The Amazon Appstore for Android offers developers an alternative to the Google Android Market with excellent app discovery tools, Amazon’s top notch user review features, and easy payment tools for customers. But the International Game Developers Association is warning its members to think long and hard before submitting their apps to the Appstore.
That’s because Amazon’s terms allow the retailer to adjust app prices without notifying the developer. This allows Amazon to offer a free app every day, or theoretically to place other apps on sale at any time. For consumers this is one of the biggest selling points for the Appstore: You can get apps for free or for less than they cost in the Android Market. For developers, it may be another story.
Most app stores take around a 30 percent cut of revenue from app sales, and so does Amazon… most of the time. Amazon will actually give developers either a 70 percent cut or 20 percent of the list price, depending on which figure is higher. In other words, Amazon can offer your app for free and you’ll still get paid. You just won’t get paid as much as you expected.
Of course, when Amazon promotes a free app of the day, it’s featured on the Appstore’s home screen, which means that you get 20 percent of the list price of a lot of downloads — which may end up making you more money than 70 percent of a smaller number. But there’s no guarantee.
This clause raised some concerns from developers before the Appstore went live. But the IGDA letter to members is probably the most public criticism I’ve seen of Amazon’s policy since the Appstore opened its doors to the public.
via Hacker News