Tag: amazon apps

Amazon thinks mobile apps should be sold through a Prime model

The online marketplace’s own Appstore may not yet have the same number of offerings as Google Play, but it is growing.

Amazon may not yet have the same number or quality of mobile apps that are available through the Google Play store, but it hasn’t given up on being able to become an important competitor in the application marketplace.

It could begin offering a service called Amazon Unlocked, which would be built on a Prime-like model.

The idea behind the Amazon Unlocked service would be that consumers would be able to subscribe with a monthly fee and would be able to gain access to a range of different premium paid mobile apps, without any additional cost. Moreover, what may make this offer even more appealing to many consumers is that many in-app purchases would also be included with a monthly subscription to the service. This, according to a report from TechCrunch. This style of service would help users to enjoy the experience they want through their various applications, without racking up a tremendous bill in the process.

The new mobile apps service would also likely be a way for Amazon to push its Fire smartphones.

Mobile Apps - AmazonThe TechCrunch report also pointed out a number of other components of the Amazon Unlocked service, which it claims to have seen in the form of slides. For example, beyond included premium apps and included in-app purchases, there were also some large names that were dropped. Among them were Monument Valley and Sonic Dash, which are clearly major titles in the Amazon mobile application arsenal.

That said, at that time, there was no mention made with regards to when the Amazon Unlocked service might begin to become available, nor was any specific subscription price or even a range of prices offered. Moreover, there has yet to be any official confirmation made to the report that was made on this service. That said, as soon as word does arrive, it is certain that this will send the users of mobile devices in droves over to the Amazon app library.

The focus of this mobile apps service, according to the report, will be on simplicity. The goal will be to eliminate the sensation of being overwhelmed by choices and prices with regards to their application selection and usage.

Mobile app practices under investigation by Italy

The activities of applications from Google, Apple, and even Amazon are being examined.

American technology giants Google, Apple, and Amazon, as well as Gameloft, a game developer from France, are all being investigated by Italy for having allegedly participated in unfair commercial practices with respect to their mobile app marketplaces.

The allegation was made by the Italian antitrust and competition authority.

Now, the investigation into the practices is going to determine whether or not those four companies should be deemed to be misleading to customers when mobile app downloads are labeled as being free. This is specific to the applications that are marked as being free but which then require a player to have to pay a fee in order to be able to continue to use the apps beyond a certain point in the game or to unlock certain additional features.

The Italian authority feels that a free mobile app should never require a consumer to have to pay.

The antitrust watchdog released a statement that said that “Consumers could wrongly believe that the game is entirely free and, in any case, that they would know in advance the full costs of the game.” They added that “insufficient information seems to be provided to consumers about the settings needed to stop or limit the purchases within the app.”Mobile apps - Italy investigation

Apple did not release a comment by the time of the writing of this article, but Gameloft issued a statement that it was conducting its own investigation into this issue, but had no comment beyond that. Neither Amazon nor Google could be immediately reached in order to obtain their response to this accusation.

An authority spokesperson explained that this investigation would likely take between seven and eight months to conduct and that if the companies are found to be guilty of the allegations, then the minimum fee that would be imposed on each would be €8.63 million.

This specific mobile app practice investigation follows closely on the heels of a previous one that was conducted by the European Commission earlier in 2014 which required companies to revise their rules for applications that can be downloaded for free but which then later require customers to pay for use.