Tiny Flashlight Illuminates The Kindle Fire’s Appstore Impact

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Early this year, Amazon made a bold move: it took advantage of the open nature of Android to launch an Android Appstore — one that serves as a direct rival to Google’s official Android Market, which comes installed on many Android devices.

Thus far, Amazon’s early traction hasn’t been particularly strong, primarily because the Appstore is such a pain to install: you need to dive into your phone’s Settings menu, enable a scary-sounding option allowing the installation of ‘non-Market’ applications, and then manually download Amazon’s store yourself. Most Android users aren’t going to take the time to do this, even though Amazon is doing its best to offer plenty of incentives like free and discounted top-tier applications.

But things are starting to change, thanks to the Kindle Fire.

The Fire, which is Amazon’s $200 challenger to the iPad (and the entire tablet market), unsurprisingly comes with Amazon’s Appstore pre-installed, so users don’t have to jump through any hoops to use it (in fact, they don’t really have any choice but to use it). And, as Amazon reported this morning, there were a lot of Kindle Fires sold over the holidays. But just how much growth did the Appstore see as a result?

Nikolay Ananiev, the developer behind the popular application Tiny Flashlight, has shared some stats that give quite a bit of insight into how the Appstore is faring.

He says that prior to the holidays, Tiny Flashlight was doing around 800-1000 downloads per day — a far cry from the roughly 200,000 downloads he gets each day on Google’s Android Market. But last week, Amazon’s store started picking up steam: Tiny Flashlight was downloaded over 3000 times on December 23rd, and skyrocketed to 33,000 downloads on Christmas day (see graph below).

To put that in context, Ananiev says that the application was downloaded at least 310,000 times on Christmas (he can’t give an exact number, as Google doesn’t break it out by day). Put another way, Google’s store drove nearly ten times as many downloads on Christmas day — but given that the Kindle Fire has only been out for a month and a half, Amazon should be encouraged by these results (though we’ll have to wait and see if the growth is sustained).

Note that Ananiev says that the application hasn’t been placed on any featured area on Amazon’s Appstore, though it is highlighted in organic lists on both stores as one of the top Utility/Tool apps.

Ananiev also says that Tiny Flashlight now ranks among the top 30 applications overall on Amazon’s Appstore, and based on his observations, he guesses that the top three applications average more than 70,000 downloads a day.

Oh, and if you’re interested, you can find Tiny Flashlight on Android Market right here, and Amazon’s Appstore here.