Amazon readies launch of Android Market competitor

The developer portal is open, and the store will launch later this year

Amazon is preparing to open an Android app store to compete with Google's Android Market, and has launched a beta portal where developers can submit applications for Android-based smartphones, according to a company blog post.

The applications will be sold on the Amazon Appstore for Android, which the company expects to launch later this year, according to information on Amazon's developer portal. At launch, the Appstore will be available for customers in the U.S., and it will be compatible with Android 1.6 and higher. Users will be able to shop for applications from their PCs, which isn't possible with the existing version of Android Market, or from their smartphones, and pay with their existing Amazon account. The store will carry free and paid applications.

Compared to Android Market, Amazon's store will offer more information about applications. Product page will be able to display an unlimited number of images, detailed product descriptions, and up to five two-minute videos per product, according to Amazon.

To submit applications, developers first need an Amazon account. Amazon recommends creating a new account for the Appstore Developer Program. Joining the program will cost US$99 a year, compared to Google's one-time $25 registration fee for Android Market. However, Amazon will waive the fee during the first year of the program.

Amazon reserves the right to set retail prices for applications, although developers may indicate a "list price" which must be less than or equal to the list price for all current and previous versions of the app, whether on Amazon Appstore or elsewhere. Amazon will pay developers 70 percent of the purchase price of the application or 20 percent of the list price, whichever is greater.

Unlike Google, Amazon will have an approval process for applications submitted to its store. The company will be testing the apps to verify that they work as outlined in the product description, and that they don't impair the functionality of the smartphone or put customer data at risk once installed, Amazon said. Offensive content, including pornography, is prohibited. What Amazon deems offensive "is probably about what you would expect," it says. Amazon will also stop applications that infringe user's privacy.

Amazon isn't the only company that is launching its own store for Android. Mobile operators such as Orange are also looking to compete with Android Market.

The availability of multiple application stores is not necessarily a good thing from a usability standpoint, if it means users have to look for an application they want in multiple places, said Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms and Media. However, the availability of competing application stores will help Android's market share grow, he said.

Amazon will have to hit a moving target: Google has been improving Android Market with a new user interface, larger file sizes and longer product descriptions.

In December, the company also added carrier billing for AT&T's subscribers. The buying experience is one part of Android Market that developers want Google to improve. Google also offers T-Mobile US subscribers carrier billing, and will continue to partner with more carriers on billing, it said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags consumer electronicsamazon.comGooglesmartphonesPhonesAndroidPhone applications

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?