Posted in: Android, Mobile software, Rumors

Amazon to offer “unlocked” Android apps through its store

Amazon is one of those instantly recognizable online vendors that are constantly trying its hand at new services and consumer markets. Besides goods and books, both digital ant traditional, for which the store is best known, Amazon probably has the most diverse catalog from all the major online stores, including movies, music and also Android apps.

It is undoubtedly hard to achieve popularity as an app store under Google’s own mobile OS, which, has its own proprietary shop and is not too keen on sharing sales profits. Still, Amazon has managed to stick with the niche and in order to do so, often resorts to quite impressive app promotions, like the regular “free daily apps”, which is even currently available with 43 titles, to celebrate the store’s forth birthday.

A rather interesting, leaked presentation has emerged today, which might reveal Amazon’s latest effort to snatch away Android app sales from Google. It is called Amazon “Unlocked” and can be best described as a prime account for apps. The idea is quite radical – have a dedicated section of paid apps within the Amazon store, which can be downloaded and used for free as part of the promotion. The deal gets even sweeter, because Amazon intends to throw in-app purchases in the mix. Meaning that if an app is part of the Unlocked promotion, even its micro-transactions will be totally free.

Now, this all sounds too good to be true and naturally it must come with a catch, as both developers and the store itself can’t really go away empty-handed. We are not exactly sure how the final system will work, but the idea seems to be to reel in new users for both the store and the app, give them everything they are used to paying for, absolutely free, but for a time. After the app essentially gets delisted from the Unlocked section, developers will be free to charge in-app purchases once again and the hope is that by this time a lot of new users will be hooked.

So, in essence, Amazon has devised a way to skip all the traditional revenue techniques that users have already grown painfully accustomed to and seek profits in a different way. The only problem is that the Unlocked program sounds like a really long-term investment. And while Amazon will probably not have any problem delaying its profits, getting app developers to agree to the same, could prove very tricky.

Now, Amazon Unlocked is pretty much in rumor state and, naturally neither Amazon, nor NDA-bound developers wish to disclose anything about the project, so the above problems could be addressed in a number of ways. Perhaps Amazon will subsidize the free app downloads, until the app regains profitability, but this is pure speculation and nothing is official yet.

The Unlocked platform, should appear as a separate section within the Amazon Android app, once it becomes available. Bear in mind, that after Google banned the Amazon app from the Play store and changed its policy on alternate app stores, the Amazon app essentially comes in two flavors. If you want to access the app section, you have to get the apk from the Amazon website, instead of Google’s store.

Source | Via


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