What does an Amazon app market mean for Android?

March 1, 2011, 8:33 PM UTC

Rumors say that the store could launch as early as this month.

Millennial Media is reporting that an Amazon (AMZN) Android app store will launch later this month, which will compete with Google’s (GOOG) own Android Market.  First relayed via their @MillennialMedia Twitter account, the new App store will be run by Amazon.

The Amazon Appstore for Android is coming soon, and we think it’s a great opportunity. Mobile developers are able to leverage the new self-service tool to submit and market their apps to the tens of millions of consumers who shop with Amazon.  It’s a win-win solution for both developers and Amazon.com customers. Developers gain additional exposure for their applications through Amazon.com and benefit from Amazon’s mobile advertising efforts with us to support the Amazon App Store for Android launch. Amazon.com customers can now easily find and purchase applications that best fit their needs and lifestyles.

Amazon plans to offer Android owners a more curated store with additional restrictions on pricing and content. But that is old news.

One thing that stands out to me is affiliate advertising.  Amazon currently offers 8% of software revenues to web publishing referrals.  It isn’t clear if they will offer the same, more or less for Android apps.  Google’s Android Market doesn’t offer this kind of plan for publishers.  That means: if an app is available on both markets, expect publishers to link to Amazon to make a few bucks.

Also, only Open Handset Alliance members get the official Android Market app.  Cheaper Android devices from second tier manufacturers will be able to install Amazon’s App Market for these other devices and have many of the same application downloading advantages as first tier devices from OHA members.  It is a pretty big equalizer in this regard.  Expect device makers like Archos to take advantage of this.

Amazon’s market may even evoke a response from Google, which might want to make its Android Market available elsewhere.

It also stands to reason that Amazon could come up with its own Android or Android-based tablet products — perhaps a future version of the Kindle.  If they have an app store, why not ship a device to put it on?

We’ll find out more soon, perhaps as early as this month.

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