Computer giant Apple has released details of new research, which claims its innovation and investment has led to the creation of 629,000 jobs in the European economy. 

The research, carried out for Apple by Vision Mobile, reveals that 500,000 of those direct and indirect jobs have been created in the European "app economy" since the launch of iOS and the App Store in 2008. 

Publicity shy Apple has also revealed that it employs around 4,000 people at its centre in Cork. It claims to be the largest private employer in Cork and says its investment supports an additional 2,500 jobs in the local area. 

The company's Cork base carries out supply chain and risk management operations, as well as manufacturing and customer support. 

Apple says it now directly employs more than 16,000 people in Europe, having added 5,000 new jobs since 2011. It currently has full time employees in 19 European countries. 

Around half of all direct and indirect app economy jobs in the EU can be directly attributed to iOS, the research says, with Android, Windows and Blackberry making up the other 50%. 

The AppStore now has more than 1.2 million apps and has recorded 75 billion downloads. Developers in Europe have received $6.5 billion from Apple itself, a third of the $20 billion Apple has paid to developers around the world to date. 

Vision Mobile estimates that app production in the EU will reach $16.5 billion in 2014, compared to $13 billion in 2012, equivalent to a 12% annual growth rate.