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Amazon woos developers for apps to take on Google, Apple

tech reviews Updated: Jul 26, 2012 22:11 IST
Highlight Story Inc has focused single-mindedly on consumers for much of its existence. Now it has a new obsession: developers.

The world’s largest Internet retailer is ratcheting up its courtship of apps software developers as it pits its Kindle Fire — and potentially other mobile gadgets — against Apple Inc and Google Inc.

Games and apps are key to that effort, so Amazon is plowing a lot of resources into wooing this increasingly important community.

Amazon sees the Fire as a way to spur sales of its trove of online content — from books to TV shows to music. But analysts say it is also taking aim at the booming market for mobile applications and games, increasing competition with platform operators Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Amazon has assembled a team, overseen by Aaron Rubenson, that works with developers to design, test, launch and market apps and games for the Fire.

Amazon had begun hiring for this team before it launched the Fire in September, but the recruiting drive has accelerated since then, according to a person familiar with the company’s strategy for developers. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

“Amazon is a very viable platform and we are encouraged by the speed at which they are moving,” said Niccolo de Masi, chief executive of game developer Glu Mobile. “They have a very good chance of being the number three player in developer revenues, ahead of Microsoft, if they execute over the next few years.”