NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc customers downloaded more than 15 billion applications in the past three years, the company said on Thursday, releasing figures that suggest the rate of downloads is sharply accelerating.
The latest figures from Apple show that customers have downloaded around 5 billion apps so far this year, considering the company said in January that it had just passed the 10 billion download mark.
It took roughly 2-1/2 years to reach 10 billion downloads -- but much of the period was spent without the popular iPad tablet, which has driven the demand for apps.
Apple has paid developers more than $2.5 billion to develop for its online store, which currently contains around 425,000 apps for iPads, iPhones and iPod touches, it said.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Derek Caney)