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Android To Get Its Third App Store

Fragmentation,fragmentation, fragmentation. Rumors are pretty strong that Amazon is going to launch it’s own Android app store (which ties in to a possible Android tablet). We’ll get to the details of the market in a second, but this makes the third market for Android. There’s Google’s, Verizon’s and now Amazons. This is one of those really great and really awful things. For me, I think the Android market is garbage. Really, going to ‘what’s new’ is a total waste of time since the newest things are picture of women that appear after you hang up on a phone call, some new children puzzle games and a theme or two. It’s a mess and filled with way too many underperforming apps. Amazon can really clean up the categories and control what’s in their market to keep the crap out. On top of that, their reviews will (hopefully) be better (well they can’t be worse). I doubt they’d go so far as to test the apps to ensure they’re not malicious and work on various versions of Android but they are supposed to be limiting the devices that can buy from the market so at least they should cover compatibility. The real problem though, is that once you start to have a lot of markets, it starts to cause fragmentation and developers have to deal with multiple markets and as an end users you have to search multiple markets…that is unless one is so good that it simply beats the others out. The openness of Android may hit a wall with Amazon’s certification process though – we’ll have to wait and see. What do you guys think, is an Amazon market great for Android or a sign of trouble?

Here are the details of the Amazon store from Tech Crunch, and yes, it’s got a $100 certification fee.

  • For each sale of an App, we will pay you a royalty equal to the greater of 70% of the purchase price or 20% of the List Price as of the purchase date (70/30 is standard, this 20/80 split is somewhat odd and confusing)
  • The List Price is apparently in place so that you can’t sell your app cheaper on other “similar services” — meaning other app stores, presumably
  • The “similar services” should also include the forthcoming Chrome Web Store, if I’m reading this correctly
  • There is a $99 fee to be a developer in this program (the same as Apple’s iOS developer program)
  • It seems like if your app is available on other platforms, you have to make sure to update it at the same time on Amazon’s store that you do in any other store (this will piss off a lot of developers)
  • Apps will have to be laced with Amazon DRM — meaning they will only work on devices they approve (obviously)
  • Amazon has the right to pull any app for any reason (obviously)
  • Apps can also be shown on (this is up to Amazon)
  • You can offer free apps
  • The app store is U.S.-only (at least for now)
  • This part is interesting too: “We have sole discretion to determine all features and operations of this program and to set the retail price and other terms on which we sell Apps.”