Ahead of a press conference this week where Amazon is expected to introduce its first-ever Amazon smartphone, the company is making a point to call out how much its mobile app ecosystem has grown in recent months. According to news released by the company this morning, the Amazon Appstore now has over 240,000 applications – a number which has nearly tripled year-over-year. In addition, those apps are available in nearly 200 countries.
While those numbers are good for Amazon, in relation to its top two competitors in the mobile industry – Apple and Google – the company still has far to go. For comparison’s sake, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month, the company announced it had roughly 1.2 million applications. Meanwhile, Google is estimated to have around the same, leaving the top two stores neck and neck.
But raw numbers alone aren’t everything, as Amazon is also right to point out.
Its store, for background, sells a curated selection of Android applications that run on Android, as well as on its own fork of the Android operating system called Fire OS, which powers Kindle devices and, most likely, the forthcoming Amazon smartphone.
Because of its curation, Amazon’s access to consumer credit card info, and its understanding of pricing, Amazon’s store has done fairly well, despite being newer. A number of independent reports in the past have shown that Amazon’s Appstore offers developers a better shot at generating revenue for their apps, compared with Google Play. For instance, this report indicates that some developers who publish exclusively on Amazon can even generate more revenue than those who do the same on iOS. (But the sample size on that one was too small to be conclusive.)
Amazon today offers its own spin on these revenue figures, citing an IDC survey the company commissioned. The survey found that Amazon Appstore developers make at least as much money, and sometimes more, on Kindle Fire than on any other mobile platform.
The survey included 360 developer responses, so the sample size is more relevant. Its findings: 65% of developers said their total revenue on Kindle Fire is the same or better than with other platforms; 74% of those said the Average Revenue per App/User is the same or better on Kindle Fire than other platforms; and 76% said the Kindle Fire helped them connect with new market segments.
As a study financed by Amazon, the figures should be taken the proverbial grain of salt, of course, but it’s worth pointing out that studies done by non-affiliated sources, like app analytics firms Flurry and Distimo, have found similar trends over the years.
However, it’s also worth noting that some of the apps on Amazon’s store may be less up to date than their Google Play counterparts. For example, SwiftKey’s keyboard has gone from paid to free on Google Play, but is still a paid app on the Amazon Appstore.
As to why the company is putting this news on the wire this morning, it’s rather obvious: with the smartphone launch only days away, Amazon is hoping to interest developers in building for its platform. And one good way to do that is to remind those developers there’s money to be made there.