Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), often seen as the most progressive tech company in America, will expand its Appstore so “that developers can now submit their apps for distribution in nearly 200 countries.” Amazon may not have a ready customer base in most of those countries, but the announcement makes its reach seem impressive, even if it is ineffective.
In Amazon’s race to dominate, or at least have a prime position, in the mobile app development business, it finds itself behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG). Apple’s massive distribution channel through its iPad and iPhone products, and the many years it has had its own store, give it a built-in advantage. Google has leverage of its own because of the nearly universal adoption of it Android mobile operating system. Its large share of the mobile OS industry cannot be underestimated as an app distribution network, via Google’s own store. Developers with direct relationship with Google can create products for both Amazon’s Kindle and all other Android products
Amazon Appstore for Android was created to help Amazon steal some of Google’s native app developer network. Why developers would not favor Google’s own developer system and store is a mystery. That means most of Amazon’s success with app distribution will be based on its own Kindle Fire tablet, to a substantial extent:
Developers throughout the world are experiencing strong monetization and user engagement through Kindle Fire and the Amazon Appstore.
As far as anyone can tell, the Amazon Appstore is the e-commerce company’s attempt to help sales of its Kindle products, and nothing more. The risk in that is that the Kindle may be overwhelmed by all the other Android-based tablets that have flooded the market. But in the hope of bolstering its position, the company said:
Amazon.com, Inc. continued the global expansion of its Appstore today by announcing that developers can now submit their apps for distribution in nearly 200 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, and even Papua New Guinea and Vatican City.
Vatican City may not be a big enough market to help Amazon reach its Appstore goals.