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Amazon's Android Appstore to become available in 200 more countries

Australia, Brazil and Canada are among the new markets

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Amazon.com is continuing the global expansion of its Appstore by announcing that developers can submit their apps for sale in another 200 countries around the world.

The latest batch of countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, the company said on Wednesday. The apps that developers submit and the Appstore for Android itself will become available to consumers in those countries in the "coming months", according to Amazon.

Some of the strongest growth in app downloads in the first quarter was seen in emerging markets such as South Africa and Brazil, helped not least by the growing base of users in those countries, according to market research company Canalys.

"If Amazon wants to be seen as a serious alternative in the marketplace, it needs to offer the store on a worldwide basis. That's fundamentally important," said Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS Insight.

The Appstore can be downloaded and installed on any Android-based smartphone, but the store is also a central part of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets, which ship with it installed. The store's international expansion could also be seen as a precursor to Amazon's tablets becoming available in more parts of the world.

Pescatore said the low cost of Amazon's tablets make them a good fit for emerging markets, which he expects Amazon to pursue more.

The challenge for Amazon is not only to get its devices out there, but also to attract local developers. In some markets there is a high proportion of downloads attributed to locally relevant apps, according to Pescatore.

"Even though the announcement is significant, it can't just rely on global well-renowned brands. It needs to work with local social networks and work with media owners in countries like Brazil," Pescatore said.

Since the original launch in the US, Amazon has also opened Appstores in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and the UK.



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