Just a couple days from now, on June 18, Amazon has an event that will in all likelihood reveal the company’s first smartphone, following the success of its Kindle Fire tablets. The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Amazon will be able to recapture that same kind of magic when it comes to smartphones; will little hiccups like Amazon’s use of its own app store, as opposed to Google’s massive Play Store, make more of a difference when we’re talking about a user’s primary device, rather than one used alongside their smartphone? We’re probably not too far away from finding out, but as if to try getting a head start on making its case for why users shouldn’t be too worried, today Amazon is touting the growth of its Appstore, tripling in size over the course of the past year.
Of course, tripling is a relative comparison, and we have to keep in mind the place Amazon was starting from. That means that even with this year of growth, Amazon’s still only looking at around 240,000 apps. For comparison, Google’s north of a million in the Play Store, and Apple’s up around that same level, as well.
For individual users, though, the question’s going to be less about the raw number of apps available, and more along the lines of “are the apps I want there?” That’s much more difficult to answer in general terms, and for all the progress Amazon’s made in getting big names interested in bringing their software to its storefront, it only takes one or two missing apps to start frustrating users, especially with how tricky it can be to try loading the Play Store to run on Amazon hardware.
What do you think? Could you live with a phone that used the Amazon Appstore as its primary source for software, or do you think the limited selection would quickly have you looking elsewhere?