Amazon to take on Google's Android Marketplace with an app store of its own
Amazon is slated to launch a mobile app store soon in a move that will pit it head-to-head with Google's Android Marketplace.
"We're starting with Android apps since it's an open ecosystem," said Anya Waring, an Amazon spokeswoman. "Amazon officially hasn't made an announcement as to when our app store will launch, but all I can say right now is soon -- it's coming soon."
Amazon opened up its Amazon Appstore Developer Portal in January, and a number of developers have already submitted some apps, each of which Amazon will test and verify as a quality product before selling, Waring said.
The Seattle-based company has also created a Developer Blog and Twitter account that offer tips on how best to market Android apps once they're available for sale on Amazon.com, and it's posted videos on YouTube explaining how to submit apps to its online store.
Consumers will be able to buy Android apps from Amazon on computers as well as smart phones and tablets running Google's Android operating system, Waring said.
App purchases will be made using the same Amazon account people currently use to buy books on Kindles and items on Amazon.com.
And for every app sold through Amazon's Appstore -- whether in a Web browser or mobile app -- Amazon will take a 30% cut of revenue, the same cut the company takes for e-book sales.
"It will really raise apps to the surface," she said. "Apps right now don't get much exposure and it can be tough to find things in a lot of app stores. But we're changing that. If you buy a set of knives on Amazon.com, then you'll see maybe a cooking app show up as a recommended item alongside a cookbook or whatever else appears now."
Though Android apps are the main focus of Amazon's app store as of now, the retail giant is keeping an open eye as to other platforms it could sell apps for in the future, Waring said.
"If the customer demand is there, and if it's the right move for us, then we'd be open to selling apps for other ecosystems in the future," she said.
The Amazon app store will first launch only in the U.S. and eventually international markets as well, Waring said.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Video: How to submit apps to the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal. Credit: Amazon. Images: A screen shot of the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal (middle) and a screen shot of how an app being sold on the Amazon Appstore would look. Credit: Amazon.