Amazon will reportedly kick off a new program for their App Store soon, called Unlocked. The Unlocked program essentially takes paid apps and games, and ones with in-app purchases, and makes them completely free. Free to download, free to buy things in-game, and free to unlock extra features without spending a dime.
An internal presentation showcasing some of the functionality was leaked, showing off how users can sort out to only see Unlocked apps, and how it’ll look when users buy apps or make in-app purchases. This will all have to be done on Amazon’s own App Store, of course, but getting that installed isn’t too tough, even if Google yanked it from the Play Store.
This program takes the free app of the day promotion that Amazon currently runs and takes it one step further by creating a catalog of apps and games, plus extending it to include the in-app purchases. There’s only one small catch to the whole deal; once an Unlocked app leaves the Unlocked program, those in-app purchases are no longer free. Anything you’ve bought or used won’t cost you anything, and you can continue using the app, but if you’re hooked in the middle of a mobile game and want to keep buying extra lives or power-ups, you’ll have to pony up the cash for it. It’s not the most direct way of bringing in revenue and users, but it’s clever, and it might pay off for Amazon.
Unfortunately, other details about the program were a little scarce, like if it’ll cost anything extra per year, if it’ll be offered as part of Amazon Prime, and when it’ll launch. It looks like Amazon has the program ready to go fairly soon, though, so I’d expect to hear something sooner rather than later.