Amazon App Store Reaches First Anniversary, But it Still Hasn’t Reached the UK

The Amazon application store for Android turns one-year old this week, and to celebrate the online retailer has slashed popular app prices by up to 50%, and is running a competition to win an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

Wow, you’re thinking, exciting stuff! Except it’s not if you don’t live in the USA, as despite its 12-months of existence, Amazon has never seen fit to launch its app store elsewhere in the world, keeping access restricted to those in America.

It’s the same story for the Kindle Fire, as the recently released 7-inch tablet which has taken the market by storm across the pond, has yet to receive a UK release date too.

While the Fire has been rumoured to be coming to the UK, the Android application store actually did have a brief launch last year, when for a few hours, customers could browse, purchase and download apps from the mobile Amazon store in the UK.

Its appearance was short-lived though, and its virtual doors were quickly closed once the error had been discovered.  At the time, September 2011, it was viewed as a possible test run for Amazon, however time has shown this was either hopeful speculation or proof the test went badly, as it has never re-opened since.

As for the Kindle Fire, Amazon has said it’s not coming to the UK anytime soon, and this is unlikely to change until Amazon launches all the relevant services the tablet depends on, including the application store, instant video and cloud services.

Why Amazon hasn’t made its application store (legitimately, as there are other ways) accessible from the UK is unknown though, however it could be to do with Amazon and Apple’s battle over the use of the phrase ‘app store’, a lawsuit not expected to go to trial until later this year.

Amazon also has a history of rolling its new products out to the UK some considerable time after launching them in the USA.  Anyone wanting a Kindle eReader back in 2007 had to wait until the second generation device arrived in 2009 for an official international version.

So, it’s a happy first birthday to the Amazon app store, we just wish we were able to celebrate it with you.

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