Amazon begins selling apps for smartphones
Amazon.com is adding another category to a wide-ranging digital strategy that already includes e-books, music downloads and video streamed over the Internet.
Tuesday, the Seattle-based company began selling applications on its website for smartphones and tablet computers that run on Google’s Android operating system.
Amazon calls its latest offering the Amazon Appstore — a sore spot with rival Apple, which claims ownership of the App Store name and filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit Friday, saying Amazon’s choice of words will confuse and mislead customers. Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said the company has a long-standing policy of not publicly discussing pending litigation.
The new store, which Amazon originally outlined in January, launches with only about 4,000 apps, including restaurant-reviews program Zagat to Go for $9.99 and the games Pac-Man for $4.99 and Doodle Jump for 99 cents.
That’s well below the 350,000 applications that Apple makes available for its iPhones, iPods and iPads, and it’s less than the 150,000 apps offered by Google’s own Android Market store.
Aaron Rubenson, who oversees business operations for the Amazon Appstore, emphasized that the Internet retailer is only getting started. “It’s day one for us, and we’re adding new apps every day,” he said.
Unlike Google, Amazon tests apps before adding them to its Appstore to ensure they work as promised, don’t carry computer viruses and conform to the company’s basic content rules, such as no pornography.
App developers are paid either 70 percent of the sale price set by Amazon or 20 percent of the developer’s list price, whichever is greater.
Amazon believes its ability to make personalized recommendations based on people’s shopping habits will translate well to the app-selling space. It could, for example, suggest basketball-related apps to shoppers browsing its website for NCAA tournament apparel, Rubenson said.
“There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps available, with new ones coming every day,” he said. “While that breadth of selection is interesting, it can make it difficult for customers to select products that are relevant to them.
“We focus on having great selection and helping customers find products that are right for them,” he added.
Another advantage for Amazon is that millions of people already have arrangements to pay on its websites, said Sarah Rotman Epps, a technology analyst at Forrester Research.
For now, she said, Apple fans are more likely than Android to download paid apps to their mobile devices, a disparity she attributes to the fact that many consumers already have their credit-card information on file with Apple. She said Amazon could “change the economics of apps” for the Android ecosystem.
“Consumers interact with Google all the time, but not with their credit cards,” she said.
The stakes are huge: Forrester estimates that consumers globally will spend $4.5 billion on apps for smartphones and an additional $1.1 billion on apps for tablet computers in 2011. By 2015, it predicts those numbers will jump to $29.4 billion and $8.1 billion, respectively.
Available in Hong Kong, Korea &
Singapore in April
WIRE)–Apple® today announced that iPad® 2, the second-generation of its third
post-PC device, will go on sale in 25 additional countries this Friday, March
25. iPad 2 will be available at Apple retail stores and select Apple Authorized
Resellers at 5 p.m. local time, and online through the Apple Store®
(www.apple.com) beginning at 1 a.m. Apple today also announced that all models
of iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional
countries in April.
“While competitors are still
struggling to catch up with our first iPad, we’ve changed the game again with
“While competitors are still struggling to catch up with our first iPad, we’ve
changed the game again with iPad 2,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re
experiencing amazing demand for iPad 2 in the US, and customers around the
world have told us they can’t wait to get their hands on it. We appreciate
everyone’s patience and we are working hard to build enough iPads for
iPad 2 features an entirely new
design that is 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the
original iPad, while maintaining the same stunning 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD
screen. iPad 2 features Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor for blazing fast
performance and stunning graphics and now includes two cameras, a front-facing
VGA camera for FaceTime® and Photo Booth®, and a rear-facing camera that
captures 720p HD video, bringing the innovative FaceTime feature to iPad users
for the first time. Though it is thinner, lighter, faster and packed with new
features, iPad 2 still delivers up to 10 hours of battery life* that users have
come to expect.
Pricing & Availability
iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available
in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
and the UK on March 25 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB
model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
+ 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB
model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad 2
will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in
April, and in many more countries around the world in the coming months.
Further international availability and pricing will be announced at a later
iMovie® and GarageBand® for iPad
apps are available for $4.99 (US) each from the App Store℠ on iPad or http://www.itunes.com/appstore. The Smart Cover is
available in a range of colors in vibrant polyurethane for $39 (US) or rich
leather for $69 (US).