Amazon: Buy a Verizon Android Phone, Get Credit for Apps

Amazon: Buy a Verizon Android Phone, Get Credit for Apps

Amazon today announced a promotion to give $25 in Appstore credits to customers who buy an Android device from Verizon, adding momentum to the retailer’s evolving relationships in the smartphone and mobile app market.

The promotion will drive customers to its new Appstore, which has hit a few bumps as it’s muscled into the app market. The company has been criticized by some game developers for its pricing practices on the apps in the store, and wireless carrier AT&T has blocked users for being able to access apps from third parties like Amazon.

The App store’s policy against lower prices at other stores and its insistence on unilateral final say over pricing have drawn developers’ ire and affected offerings.

The agreement with Verizon helps circumvent AT&T’s prohibition, and the increased traffic from the $25 could help build a solid consumer base for the Appstore.

It’s also a chance for the online retailer to leverage the cross-promotional abilities that have made it successful — buyers redeeming their credit at the Appstore will come across other Amazon items such as Kindle apps for portable devices, its MP3 store, and its new Cloud Drive and Player, which stores music and other digital content online, accessible by Android devices and an Internet-connected computer.

The Appstore is significant to the Android ecosystem for its polished browsing experience and curated app selection that mirror some of the best attributes of Apple’s App Store. Amazon’s efforts are more sophisticated and easier to navigate than Google’s App Market, though its selection is much smaller.

This promotion comes after last week’s big announcement of a price reduction for the HTC Thunderbolt Android smartphone. Initially offered at $250, Amazon is selling it for $130 for Verizon customers until midnight tonight, when the price will return to the usual $175.

The Seattle-based company opened its Appstore, which offers apps for Google’s Android operating system, last month. Amazon also has a wireless store which sells a variety of phones for the major wireless carriers. The $25 app promotion begins at midnight and is scheduled to run for a week.

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