Amazon on Thursday announced that its mobile marketplace, the Amazon Appstore, is celebrating its first birthday. The company is kicking of its celebration with a week of deals on some of its most popular apps. “Customers have used the Amazon Appstore to test drive and buy millions of apps and games for their Kindle Fire and other Android devices in the first year alone,” said Aaron Rubenson, director of Amazon Appstore for Android. “To thank customers for shopping with us, we worked closely with our developers to offer special discounts on some of the most popular apps all week long.” Amazon’s selection of Android apps has grown nearly eight-fold since it launched last year, from 4,000 apps to over 31,000. In its first year, the most downloaded paid app was Cut the Rope, followed by Angry Birds and Where’s My Water. The most downloaded free app was Angry Birds Free Edition, followed by Netflix and Solitaire by MobilityWare. Read on for Amazon’s press release. More →
Apple is taking its fight to own the “App Store” moniker to a new opponent, and this time it’s GetJar. The Cupertino-based firm, which has filed similar lawsuits against both Amazon and Microsoft, sent the company a cease-and-desist letter asking it to stop using the name “App Store,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Apple believes that it owns the “App Store” trademark. Amazon responded and called the lawsuit “baseless.” Last week, a U.S. judge agreed and said that many other firms use the moniker as a descriptive term and that Apple’s use is “more descriptive than distinctive.” “GetJar has been in the business of offering apps to consumers since 2005, well before Apple, and helped to pioneer the model that the general public understands as an app store today,” GetJar CEO, Ilja Laurs, said. “We have built a strong, global and growing business around this model, and plan to continue to use the phrase ‘app store’ to describe what we do. This move by Apple is yet more proof that the company tends to act as if it is above the law, and even as one of the smaller players in the space, we won’t be bullied by Apple.” In a blog post on the company’s website, GetJar CMO Patrick Mork explained that GetJar simply redirects users to Apple’s own store and that GetJar won’t stop using the term anytime soon. “GetJar won’t be subject to this kind of bullying,” Mork said. “We’re not going to ‘Cease & Desist.’ We were here long before Steve & Co. We were built by developers, to help developers. Not to help sell handsets or search results. In the words of Twisted Sister: We’re not going to take it! Steve Jobs isn’t our Dad.” More →
A U.S. judge has shot down Apple’s request that Amazon stop using the word “Appstore” to describe its mobile application marketplace. Apple originally filed a lawsuit against Amazon in March of this year arguing that Amazon’s “Appstore” infringed on Apple’s “App Store” trademark. Amazon immediately responded calling the claims “baseless,” and now the court has taken its side. “The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity, and has sold/provided/furnished a large number of apps from its App Store,” Judge Phyllis Hamilton, said. “However, there is also evidence that the term ‘app store’ is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices.” Hamilton argued that Apple’s use of the phrase “App Store” was “more descriptive than distinctive.” Microsoft and Apple are also fighting over the term — and Microsoft has said that the term “App Store” is “generic for retail store services featuring apps.” Apple’s case against Amazon is currently being heard by an appeals board. More →
PopCap Games announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement with Amazon to offer Android games through Amazon’s Appstore. The first title, Chuzzle, will launch tomorrow and will be followed by the hit game Plants vs. Zombies later this month. Both titles will be free on the day of their debut, and will be available for $2.99 each thereafter. Each game will be exclusively available through Amazon’s Appstore for a two week period, after which they should also be available from the Android Market. We’ve played Plants vs Zombies on iOS a few times, and it’s definitely a game you’ll want to keep your eye out for. Plus, it’s free and there are zombies. It doesn’t get any better than that. Hit the jump for the full release from PopCap Games. More →
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview earlier this week to “stay tuned” for news on the company’s plans to release its own tablet. Bezos wouldn’t come out and confirm the tablet, but he took particular care in clarifying that such a device would not replace its popular line of dedicated Kindle eBook readers. “We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” Bezos continued. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.” It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see where Amazon is headed with all of its recent product and service launches, of course. An Amazon-controlled Android app store, a new streaming movie and TV show service, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, the Amazon music store, Kindle… it all adds up to a self-contained ecosystem that will allow Amazon to issue a complete package when it finally does release its first tablet. More →
Amazon on Monday issued its response in court to a lawsuit filed last month by Apple alleging that Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore” infringes on Apple’s “App Store” trademark. Apple’s suit looks to bar Amazon from using the term alongside its new Amazon Appstore for Android. In its response, Amazon called Apple’s claims baseless and insisted that “app store” is a generic term. Amazon even cited Apple’s recent quarterly earnings call, where Steve Jobs himself uses the term to describe Google’s Android Marketplace. “So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid,” Jobs said while criticizing Android on the call. “This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.” Amazon has also filed a countersuit in which it has asked the court to dismiss Apple’s claim, order Apple to reimburse Amazon for attorney’s fees, and decree that Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore” does not infringe on Apple’s trademarks. More →
If you’re looking to get a new Android device on the nation’s largest wireless carrier — and don’t mind buying online — listen up. Amazon Wireless and the Amazon Appstore are teaming up to offer Android handset purchasers a little added incentive. Now through Sunday, May 1st, customers that purchase any Verizon Wireless Android device will receive a $25 credit to the Amazon Appstore. You heard that right. Buy yourself a ThunderBolt, DROID 2, DROID X, DROID Pro, Fascinate, or any other Android set to cash in on this promotion. “The combination of Amazon Wireless and Amazon Appstore is unique in the industry because it provides customers with a one-stop Android shopping experience,” writes the company. “Amazon is excited to start offering customers promotions that give them a bonus once they get their phone.” No word on if the DROID Charge, which will be available on April 28th, will be eligible for this promotion. More →
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has taken exception with Amazon’s Android application store pricing practices. In a letter to its members, the group voiced concerns of stringent rules that revolve around the temporary discounting of games. “Amazon has little incentive not to use a developer’s content as a weapon with which to capture marketshare [sic] from competing app stores,” reads the correspondence. The IGDA specifically called out Amazon for requiring developers to permanently lower the price of an application on its store should the price of that same app be cut on a different distribution outlet — even if the pricing change is meant to be temporary. The group is concerned that Amazon’s Android Appstore will become too popular – forcing developers to accept the company’s lower price-ultimatum as the norm and further cutting into app profitability. Amazon has yet to publicly respond to the IGDA’s comments. More →
Amazon on Tuesday announced the launch of its new on-device and Web-based Android application hub, the Amazon Appstore. As a direct rival to Google’s own Android Market, the Amazon Appstore features a wide range of Android games and applications. Amazon is also touting the exclusive availability of Rovio’s new app, Angry Birds Rio. Free for a limited time, Angry Birds Rio is Rovio’s latest game for the Android platform and it features all new levels with the same great characters we know and love. “The Android platform’s openness provides a great opportunity to reach new customers,” said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed in a statement. “We are thrilled to offer the Angry Birds suite of Android games using the easy and trusted shopping experience that Amazon is known for.” The Amazon Appstore is available immediately on Android devices as a downloadable app and on the Web, accessible from any Web browser. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
The long-awaited first iPhone game from Cartoon Network’s [adult swim] has finally made it on to the iTunes AppStore for the iPhone and iPod Touch running the 2.0 firmware. As with all things [adult swim], this game mixes the comedy world, the gross and bloody world and the imagination world all at your fingertips.
The iPhone 3G will not go on sale until tomorrow and version 2.0 software isn’t yet available for “old school” iPhones either. Apple has still decided to move forward and release iTunes 7.7 complete with a live AppStore. Look but don’t touch! Wait a minute? What’s that? Uh oh, it looks like original iPhone owners are in for a treat as we’ve just received word the the 2.0 firmware is now live and available for download. Well we received word and a download link, that is. If you’ve decided to hold on to your OG iPhone, for nostalgia’s sake perhaps, it’s your lucky day. Hit the read link before Apple’s servers get hosed and start enjoying all of that exchange-rocking, legal app-supporting goodness right away.