applelogo.png Apple has dedicated its entire front page to the countdown towards 25 billion app downloads, with a lucky winner about to win a mountain of apps via a US$ 10,000 store voucher.

The Final Countdown

UPDATE: Apple hit the 25 billion figure sometime overnight and has replaced its front page with an icon-fest of some of the most popular apps, image below the original story.

ORIGINAL: Apple is just some 32 million (at the time of writing) downloads shy of hitting the 25 billion number on the iTunes App Store. It will have hit that target in a little over three and a half years, which shows just how ridiculous everything about the smartphone and app market has become.

With almost 15 billion of those downloads coming in just over a year, the pace is picking up, too, and you can expect even more app madness with the arrival of the iPad 3 next week. At last count, the Android app store had just tipped over the 10 billion mark, but that too is accelerating wildly.

Who will be the lucky app downloader to bag the prize?

After the ticker rolled over, this is what greeted Apple visitors

Apps on Top

The Apple store has over half a million apps in it, with Android somewhere in the 400,000s and increasing numbers of developers are moving their apps to mobile platforms or creating apps dedicated to them.

Note, the competition isn't for the person who downloads the 25,000,000,000th app, but there's a drawing involving anyone who downloads an app between February 13 and the time that number is reached. There's a non-download way to enter via Apple's store too.