Amazon Appstore set to spread to 200 countries

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Amazon's Appstore for Android devices is readying a big leap in availability, spreading to nearly 200 countries as the online retailer ramps up the pressure on Google's official Play download store. Set to launch "in the coming months" the broader availability – which will include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, and South Korea, among others – follows Amazon's most recent international launch, the Japanese version of the store back in 2012.

According to Amazon, those developers with apps already in the Appstore will automatically have their titles included in the new locations; if they want, they can opt out. The company is also putting out a call for new submissions, teasing would-be developers with case studies of huge increases in in-app payments and engagement.

In fact, Amazon claims, a study of over 500 games using Appstore in-app purchasing found those using the GameCircle social gaming system made 83-percent more revenue per use than those omitting GameCircle. Launched in November 2012, GameCircle is Amazon's equivalent of Apple's Game Center, designed for Kindle Fire tablets.

Whether that Kindle Fire hardware will also see broader expansion internationally remains to be seen. Amazon's Appstore has mainly been a way for the retailer to better flesh out its relatively closed ecosystem – heavily reskinned Android, divorced from the official Play market – with the Kindle Fire hardware itself a path to encouraging users to spend more money on content.