Announcing the news in a press release, the iPad giant said that over half the 40 billion downloads, which exclude re-downloads and updates, came in 2012, with two billion alone coming in December.
"It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, in a statement.
"Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world."
Apple says that there are currently around 500,000 active accounts on the App Store, with the store now housing 775,000 iOS apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod. This figure would suggest there isn’t much between Apple and Google when it comes to app quantity.