Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
Amazon has revealed plans to enter Japan with its Appstore later this year after putting out a call to developers to submit apps to its Mobile App Distribution Portal.
The ecommerce giant launched its Amazon Appstore in the US last March and expanded it to the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain this summer.
In a statement announcing the call for applications, Jim Adkins, Vice President of the Amazon Appstore, said:
“Opening our portal to app and game developers looking to reach Japanese customers is an important milestone as we strive to serve consumers and developers globally….Many of our existing developers are anxious to localize their apps and games for Japanese consumers, and we look forward to working with new developers that have been waiting for a chance to bring their Japanese content to the Amazon platform. By continuing to expand our app program internationally, as well as build upon the app services offered by Amazon, we are giving developers the opportunity to attract more customers and expand their businesses.“
The company also collected enthusiastic comments from several prominent game developers and app makers, including Square Enix, Halfbrick, Tinyco, Yahoo Japan and The Weather Channel.
“With chart-topping fan favorites from acclaimed series such as Final Fantasy, Square Enix firmly believes that distribution in Japan through Amazon will be a fantastic avenue to reach an entirely new segment of Amazon’s loyal user base,” said Yoichi Wada, CEO of Square Enix. “We have been eagerly awaiting Amazon’s expansion into Japan, and think it marks an exciting opportunity to tailor our interactive entertainment experiences for even more players around the world.”
The new Appstore could arrive in Japan around the same time that Amazon launches its Kindle devices there. Reports have suggested that the company could release them as soon as this month. Amazon began teasing the launch earlier this year, likely in an effort to pull momentum away from rival Rakuten, which released its Kobo ereaders in Japan this summer.
Amazon has also been busy fighting Apple to keep the Appstore name for its storefront. Late last month, the company filed to have a false advertising claim from the iPhone-maker dropped. Apple’s complaint alleges that Amazon’s decision to drop the “for Android” tag from its Appstore will lead to confusion with its own App Store, which it is attempting to trademark.
Image: David McNew / Getty Images
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