Amazon tests mobile in-app purchases, Bloomberg says

Amazon, which already has its own app store, is taking on Apple and Google in another facet of the mobile business.

Amazon could be expanding the capabilities of its app store.

Amazon is holding trials for a service that lets consumers pay for additional services or features through a mobile application, a burgeoning business called in-app purchases.

The service is being tested by Skimble, which sells physical fitness programs and has been involved with the pilot program for about a month, according to Bloomberg.

Such a move would put Amazon even more directly at odds with Apple and Google in the mobile world. Amazon already offers a competing application store that sells apps for Google's Android operating system (Apple's App Store is closed to outside vendors). The capability could also expand the usefulness and sales of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, which runs on a heavily customized version of Android.

A representative from Amazon wasn't immediately available for comment to CNET.

In-app purchases are a small, but rapidly growing, part of the mobile business. Many apps are given away initially, but offer virtual goods, extra features, and subscription services that are purchased within the program. Those apps operate under what is known as the freemium model.

Similar to the app revenue breakdown, Amazon plans to take a 30 percent cut of any revenue generated from in-app purchases, Skimble told Bloomberg. The app developer also noted the trials were still in the early stages.

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