It is quite breathtaking: it took them 3 months to hit 100m. Then, only 5 weeks after they announced that they went past 300 million downloads, Apple announced that they just raced past 500 million. This means 200 million downloads in 5 weeks, 40 million per week, 5.7 million per day or 4,000 per minute! Get that! Whilst numbers don't equate to happiness, I sincerely hope that Steve Jobs will be taking some comfort from this and recover well.
I will not tire of harping about the (nigh) flawless end-to-end experience that enables that: a gaming experience that challenges "traditional" handheld gaming devices like Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, an interface that promotes games beyond the hardcore crowd, connectivity that allows "social gaming" to evolve (see also here), and a purchase experience that does not force a user through onerous double-digit-click orgies and various ominous warnings.
So despite the fact that we still do not have clearer numbers illuminating the underlying commercials of the average application and game on their, I tip my hat, I take a bow, I applaud...