Friday Night Forum: Amazon Appstore Downloads Jump 500% in 2012

Amazon Appstore
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Based on new figures released by Amazon, 2012 was a great year to be an Android developer. Just yesterday, Amazon reported that downloads on the company’s Appstore have increased by 500% in the last year alone. Though the figures are a bit incomplete, as they lack a breakdown of free vs. paid downloads, it’s still promising data for Android devs.

Kevin Tofel of GigaOm speculates that the biggest drivers of growth were Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet line, introduced in fall of 2011, as well as the company’s developer-friendly policies that compel programmers to build for their devices. Since the start of December 2012, the Appstore boasted nearly 60,000 applications, 45 percent of which were in the U.S., according to app store analytics firm Distimo. Thursday’s announcement also included the launch of A/B testing for Amazon Appstore apps, which will allow developers to vary content based on a number of parameters and analyze which content is received most favorably by users.

As an Android developer, what’s your take on these figures? Are Amazon’s developer-centric policies, such as the availability of A/B testing, encouraging you to build for the platform?


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This entry has 9 replies

  1. Henry Palma says:

    This is why I keep asking for in app purchase for amazon. Please implement this.

    • Chris says:

      +1 on IAP

    • Jorge says:

      I second the motion for in-app for amazon. That would be an awesome resource to have.

  2. Chris Russell says:

    A year ago I was responsible for the rollout of two large apps for a company I work for. The apps were submitted to Apple, the Samsung store and Amazon.
    Twelve months later and the poorest performing store is Amazon. Why? For the following reasons:

    1. At launch, only Amazon US had a fully fledged store implementation. My home (UK) store didn’t support apps. A year down the line and as far as I can see, the apps (for business) still can’t be found on the UK store – that’s ludicrous. It looks very much as though AMZ UK currently only carry games.

    2. App discovery for Android is a total mess, whether it’s Amazon or Google. It may be poor, but at least IOS has sites like App Shopper and App Zapp to surface content.

    The increase in Android-based devices is all well and good, but until some reasonable form of discovery appears it’s a total crap shoot d to whether anyone can find your content.

    With the exception of my first app, which was iOS only, everything I write is cross platform at the insistence of clients who want the widest possible coverage. Howev, figures show that across the board, Android apps account for only 25% of total downloads. So it’s immaterial how big Amazon et al claim to be, until the volume of sales and downloads increases for the Android platform, Android continues to be a minority platform in terms of my dev experience.

    Add to that the difficulties involved in supporting the massive number of devices and strains of the various Android OS’ and it currently doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend too much time on non-iOS development.

    • Inna Treyger says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the platform – the new data Amazon released is missing some pieces, so it’s nice to hear a personal account. Perhaps 2013 will be a better year for Amazon apps. The app store only opened its doors in May 2011, so perhaps app discovery and comprehensive store implementation will improve in 2013. Fingers crossed.

  3. Lee says:

    Sound like a very high percentage, I’ll have to a bit more follow up and research.

  4. Chris says:

    All we need now is Game Circle and Amazon In App Purchase and we can then capitalize on this tremendous growth.

  5. Joe says:

    The Amazon app store has been great for my Android apps. When I initially started developing for Android I only rolled out to the Google Market. My sales for paid apps were horrible. Once I ported the apps over to the Amazon they instantly began to sell. I also ported a few of them to the Nook and Samsung markets as well but sales have been the strongest in the Amazon market.

  6. +++1 ZILLION @Chris and everyone

    All we need now is Game Circle and Amazon In App Purchase and we can then capitalize on this tremendous growth.

    Yes I would do Amazon about 100 years before Google lol…