Amazon Preparing In-App Purchases for the Kindle Fire

In an effort to compete financially with Google and Apple, Amazon is preparing to make in-app purchases a reality for apps on the Kindle Fire. The service is currently in its pilot stages, but could be coming sometime this year.

Of course, to make it worth it, Amazon has a lot of catching up to do. Amazon’s app store only has 1,400 apps available, which pales in comparison to Google Play and the iTunes App Store, both of which boast over 450,000. When implemented, Amazon will take a 30% cut of every in-app purchase made directly through an app from an Amazon device, which is the same rate Amazon is getting from app sales in general. In-app purchases are predicted to explode in profitability over the next few years, making the new service potentially very lucrative for Amazon. Though the 30% cut might turn some off, the move could lure in app developers with the promise of a new revenue stream previously only available for Android and Apple devices.

The in-app purchasing service is currently being tested with Skimble, a company that sells fitness programs. With the new purchasing service from Amazon, Skimble would sell their individual programs through a presumably free app available on Amazon’s app store.

If you’re a Kindle Fire owner, it’s a blessing and a curse. The potential for more choices on Amazon’s app store is certainly there, but with them will come apps that tend to be more expensive over time, requiring several in-app purchases for full functionality.