Amazon has announced plans to extend its Appstore distribution system for Android apps to 200 new international markets, including Australia. For consumers, that represents a potential new source of bargain software. For developers, it offers another potential channel to sell Android apps.
Amazon’s announcement of the expansion plans says that Appstore will be “be made available in the coming months when the Amazon Appstore for Android launches internationally for consumers”. The Appstore has operated in the US since March 2011 and in a handful of European markets since mid-2012, but has been blocked for customers with an Australian credit card.
Appstore relies on users installing a dedicated Appstore app and using that rather than Google Play to install software, or browsing via . For consumers, one incentive to do that is that the Appstore offers a daily free app. The Appstore is also the only way to install apps on Amazon’s Kindle Fire Android tablet/ereader, but as that isn’t officially available to Australia that’s arguably a lesser consideration for local buyers and app developers.
For developers, the Appstore provides a potential additional source of revenue. It follows the majority of mobile app stores by taking a 30 per cent cut of the app price. While the expansion doesn’t yet have a publically announced launch date, local developers can already register for the service. Amazon’s Appstore focuses heavily on games, and I suspect many Australian game developers working on Android will have registered for the service already, since relatively few games are aimed solely at a single-country market.