Print 18 comment(s) - last by blueboy09.. on Oct 10 at 7:54 PM

  (Source: Reuters)

Amazon's "welcome packet" for prospective developers.  (Source:
The app market waters are about to get very deep

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is making a deeper foray into the smartphone world by creating its own independent app market for Android devices. Amazon already competes with iTunes with Amazon MP3, but is seemingly stepping up against Apple and Google with the latest announcement.

According to the report, Amazon would charge developers 30% of an apps' profits, mirroring the same 30/70 split employed by both Apple and Google in their respective app stores. There is also a stipulation that apps sold on Amazon would not be allowed to be sold for a lower price anywhere else.

The one advantage Amazon has over Google is that it already maintains a "payment relationships with millions of customers, all of whom are familiar with its checkout system," WSJ said.

The Amazon announcement comes as a number of players have hinted at plans of their own app stores. Verizon Wireless is bringing the VCAST music and app store to Android devices that run on the network, like the popular Droid line and the Samsung Fascinate. Best Buy has also expressed interest in launching an app store of its own. "We are exploring this concept at this very early stage, but we have no concrete plans at this time. Google, though, is an obvious partner," Best Buy Chief Technology Officer Robert Stephens told WSJ.

It's no surprise that so many players are trying to capitalize on the lucrative mobile application market. Research firm Parks Associates told The Motley Fool that by 2014, consumers will have downloaded 11 billion apps. Juniper Research has projected the value of the mobile app market to be around $25 billion by that year.

With the popularity of Android continuing to climb, and the impending launch of a number of more economically priced devices running the OS this holiday season (not to mention the announcement that Verizon will definitely be getting the iPhone), it's easy to see why Amazon is jumping into the game. According to WSJ, Android's share of the U.S. smartphone market climbed to 19.6% in August, compared to 2.5% a year earlier. The iPhone was still holding on to 24.2% of the smartphone market in in the same timeframe. (Figures provided by comScore.)

One down side -- developers have noted -- of Google's Android Market is its cumbersome organization. Many quality apps get buried underneath 50 different fart machines and free horoscope apps. What Amazon can bring to the table is a better organizational structure, making quality and niche apps easier to locate. Amazon could also capitalize on its ability to recommend content to consumers, the same way it currently does with its online store.

No name for Amazon's app store has been announced, nor has a possible launch date. "We don't comment on rumors and speculation" an Amazon representative told WSJ. However, prospective developers began receiving a "welcome packet" from Amazon. A few items of note: DRM is up to the developer to require or not; Amazon would review apps that are submitted, rather than letting any app into the market the way Google does; and the app store will allow videos from developers, allowing consumers to view demos of the apps before installing.

Another possible risk of the Amazon development -- it could further segment the already subdivided Android universe. 

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By solarrocker on 10/8/2010 8:23:04 AM , Rating: 3
So we're now going to get multiple app stores for the Andriod, this might get a bit confusing. Unless they all sell the same stuff for different prices. Then I'm expecting to see websites to pop up where you can search multiple APP sites for the best deals.

Either way things are getting interesting

RE: ok?
By Motoman on 10/8/2010 9:57:58 AM , Rating: 1
It's only confusing for people too stupid to understand how something could be available for purchase in more than one place.

Are you confused that you can buy a CD at more places than just Best Buy? Are you confused that there's more than one gas station in the world? How about the concept that you can buy the latest Call of Duty game in damn near every retail store on the planet?

RE: ok?
By MeesterNid on 10/8/2010 10:19:05 AM , Rating: 4
Easy on the coffee there. I think what he was trying to say is that it may be confusing for people to find some app they heard about but don't necessarily know where it's sold if there are multiple stores and each lists different set of applications.


RE: ok?
By solarrocker on 10/8/2010 10:46:09 AM , Rating: 2

As said Amazon will not allow apps to be sold cheaper anywhere else, which could mean some apps will be sold at amazon only. This would leave some other sites out.

But this could be easily sold with a central search site for Android apps that searches all the online stores.

RE: ok?
By LRonaldHubbs on 10/8/2010 11:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
But this could be easily sold with a central search site for Android apps that searches all the online stores.

That site already exists. It's

RE: ok?
By melgross on 10/8/2010 11:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point here. If Amazon has a "no lower price than us" requirement, then the other dozen or so stores will as well. That will mean that you will have to go shop around to even find apps, and may never know where they are, or even if they exist, because searching in one store will only find what's in that store.

This isn't like buying a major product that you know about in advance. This is looking through apps in a category, and spotting what you might like, and what's got a good rating. With one store, that's far easier. This way, you will have to look through a bunch of stores, and may never find what you would have liked the most, because it might be where you didn't look.

Having third party sites try to compile this might not work either, because we don't know if Amazon, or others will allow it. And even if a third party can compile a listing of all programs and keep it up to date as does for Apple's app store, they may not be able to link to it as they do, requiring people to get the name of the app, and then go to that store to read about it, and possibly buy it.

While you seem to think this is easy, it's a heck of a lot more work than going to one place for things, and as has been shown, most people won't like that. It's one major reason why the Amazon music store has seen its sales stalled at lower that 8%, even though it links the songs you buy right to people's iTunes library for them. Most people would rather just buy from iTunes, even if the songs fron Amazon are a bit cheaper.

So your theory is wrong. This will just add to the mess.

By Suntan on 10/8/2010 12:32:23 PM , Rating: 5
Don't really know what it has to do with the article, but God I want a Blooming Onion right now...


RE: Off-topic
By Donkey2008 on 10/8/2010 3:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
Word. +1

RE: Off-topic
By blueboy09 on 10/10/2010 7:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
I need some Foster's beer right next to the barbie.

I'd hate to start a fight, but...
By The Raven on 10/8/2010 10:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what the big deal is here. Amazon already has had an "app store" for years. Apps for your full blown PC, that is. This is no different. Android is open, so I could put an app on my website and you DL it to your phone and bam! So I could open my own app store if I wanted. Google, Motorola, Sprint or others could do nothing to stop me (unless they stop offering Android).

The only people this is a big deal to are the bubble boys over in Cupertino. If they new what is good for them they should be watching closely to what happens here.

In the big scheme of things this is not news. It is only news because the same thing that happened to the desktop is now happening to the mobile phone now.

RE: I'd hate to start a fight, but...
By Strunf on 10/8/2010 10:57:06 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a big deal not even for Apple, they already set the trend where having a "single choice" is good and actually have a choice is bad, those who think otherwise are "holding it wrong".

By The Raven on 10/8/2010 12:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, there is a place for that. But most people agree that it is not for the masses. Otherwise Apple would already dominate the market with their PCs (or what they like to call 'Macs').

RE: I'd hate to start a fight, but...
By rudy on 10/10/2010 6:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
It is kinda news though, you could always do this on windows mobile. It is sort of an ironic situation. Part of the power of apple was they were big enough to pull this one over the phone carrier previously phone carriers tried to force everyone to buy all apps directly from them so they could take the profits. This made it so there was 1 universal place to get applications and that made it easier to find them rather than searching the whole internet for things. By going back to the the more windows based a approach you wil start to see the phone market almost going back to what it used to be. Maybe we will see carriers start to force people to buy only from the carriers again. Now amazon will need to strike deals to get the amazon market as the default market on phones.

Personally I do not care much except the thing I hate about android right now is that they say you void your warranty if you root the phone yet they put a bunch of garbage on there I do not want and cannot uninstall without voiding my warranty. And one of the ones I hate the most is amazon mp3.

Hopefully wp7 will break this cycle.

By zephyrxero on 10/8/2010 10:49:35 AM , Rating: 1
Ok, this is getting pretty ridiculous. I know Google and the OHA are trying to keep everything open source and give people the freedom to manipulate Android in pretty much anyway they want...but this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It's one thing if an HTC device has a slightly different UI than Samsung does...but to have a fragmented app store landscape could kill Android. If my friend has a Droid 3 or something on Verizon and I have a Captivate on AT&T and one us has an app that's not available on the other's phone this will make Android very unappealing to many. What happens when someone buys an Android phone with a primary intention to have Pandora radio available on it, only to find out his phone uses the Amazon store where it's not available?

RE: Ridiculous
By bigbrent88 on 10/8/2010 11:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Like people have said, you could do it online easy enough. Hell, you can download and install apps from your PC right now. Or, they could make apps that link to their store and work like AppBrain, which I recommend by the way.

Nuclear meltdown 2 miles ahead
By SunAngel on 10/8/2010 8:54:35 AM , Rating: 2
Another possible risk of the Amazon development -- it could further segment the already subdivided Android universe .

Science already tells us what happens when you split the atom...well in this case splitting something that has been split multiple times, well expect radioactive androids all over the place.

Good for non-U.S. users
By jtesoro on 10/8/2010 12:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
This is good as it makes available a big, trusted store to a lot of countries where the Andoid Market doesn't serve paid apps. This is one thing I actually don't understand: why the restriction of paid apps only to certain countries.

An App for the App store?
By shortylickens on 10/8/2010 11:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
App app store?
App store app?

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