Amazon Appstore for Android opens worldwide as Kindle Fire sales go global


Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Appstore for Android is now open for business in close to 200 additional nations across the globe, an expansion timed to coincide with the worldwide rollout of the digital commerce giant's Android-powered Kindle Fire HD tablet.

Last month, Amazon said it would expand Appstore for Android to new markets including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa and South Korea, at that time encouraging Android developers to begin submitting their applications to guarantee availability once the stores went live. To celebrate the international rollout, Amazon is offering the popular games Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope: Experiments in conjunction with its popular Free App of the Day program, also promising free and discounted apps from brands including Ubisoft, Sega and Rovio Entertainment.

Amazon Appstore for Android opened to U.S. consumers in March 2011 and has since rolled out to the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and China. The storefront promises a user experience rooted in the company's e-commerce and marketing expertise, highlighted by a series of automated marketing features extending Amazon's signature product recommendation engine to mobile software merchandising and a Bestsellers section to further improve consumer discovery. Amazon has also introduced features like GameCircle, which supports Android multiplayer experiences like Achievements and Leaderboards.

Amazon also announced it will offer its seven-inch Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablets for sale in more than 170 new international markets: The devices were previously available in just a handful of regions including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. Both Kindle Fire tablets are now available for pre-order: The Kindle Fire HD is priced at $214 and the HD 8.9" is $284. Both will begin shipping June 13.

Kindle Fire devices offer access to more than 22 million Android apps, games, e-books, movies, TV shows, songs, audiobooks and magazines, as well as content synchronization tools based on Amazon's Whispersync technology. Unlike Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which relies on content from its iTunes digital media storefront and App Store to boost sales of hardware like the iPhone and iPad--and unlike Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which looks to Android to fuel revenues derived from its core advertising and search services--Amazon depends on affordable hardware to drive digital content revenues.

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