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Oct 11, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views will soon offer an Android app store to compete with Google's Android market, a second industry report has confirmed. The effort joins Verizon's recent Android-ready V Cast Apps store, as well as an Android “app-pack” service announced last week by Sprint.

Want to set up shop and sell mobile applications? There's a platform for that: the Android operating system Google unleashed to the open source community. And companies are taking advantage of the search engine's largesse.

The Wall Street Journal has seconded a story TechCrunch started last month, reporting that is launching a shop for Android apps that will compete with Google's own Android Market and Apple's App Store. 

The company may also be preparing an Android tablet of its own, said the earlier TechCrunch story. Amazon currently sells no self-branded Android devices, although it does offer a free Kindle for Android app (pictured at right on a Motorola Droid).

Developers would pay an annual $99 fee to join the Amazon app store, says the story. Following the example set by Apple and Google, will command a 30 percent cut of app sales, with the developers keeping the rest.

The Journal's report essentially echoes this document, which adds the color that developer will be paid "app royalties equal to the greater of (i) 70% of the purchase price or (ii) 20% of the List Price." Applications, which will be available in the U.S. only and can be displayed on, must include Amazon's digital rights management protection. Moreover, apps sold through may not be sold at a lower price elsewhere.

"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," the distribution agreement claims. is essentially leveraging the open source nature of Android, which has soared to grab nearly 20 percent of the smartphone market in the last few months, and built its own walls around it.'s controls around the app store recall its closely-controlled Kindle model.

An Android app store from would follow Verizon's V Cast Apps for Android effort, which launched in September. V Cast Apps sports more than 5,000 developers, and while it clearly competes with Google for Android developers, the company vowed not to hinder the Android Market by controlling the applications that appear on its Android smartphones.

Sprint tips Android app-pack plans

Verizon is being joined by rival Sprint. The No. 3 wireless carrier announced at CTIA Oct. 6 that it is offering its own app packs, or collections of related applications. This is geared to put a salve on one of the known pain points of the Android Market: that apps in it are hard to find because the Android Market lacks search functionality of Apple's App Store.

Poor search and navigation isn't the only Android Market deficiency leading to this present multi-headed monster of Android apps stores. The company's lack of management and curation in the Market has led to a lot of spam users won't see in Apple's App Store, where the submission policies are more stringent. Also, the company's slowness to bring billing options to countries all over the world has upset some developers looking to get paid.

Google recently added paid app coverage in several more countries, and is rumored to be bargaining with PayPal on a partnership. However, excels at selling goods via the web, making it a logical storefront for apps. Some 80 million U.S. users download content or buy products from each month.

Interestingly, of all the companies setting up Android app shops or providing app packs — phone carriers and Google — is the only one without a device on which to run the programs it sells. That is why the TechCrunch rumor that Amazon is secretly building a tablet computer based on Android is so juicy.

While the Journal positions the app store as geared for smartphones, it could easily be a playground for tablet apps, particularly when Google releases Android 3.0 to the market this fall. Android 3.0, or Gingerbread, is optimized for tablet computers. The current Android 2.2 build is not.

Amazon did not respond to comment on either the tablet or app store.

Further Information

The story in The Wall Street Journal on Amazon's Android app-store plans may be found here.

Clint Boulton is a regular contributor to our sister publication eWEEK.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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