Amazon Appstore for Android, which helped lay the foundation for a big Kindle Fire launch, is celebrating its one-year anniversary and has now eclipsed 31,000 apps, up from 4,000 at launch. That’s a strong first year for an app store that began as an alternative to the Android Market and then became the primary channel for Kindle Fire users to get their apps.
The store and the Kindle Fire have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, which has been a boon for developers who have built Kindle Fire apps. As we’ve reported before, a number of developers have seen a big boost in downloads, particularly for paid apps; something that is still harder to achieve in Android Market. Game maker Glu Mobile said its revenues from Amazon grew by more than 1,000 percent after the Kindle Fire launched in November. Other developers like Pandora also touted the better engagement they’re seeing in their apps on the Kindle Fire.
Amazon is not releasing download figures for Amazon Appstore, saying only that users have downloaded and tested “millions” of apps. That’s in keeping with the company’s habit of keeping certain numbers close to the vest. It’s still not saying how many Kindle Fires it has sold and download numbers would help draw other comparisons to iOS and Android.
But the fact that it’s gotten 31,000 apps is still pretty impressive. These are basically Android apps but they have to pass review by Amazon and they’re subject to specific rules including the fact that Amazon can set the pricing on apps. That caused the International Game Developers Association to warn its game developers not to go with Amazon Appstore. Some developers have also called out Amazon for the way it runs its store, including one who called it a “disaster.” Amazon is also still facing a lawsuit from Apple over the use of the term “appstore.”
Still, Amazon has soldiered on and continues to push its store, using its free app of the day and test drive features to lure users in. And with the early results of developers on the Kindle Fire, it’s likely Amazon will continue to see more momentum for its Appstore. Good Technology, for example, said earlier this week that it is making its Good for Enterprise suite available on the Kindle Fire.
To continue the momentum, Amazon is offering discounts for a week on some of its top games starting today with Plants v. Zombies. It’s also starting a sweepstakes to give away eight Amazon Kindles. You can check out the deals and offers here.
Here’s a few more tidbits about the store and a list of the top downloaded apps in the past year:
The most popular app category for Amazon Appstore was games followed by entertainment and productivity. Amazon has offered nearly $1,000 in discounts through its free app of the day feature. Users have spent more than 7.7 million minutes test driving apps.