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Apple App Store: 'Thanks A Billion'

It's been a bittersweet week for Apple's App Store, which hit its one billionth download and stirred controversy with an offensive application.

The App Store, which serves up applications to the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, reached the milestone last night, just nine months after the App Store launched.

An Apple Web site that had been counting up until the big billion for the past two weeks now simply reads: "Thanks a billion. Over 1 billion downloads in just nine months. Only on the App Store."

The user who snagged the one billionth app will be rewarded with a treasure trove of Apple goodies, including $10,000 in iTunes credit, a 17-inch MacBook Pro, a 32-GB iPod Touch and an Apple Time Capsule.

It's no surprise it took less than a year for Apple to serve up 1 billion mobile applications, considering there are more than 37 million devices that run Apple's mobile OS, more than 21 million of which are iPhones, Apple said in its earnings call this week. Apple also offers the most mobile apps of any App Store, with more than 35,000.

But Apple's App Store victory may be bittersweet, as the App Store came under fire this week after an application deemed by many to be offensive and unethical made its way into the App Store, only to be removed later. The Baby-Shaker game, developed by Sikalosoft, showed a crying baby that would quiet down only after users violently shook their iPhones, effectively shaking the baby to death. The application would then display large red Xs over the baby's eyes.

"See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!" read the description of the application.

The 99-cent app became available on Monday, despite being rejected several months ago after being considered in poor taste. Baby-Shaker was ultimately removed from the App Store on Wednesday, joining a host of other apps Apple has denied from the App Store.

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