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Amazon Android Appstore triples app selection, but still can't touch the Google Play Store

Amazon can make a great Android device, as demonstrated by the Kindle Fire HDX tablets and Fire TV media box. However, there has been a legitimate knock on the offerings - lack of apps, including Google's. The trade-off for the beautiful hardware is the frustration of missing some of your favourite apps.

Amazon has been making major improvements to app availability in its Appstore though and today, the company announces actual numbers and analysis behind it. The number of apps available have tripled. Yes, Amazon's Appstore is growing and becoming a legitimate threat to Google's, but will it ever actually surpass it?

"Amazon today announced that Amazon Appstore selection has nearly tripled in the past year and developers continue to report strong monetization from the apps they offer in the store. The Amazon Appstore now has over 240,000 apps and games, is available in nearly 200 countries and on a multitude of devices. Additionally, Amazon Coins have become widely popular - customers have spent hundreds of millions of Amazon Coins on apps, games and in-app items. The broad growth in the Amazon Appstore is enticing developers - the number of new developers joining the Amazon Appstore per month close to doubled in the last year", says Amazon.

The online-retailer further explains, "according to an IDC survey commissioned by Amazon, developers building apps and games for Kindle Fire are making at least as much money (often more) on the Kindle Fire platform as on any other mobile platform. IDC conducted a survey of 360 smartphone and tablet application developers. The survey examined developers' experiences selling apps on the Kindle Fire platform".

Here are some of the analysis I referenced earlier:

  • 65 per cent of developers said that Total Revenue on Kindle Fire is the same or better than developers’ experience with other platforms.
  • 74 per cent of the same developers said that Average Revenue per App/User is the same or better on Kindle Fire than other platforms.
  • 76 per cent of developers indicated that the Kindle Fire platform helps them connect with new market segments—an important indicator that the Kindle Fire platform can be a significant source of net-new business and "reach" for developers at a time when new market segments may be difficult to find on competing platforms, the study noted.

Happy developers are key to improving app availability, so it is good news to see that developers are satisfied with Amazon's Appstore. However, there are still some issues. For one, no matter how large the store gets, it is doubtful that Google will ever host its own apps there, such as Chrome, Maps or Hangouts. This will be a major negative for consumers entrenched in the Google ecosystem.

Also, even if many popular paid apps show up on Amazon, it is questionable whether consumers will be willing to re-purchase them for an Amazon device. This could make a switch to a Kindle Fire tablet or rumoured Amazon smartphone a costly upgrade. It is (relatively) understandable to have to buy apps again when moving to an entirely different platform such as iOS or Windows Phone.

However, spending that money on the same exact Android apps just because it is a different app store is a hard pill to swallow.

Would you swallow that pill? Tell me in the comments.