June 17, 2014
Following several hardware launches over the past year, including new Kindle Fire tablets and its Fire TV streaming box, Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone during a launch event in Seattle on Wednesday. To generate buzz, the company posted a YouTube video about a mysterious new product and announced that the number of apps in its Appstore nearly tripled over the past year. More than 240,000 apps are now available, and Amazon claims developers can make more money with its apps.
“While these numbers may seem like small potatoes to Apple and Google, whose app stores contain more than a million apps each, Amazon points out that its Appstore is growing rapidly and doing quite well considering the competition it is up against,” reports Digital Trends. “All of Amazon’s devices run a forked version of Android called Fire OS, so it doesn’t have access to Google’s app suite and developers have to create special versions of apps for Amazon’s OS.”
However, developers may be encouraged by independent reports that indicate Amazon’s Appstore offers greater money-making opportunities than iOS and Android.
“Amazon commissioned a similar study from the International Data Corporation to prove that its app store is the most profitable for app creators,” explains DT. “Amazon said that 65 percent of the developers surveyed said total revenue for apps on Fire OS is better or equal to what they get on other platforms.”
“Developers tell us that they experience improved reach, greater monetization, and, oftentimes, higher revenue when they have their apps and games in the Amazon Appstore,” said Mike George, VP of Amazon Appstore and Games.
Amazon claims the number of developers working on Fire OS apps has doubled during the past year. Meanwhile, some reports suggest Wednesday’s event hosted by Jeff Bezos will feature a smartphone with a 3D interface, which could intimidate some developers.
The company has reportedly been working on a smartphone for some time, but it is not clear what might make it unique. In the event invitation, developers were asked to describe an “innovative way in which you have used gyroscopes, accelerometers, compass, or other sensors in your app development.”
“The 50-second video posted by Amazon featured people staring downward at something just off-camera, moving their heads from side-to-side to try different vantage points and making comments like ‘It’s very real-life,’ and ‘I don’t know how you guys do it,’” adds Reuters.