Amazon to Offer Android App Store

It's not just the number of smartphone apps that are growing; it's the online stores to buy them at too. This week Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced it plans to give Android developers another online storefront to market their apps.

The ecommerce giant unveiled the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal, a new self-service tool Android mobile application developers can use to submit their apps. The portal is in advance of the upcoming launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android targeted at consumers.

Amazon's basic pitch to developers is that the new app store will give them access to tens of millions of active Amazon customers. The company also said it will apply its proven expertise in online marketing and merchandising to showcase apps most appropriate to the best customer prospects.

Google's Android Market already offers Android developers an online storefront, but analyst Tim Bajarin says most developers will welcome an alternative or an additional outlet for their applications.

"The Android Market is kind of a free-for-all that's not as well structured as Apple's iPhone App Store," Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies, told InternetNews.com. "What Amazon brings is the unique, easy-to-use interface of an Amazon store to the apps that's closer to an Apple-like, one-button buying experience."

Bajarin also noted Amazon is likely to include other features found at its main ecommerce site, such as reviews and customer comments, that Market doesn't have. "This is all good news for Android developers," he said. "Any developer will tell you they'd like to be on as many Android stores as possible."

Amazon also noted the difficulty consumers have finding the right mobile apps. "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," the company said in a post at its developer blog. "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."

The news comes at a time when the number of Android devices is growing rapidly and is set to increase this week with the introduction of smartphones and tablets powered by Android at the big Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

TAGS:

developer, Amazon, Google, Android, mobile apps

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