Rumors that Amazon was planning to open its Appstore in Europe have been borne out: the company has just announced that it is now taking submissions for apps to be distributed in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, with more countries to be added "in the near future." Amazon already had a retail presence in all these countries, but this marks the first time an Appstore has opened outside the United States.

The obvious question this raises is whether this is the first step to international distribution of the Kindle Fire, which relies heavily on Appstore content. For now, the Appstore provides an alternative to the Play Store for any Android users abroad. In time with the launch, Amazon is also tweaking its distribution agreement, giving developers 70 percent of list price rather than either 70 percent of the app's sales price or 20 percent of list price.