While you may not have heard of GetJar -- especially if you're in the U.S. -- the London-based outfit announced its own milestone Wednesday, as it passed the half-billion app download mark. Yes, GetJar is an app store, albeit one a bit less famous than Apple's, which yesterday announced 1.5 billion app downloads in its first year of operation.

GetJar has been around since 2004. It features close to 50,000 applications -- such as Google Maps and the Opera browser -- and works on all major platforms. The company is backed by Accel Partners and says it's profitable. It has around two dozen employees.

Chris Drury, VP of president product management for GetJar, said all the hype that has accompanied Apple's App Store has benefited his company. "You see an ad for the Apple App Store on TV, if you're like 98% of people you don't have an iPhone, and GetJar is the only place you can go to get apps for everyone."

The company is trying to spread the word about its service in the U.S., which is its third-largest market. There is of course plenty of competition out there in the app world, with new stores from BlackBerry, Google's Android, Palm and Nokia.