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Amazon: We're expanding into TWO HUNDRED countries

Merrily piggybacking off Android

Amazon's Android software store will soon be available across 200 countries - many of which don't have official access to Amazon's Android hardware - as the bookstore continues its quest for world domination.

While Google limits itself to selling apps across 134 countries (and even the UN only boasts 193 members) Amazon will be hawking its Android catalogue across 200 countries - despite selling its Kindle Fire (Android) hardware in only a fraction of them. So residents of Australia, Canada, India and Brazil will be able to download the bookseller's wares, along with those based in the Vatican City, and in fact just about everywhere else, assuming they've a credit card with which to pay.

Amazon's store was launched in May 2011, but only for Americans. Europeans have only been able to enjoy the Free App of the Day and flexible pricing since August last year, and now the rest of the world has been invited to the party, with developers automatically opted into international distribution.

The flexible pricing permits Amazon to vary the price of an app, in order to create bundle offers and discounts. That lowers the cut for developers, who get 70 per cent of the paid price but are only guaranteed 20 per cent of their requested pricing.

It can, however, give Amazon an edge on the fixed-price Google Play. Free App of the Day is also very popular with users. Developers selected to appear in it, and who agree, get nothing - but it can be useful publicity for both sides.

The Amazon store is necessary for its own devices which come without access to Google's alternative. It's also proved a reliable option for bargain-basement tablets which cohose not to pay Google for access to its services. Such devices can happily download the Amazon store, while adding Google Play isn't so easy.

Announcing their plan for global domination, Amazon rolled out a few tame developers to sing its praises; including UK-based P2 Games who couldn't be happier with the additional option.

The Brit biz said: "We launched our Kindle Fire version of Peppa Pig in January 2013 and within a couple of weeks we saw the sales on Kindle Fire overtake Google Play to a factor of four or five times."

We'd argue this says more about the Kindle Fire demographic than the overall success of the Amazon store, but it's still a quote which should be worrying Google. They're the company still sinking millions into the Android platform which is serving Amazon so well. ®

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