Rumors have been swirling for a week that the long-awaited Amazon Appstore for Android apps was preparing to launch and today, a source tells Wired, the store will open to the public Tuesday.
The Amazon Appstore will run inside Google's Android Marketplace, but unlike the general Android market which does little to control the upload and download of apps, the Amazon Appstore will be curated by reviewers.
Customers will be able to purchase apps from the Amazon.com Website or on a native Amazon app on Android devices, the source told Wired.
The existence of the store was revealed in September and last week, an Android fan stumbled on an early version of the store at www.amazon.com/apps with 48 apps listed for sale, as reported to AndroidNews.
What is Amazon up to? Among other things, Amazon is simply extending its sales platform to yet another market -- mobile apps, according to Wired.
Some critics point out that an Amazon app store in addition to an official Android app market may create confusion on the platform. However, it's worth noting that Amazon payment systems are deployed in more countries than Google Checkout, so an Amazon app store may pose serious competition to the Android Marketplace, and possibly even iTunes... Multiple reports claim that Amazon will focus on lower prices for apps to gain a competitive edge.
A curated platform may have advantages over the Wild West that is the Android marketplace, writes ReadWriteWeb's Sarah Perez.
...the store represents the first attempt by a major retailer to offer a "curated" selection of Android applications for sale. That means the apps that stock Amazon's virtual shelves will be reviewed and tested. According to Amazon's rules, the apps must work properly and be safe, both in terms of consumer data privacy and the impact to the mobile device itself. In other words, it's a selection of mobile applications that won't slow your phone to a crawl or drain your battery. You can also stop worrying about whether or not an app is safe to use when it's downloaded from Amazon, as all will be screened for malware.
And Apple's restrictive in-app purchasing policies and "one-way" pricing and development policies have left room for Google or another app-store platform to win over software developers.
More significantly, much of the speculation surrounding Amazon's entry into the apps market surrounds the company's top-selling product, the Kindle eReader. From GigaOm's Ostatic:
[Amazon] has content assets that it can build around a device designed to be more robust than today's Kindles are. As a platform, Android represents a huge opportunity for Amazon, and one that it could leverage with its own Android app store. There are already rumors that Amazon is working with Android. This year, look for Amazon to push forward with a more ambitious tablet device strategy, and watch as it produces the most direct competition to the iPad yet.