Kindle Fire owners, watch out for free (virtual) cash headed your way in May in the form of Amazon Coins, a new Kindle currency for use in Amazon's Appstore.
Amazon plans to give away tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to kick start Kindle owners' use of the virtual coins, which can be used to buy apps, games, and to make in-app purchases. The company didn't say Tuesday how Kindle Fire users will be able to score free Amazon Coins.
Each coin is worth one penny, so a $2.99 app will cost 299 Amazon Coins.
The currency doesn't go into effect until May to give developers not currently in Amazon's Appstore time to gain approval. Apps not ready to go by April 25 won't be able to accept Amazon Coins, thus losing out on a potential revenue stream.
Amazon doesn't have its own platform for developers. It instead relies on Android, but the company last December began beefing up its app store with new tools for developers.
To build out the Amazon Appstore, the company began offering in-app purchasing for games on other platforms, Whispersync to sync games across all devices, and Amazon API integration for Android apps.
The company reported a 500-percent jump in app downloads from 2011, when the Amazon Appstore launched, to 2012, but is still working to reach the breadth and scope of iTunes and Google Play.
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