Amazon Appstore for Android
|Initial release||March 22, 2011|
|Stable release||7 / 24 November 2013|
|Development status||Active / 240,000+ apps|
|Type||Software update, digital distribution|
The Amazon Appstore is an app store for the Android operating system, operated by Amazon.com. It was opened on March 22, 2011 and was made available in nearly 200 countries. Developers are paid 70% of the list price of the app or in-app purchase.
On September 28, 2011, Amazon unveiled a new tablet, the Kindle Fire. This tablet, which is designed for media consumption in the Amazon ecosystem, relies solely on the Amazon Appstore for its marketplace, eschewing Google's Android Market (now called Google Play). Alongside the tablet was a new design for the Amazon Appstore designed to better integrate with the tablet's user interface.
The Amazon Appstore includes a "free app a day" feature. Every day, an application, frequently a game, is offered for free. On the launch day, this game was Angry Birds Rio (Ad-Free), in itself a promotional game. On The European launch day the free app was Angry Birds (Ad-Free). The Free App of the Day feature makes an exception to Amazon's 70% of list price term, giving the developer 0% of the list price during the feature day.
In May 2013, Amazon introduced Amazon Coins as a form of payment on the store.
Number of launched applications
In June 2014, Amazon's Appstore for Android had seen a lot of growth since June 2013. That growth has seen the free and paid app selection triple from 80,000 apps to more than 240,000. When the store launched in March 2011 it had around 3,800 apps.
Shortly after the Amazon Appstore launch, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) published an open letter expressing concerns that were primarily aimed at Amazon's distribution terms. The main concerns about the conditions were that Appstore terms force developers to permanently lower their AppStore prices if ever they do promotions on other stores, and that Amazon could choose to lower the price of an application while deciding to reduce the developer's share without having to ask permission.
Following this address, Amazon clarified the Appstore developer agreement, but this did not assuage the IGDA's concerns, which declared that "Amazon’s terms represent a threat to game developers".
In July 2011, the Swedish developer Bithack pulled its Apparatus application from the Appstore and published an open letter explaining that the store was a "disaster" for indie developers. The main problems related to the very slow review process, the absence of any means to filter unsupported devices, and that Amazon changed the price of the application without consulting the developer, leading to the IGDA reiterating its warnings concerning Amazon's policy once again.
Accusation of trademark infringement by Apple
Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon for using a similar name to the Apple App Store. Amazon claimed that the term was too generic to be trademarked, and asked the judge to dismiss the suit. Apple responded to Amazon's attempted dismissal of the lawsuit by claiming that Amazon was tarnishing the trademark by using the name. A federal judge denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction, disagreeing with Amazon's claim that the term is generic, and citing that Apple had not established "a likelihood of confusion" with Amazon's services to obtain an injunction. Apple changed its complaint after Amazon started advertising the Kindle Fire, now saying that Amazon is trying to confuse customers further by dropping the “for Android” part of “Amazon Appstore for Android.” In the amended complaint, Apple wrote that “Amazon’s use is also likely to lessen the goodwill associated with Apple’s App Store service and Apple products designed to utilize Apple’s App Store service by associating Apple’s App Store service with the inferior qualities of Amazon’s service.”
In January 2013, Apple's claims were rejected by a US District judge, who argued that the company presented no evidence that Amazon had "[attempted] to mimic Apple’s site or advertising", or communicated that its service "possesses the characteristics and qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple APP STORE and/or Apple products." In July 2013, Apple dropped the case.
- "Amazon Appstore Updated to 7". Phandroid. 2013-11-24. Retrieved 26 Nov 2013.
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- "BlackBerry will bring thousands of apps from Amazon's store to its phones". The Verge. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Amazon Appstore triples selection to 240,000 apps.
- "Important Advisory about Amazon’s Appstore Distribution Terms". International Game Developers Association. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
We are not aware of any other retailer having a formal policy of paying a supplier just 20% of the supplier’s minimum list price without the supplier’s permission.(...)If you ever conduct even a temporary price promotion in another market, you must permanently lower your list price in Amazon’s market
- "IGDA warns Android game developers about Amazon's Appstore terms". guardian.co.uk. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "IGDA Outlines 'Significant Concerns' Over Amazon Appstore Terms". Gamasutra. 2011-04-14. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Clarification about Amazon Appstore Developer Agreement". Amazon.com, Inc. 2011-04-15. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Amazon’s clarification fails to address game developer concerns". International Game Developers Association. 2011-04-19. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Tir de barrage contre Amazon". Canard PC. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Apparatus will be pulled from Amazon Appstore". bithack.se. 2011-07-04. Archived from the original on 5 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
If you are a small indie development team, or possibly even alone, don't bother with Amazon Appstore. Create a great app, publish it on Android Market, and provide great customer support. You will never succeed on Amazon Appstore without a big wallet, or at least an established reputation so that Amazon puts value behind their promises.
- "Game developer pulls app from Amazon Appstore over problems". The Inquirer. 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
The final problem was that Amazon changed the price without consulting the developer. The price was cut to $0.99, only a quarter of its original price, which, while perhaps good for players, is not good for the developer.
- "IGDA still unhappy with Amazon Appstore policies". Joystiq. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Eaton, Kit (March 22, 2011). "Apple sues Amazon over 'app store' name". CNN Tech. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- Cheng, Jacqui (April 26, 2011). "Amazon responds to Apple: "app store" is generic, toss the suit". Ars Technica. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- "Apple claims Amazon Appstore 'tarnishes' App Store trademark". Electronista. June 10, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- Levine, Dan (July 6, 2011). "Judge rejects Apple bid for injunction against Amazon". Reuters. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- Cheng, Jacqui (November 18, 2011). "Kindle Fire Dragged Into Apple’s ‘App Store’ Suit Against Amazon". Ars Technica. Wired. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- "No app for that: Apple’s false ad suit over Amazon Appstore thrown out". Ars Technica. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Bostic, Kevin (2013-07-09). "Apple drops 'App Store' lawsuit against Amazon, says no need to pursue case". Appleinsider.com. Retrieved 2014-01-02.