Amazon Appstore catching up to Android Market in more ways than one

For the majority of users, the Android Market is the place to go for apps, games, and books. The Amazon Appstore is one third-party app market that is actually holding its own against Google’s app market. According to a downloadable report by Distimo, the numbers indicate that the Amazon Appstore is rapidly growing, and it may be only a matter of time before it’s on a level playing field with the Market. Here are some of the notable observations:

  • In terms of growth, the Amazon Appstore’s download numbers increased fourteen-fold between October and December of 2011. This is probably due to the Kindle Fire, which exclusively uses the Appstore.
  • In the last week of January 2012, 110 applications in both the Android Market and Amazon Appstore earned at least $200 per app, per day. 28% of the total income generated by these apps came from the Amazon Appstore. 42 of these apps generated more income in the Appstore than in the Market.
  • While the Market has about fourteen times as many apps as the Appstore, new apps in December and January prove that Amazon is catching up, as there were only five times as many new apps in the Market.
  • Paid applications in the Market make up about 32-38% of the total number of apps, while paid apps in the Appstore hold a strong 65% majority. Furthermore, the average price of paid applications in the Appstore is 40% less than the price in the Market. This is linked to Amazon setting their own prices in the Appstore, and giving discounts on some apps.

So, thanks to some help by the Kindle Fire, Amazon is looking at a solid increase in size and user count. If things continue at this rate, the Appstore could be fairly close to the Market by this time next year. It’s interesting that based on the study, developers are beginning to lean more towards the Appstore, perhaps because there aren’t as many restrictions as the Market. One can only imagine what kind of impact the Kindle Fire successor we’ve been hearing about will have on the Amazon Appstore. More on this as it develops.

So now that we have an idea of where Amazon and Google stand in the app world, we want to know: which do you prefer, the Appstore or the Market? Sound off in the comments below!

  • I really love the Amazon Appstore, and not just for the Free App of the Day (although that’s a big factor). Since I can just install the Appstore on a new device, and all of the apps that I’ve ever gotten in there are automatically listed, it makes installing all of my stuff on a new device really easy. It’s fantastic. That’s the one feature that makes the Appstore much more useful to me than the Market.

    Now, if installation of those apps were as seamless on non-Kindle devices as it is on the Kindle, that would be the clincher. Since app installations on the Appstore are required to bring up the installation dialog (unlike Market apps), it slows things down quite a bit. Especially when I have a lot of new updates at one time. If the Appstore would work as smoothly as the Market, I would just about always use the Appstore first.

    The other issue that makes the Market better is how slow updates appear on the Appstore versus the Market. Amazon’s very slow approval process can be frustrating when there’s a new version available.

    • Richard Bown

      You can do that with the android market, fine only paid apps show up on the device, but loggin into android marketplace on a PC will show you everything. That’s what I do when I upgrade, just push it out from chrome, and leave the device to install on its own.

      Amazon is only available in the US as well – unless you [AHEM] tweak an amazon account to be able to use it – didn’t say that 😉 which renders it a major pi$$ off to the rest of the world who see the free app of the day and have to pay for it!

      • Yeah, you can install apps from the Market website, and it’s supposed to have a list of all the apps you’ve every installed there, but for me, not everything shows up. Plus, if I just got a new device, I’m probably not at a computer, but I’ve got the phone/tablet there in my hands, and I’d like to get it set up from the phone/tablet right away.

        I suppose I could use the market website from the device, but unless the device is a tablet, that’s not very usable.

        • Richard Bown

          If i get a new device chances are I’m setting it up over wifi, and giving the battery a good initial charge which means I am near a computer so just leave the device alone and push everything out using the PC, really easy. Then configure home screens etc once it’s all done.

    • Anonymous

      The market works the same way in listing apps.  In fact when you buy a new phone it goes so far as to auto-download all apps which are supported by the new device across whatever GMail accounts you have set up.

      The Amazon market is gaining market share on price.  They are giving away free apps, and specifically pricing their apps lower than the equivalent on the Android market.  Its certainly a viable strategy, and its good that it is paying off for them.  The idea of Amazon’s app store being the dominant market may be a little scary for Google, but it should be great for the customer and the Android ecosystem.

      The free app a day was an interesting idea, but after a while I stopped checking it. I got the Galaxy Nexus on release and still haven’t re-installed Amazon’s appstore.

      • “when you buy a new phone it goes so far as to auto-download all apps which are supported by the new device”

        Seriously? I never noticed that before.

  • Free App of the Day is not the main reason I use Amazon App Store when I can. It’s because you can use your Amazon Gift Cards to purchase apps. With Android Market, there is no such thing. At least, not yet, but it would be nice. What would be really nice is to get rid of the requirement of having to have a credit card on file. With iTunes store, you don’t have to have a CC on file to even create an account. You can enter an iTunes gift card and you’re good as gold. I hope eventually both Amazon (which still requires a CC on file even with a gift card balance) and Android Market allow this.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to try out the Amazon Appstore, but stupid Amazon doesn’t let us use it outside of the US!

    • TechGuy-Tech

      Unless the Amazon appstore becomes available outside the US, the growth seen last fall due to the Kindle will just be a spurious blip.

  • Free App of the day is a killa feature.

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  • Anonymous

    The only reason I use the Amazon Appstore is for the Free App of the Day. Otherwise, it’s all Market for me, mostly because Appstore apps require the Appstore app to be installed or they won’t work, which is a form of 3rd party user lock-in IMO.