Wall Street Journal is
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
possible risk of the Amazon development -- it could further segment
the already subdivided Android universe.