Amazon launched their app store back in March 2011 with 3,800 apps, and in over 200 countries. It was positioned as the new, alternative option to compete against the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Since then, the Amazon Appstore has grown considerably, not to an extent that would rival the ‘big two’ app stores in terms of sheer numbers (both stores reached a million apps last year), but significant enough for it to have proven that there is room for alternative app stores out there. In fact, a large part of Amazon’s success with their app store can be attributed to the fact there is less competition on the platform in the first place – less apps compete for the same space.
In China particularly, alternative app stores have become something that developers can no longer ignore. In Western markets, developers are increasingly publishing their apps on the Amazon App Store as another route to market. Now the recent announcement of the Amazon Appstore reaching 200,000 apps has further bolstered their mobile position and has demonstrated the continued growth of this leading alternative distribution platform.
To assess how fast the Amazon store is growing and plot it’s trajectory over time, we’ve gathered together some of the key data points charting the rise of the Amazon Appstore since it launched in 2011.
Number of Apps on the Amazon Store 2011-2014
Sources: Business Insider, Android Authority, CNET, App Annie, Mashable
Conclusions from the data
It took over a year for the Amazon Appstore to reach 50,000 apps from the period of March 2011 to September 2012. Since then, the data points indicate that the number of apps has been increasing at a faster rate, which suggests a growing interest in the store from app developers. Between September 2012 and August 2013 the number of apps doubled from 50,000 to 100,000 and in the following 6 months growth slowed to 20% in 6 months as the number of apps hit 120,000 in February 2014. However, from February to April 2014 we saw an increase of 80,000 apps (67%) over this single quarter to hit the 200,000 point. If the Amazon Appstore can maintain this level of growth (67% per quarter) then by the end of the year it would be approaching the volumes of the big two app stores with over 900k apps. If it continued to grow at this rate in absolute terms (80k per quarter) then it would hit over 500k apps by early 2015.
However, if Amazon’s app store did start to reach the heights of the ‘big two’, effectively making it the ‘big three’, would it start to lose its most attractive characteristic, namely that it is small and focused rather than large and congested? It will be interesting to see where things are by year’s end in the ever-changing mobile landscape.