Amazon will be opening its Appstore in the UK and four other European countries this summer, making it almost certain that the Kindle Fire or a successor device will be making its way here at the same time.
Amazon's Appstore will be coming to the UK this summer, with the Kindle Fire expected to be close behind. Image credit: Sarah Tew/CNET News
The announcement confirmed recent rumours of the Amazon Appstore's international expansion out of the US. The store mainly provides apps for Amazon's highly successful Kindle Fire tablet — a low-cost, Android-based device — which is also currently US-only.
"We are thrilled at the success our developers have experienced on the Amazon platform in the last year," Amazon Appstore chief Jim Adkins said in a statement. "We're excited to open the door to even more opportunity by expanding app sales outside the US. We see tremendous potential for current developers in our distribution programme to grow with the international expansion. We also encourage new developers to join and participate in the platform's growth."
Where the Fire fits in
It is still not certain that the current model of the Kindle Fire will make its way to European shores. That device was not designed from the ground up by Amazon, being based on almost the same hardware as RIM's much-maligned Playbook tablet. For months, rumours have pointed to the development of a more tailored successor.
The Kindle Fire runs a forked version of Android. When the Amazon Appstore launched, it used the word 'Android' in its name. The body of Wednesday's statement did not mention Android once, although all the apps it refers to will effectively be Android apps.
In the US, the Fire has proved to be more successful than any other Android tablet, although it is still less of a seller than Apple's iPad line.
In Wednesday's announcement, Amazon said developers would be able to localise their apps for different regions, selecting which countries they want to sell to and segmenting list prices accordingly.
The company also revealed tweaks to their developer distribution agreement, most notably the alignment of the in-app purchase revenue split with the 70-30 split for general app sales. Another change allows developers to fine-tune the timing of their app releases.