Report: Amazon's upcoming Unlocked initiative will offer paid apps for free

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Amazon staked its reputation on its rock-bottom prices, but according to a new report, it’s about to undercut the entire Android app market. According to TechCrunch, Amazon Unlocked will be a new section of the Amazon Appstore, and will offer a number of otherwise paid apps and games for free—complete with any in-app purchases the app may offer.

TechCrunch likens it to “Amazon Prime for apps,” though it looks to be an extension of the existing daily free app promotions Amazon runs on the its Appstore.

If nothing else, Amazon Unlocked will give users a good reason to give Amazon’s app market another look. But developers stand to get a boost here, too, and not just through increased promotion. TechCrunch notes that developers can leave Unlocked, and when they do, users will have to begin paying for in-app purchases again.

Put another way, Amazon Unlocked gives app developers an opportunity to make money off of their apps, even after giving it away for free.

TechCrunch, which learned about Amazon Unlocked through a leaked internal presentation, says there’s no timetable for Unlocked’s rollout, and that participating developers can’t discuss the program at the moment since they’re under a non-disclosure agreement. 

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