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Amazon Appstore reportedly coming to Europe

Amazon's Appstore could be launching in Europe over the next few months, sources say.

Rumours suggest the online retail giant will announce the European arrival of its Appstore, which has thus far only been available in the US, next week. Sources say Amazon will reveal that it is preparing to begin accepting developer submissions "soon."

The Appstore functions like a mobile app distribution service, allowing Android device and Kindle Fire users to access a bevy of closely curated and managed applications. Appealing functions of the Appstore include offering users a half-hour test drive of any app, as well as a daily free app feature.

The Appstore is key to Amazon's low-cost Kindle Fire tablet, as it is the device's sole app market. Accordingly, the speculation that the Appstore is crossing the Atlantic soon has led some to suggest that the company is preparing to release the Kindle Fire in Europe, as well.

Though Amazon has not reported its own sales figures, reports suggest that sales of the Kindle Fire, which is only available in the US, are down significantly. The company shipped fewer than 750,000 Kindle fires in the first quarter of 2012, down significantly from the 4.8 million units it shipped in the last three months of 2011, reports the research firm IDC.

Other rumours have suggested the possibility of all-new devices, including a 10in Kindle Fire and a front-lit Kindle eBook reader.