Apple’s App Store surpasses 25B downloads

Apple’s popular iOS App Store has now topped 25 billion downloads, a sign that mobile device owners are still hungry for well-built native applications.

On Apple’s site, the company has highlighted the achievement with a page that says: “A billion thanks. 25 times over.” The company had been promoting a contest where the person who broke the new milestone would win a $10,000 iTunes gift card. The milestone was broken some time in the past few days. Apple held a similar contest in Jan. 2011 when the company hit 10 billion App Store downloads.

While there have been persistent arguments about how well native mobile applications would fare against surging HTML5 development, at least when it comes to Apple, consumers are still plainly in love with native apps. Social networking apps like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are especially popular for iOS, as well as casual games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, and Where’s My Water?.

VentureBeat contributor and CBS Interactive CTO Peter Yared recently summed up the current state of the conflict between native and HTML5 well, saying: “While HTML5 has come a long way, it is still not up to par with the native app experience. Some publishers, such as the Financial Times and Playboy, have come close to native app functionality by investing heavily in HTML5 in order to bypass Apple’s 30 percent app store subscription fee. However, there are no turnkey JavaScript libraries that provide functionality such as efficient swiping and offline reading.”

What apps for the App Store have you been enjoying most lately?