Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

Summary: From the "I really didn't see that coming" files - Amazon is preparing to open an Android App store of its own, one that sounds a lot like Apple's App Store.

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From the "I really didn't see that coming" files - Amazon is preparing to open an Android App store of its own, one that sounds a lot like Apple's App Store.

Here's the announcement on the Amazon Appstore Developer Blog:

You may have seen the buzz in Android blogs and forums about Amazon doing something… appy!  Today Amazon.com launched the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.  You can find the Portal at developer.amazon.com.  It is a new self-service tool that allows mobile application developers—Android developers in particular—to join our Appstore Developer Program and submit apps for the upcoming launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android.

The FAQ paints a picture of the Amazon Appstore being remarkably similar in structure to Apple's App Store:

How will customers find my apps on Amazon.com? The Amazon Appstore will be a new category on Amazon.com. Customers will be able to shop for apps both from their PC’s and from their mobile devices. Amazon will market your apps using proven eCommerce and marketing features like search and search refinement, browse, and app recommendations based on customers’ past purchases.

What is the payment structure between Amazon and me? Amazon will pay developers 70% of the sale price of the app or 20% of the list price, whichever is greater.

What does the developer program fee cover? The $99 annual developer program fee covers the application processing and account management for the Appstore developer program. We are currently waiving the program fee for a developer’s first year of the program.

    Note: The $99 annual fee will be waived for those signing up now.

Can I list (or post) free apps in the Amazon Appstore? Yes, you are welcome to sell both paid and free apps in the Appstore.

Can I apply DRM to my app? For each app that you submit to the Appstore, you can choose to apply DRM or make your app available without any rights management constraints. If you do choose to apply DRM to one of your apps, you must use the DRM system provided by Amazon through the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.

There are also content guidelines prohibiting offensive content, pornography, illegal activity, intellectual property infringement, privacy/publicity infringement, and copyright infringement. Again, very much in line with Apple.

I think that this could be interesting. One of the problem with Google's Android Market app store is that it's a mess. Sure, it's better than it used to be, but it's still a Wild West. It's a noisy, overcrowded place, good apps are buried by the crap, and there's high levels of blatant copyright infringement. My guess is that Amazon's Appstore is going to be far better managed, which means it will be easier for Android users to find the high quality apps they are looking for.

This could very well be a game-changer.

Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Browser, Mobility, Security

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20 comments
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  • A question of technical competency

    How are Amazon going to manage malicious apps I wonder? Apple have teams of experts pouring over apps to try and ensure that they can't do anything harmful to their precious platform. My fear is that at best Amazon will look at the app, determine if if offends anyone, and then slap it on the market. Time will tell I guess.
    keebaud@...
    • in any event, most likely more monitored then apple

      @keebaud@...

      I just hope this is made available to multiple android devices. I own an Archos 5 and until my buddy tinkered with it i was stuck with crappy apps because Archos' app store is bogus. I would like some legitimate apps to download. I still don't know why Archos doesn't put google's app store on their device.
      KBot
      • Its just hype

        It will just be another store.
        Uralbas
      • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

        @KBot I agree, hoping they keep the availabilty of numerous android devices open; I own the Droid Bionic so hopefully it will get the same recognition as older devices.

        -Jake @<a href="http://www.patioshoppers.com/">PS</a>
        reknown89
  • amazon

    you mean amazon is copying apple's appstore down to the fineprint? whoa, surprise, surprise.<br><br>there is really not one innovative company out there but apple. what would they all do, if apple didn't exist?
    banned from zdnet
    • for one there would be less people like you...

      @banned from zdnet
      flaming everything that isn't apple. Get over yourself. Apple is like every other company. They had their own ideas that happened to take off with consumers. MS owns the PC universe, Google is a contender for the mobile universe, and Apple is the king of the "sexy that just works" universe. People would get along fine if any of these companies were never there.
      KBot
      • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

        @KBot
        Agree!
        poch333
    • Apple? Innovative?

      @banned from zdnet <br>Let's look at Apple's "innovations":<br><br>The Mac OS core is based on BSD Unix, which is an open source OS that pre-dates Linux, originally written by unpaid volunteers. Apple uses it because the licensing terms are more open than Linux's.<br><br>iPod: basically, an MP3 player. They were late to the game, in a pre-existing MP3 player market.<br><br>Mac OS interface: based on NeXT, which itself was based on Sun and SGI workstations.<br><br>Original Mac GUI: looks a lot like what Xerox PARC was working on at the time.<br><br>In all of these "innovations", what Apple does very well is to put a glossy sheen on their products and charge a premium price for them. And build an army of intensely loyal adherents, though I must admit I'm puzzled by that. Don't get me wrong, I myself run Mac OS (but run Windows primarily) and also own an iPhone (but use Blackberry most of the time). Like many other tech companies, Apple takes other people's ideas and improves on them. There's no reason why Amazon couldn't do the same with their App Store. I wish them good luck.
      patchunc
      • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

        @patchunc

        Even if you consider those things derivative, Apple unarguably was the first to do them right and get them to mass market, improving and building on those ideas. There are lots of great ideas, but unless there's vision to incorporate those ideas into a coherent system, they're not all that useful.

        Regardless, however, Apple has out-innovated the entire industry for the last 35+ years, again and again. It's hilarious watching the whiners and haters fumingly try to deny it.
        RealNonZealot
      • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

        @RealNonZealot
        I think that's less Apple's doing as a company as it is Steve Job's leadership. The abysmal time between his ousting and return are testimony to that. So, Apple is a short term bet for as long Jobs is there (because he won't be there for ever. Health issues, may decide to be a philanthropist like Bill Gates, maybe just retire..). Will be interesting to see if they continue to "innovate" once he's not there to cultivate it.
        PolymorphicNinja
    • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

      @banned from zdnet <br><br>Couldn't have said it better myself.<br><br>The industry sits around twiddling its thumbs in mediocrity (or downright just bad) until Apple schools them repeatedly, then they all pile on and follow Apple, lemming-like and imaginationless to the end. <br><br>All the silly haters should be thanking Apple for giving them just about every innovation for the last 28 years...just a partial list:<br><br>* GUIs (Haters: "Real men use DOS!" [Later] "Windows 1.0 rocks!" [Repeat for years until Windows 7, which *almost* doesn't suck comes along])<br>* 3.5" floppies (Haters: "They're FORCING us to use them, we want our 5.25s!")<br>* Getting rid of floppies (Haters: "OMG, that's completely insane, it'll never work!")<br>* USB for low-speed peripherals (Haters: "Proper keyboards and mice use PS/2 connections, it'll never catch on.")<br>* Trackpad input device (Haters: "I like that tiny little ball embedded in my keyboard...or the big giant ball, you KNOW how I love to play Centipede! It'll never catch on.")<br>* Automatic configuration of internal cards and external peripherals ("I really enjoy DIP switches and ensuring that my Interrupts don't overlap! Did you know that IRQ2 is kinda IRQ9 now?!?! How cool is that?!?!")<br>* Automatic identification of local network resources, i.e. Bonjour (Haters: "I love using the Wizard to flail around on my machine until eventually finding the printer that I'm looking for...if ever!")<br>* Security (Haters: "Those Macs are going to get their viral apocolypse any day now, just wait!" [Repeat for 28 years])<br>* iPod (Haters: "I'll take my completely pathetic generic MP3 player with its super-cool one-line display and lack of any way to get music except for stealing or ripping, thanks. Just wait for the Zune!")<br>* iPhone (Haters: "I love my Blackberry and/or WinMobile device, despite it's pathetic, horrible browser, nasty slow and inefficient interface! It's a complete dog in every possible way, but Apple doesn't know anything about the mobile market, they'll fail miserably." [Later] "Oh it's only on AT&T? They're dead.")<br>* iPad (Haters: "Ridiculous, it's just a big iPhone. No one will buy them, it's going to be a complete embarrassment. My Windows Tablet can do all that stuff way better!")<br>* And on and on and on....<br><br>LOL, enjoy eating Apple's dust, haters, deniers and whiners. It's amusing watching your logical twists and turns as you enjoy the taste of eating your own words again and again.... :-)
      RealNonZealot
      • wow do your homework dude

        @RealNonZealot <br><br>Gui wasn't made by MAC, I'm pretty sure it was Xerox<br>USB-that was intel<br>you want innovation, the original mouse, Xerox<br>you want anti innovation: no usb support directly on the ipad, no flash.<br><br>ipad-rehash of early tablets, like someone said, apple just improved on the design.<br>ipod, improvement on the design<br>floppy, improvement on the design<br>iphone, improvement on the design<br><br>noone is saying apple doesn't know how to make hardware, they just improve on the design more often then not

        edit:
        @dave95
        i understand that, my comment was directed at the tone of RNZ's comment, portraying that Apple was responsible for the creation of the items in question
        KBot
      • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

        @KBot

        Um, you do realize that improving on design or idea is innovation right? Not to be confused with invention. Can you please let us know the technology companies in recent history that invented something?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovation
        dave95.
    • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

      @banned from zdnet
      I suppose other companies could go to Xerox and steal THEIR ideas..
      PolymorphicNinja
  • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

    <i>"There are also content guidelines prohibiting offensive content, pornography, illegal activity, intellectual property infringement, privacy/publicity infringement, and copyright infringement. Again, very much in line with Apple."</i>

    So in order for an Android app store to take off and become a game changer, it must first adopt Apple's 'controlled' curated model? Is this what I'm hearing?
    dave95.
  • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

    In order for this to be a game changer it needs to start shipping as standard on devices. No devices are advertised to come standard with this store... You can't expect the average user to know the difference between the android market and the amazon market.

    Whether it's a game changer is yet to be seen.
    snoop0x7b
    • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

      @snoop0x7b
      Amazon has a popular app for both iPhone and Android that many people have downloaded on their own. It wouldn't be difficult to work it into that. And I imagine that is how they will push their way in.
      PolymorphicNinja
  • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

    Sounds great, but can all Android devices load stuff from places other than the current app market? I know that some devices, like my Aria, don't allow side loading. It has to come from the app market or you can't do it. Not real interested in jail breaking my phone since I see little value in doing that.
    boomchuck1
  • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

    I don't understand why it should be a game changer? The author doesn't explain why he thinks it will change the Android market place. Why do you think the Amazon market place will not be crowded like the google market place, because of the cut Amazon is taking?

    Won't there also be competition in the Android world? For example its not clear how successful Amazon's VOD store is? Nor its it clear if its profitable to Amazon or are they subsidizing VOD purchases like they do Kindle books and operating at a loss.
    Apple's music and movie store while they do not generate a lot of revenue for Apple still operate at a profit. Many developers of Apps on the iphone and ipad app store feel the one place to buy apps makes it easier for them to market apps for those devices and its easier for users to discover apps because there is just one place for them to go.
    But this will not be true for Amazon's market place there will be competition and therefore users will have to search multiple locations for apps or for the best price.
    Could the author explain why the Amazon app store will be a game changer or is the only reason the fact that he thinks apps won't be buried by crap?
    holycow_z
  • RE: Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

    Appstore fragmentation. Some appstore has this app some doesn't. Must be sad for android users.
    m3kw9