Amazon’s Android Appstore Shows How Fragmented Android Really Is



Amazon has announced that they will be throwing their hat into the App Marketplace ring by opening up the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal, which will allow developers of Android apps to submit apps for their upcoming Amazon Appstore for Android. It’s an interesting move, and one that might end up kicking Google’s own Android Marketplace right in the teeth.

Ostensibly, Amazon’s Appstore for Android is launching because the online retailing giant thinks:

The sheer number of apps available today makes it hard for customers to find high-quality, relevant products – and developers similarly struggle to get their apps noticed.  Amazon’s innovative marketing and merchandising features are designed to help customers find and discover relevant products from our vast selection, and we’re excited to apply those capabilities to the apps market segment.

According to that logic, Amazon’s Appstore for Android would just be an app showcase, but Amazon’s got another trick up their sleeves: Appstore for Android could very well end up bringing an App Store to Android devices that don’t have access to Google’s own Android Market.

While Android is ostensibly free to license, Google’s services are not, and the Android Marketplace is one of those services that it costs device makers to license. That leaves a large segment of the Android market unexploited: most of the most affordable Android devices out there are so cheap partly because they don’t license Google’s services.

Amazon’s Appstore for Android won’t make the same mistake: you’d better believe that Amazon wants their Appstore on every Android device under the sun. You’ll actually be able to buy Android apps on more devices through Amazon than through Google.

When Steve Jobs talked about how segmented Android as an ecosystem was, this is the sort of thing he was talking about. Obviously, Amazon can’t try to pull this same trick with iOS short of going the Cydia route, but mark my words: Amazon’s going to try to compete with the Mac App Store next.