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Amazon's Android Appstore opens up shop

Customers can try before they buy on the Amazon Appstore...

Customers can try before they buy on the Amazon Appstore...

The Amazon Appstore lets customers try before they buy

The Amazon Appstore for Android will let customers try software before they buy itPhoto: Amazon

Online retailer Amazon has launched its own application store, selling software for Android devices.

Amazon will vet all apps for Google's mobile operating system before they become available to customers and invited programmers to start submitting their software at the beginning of January this year. The online retail giant says it will use its experience in sales to determine the list price of apps and promotional offers.

App developers will be paid either 20 per cent of the list price, which they set, or 70 per cent of the purchase price set by Amazon - whichever is greater. If an app is offered free, the 20 per cent of list price arrangement applies.

Amazon says it has used its experience as an online retailer to make the process of finding apps easier

Amazon says it has used its experience as an online retailer to make the process of finding apps easier Photo: Amazon

A feature of the Amazon Appstore is the option for customers to try apps via their web browser before deciding whether to buy. The feature works by simulating an Android phone on a web browser and allowing customers to control the app with their computer using a mouse.

Paul Ryder, vice president of electronics for Amazon.com, said in a statement that Amazon has applied its retail experience to make it easier for users to search for apps.

"Our customers have told us that the sheer number of apps available can make it hard to find apps that are high quality and relevant to them. We've spent years developing innovative features that help customers discover relevant products. By applying these features - plus new ones like Test Drive - we're aiming to give customers a refreshing app-shopping experience."

The Amazon Appstore will be competing against Google's own app store, Android Market. Unlike Amazon, Google does not vet apps before making them available for users to download and recently had to pull 50 malicious apps from the Android Market.

The Amazon Appstore is only available to customers in the US but it is likely to be rolled out internationally, although Amazon has not yet specified a date.