Ars Technica's report on Mobile Squared's projection that -- at the current rate -- the App Store will hit its one BILLIONth download sometime this Thursday:

Apple is currently averaging 5.1 million downloads per day. This is quite an increase from the 2.98 million downloads per day for the first 500 million, showing that the App Store's offerings have indeed increased in popularity. Unsurprisingly, most apps were free downloads, though mobile squared's data says that the average cost of a paid download is $2.20.

Now, we have to ask: if observing an event changes an event, does blogging about a projected download date increase downloads, moving the date sooner? Probably, but not as much as Apple has by offering a $10,000 iTunes gift certificate and a ton of great Apple prizes...