It was only about 1.5 months ago that Google finally rolled out their web-based Android Marketplace and Amazon has been quick on the draw as they are scheduled to open up their Android App Store on March 22nd. This isn't exactly a surprise as we first found out Amazon had this in the works last september but a nosy Android enthusiast did get a peek at the new app store and what he saw was interesting.
Take a look at the premature Amazon Android app store webpage and find out why this could be bad news for Google by hitting the break.
The app store webpage, http://www.amazon.com/apps, accidently went live revealing 48 apps as well as their prices.
We already know that despite the fact that this is an Android app store, Amazon's version will be more closely related to the iTunes app store in that Amazon reviewers will be responsible for approving apps. Google takes the anything goes approach which is great unless your phone gets hijacked by seemingly innocent apps. Also similar to iTunes, Amazon will take a 70/30 cut from developers profits and it will cost developers $99 to sign up. I'm sad to say that DRM is included as well but that's more of an inconvenience to remove than a real problem. Also, apps that link out to other apps will have to be redirected to the Amazon market instead of Google's market. The Amazon store will be accessible through the web and the Amazon Android app.
It is true that Amazon can handle payments in more countries than Google but the official Android marketplace has a few things going for it. For one, there is no review process, meaning developers don't need to cut through red tape to get a product on the market. Also, Google only takes a 10% cut from developers which is considerably less and helps promote lower prices for consumers as well. During PLuGHiTz Live! Radio - Episode 189 we discussed why taking 30% off the top would drive developers and services to withdraw from the iTunes store and I imagine the same reasons will apply to the Amazon store. I'm curious to see how the Amazon store will go over. Do you guys think it will be a success?