After announcing earlier in this week that it had sold out of its 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon appears to be making a concerted effort to lay the groundwork for a rumored successor to that device, which could be announced at a planned press conference next Thursday.
Today the company published a press release that touts its Amazon Appstore for Android. According to Amazon, consumers have downloaded "hundreds of millions of apps and games from the Amazon Appstore, and the number of developers building apps for Amazon Appstore continues to grow quickly."
Amazon attributes that growth to monetization from its considerable customer base and e-commerce features like 1-Click purchasing and in-app purchasing.
Paul Ryder, vice president of apps and games at Amazon’s platform division made a pitch to developers, noting Amazon's infrastructure platform, which includes engagment features like leaderboards, achievements, and syncing game state between devices, as well as the company's GameCircle services.
"To gain exposure to tens of millions of customers, developers can list their apps in the Amazon Appstore and take advantage of awareness-building programs like Free App of the Day. And, to monetize their apps and games, customers can use Amazon’s industry-leading e-commerce and payment capabilities like In-App Purchasing and Subscriptions,” Ryan wrote.
The recent PR blitz from Amazon around their device ecosystem and Kindle Fire products could be the buildup to the launch next month of what many are saying will be a larger 10-inch tablet that would compete with Apple's iPad. Meanwhile, multiple reports have stated that Apple is preparing to enter Amazon's court with a 7-inch iPad Mini.
The two company's business models are entirely different. While Apple devices carry high margins, with the sale of digital content as an afterthought, Amazon barely breaks even on the $199 Kindle Fire, using the device as a channel to facilitate the sale of digital and physical goods.
According to research firm IHS iSuppli, Amazon was took the number 3 spot in market share in 2012 so far, falling in behind the likes of Apple in first place and Samsung in second. Amazon sold 2.2 million Amazon Kindle's in 2012 and controlled 4.9 percent of the market.
It will be an uphill battle for Amazon to catch Apple. Apple's global market share returned to nearly 70 percent in 2012, according to a Q2 report from research firm IHS iSuppli. Apple during the second quarter shipped 17 million iPad 2 and new iPad media tablets, up 44.1 percent from 11.8 million the first quarter. That marks a five-quarter high for Apple’s media tablet market share. The last time Apple accounted for such a large portion of the media tablet was the first quarter of 2011, when it had a 70.0 percent share.