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Just how big is Apple’s lead in the mobile app space? Consider this: Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced at the company’s big World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco that it has recorded more than 30 billion app downloads in the history of the marketplace, paying out some $5 billion to developers. “It is becoming an economy in and of itself,” Cook said, according to a report on TechCrunch.

Cook also said that there are now more than 400 million accounts on the App Store, which now boasts some 650,000 apps (including 225,000 built specifically for the iPad).

To put that in perspective, in March Microsoft announced that its Windows Phone marketplace had surpassed the 70,000 app milestone.

You can check out some of the action coming out of San Francisco on The Verge and TechCrunch, both of which are operating live blogs from the show.

Other announcements coming out of the show include a a new .71-inch thick MacBook Pro with Retina Display. It is selling for $2,199, with Apple design chief Jonathan Ive saying that “it’s the best computer we’ve ever built.”

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