Apple, Beware: Amazon's Appstore Downloads Increased 500% in 2012

The surge is largely credited to the popularity of the Kindle Fire, as well as the amount of tools and features Amazon has made available to app developers

The Kindle Fire isn't the only hot Amazon property on the market. The Amazon Appstore has seen over a 500 percent increase in downloads this year, the electronic commerce company announced on Thursday.

With no mobile platform of its own, analysts are crediting the massive jump to the popularity of the Kindle Fire tablet, as well as to Amazon's efforts to support programmers developing Android apps.

Also read: Amazon's Kindle Fire Sells Out Days Before Big Press Conference

The statistic came in a press release for the beta launch of a new and free A/B Testing capability for app developers, which is just one of many features making Amazon more developer-friendly.

“Amazon offers the best end-to-end solution for app and game developers,” said Aaron Rubenson, director of Amazon Appstore for Android, in the release. “Developers can use Amazon Web Services’ building blocks as the infrastructure for their games. To enhance customer engagement, they can add features like GameCircle’s Leaderboards, Achievements, Friends, and Whispersync. Amazon’s In-App Purchasing allows developers to generate additional income."

The In-App Purchasing may be spurring the download frenzy, too — "23 of the top 25 grossing apps" took advantage of the technology, the company said.

Also, in terms of user-friendly innovations, Amazon's Test Drive allows customers to sample apps before actually purchasing them. Although in use for over a year, it is now available on the Kindle Fire HD 7”, Kindle Fire HD 8.9” and the second-generation Kindle Fire. With over 20,000 apps available to be tested, it's fair to say the feature might be attracting more consumers.

Perhaps the biggest factor increasing downloads from the Amazon Appstore, though, is the lack of competition for the growing numbers of Fire users. Google Play, which is available on Android devices, isn't an option for owners of the Fire.