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Amazon Appstore

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Amazon Appstore
Developer(s)Amazon.com Services, LLC
Initial releaseMarch 22, 2011
Stable release
Operating systemFire OS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows 11
Included withFire OS, BlackBerry 10
TypeApp store

Amazon Appstore is an app store for Android-compatible platforms operated by Amazon.com Services, LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.

The store is primarily used as the storefront for Amazon's Android-based Fire OS. including Amazon Fire tablets, and Amazon Fire TV digital media players, and can be sideloaded and installed manually on third-party Android devices. Some Android devices may also be bundled with Amazon Appstore as part of compensation agreements.[1] It is also used as a source of Android software for runtime environments on BlackBerry 10 and Windows 11.


The Amazon Appstore launched on March 22, 2011 and was made available in nearly 200 countries.[2][non-primary source needed] Developers are paid 70% of the list price of the app or in-app purchase.[3] Notable features that were included on launch included a "Free App of the Day" promotion, which offered different paid apps at no charge daily,[4] and "Test Drive", which allowed users to demo apps in a web browser using a Adobe Flash client virtualized Android instance running on Amazon EC2.[5][4]

In September 2011, Amazon announced the Amazon Fire tablet, which uses Amazon Appstore as its main source of apps.[6][7] Ahead of the official release of Fire, Appstore was updated to include parental controls, a manager for subscriptions, and UI updates to adhere to the Fire's Android user interface.[8]

In May 2013, Amazon introduced Amazon Coins as a form of payment for purchasing apps, games, and in-app purchases from the store.[9] In August 2013, Amazon Appstore added support for HTML5 web apps.[10]

The Test Drive feature was decommissioned in April 2015; Amazon stated that the service had been in decline, partly due to many apps not supporting the feature, and the increasing prevalence of the free-to-play business model making it obsolete.[5]

In August 2015, Amazon Appstore replaced its daily free app program with "Actually Free", which was modeled after the Kindle Unlimited program. Apps in the program were offered at no charge to users, with Amazon paying revenue to developers based on per-minute usage of the apps by end-users.[11][12] By contrast, developers did not receive any revenue for apps offered under the previous free app promotions.[13] The "Actually Free" collection was accessible via a section of Amazon Appstore on Fire OS, but required users to download the separate "Amazon Underground" app (a version of the main Amazon retail app that integrated Appstore) on other Android devices.[14][11]

In August 2017, Amazon announced that the Actually Free program would be discontinued, citing other monetization options such as Coins and Merch on Demand. The shutdown occurred in phases, with the program ending in 2019.[12]

History of app growth[edit]

When the Amazon Appstore for Android launched in March 2011, it had about 3,800 apps. It reached 80,000 apps in June 2013 and 240,000 apps in June 2014.[15] In June 2015, the app store had nearly 334,000 apps.[16] As of October 9, 2019, the Amazon Appstore features 487,083 applications available for download.[17]

Use on third-party Android-compatible platforms[edit]

Amazon Appstore has also been adopted by several operating systems as a source of Android-compatible software, in lieu of Google Play. In June 2014, BlackBerry Limited announced that it would add Amazon Appstore to BlackBerry 10 (which is based on real-time operating system QNX) beginning with version 10.3 for use with its Android runtime.[18][19]

In June 2021, Microsoft announced that Amazon Appstore would be offered via Microsoft Store on Windows 11, for use with Windows Subsystem for Android.[20] On March 5, 2024, Microsoft announced deprecation of WSA with support ending on March 5, 2025. As a result, support for the Amazon Appstore on Windows and apps installed from it would also end on March 5, 2025.[21]


Some countries are able to shop for apps on their local Amazon website.[22] Countries with a local website that only offer a limited range of services, and countries without a local website can shop for apps on the US-based website Amazon.com

Country Domain name
United States, and various eligible countries & territories[23] amazon.com/appstore
Canada amazon.ca/appstore
Japan amazon.co.jp/appstore
United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey amazon.co.uk/appstore
Australia, New Zealand, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island, Cook Island, Niue, Tokelau amazon.com.au/appstore
Brazil amazon.com.br/appstore
Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Finland, Netherlands amazon.de/appstore
Spain, Andorra, Portugal amazon.es/appstore
France metropolitan, Switzerland, Monaco, Belgium amazon.fr/appstore
India amazon.in/appstore
Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, Switzerland amazon.it/appstore


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.[24][25][26] 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,[27] but this did not assuage the IGDA's concerns, which declared that "Amazon's terms represent a threat to game developers".[28][29]

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.[30] 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,[31] leading to the IGDA reiterating its warnings concerning Amazon's policy once again.[32]

Accusation of trademark infringement by Apple[edit]

Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon for using a similar name to the Apple App Store.[33] Amazon claimed that the term was too generic to be trademarked, and asked the judge to dismiss the suit.[34] Apple responded to Amazon's attempted dismissal of the lawsuit by claiming that Amazon was tarnishing the trademark by using the name.[35] 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.[36] 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."[37]

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."[38] In July 2013, Apple dropped the case.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Verizon Offered to Install Marketers' Apps Directly on Subscribers' Phones". Ad Age. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  2. ^ Amazon.com (2013-05-23). "Developers Can Now Distribute Apps in Nearly 200 Countries Worldwide on Amazon - Amazon Mobile App Distribution Blog". Developer.amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
  3. ^ "Amazon Appstore | Android". SigitArinto.com. 2011-03-22. Archived from the original on 2011-08-27. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  4. ^ a b Jason Kincaid (2011-03-22). "Amazon's Android App Store Launches: Test Drive Apps Directly From Your Browser". Techcrunch.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  5. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (2015-04-17). "Amazon Shuts Down TestDrive, The Appstore Feature That Let You Try Apps Before Downloading". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  6. ^ Tung, Liam (September 20, 2011). "Amazon opens global Appstore by stealth". Itnews.com.au. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  7. ^ Savov, Vlad (2011-09-28). "Amazon Kindle Fire price and specs revealed: 7-inch IPS display, dual-core processor, $199". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  8. ^ Parish, Joseph (2011-11-11). "Amazon Appstore gets updated to version 2.0, adds subscription support". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  9. ^ Flood, Alison (2013-05-14). "Amazon launches Coins virtual currency". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  10. ^ Perez, Sarah (2013-08-07). "Amazon Appstore Now Open To Web Apps, With One-Click In-App Purchases In Tow". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  11. ^ a b Singleton, Micah (2015-08-26). "Amazon launches Underground to promote free apps and games". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  12. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (2017-04-29). "Amazon is shutting down its 'Underground Actually Free' program that gives away free Android apps". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  13. ^ "Amazon Appstore, Not so Amazing". GigaOM. 2011-07-05. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
  14. ^ "Amazon Ditches Its Free App Of The Day In Favor of Amazon Underground, With '$10,000 Worth of Apps And Games That Are Actually Free'". Androidpolice.com. 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  15. ^ Amazon Appstore triples selection to 240,000 apps Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine June 2014.
  16. ^ Amazon App Store for Android. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Amazon Appstore: number of available apps by quarter 2018 | Statistic". Statista. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  18. ^ Segan, Sascha (January 31, 2013). "How BlackBerry 10 Runs 28,000 Android Apps Without a Back Button". PC Magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  19. ^ "BlackBerry will bring thousands of apps from Amazon's store to its phones". The Verge. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  20. ^ Warren, Tom (2021-06-24). "Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11 with Amazon's Appstore". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  21. ^ Hachman, Mark (2024-03-05). "Microsoft is killing Android apps on Windows 11". PCWorld. Retrieved 2024-03-06.
  22. ^ "Amazon Appstore Compatible Devices and Supported Countries by Marketplace - Amazon Customer Service".
  23. ^ "Countries & Territories Eligible to Shop for Apps on Amazon.com - Amazon Customer Service".
  24. ^ "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
  25. ^ "IGDA warns Android game developers about Amazon's Appstore terms". guardian.co.uk. 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  26. ^ "IGDA Outlines 'Significant Concerns' Over Amazon Appstore Terms". Gamasutra. 2011-04-14. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  27. ^ "Clarification about Amazon Appstore Developer Agreement". Amazon.com, Inc. 2011-04-15. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "Tir de barrage contre Amazon". Canard PC. 2011-04-14. Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  30. ^ "Apparatus will be pulled from Amazon Appstore". bithack.se. 2011-07-04. Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. 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.
  31. ^ "Game developer pulls app from Amazon Appstore over problems". The Inquirer. 2011-07-05. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  32. ^ "IGDA still unhappy with Amazon Appstore policies". Joystiq. 2011-07-08. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  33. ^ Eaton, Kit (March 22, 2011). "Apple sues Amazon over 'app store' name". CNN Tech. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  34. ^ Cheng, Jacqui (April 26, 2011). "Amazon responds to Apple: "app store" is generic, toss the suit". Ars Technica. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  35. ^ "Apple claims Amazon Appstore 'tarnishes' App Store trademark". Electronista. June 10, 2011. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  36. ^ Levine, Dan (July 6, 2011). "Judge rejects Apple bid for injunction against Amazon". Reuters. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  37. ^ Cheng, Jacqui (November 18, 2011). "Kindle Fire Dragged Into Apple's 'App Store' Suit Against Amazon". Ars Technica. Wired. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  38. ^ "No app for that: Apple's false ad suit over Amazon Appstore thrown out". Ars Technica. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  39. ^ Bostic, Kevin (2013-07-09). "Apple drops 'App Store' lawsuit against Amazon, says no need to pursue case". Appleinsider.com. Retrieved 2014-01-02.

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