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Starbucks takes Amazon's cue, gives free iPhone app a week

updated 07:30 pm EDT, Tue August 16, 2011

Starbucks launches iPhone Pick of the Week in apps

Starbucks came full circle with Apple early this week after it started offering free apps to iPhone owners. Somewhat similar to Amazon's Appstore giveaways, the Pick of the Week gives guests a card highlighting the app and giving them a redemption code. Early guests CNET saw were getting the song recognition app Shazam Encore, a title that normally costs $6.

The coffee shop hasn't explained whether this replaces the earlier music promo, nor how developers are compensated. Starbucks has usually absorbed the cost of songs in hopes of making it back on coffee and food. The higher prices of some apps will impose a steeper hit.

Both are probably providing at least some compensation for developers. Amazon recently drew flak from developers after an exposť revealed that Amazon wasn't paying developers for its app of the day promos in spite of promises to the contrary for prospective app writers.

Apple and Starbucks have had a deal virtually since the start of the iPhone's history when they began offering special offers when on Wi-Fi. The two are often considered mutually interested since Apple devices make up a disproportionate amount of Starbucks visitors' technology, while Starbucks has every incentive to get coffee drinkers to stay longer and have incentives to return.

by MacNN Staff



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