Amazon App Store for Android: Not just for smartphones

Amazon App Store for Android: Not just for smartphones

Summary: Everyone wins with an Amazon App store on Android.


Rumors and reports of an Amazon competitor to Google's own Android App Store were confirmed today with Amazon's invitation letter to developers, posted here on Ubergizmo. The Amazon App Store, while not particularly shocking news, has several important implications that go way beyond just another source of Apps for Android phone users.

The most telling part of the Amazon letter was one little line:

The Amazon App Store will help customers find, buy, download, and install Android mobile applications for smartphones and other connected devices.

"What other connected devices?" you ask? Tablets, tablets, and more tablets. Oh right, and a few million televisions. Remember the Kindle? It's pretty cool and offers a great reading experience for those of us who love books, but how many people are just using the Kindle App on a phone or another converged device that kicks the Kindle to the curb in terms of versatility? The answer, of course, is a lot.

Amazon already sells a huge amount of digital content ranging from e-books to video-on-demand. Their MP3 store is as close as Android comes to a default music store, but video content isn't currently supported on Android and developers aren't exactly clamoring to more closely integrate the Android platform with everything that Amazon sells.

However, when Google TV becomes more widely adopted, then Amazon obviously has a lot to gain if it has an application presence in your home's digital hub. And when Android tablets take off by the end of the year, an Amazon App store will let them leverage the larger form factor in ways they've never been able to on the iPad.

This isn't just about selling movies, music, and e-books, though. Increasingly, the growing ubiquity of smartphones and tablets based on smartphone operating systems means that we live in an App World. If the Amazon brand can become associated with Apps in the same way that it's associated with books (or, more recently, with anything you'd like to buy), then there's yet another revenue stream from Amazon's growing digital portfolio.

While Logitech's first foray into Google TV completely misses the mark in terms of price, when Google TV goes mainstream (and it will in much the same way that Android has in the smartphone market), then apps that let users instantly buy whatever they see on TV, in movies, on YouTube, or via Google's universal search all on Amazon will add a few more billions to Amazon's bottom line. Already, the Amazon App for Android allows users to take a picture of an item and then receive an email with a link to the item in the Amazon Store when Amazon processes the visual search.

Plenty of analysts have already suggested that Amazon's App store can bring a new level of credibility and quality to Android phones as well. The Android Market is seen by many as one of the weaker features of the platform with inadequate abilities to sort out the body function apps from the great content. This hurts developers, users, and the platform as a whole. Applying an Amazon model to an App Store, though, with great user reviews and interaction, high-quality content, and generous international revenue models for developers is a win all around. Even if you're Google and Amazon's store eats into your own App Store revenue, the existence of a great App store brings more people to Android, regardless of which store they use.

While an Amazon App store represents a bold business move for Amazon, positioning them to leverage a platform that will pervade phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and a variety of other "connected devices" in the next few years, it also represents credibility and a serious investment in Android by one of the strongest brands on the Internet.

Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Android, Google, Mobility, Smartphones

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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  • doa

    google tv is webtv all over again and with the laughing stock of expensive and geeky (a keyboard!) accessories from logitech it will never be a success. people don't want another computer in their living room. when will these nerds ever learn? <br><br>and tablets? android tablets? are there any? i only know two big phones and a lot of (even already postponed) vaporware. and news flash chris, amazon is not selling a lot of digital media. after 5 years on the market amazon has around 5% of music downloads (for reference: itunes has 75%). how about some facts for a change instead of wishful thinking.
    banned from zdnet
    • RE: Amazon App Store for Android: Not just for smartphones

      @banned from zdnet

      The big deal with tablets is their departure from wireless carrier oversight; and Google has leveraged the exclusivity over the Android Market app to protect their brand-name manufacturers in the Open Handset Alliance while forgetting about app developers and more importantly, ignoring the flood of low-cost Android tablets and phones coming off China's OEM lines and sold indiscriminately on or even sifted and sorted out on sites like

      Google has left the door wide open, and both them and their partners in the open handset alliance should be hitting the panic button soon and may want to consider relaxing their CDD hardware requirements to allow themselves to compete with Amazon in the true open Android apps market (as was prophesied here two weeks ago: )
      Android Hype - Anrdoid Tablet Reviews and More
    • Coming from a True CrAppleholic Addicted iNazi!

      @banned from zdnet When will you ever stop trying to make up everybody's mind for them before any competition to CrApple Products even comes out? Personally I know more people dropping iTunes because of getting ripped off than would ever happen to Amazon customers. Where you can actually buy anything you want all from one place without installing CrApple's CrAppletastic iTunes program on Windows PC's. In fact Amazon even works on my Linux installs and CrApple doesn't even make a program for it. Yet CrApple will bastardize Linux code to run programs it can't write itself. Where do you think CrApple got Safari browser? It's based on KHTML protocol of KDE Konqueror Engine which is Open Source derived just like their OS-X is based on!!!
  • RE: Amazon App Store for Android: Not just for smartphones

    [i] Their MP3 store is as close as Android comes to a default music store, but video content isn?t currently supported on Android and de [/i]

    Apparently you have never even picked up an Android phone, much less used one. I play YouTube, Flash, and .wmv video on my phone daily. There are probably other formats that work as well. Try again.

    Have you ever heard of 'search' ? I have no problems whatsoever finding apps I am interested in in Google Market. I have never had a 'fart' app come up in my search results either.

    Go play with your iPhone and leave the Android crowd to talk amongst themselves, Chris.
  • Just for the record...

    I did not find much to take issue with in this blog. Given the subject, I found it pretty fair and balanced.

    Thanks Chris
  • RE: Amazon App Store for Android: Not just for smartphones

    Google TV what a great device. I work at DISH Network where I first had the chance to use Google TV and I was hooked. I downloaded the Android app. for the voice activations and it's fabulous. This product sure does some great stuff. I am really pleased with the preloaded apps and I know they are going to get better.