Android App Store from Amazon: potential game changer

Amazon is rumored to be working on its own app store for Android that would compete with Google's Android Market. Though Amazon has not announced it or made any statements confirming the rumor, SlashGear today got its hands on the store's terms and conditions for developers, and they seem to sync with the rumors from earlier this week.

Included in these terms are the royalties for developers, which would be 70% of an app's purchase price or 20% of its list price; and conditions for listing applications in other app stores, (apps must be released in the Amazon store at the exact same time as in other app stores, or earlier.)

While there is concern that an app store from a major Web retailer will just "fragment" Android further, an app store with Amazon could seriously kickstart the Android app economy, and would provide a single, unified media solution for Android devices.

Accepted payment method

The Amazon mp3 store is already the default music shop for many Android phones, and the Kindle store is tied to the Android Kindle app for e-books. With a single payment solution already in place for users of those services, an app store would have serious potential to be more user friendly than the Android Market in terms of payment. To buy apps now, users must set up a Google Checkout account. This four-year old service has been the subject of some derision, and has really failed to shine.

Closest competitor to iTunes Store

Along with the aforementioned MP3 and e-book stores, Amazon already has a video on demand service in place. Adding an app store would actually be easier for Amazon to do than for Google to build its own media download service. A Google music service has been the subject of serious speculation since Google showed off a Browser-based Android Market complete with music store at Google I/O in May.

Management

Amazon already has a sophisticated Web-based media management system in place at YourMediaLibrary. It includes all your music downloads, Video on Demand purchases, Kindle books, highlights and notes. While it does not provide any options for synchronization (if you bought an MP3 album on your phone, for example it cannot be re-downloaded on your PC,) it does offer an exhaustive record of your Amazon usage, and could serve as a backbone to a more inclusive Whispersync-style service.

International Presence

The international availability of the Android Market is poor at best. Though Google is expected to launch paid Android apps in more countries worldwide, Amazon already has local sites all over the world, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Some in the media expect Amazon to launch its Android app store very soon. The company, however, has not yet addressed the speculation, and we await its comment on the matter.

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