May 13, 2010, 2:07 PM

Amazon offers a shopping app for Apple’s newest gizmo

The world’s largest online retailer has followed eBay and Gap by launching its own shopping app for Apple Inc.’s newest gadget, the iPad.

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Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, has followed eBay Inc. and Gap Inc. by launching its own shopping app for Apple Inc.’s newest gadget, the iPad.


Optimized for the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen (measured on the diagonal), the app allows shoppers to search and discover products offered by Amazon and the other retailers that sell through Amazon.com. Shoppers can access bestsellers, daily deals, product information, recommendations and customer reviews.


"Following the launch of the Amazon App for iPhone and iPod touch, we`ve used our customers` feedback to help us build a fun and intuitive shopping destination on the iPad," says Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile. "This application offers customers a unique, interactive experience that takes full advantage of the visual and tactile nature of the iPad."


The shopping app also enables consumers to use their Amazon Prime membership, which provides free shipping to customers who pay an annual $79 fee. And consumers can use Amazon’s 1-Click checkout feature, which allows registered shoppers to connect with existing payment and shipping information in their Amazon.com accounts to make purchases from mobile devices. It also offers access to wish lists, movie trailers and song samples. 


Amazon already offers an iPad app for its Kindle e-book reader. The Kindle for iPad  lets iPad users select from more than 500,000 books from the Kindle Store and features Amazon Whispersync technology that saves and synchronizes customers’ last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across their Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac, iPad and other devices. 


On May 3, Apple announced it had sold more than 1 million iPads and that iPad users had downloaded more than 12 million apps from its App Store and over 1.5 million e-books from its iBookstore. IPad apps are gaining traction, too, it seems. In the same announcement, Apple said developers had created more than 5,000 iPad apps. Apple says iPad can run nearly all of the more than 200,000 apps in the App Store, including apps that shoppers may have already purchased or downloaded for their iPhones or iPod Touch devices. 


As of May 11, according to <i>Internet Retailer</i> research, 136 retailers had launched m-commerce sites and 66 had created mobile apps for such devices as the iPad and iPhone, Blackberry devices or Google’s Android smartphone.  55 of those apps are transactional.

Amazon is No. 1 in the <a href="http://www.internetretailer.com/top500/">Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide</a>.

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