Apple’s mobile application store for the iPhone and iPod touch has grown at an amazingly fast pace. Beginning this year the company was touting more than 500 million downloads and a catalog featuring more than 15,000 applications to choose from. Now, the company has stormed past the 25,000 application mark, beating out in roughly 9 months the estimated 20,000 collection Windows Mobile has built up over 9 years.

According to mobile analytics firm Mobclix, 77.3 percent of the applications are paid while the rest can be obtained for free – usefulness aside. Not surprisingly, mobile games make up the bulk of applications available with 6,276 titles, or 23.1 percent, followed by a mix of entertainment applications at 13.6 percent and books at 9 percent. Its stunning growth has spurred others to rival launch application stores in hopes of capitalizing on the mobile app craze, even including some rogue ones aimed at the iPhone itself.