Amazon has had their own Android app store brewing for a while now. They have just opened the store up to developers and you may wonder what the point is. How many app stores does one mobile platform need?
Currently, the Google Marketplace is the default, but the nature of Android allows for a lot of freedoms. There is no real screening process, so the user has to be careful what they install and rely mostly on ratings and comments.
Amazon is taking an approach that is more in line with Apple’s. Developers who wish to appear on Amazon’s store have to get approval (Amazon says that the process is currently taking about a week). And Amazon is going to have slightly more stringent guidelines: your application has to work properly (i.e. it can’t crash right off the bat) and it has to do what you say it does. It also has to be safe. Android Market has many of these same requirements, but the difference here is that Amazon checks apps before they’re deployed to its store, while Google does so after problematic applications are reported.
Sounds like a good deal for Android users. This becomes more apparent when you talk about app pricing. With Google’s marketplace, developers set the price. With Amazon, developers are only guaranteed 20% of the List Price they set if Amazon drastically discounts an app or offers it for free. Otherwise, developers get 70%.
Android is an open platform and this will open the door for competition. Verizon also has an app store in the works. The question is, what effects will this have on users and developers?