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Amazon Building Its Own Android App Market? 165

Thinkcloud writes "Speculation abounds that Amazon is planning their own storefront for selling Android apps, one in which they, not the developers, will set the price and decide which apps to feature (and which apps to exclude from the store all together). It's a shrewd move and smart strategy for Amazon, though its impact on app sellers is less certain."
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Amazon Building Its Own Android App Market?

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  • by delinear ( 991444 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @10:53AM (#33758988)
    I don't really see the problem - isn't this one of the much touted advantages of Android, that if you don't like their store you can set up your own? If a provider locks the phone to a specific store, I'll not buy that phone from that provider, it's not like Android isn't on a huge variety of new handsets, if I wanted to be locked in, there's an App provider for that. I'm sure Amazon's aim will be, as usual, to try and stamp out the competition and become the sole gatekeeper - good look doing that when the competition is Google and they control the OS, but if it means a little competition to improve the usability of the respective stores, and perhaps a little more effort in helping the diamonds shine amongst the dross, then it's probably a good thing.
  • by watanabe ( 27967 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @10:55AM (#33759032)

    The issue here is not just that Amazon might want its own app store, a reasonable desire. The issue is that the current Android market really sucks. Google does not have good expertise in the curation methods that an appstore needs; right now, you have two options browsing the appstore: you can look at top, all-time sales. Games that have been out for two years top these charts, not surprisingly.

    Or, you can look at the raw feed of 'newest'. In games, that would be 64 underwear puzzle games, three things in Japanese, and a tech demo of rotating lines, controlled by some sensor or other.

    Google's traditional approach to this sort of problem is search, but search does not work well here, and there's significant market opportunity. Hence, Amazon.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @10:56AM (#33759038)

    Just what Android needs, more fragmentation.

    Yea its terrible ... like having more than one shop in a mall or something

  • by Concern ( 819622 ) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:00AM (#33759104) Journal

    Yes, because when more stores open up in your town, it's not economic growth and development, it's "fragmentation."

    The funniest part of this comment is that Amazon is only going to be likely to gain much relevance for their own app store in their dreams. They're going to have reach, of course, but a job of convincing developers to accept their terms and come into their marketplace when they are already in _the_ marketplace used by tens of millions (soon to be hundreds of millions) of Android users. They will have to spend big to get out of the zone of irrelevancy. It sounds like a miscalculation born of arrogance to me.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:01AM (#33759126)
    Ultimately, Google needs to offer up a proper way of search their appstore via a computer and select apps to install that way. They've done a fair job with the handheld, but it's just not that easy to make a screen that small and still have enough room for a proper store.
  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:02AM (#33759148)
    We'll see about that. If Amazon provides a market place where more copies are sold or it's easier for people to find the particular app, the developers may go for it anyways.
  • by kidgenius ( 704962 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:02AM (#33759150)
    In the phone world you rarely have "choice" and as the parent mentioned, most carriers will lock you into something you don't want. For example, Verizon/Samsung have decided that Bing should be the search engine of choice on their smart phones. Not exactly a big deal, except there is absolutely NO way to change it over to Google, if you so desire. I can see the same thing here. Amazon/Verizon ink a deal, and all VZ phones now ship with the default Amazon market, and Google Market is no where to be found. If you actually had a choice, then I don't have a big problem for allowing multiple markets, search engines, etc. Sure, it brings confusion, but in this case, the "choice" isn't's the handset and service provider making that choice for you.
  • by Hope Thelps ( 322083 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:07AM (#33759218)

    Wait a minute ... Amazon gets to set the price? So you want to sell at $3 and they can decide you can only sell at $0.49? Or at $10? WTF am I missing here

    It's a shop. You must use shops some times. The shop owner typically decides the selling price. The price you are willing to see at to Amazon is up to you. The price Amazon is willing to pay you is up to Amazon. The price Amazon is willing to sell to the public at is decided by Amazon. The price the public is willing to pay is decided by the public. Amazon can have loss leaders or 200% mark ups. It's a shop.

  • by kevinNCSU ( 1531307 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:12AM (#33759276)

    Yeah. That's what Frys, Best Buy, CompUSA, Tiger Direct, MicroCenter, NewEgg, Target and Walmart mean.... "fragmentation".

    Yes, they do mean fragmentation. In fact, fragmentation is exactly what it is. Fragmentation of electronics sales into separate and competing entities. The mistake is believing fragmentation is automatically bad instead of a driving force to present the best, safest and cheapest option.

  • by click2005 ( 921437 ) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:23AM (#33759428)

    It would be especially good if all the apps were thoroughly tested. With all the stories lately about Android apps
    grabbing/using personal data it might be nice to have an app store where they tell you exactly what data it uses.
    Even things like how much processor & memory it uses while active would be useful info. Or how well it runs on
    different screen sizes. I have no idea if any of the stores already do this as my 11 year old nokia phone doesnt
    have apps.

  • by Trufagus ( 1803250 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:34AM (#33759622)

    I'm hoping they will offer Amazon products and media.

    I'm not really interested in buying Android apps from them but I'll happily buy their books, music, movies, and other merchandise. And when I do I don't want some other company taking a cut or interfering in the process.

    And though I doubt that I would be buying apps from them rather then the Google Market, I wouldn't rule it out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:36AM (#33759652)

    I have no idea if any of the stores already do this as my 11 year old nokia phone doesnt
    have apps.

    So you have no idea what your talking about? Good for you!! Wade right in their with your opinions. Dont let the fact that your ignorance will probably lead you into making a stupid comment. I mean Luddites have a fair and balanced view of modern technology, right?

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:47AM (#33759826) Homepage

    If the store has apps that people want, there will be a pressure for the carriers not to lock it out, or their phones sales will suffer.

  • by SpectreBlofeld ( 886224 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:52PM (#33761132)

    I don't know. Are they? You tell us...

    How about we post the news article if they announce one? I really hate these speculative 'question' posts.

    New Android phone to have six buttons?
    Display manufacturers to use synthetic sapphire glass?
    Tommy Lee Jones to star in new motion picture?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:00PM (#33761296)

    "It sounds like a miscalculation born of arrogance to me."

    Selling books online with tons of local bookstores was arrogance. Supplying tools and hardware with the links of building depots, Home Depot, and Lowes was arrogance. Creating a kitchen store, grocery store, when all those are usual local, what an annoying, stupid thing to do. Creating a video store, mp3 store, pure arrogance given the option.

    Man, Amazon is so damn arrogant. Wait, what's that? Buckets of money? Buyers spending?

    We'll see if they succeed. Even if they fail, it's not a major loss to them. It's a new market, something they can go after. Good for them.

    You...well you seem to be looking at this mostly from the developers perspective. From the user and buyer perspective, Amazon, even if in name only, is a more trusted source. Even if it makes no sense, to you (see Apple's crap), people usually go for brand names these days for tech stuff.

    It's not the developers. It's the buyers they'll attract. Amazon understands this. They did this with ebooks, even pissing up much of the electronic book market by using DRM and not accepting certain common file standards. They like SO failed at that.

    Plus, I think this is a little retaliation for Apple being dicks and having higher book prices and going after their ebook market (probably getting back at Amazon going after their music market). Personally, I like Amazon entering this area, if for only reason it gives SOME validity to the Android marketplace, even if it it's just a perception.

  • Why can't submissions provide actual sources? In this particular case, we got a link to a blog - which linked to another blog - which linked to a techcrunch article - which linked to another techcrunch article - which linked to a dev mailing list. Would it have been so hard to provide the direct link to at least the techcrunch article which provided far more details than the random blog analysis of the same?
  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:26PM (#33763768) Homepage

    That's not exactly how it works. First of all, its not exclusive [] of Google services, and secondly, anyone can install third party apps on their Android phone without rooting it. Feel free to install some other search apk instead.

    I guess it kind of depends on how much the provider locked your phone down. If they removed the Google Marketplace and the ability to add a store, I guess you're wrong on that count. What the parent says is that Android's openness gives liberty to the carrier. The carrier will decide what liberty is left to you and what liberty is kept from you. In other word, it's not Android that gives you liberty but it is the phone maker+carrier that may give you freedom. Or rooting, but on that count the iPhone is as open as Android.

System checkpoint complete.