More than three billion apps have been downloaded from Apple's iTunes app store.

The app store was launched in July 2008 and allows iPhone and iPod Touch users in 77 countries worldwide to access third-party software in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

"Three billion applications downloaded in less than 18 months - this is like nothing we've ever seen before," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.

More than three billion apps have been downloaded by Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users

"The revolutionary App Store offers iPhone and iPod touch users an experience unlike anything else available on other mobile devices, and we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon."

In September last year Apple announced that two billion apps had been downloaded from the app store, meaning around one billion have been downloaded in the quarter since Apple's announcement.

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See also: Apple improves Apple App Store