Apple today announced that customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps from the iTunes App Store, with nearly 20 billion in 2012 alone. 

According to a press release, the App Store has over 500 million active accounts, which recorded a record-breaking December with over two billion downloads during the month. 

“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” said 

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, called it an "incredible" year for iOS devlopers, noting in a statement that developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store to date. 

The Apple App Store is the largest of its kind, offering more than 775,000 apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in 155 countries around the world, with more than 300,000 native iPad apps available. 

The downloading of mobile applications is being driven by device sales. According to app analytics firm Flurry, a record-breaking 17.4 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day, leading to equally impressive downloads over the holidays. 

Flurry also reported that the week of December 25 through December 31 recorded the highest number of device activations and app downloads of any week in history. Flurry estimates that over 50 million iOS and Android devices were activated during the holiday week and 1.76 billion applications were downloaded.