Amazon Android Appstore starts platform dominance with exclusivity

Amazon Android Appstore starts platform dominance with exclusivity

Summary: Amazon is continuing its tech ninja moves into the Android ecosystem with the PopCap deal for games for the Appstore.

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Amazon is continuing its tech ninja moves into the Android ecosystem with the PopCap deal for games for the Appstore. PopCap is one of the largest mobile game makers, and Amazon has signed them up to peddle its games in the Amazon Android Appstore. The deal gives the Amazon store an exclusive period, keeping them out of the official Android Market run by Google. This is likely just the first of many such deals, and gives Amazon a real foothold in the Android app business.

The PopCap deal only gives the Amazon Appstore a two-week period of exclusivity, but I expect that will change with other deals in the future. What Amazon brings to developers is major exposure to buyers, something that is so hard for them to get in the Android Market. I suspect companies like PopCap will sell more games in that two week period than they could in the 'real' market.

Amazon has focused its attention on quality apps for its Appstore, and Android device owners appreciate that. It is becoming more common for shoppers to hit up the Amazon store first, as it's easier to find good apps there than in the mess that is the Android Market. We'll start seeing more developers willing to give Amazon an exclusive period for their apps in exchange for exposure, and these periods will be longer than two weeks. The Amazon Appstore will become the preferred place to shop for apps with both buyers and developers.

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  • Great to have app store competition from Amazon to keep Google in line!!!

    Also looking for some great tablets from Amazon.
    DonnieBoy
    • As long as...........

      @DonnieBoy<br><br>it can be accessed with ANY generic Android device with a sufficiently recent OS version for the app in question.<br><br>I am NOT interested in lock-in with ANYBODY, be it Apple, Google, Microsoft or Amazon.<br><br>I just do not like the feeling of being in chains with someone's hand in my pocket. ;-)
      Economister
      • That is why we need competition in app stores. I hope we see more Android

        app stores. Barns and Noble?
        DonnieBoy
  • RE: Amazon Android Appstore starts platform dominance with exclusivity

    It's becoming clear to me with moves like this that Amazon will be a huge competitor to Google themselves. And using Google's own OS to do so. Google had 3 years to cleanup their App Store but failed to do so; instead they held on religiously to the idea that an "open" wild wild west approach was what the vast majority of users really wanted, vs curated/vetted iOS store.
    dave95.
    • But .....

      @dave95.

      that is not necessarily a bad thing for Google. If it helps weaken MS and Apple by making Android successful, it may still benefit Google in the long run. Most importantly however, it will benefit the consumer, and I am a BIG fan boy of anything that benefits the consumer.
      Economister
      • Exactly, Google wants to win the platform war, first and foremost.

        And, Amazon investing heavily in the Android platform will make Android stronger. Obviously, Amazon COULD have gone with Microsoft for their platform. Google is a lot better off with Amazon using Android.
        DonnieBoy
      • It could also devastate Google.

        @Economister

        I see Amazon making a play for taking control of Android. A hostile take over if you will. Google controls their "partners" by forcing them to add Google services by threatening to with-hold specific access to applications/services. Google uses compatibility as a club to destroy the concept of true openness.

        Enter Amazon.
        1) Do they need the Android Market? Nope.
        2) Do they need Google books? Nope.
        3) Maps are a dime a dozen and MS will pay them to use theirs.
        4) Email? Again, a dime a dozen.
        5) Location services? Nope. Skyhook has great tech there.
        6) Movies? Nope.
        7) Music? Nope.

        Simple point being: Amazon really does not need any of the services Google offers. Without any Google services, Amazon can create a compelling tablet that easily goes against Apple's services/iPad; this is something Google has been unable to accomplish.

        From this point forward, Amazon can grab the recent Android code bases and simply integrate their services into them. As a retailer, they can link all search through Amazon's own search; supplemental search can be provided by Google/Bing/Blekko/whatever. If they play their cards right, Amazon could even get Google to pay them to use Google search on Amazon's implementation of Android. The key point is, as a retailer that sells about everything, Amazon will get the first crack at the actual transaction while cutting Google out of all search revenue.

        Moral: Don't give someone a loaded gun unless you know where they are going to point it.
        Bruizer
      • But....

        @Bruizer

        if they use that loaded gun to kill someone aiming at you, it gives you reprieve, even if for a limited time.

        At this point Apple and MS are bigger threats to Google than Amazon is. At the end of the day however, that is why we have competition. It is called survival of the fittest, and the "fittest" keeps changing, which is why there are no more buggy whip makers out there.

        The universe is unfolding as it should perhaps.
        Economister
      • RE: Amazon Android Appstore starts platform dominance with exclusivity

        @Economister <br><br>I'm not too sure this benefits Google though. It's not Amazon's job to promote "Android", and Android's fragmented ecosystem. They have their own service and ecosystem to promote to their users that happens to compete squarely with what Google is trying to put out now (music, movies, eBook, cloud etc). <br><br>Amazon could go two ways, they can offer all their services to Android OEMs and try to support all the variations of Android/Honeycomb devices out there now, which is likely to be a fragmented mess for them and users. Or they can hold their content jewels closely to themselves and be seen as the true competitor to Apple in both hardware, content and ecosystem. Consumers will not look at Amazon as Android vs iOS. They will see it as <b>Amazon</b> (KindleTab) vs Apple (iPad). Google loses.
        dave95.
      • Very possible, but......

        @dave95.<br><br>if Amazon becomes another closed system, they are again themselves vulnerable to having someone else taking over.<br><br>That is, at the end of the day, the beauty of open source/markets and competition, and the ultimate reason why Apple will, eventually, be left behind, yet again. Open markets and competition will prevail. That has proven to be the case for literally hundreds of years. Companies which dominate markets and make a lot of money do come, but they eventually also do go.
        Economister
      • Consumers don't care about open-source

        @Economister
        <i>if Amazon becomes another closed system, they are again themselves vulnerable to having someone else taking over.</i>

        Having a software system "open" does not protect a system from being dominated by a new, different or better system.

        When it comes to business and economies, you are, at best naive.

        <i>"That is, at the end of the day, the beauty of open source/markets and competition, and the ultimate reason why Apple will, eventually, be left behind, yet again."</i>

        If you talk to the tech heads, Apple is coming to their impending doom (you seem to be one of those). Yet there is no indication that points to this. In cell phones:

        5% unit share of world supply of handset sales.
        22% gross revenue share of world supply of handset sales.
        57% net profit share of world supply of handset sales.

        All of these numbers are growing. The two most important ones, are the revenue and profit shares. I suspect Apple will end with between 15% to 20% of the total unit share. The Tech heads of the world will call this loosing (or as you say, "fall behind"). Wall Street will call this a resounding victory.

        With tablets, Apple holds between 85% and 93% of units delivered to end customers. Android's dismal performance in this aera in the past 18 months has led analyst to cut (just today) Android's deliveries yet again for this year and 2012.

        Consumers don't care about "open source". They want an open marketplace but only die hard tech heads care about "open source". As Apple provides an open marketplace to purchase their products, your "open source" rhetoric is non sequitur.

        At the end of the day, Apple will provide products that are consistently better designed, more stable and operate more fluidly than the competition. Sounds like a consumer WIN to me.

        Price is such a narrow minded concept to measure consumer benefit on.

        Will Apple stumble? Sure. All companies do. Western Union used to be the premier communications company on the planet but they passed on this thing call the telephone.
        Bruizer
      • Rather funny that ...

        @Bruizer<br><br>for such a long post, calling me "When it comes to business and economies, you are, at best naive", you are saying a myopic NOTHING. I will put my business and economics acumen/knowledge/experience against yours ANY day, but I am not going to try to convince a 2 year old that he is childish? You cannot know what you do not know. And if you have been around here for a while AND have been paying attention (which may apparently be an unreasonable expectation), you would have known that I am FAR from a "tech head". But that just further confirms you ignorance.<br><br>Have a nice day
        Economister
      • Really?

        @Economister

        You have consistently posted very naive comments when it comes to economics, markets and business.

        <i>"you are saying a myopic NOTHING. I will put my business and economics acumen/knowledge/experience against yours ANY day,"</i>

        You don't show amazing levels of expertise in most of your posts. Mostly, your logic boils down to "Mac VS PC. Same as the 90's" drivel. The level of thought process I expect from my 10 year old nephew.

        A perfect example...

        <i>"That is, at the end of the day, the beauty of open source/markets and competition, and the ultimate reason why Apple will, eventually, be left behind, yet again. Open markets and competition will prevail. That has proven to be the case for literally hundreds of years."</i>

        Are you saying "open source" and "open markets" are the same? Are you suggesting that if you have an integrated solution, you can not be a part of an "open market"? Sure sounds like it. Are you saying "open source" has been around for hundreds of years? Even in this one little paragraph you are confusing 2 totally different concepts.

        On multiple occasions, you have forecasted the impending fall of Apple's business (similar to what you did above). The only reason you state is "open!!!!". Mostly, you equate "open source" as the same as "open market".

        Where is your supporting evidence? Where is your supporting data? It never exists.

        Likewise, "Yet again???"

        What do you mean by that? Apple being the most profitable computer manufactures on the plant (this is not counting iOS products) is "being left behind?". Does Apple making 40% of the profit share in the PC market equate to "being left behind?"

        I seriously question your business and economic sense of the world. Even die-hard Android fans recognize Apple's strength in mobility:

        http://androidroid.com/apple-has-already-won-against-android/
        Bruizer
      • Google would probably be the biggest losers

        @ Economister<br><br>If Amazon improve Android, that's of course bad for Android's competitors. However, there's no need for Amazon to support Android exclusively.<br><br>The biggest threat to Amazon's core business is an alternative e-book standard. So far, Kindle is the leader, but Google and Apple are trying to change that. Microsoft, on the other hand, even though they were pioneers in e-books, seem to have abandoned the idea.<br><br>If Amazon can take control of Android, the obvious next step would be to approach Microsoft to put Amazon's e-book standard onto Windows Phone/Tablet (Microsoft already apparently sell Amazon's Kindle hardware). Other services like music (where Amazon and Microsoft do overlap) could also be a possibility. In return, Amazon could offer to promote and support Windows Phone.<br><br>The end result would be to lock Google out of Android, destroying Google's mobile strategy completely, and perhaps get Microsoft behind Amazon's core e-book business and potentially other services (especially where there's no overlap). That would only leave Apple, but Apple's early lead is likely to eventually fade, the way that single-vendor ecosystems tend to do.
        WilErz
    • Google realize to win the platform wars, they had to allow multiple sources

      This is all healthy for Google and consumers.
      DonnieBoy
    • Oh, and by the same reasoning, it is SOOO terrible for Microsoft that Nokia

      will compete with Microsoft - using Microsoft's own OS. And, Microsoft even paid them a Billion dollars to compete.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Amazon Android Appstore starts platform dominance with exclusivity

        @DonnieBoy
        You have no clue here. Microsoft is not giving Nokia the source code. I don't know how did you miss that simple point.
        Ram U
      • RE: Amazon Android Appstore starts platform dominance with exclusivity

        @DonnieBoy

        Nokia is not competing with MS, they're partners. MS is not selling hardware to be a competitor to Nokia anyway, they're only concern with the platform growing. And to add, whatever Nokia is bringing to the WP7 platform will benefit other WP7 OEMs and the platform as a whole. Unlike with the Android platform where whatever Samsung or HTC does benefits only them, and add to the fragmentation.
        dave95.
  • PopCap stumbles

    I was a little surprised at how this went down.

    PopCap has a catalog of good games, and for their initial foray into Android, they went to all the effort to make an exclusive deal with Amazon. Chuzzle is their first game out of the gate, and it premieres as a daily freebie on the Amazon App Store.

    So far, so good. But then the stumble.

    On the app store page, there are several warnings of the games incompatibilities - mostly, not for tablets.
    I downloaded it anyway (a NOOKcolor running CM7 gingerbread on an SD card).
    The game does work, but with a lot of out-of-place elements and an offset black border. (But hey, this is basically a phone OS just stretched out a bit)

    OK, I know, I was warned about it not being for tablets. But that's not my point. My point is that PopCap finally makes the leap into Android, and this is the best they can do? Maybe they need to upgrade the talent in their porting/coding staff. Or did they just rush this out to soon? I am a little disappointed.

    I just hope things improve before they release Peggle.
    tkeller@...