The Amazon Appstore for Android is going international. Developers that distribute through the Appstore are invited to start submitting apps for new markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain as of today, expanding Amazon’s global app footprint outside of the United States. It is a natural move for Amazon, but will developers jump on the new opportunities?
The relationship between Amazon and developers has been turbulent since the e-commerce giant launched the Appstore in March 2011. Developers have complained about a variety of issues, including disagreements over list and market prices, device filtering, consumer feedback and comments, Amazon’s review process and others. Amazon has acknowledged that the Appstore was a bit of a learning process for the company and that it has worked to address developer concerns during the past year.
“One of our core tenets is to treat developers as kind of our first-class customers, as well. We are definitely making strong efforts to make sure that we promote and help monetize developers' content in the most effective way that we can," Ameesh Paleja, director of engineering for the Amazon Appstore, said to ReadWriteMobile in April.
Amazon is also changing the terms for developers in the Appstore. Instead of developers earning 70% of the sales price or 20% of the list price (whichever is greater) for paid apps, developers will earn 70% of the list price for each paid app sold. That is a big move for Amazon that greatly simplifies the process and aligns Amazon with the other application stores, including Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
One of the biggest complaints about the Amazon’s Android-based tablet from customers across the globe is that they could not download apps, stream movies or use the company’s cloud locker from outside the U.S. That will not change for the majority of the world with the Appstore going international, but expanding to Western Europe is a natural extension for Amazon and a possible prelude to bringing the Appstore to other important markets, such as Japan, Central America, South America and Russia.
Developers that already have applications in the Amazon Appstore do not need to do anything to their apps to expand to the new markets; Amazon will automatically translate the U.S. list price of the app into the local currency (in this case, pounds or Euros) for apps. Developers can change the app description to native languages through Amazon’s developer portal.
Amazon touts its ability to market and monetize apps available in its Appstore better than its first-party counterparts from Apple and Google. Amazon launched in-app purchases in April and says that many developers have seen a drastic increase in revenue from the move. The Appstore had 34,000 Android apps as of April.
There is a big opportunity for Amazon in international markets. Outside of the U.S., some of the highest growth in mobile application use is coming from Europe and the Asian-Pacific regions (especially China, but that is a country that has different sorts of challenges to tackle). Amazon’s Appstore has unique characteristics that could make it attractive to consumers who use Android smartphones, as well as Kindle Fire users. It is a curated store that, theoretically, increases the discoverability of quality apps for consumers and offers easy payment options. Amazon may also look toward a renewed international push of the Kindle Fire now that users outside of the U.S. can access the Appstore.
For developers, the same questions remain. Has Amazon done enough to lure you to submit apps to its Appstore? How does the change in the terms of agreement affect your thoughts about dealing with Amazon? Let us know in the comments.