they sell 800 apps per second so they could still record it by millisecond...but yeah, I get your point. And thanks for that video! Ridiculous!
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post #14 of 27
I calculate it'll hit 50 billion in 9 days. Anybody want to double check that for me?
post #15 of 27
$10,000!!!

Whoever won that would be millionaires!

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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The no-purchase necessary is a legal requirement, as far as I know, but but I wouldn't think the pool they pick from isn't completely random. For example, if the 50,000,000,000th app was Sex Positions Game - 18+ Free or Super Monster Bros by Adventure Time Pocket Free they might use one of the other viable candidates that all fall under the 50 billionth time stamp to better represent their store. They may even choose a country that would benefit by the advertising, like China or India.



This is just criminal and Apple really should get rid of these developers.

 

I suppose trash games like the embed demonstrates should be punished with banishment based on consumer complaints. Apple cannot realistically police hundreds of thousands of apps.

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post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

I calculate it'll hit 50 billion in 9 days. Anybody want to double check that for me?

 

So on the ninth day, buy $5,000 worth of apps.

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post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

I hope that I don't win, as I would be required to pay Federal and State taxes on the value of the prize.

Declare yourself a corporation and pay none.
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post #19 of 27

Spend the lot on AIPs in Jurassic Park Builder.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Well, they sell 800 apps per second so they could still record it by millisecond...but yeah, I get your point. And thanks for that video! Ridiculous!


It's only 600 per second? For some reason I expected it to be higher. If my math is correct (and I'm not sure it is, that gives it a 20% chance that two app will fall on the same millisecond.


edit: Now I see you wrote 800, which I think is a 40% chance of the same millisecond.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/3/13 at 9:09am

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by robogobo View Post

I calculate it'll hit 50 billion in 9 days. Anybody want to double check that for me?

The counter on the page is set at a fixed rate when you load it. It sends a request to the server for the current total and it works out the step rate. You can manually get the exact timestamp and value using the Javascript console. Just type in:

var nc = new Counter({container:AC.Element.selectAll(".counter")[0],dataURL:"/itunes/store/counters/il6ark7ec.js",staticImagePath:"",targetCount:50000000000,stopAtTargetCount:true});

hit return then type:

console.dir(nc);

You can open up the data it gets from the server and it will give you the currentCount and a unix timestamp responseReceivedEpoch. If you put the timestamp into a converter like:

http://www.epochconverter.com

you can get the exact time in your own timezone and the number it reached but you can get an average rate if you use two sufficiently far apart values - just subtract the timestamps to get the separation in milliseconds. It's around 1,000 apps per second and you can see that with the timer, the thousand digit goes up roughly every second. That would mean it will hit 50b in less than 9 days as you said. The rate will probably increase as it gets closer.

It's good that they expanded the prizes to more people but I think it would be better if they gave away hardware. Just a voucher to be able to buy 1 Mac of your choice, 1 iPad and 1 iPod and $5000 of content from iTunes (music, movies or apps). I suspect the App Store voucher is their way of ensuring that they don't actually give away much money because it'll only be paid out to developers when it gets spent. Plus, Apple gets 30% of it back again.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

 

I suppose trash games like the embed demonstrates should be punished with banishment based on consumer complaints. Apple cannot realistically police hundreds of thousands of apps.

 

But they do.  Every app submitted and updated goes through a review process.  Obviously there are grey areas (like this example that is an obvious rip off in so many ways) that "slip through." 

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post



indeed. evidenced by the fact that a purchase isn't even necessary to enter the sweepstakes. so they throw the non-purchase entries and some number of entries of those who purchased around the 50 billionth app into a pool, and that's the pool from which the winner is chosen?

Good point.  That does spoil it a bit.  Calling the winner "someone who either bought an app around the same time as the 50 billionth or entered some random drawing" isn't very poetic.

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Declare yourself a corporation and pay none.

 

Maybe if you pour your winnings into tax-free municipal bonds or a master limited partnership (MLP).

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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

 

Seriously.

 

How would you ever even be able to spend $10,000 on the app store? I don't think my iPad can hold that many apps!

 

If you played Super Monster Bros, you'd blow through that $10k, in a day. lol.gif

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSDHCMcdSVQ

 

Btw, it's since been removed from the App Store.

post #26 of 27
Just over 13 hours to go. You only get 25 app downloads per day to enter so time wisely and everybody remember to download crude apps like:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/cunnilingus-101/id381996885?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/condom-size/id592218822?mt=8

That way Apple has to promote sex apps for the winners. There should be a global campaign for everyone to download sex apps today.
post #27 of 27
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
Just over 13 hours to go.

 

I bet they don't actually keep it up to date. It'd make sense that 50 billion has already been hit and this is the downtime while they contact the person who won and make sure it's all legitimate and such. That way the announcement can be made all the more quickly.

 

Also, 50 fakeroonies on the app in question being "Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch".

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