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Amazon Appstore and Developers

Posted by Andrew at 12:33 AM on August 4, 2011

At times, Apple has taken plenty of criticism over the way it does business with iOS app developers, particularly when it comes to altering terms and conditions after the fact. However, it would appear that Apple is not alone in this behaviour and Amazon seems to be getting in on the act with its Appstore for Android and the Free App of the Day.

According to Amazon’s T&Cs, “Amazon pays developers 70% of the sale price of the app or 20% of the list price, whichever is greater” (from the FAQ) but it now appears that if Amazon features a premium app as the Free App of the Day, the developer gets nothing.

Shifty Jelly were recently offered the opportunity for one of their apps to become the Free App of the Day. On a good day it appears that they would sell around 20 copies of their software but on other days it could be as low as 2. As the Free App of the Day, they “sold” over 100,000 copies and if Amazon adhered to the T&Cs, Shifty Jelly would receive over $50,000. They received nothing.

To be clear, Shifty Jelly did know that they would receive nothing before they became App of the Day, but there seems to be a big difference between what Amazon is saying publicly in the T&Cs and what’s happening behind the scenes in emails.

You can read the whole story on Shifty Jelly’s blog.

2 Comments

  1. From Eric at 3:14 am on August 5, 2011

    After reading this I was a little irritated by Amazon. Paying 0% is not cool any way you look at it!! Wont be buying any apps on their app store, period. Not even the free apps!

  2. From Brent W. Hopkins at 12:30 pm on August 13, 2011

    Well folks, there’s a simple description of this situation it’s called “breach of contract” and the not-so-simple remedy lies in the civil courts. Developers should pile on hard, as Amazon economically has quite a bit of market power and will screw everyone if they get the chance.