Apple has now paid $5.5 billion to developers over lifetime of its app store, set to hit $4.2 billion in app sales this year

Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said today that the company has now paid out more than $5.5 billion to developers, up from the $4 billion the company reported in January.

This implies the App Store has generated more than $7.8 billion in revenue over its lifetime, and Apple has earned roughly $2.34 billion dollars from its 30 percent cut of revenues. Earlier this year, we estimated the iTunes App Store had generated a total lifetime revenue of $5.7 billion, based on figures Oppenheimer revealed during Apple’s Q1 earnings call.

Today’s update means the iTunes App Store has seen sales of $2.1 billion dollars over the past two quarters, a phenomenal figure given the fact that app sales were not bolstered by holidays or the release of a new iPhone. Today’s numbers indicate the iTunes App Store is on track to hit $4.2 billion in sales for the year, right on track with analyst Horace Dediu’s earlier estimates.

While Apple’s third quarter earnings fell slightly short of analyst estimates with $35 billion in revenue through sales of 26 million iPhones, 17 million iPads and 6.8 million iPods,  Oppenheimer reported it was the company’s best-ever June quarter.