apple mobile apps downloadsMobile app downloads from Apple’s App Store now total over 40 billion, with 20 billion having been downloaded in 2012 alone, Cupertino, CA-based Apple announced today. In addition, the App Store can boast of having more than 500 million active accounts, as well as recording a record-breaking December, when more than 2 billion downloads took place.

Fueling the explosive growth, Apple’s developer community has created more than 775,000 apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide, garnering more than $7 billion in payments from Apple for having done so.

“It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue commented. “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.”

Developers large and small are reaping the benefits of Apple’s mobile ecosystem. In a press release, Apple highlights developers such as the husband-and-wife team at Imangi Studios, whose Temple Run game has been downloaded more than 75 million times. Emerging game development studios Backflip Studios and Supercell have raked in more than $100 million combined for their freemium DragonVale and Clash of Clans titles.

Much larger organizations are also participating. Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Autodesk, Marvel and Major League Baseball continue to expand their iOS offerings, Apple notes, “while developers like JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Interactive and Bottle Rocket Apps continued to push the boundaries of what iOS apps can do.”

“The success of our game Temple Run in 2012 was nothing short of astonishing,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi Studios. “We were simply looking to create a game that was fun and easy to play, but once it hit the App Store, the game took off. This past year, we saw more than 75 million downloads of Temple Run on iOS.”

“Our success on iOS has been incredible,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products for Autodesk. “We set off with the modest goal of bringing SketchBook to iPhone users as a way of introducing them to Autodesk. Fast forward three years, we now offer 20 apps to iOS users that have achieved more than 50 million downloads, and we continue to roll out new creativity and design tools that appeal to both professionals and consumers.”

“The App Store provided us with opportunities beyond our wildest dreams,” said Bad Robot Interactive’s JJ Abrams. “Our app Action Movie FX was designed to bring Hollywood special effects to anyone’s self-made video, whether that be on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and we’re just thrilled that millions of fans around the world were as excited as we were about the possibilities that this app brings.”

“Bottle Rocket Apps now employs over 100 full-time employees, dedicated to nothing but building great apps,” said Calvin Carter, president of Bottle Rocket Apps. “In my 20 plus years in technology, I have never seen such a vibrant marketplace for software like the App Store.”