NEW YORK - Apple says that its app store has hit the 10 billion downloads mark.
The milestone, announced on Apple Inc.'s website Saturday, arrives as the company's hugely popular smart phone is likely to become even more popular with the addition next month of Verizon Wireless as a carrier.
The company has sold tens of millions of iPhones since the device launched in 2007 and continues to expand the use of apps with its iPad tablet computer.
Its app store has drawn an army of software developers hoping to piggyback on the company's success.
The store now boasts more than 300,000 different programs that can be used on the iPhone or the iPad.
Apple says it is giving the 10 billionth person to download an app a $10,000 gift certificate to its iTunes store, which now offers movies and TV shows along with digital music files.