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Amazon's Digital Bonus gives $15 in apps, e-books, music to new Android owners

July 11, 2011 |  9:47 am Cell Phones, Apps, and Digital Content is continuing to put weight behind Google's Android operating system, this time with a Digital Bonus program that gives those who buy Android phones or tablets $15 in credit to spend on apps, e-books and music.

The Web's largest retailer rolled out its new AmazonWireless Digital Bonus offer on Monday. Now, whenever a consumer buys an Android device through Amazon, they'll receive (within 48 hours) credits to their Amazon account for $5 toward apps sold through the Amazon Appstore for Android, $5 toward e-books from Amazon's Kindle store and $5 toward music from Amazon's MP3 store.

The credits toward content for Android devices is both a way to get users up and running on their new smartphone or tablet, and a way to get them familiarized with Amazon's services on those devices, said David Camp, head of marketing for AmazonWireless.

"We follow our customers' wishes and Android is obviously a very large and growing platform and currently the dominant one in the market," Camp said. "We obviously put the greatest weight behind what our customers want the most."

And consumers are choosing Android -- the Google OS has ranked as the most popular mobile phone operating system all year. The Digital Bonus offer isn't the first move Amazon has made in support of Android. The company launched its Amazon Appstore for Android -- an online and in-app storefront that sells applications for Android devices that competes with Google's own Android Marketplace for app sales.

The Amazon Appstore for Android offers a free app each day and has left Apple unhappy about the name -- Apple calls its store for iOS apps the App Store and has alleged copyright infringement. Amazon, for its part, says "appstore" is a generic term.

The Digital Bonus is, so far, a limited-time offer, set to end Oct. 11, and the credits expire if they go unused by Nov. 12. The offer also applies only to Android devices sold through's AmazonWireless store -- and not just from itself, the Seattle company says online.

Camp said such bonus offers could arise for other platforms down the road -- Amazon also sells BlackBerry phones, Windows Phone handsets and Hewlett-Packard's WebOS-running devices -- but for now, Android is the focus.

"This is a starting point," he said. "We're obviously starting with the biggest portion of the market where your customers have the desire. The next natural step is to expand into other platforms."


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

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