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 Amazonís Appstore.
Amazon plans to give away tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to kick start Kindle ownersí use of the virtual coins, which can be used to buy apps, games, and to make in-app purchases. The company didnít 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 doesnít go into effect until May to give developers not currently in Amazonís Appstore time to gain approval. Apps not ready to go by April 25 wonít be able to accept Amazon Coins, thus losing out on a potential revenue stream.
The new lineup of Kindle Fires with higher-resolution displays that were released last September presented new challenges and opportunities for developers.
Amazon doesnít 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.