March 17, 2011, 9:23 PM — Roll out the welcome wagon, Android fans: It looks like you'll soon have a new place to shop.
[ See also: 10 Must-Have Android Apps for Business ]
Amazon may be days away from launching its Android app store, if recent signs are any indication. The company briefly had its storefront online this week, as discovered by German website AndroidNews.de. The blog had the bright idea to pull up amazon.com/apps; there, it found a page entitled "Appstore for Android" with a list of 48 "top-selling" applications.
The page has since been taken down, but from its brief stay, we learned that Amazon's Android app store will have apps that aren't available in the main Android Market (beyond just the Angry Birds Rio exclusive Amazon had previously announced). It looks like the store will also offer cheaper prices on some common applications; several programs were marked down by as much as a couple dollars below their Android Market rates.
Amazon's Android App Store: Differing Viewpoints
In the grand scheme of things, the launch of Amazon's new app store signifies an exciting step forward for the world of Android. Think about it: This kind of high-profile competition will bring richer and more diverse options for us, the customers. And, as competition tends to do, it'll encourage competitive pricing. Remember, too, that Amazon is offering its own incentives to developers, which'll help attract new talent and drive innovation on Android even further. And the best part: If you don't like the way Amazon approaches app sales, you don't have to use its store. It's just another choice -- the first of many on the way.
What's fascinating to me is that some people, such as the CEO behind a certain competing smartphone platform, like to characterize multiple app stores on Android as a bad thing. Remember Steve Jobs' anti-Android rant from his company's earnings call last fall?
"In addition to Google's own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon, and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android -- so there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want," Jobs said.