April 23, 2014

7 Reasons Why an Amazon App Store Would Be Good for Android, and 4 Reasons it Could Suck

The hot rumor this week is that Amazon is considering an Android app store of their own.  Depending on where you read it, they are also mulling the idea of an Android device (tablet) as well.  We’re almost 100% certain of the app store at this point, but we’re not completely sold on the tablet – yet.  Looking forward with the assumption that the store launches in the near future, let’s examine a few reasons as to why it’s good for Android in general.

7 Reasons Why it Would be Good

  1. Nobody does discovery and recommendation like Amazon.  Period.  Try as they might. there are no other online stores or services that seem to know a user better than Amazon does.
  2. The Android Market needs strong, serious competition to keep them innovating.  Amazon is about as big a player it gets.  Even if they don’t offer the biggest and best options, they’ll at least keep Google innovating.
  3. Amazon has plenty of payment alternatives to appeal to buyers.  Customers would undoubtedly enjoy the choice between credit cards, checking, gift cards, and more.
  4. Amazon also takes payments in countries where Google Checkout (Android Market) does not.  It would be a quick boost for developers and users in some areas of the world.
  5. Developers could receive a bigger piece of the pie for their paid apps.  We’re hearing that Amazon will only take 20% from the top as opposed to the Android Market (and others) 30% fee.
  6. Developers may just end up making more money in general.  Who knows if they will offer a return policy or how long it might last? Assuming they won’t, it would cut down on all those returns that show up right around the 23rd and 24th hour.
  7. Amazon offering Android apps just solidifies how much promise there is in the mobile OS.  It’s another huge spotlight cast on Android which, in turn, lifts the platform as a whole.  More phones, more developers, more apps, more customers!

4 Reasons Why it Could Suck

  1. It would lead to more confusion and talks about how fragmented Android has become.
  2. Developers don’t want the hassle of pushing out updated versions of their app across multiple markets.  It’s time consuming to submit a minor bug fix release every few weeks when a new device comes out.  Ask the guys at ShopSavvy.
  3. It might elevate the risk of carriers or handset makers forcing developers to sign exclusive deals.  Preloading App X on your phone might be bloatware to you, but perhaps the next guy, on another network, can’t get the app.  Case in point: NFL Mobile
  4. We could see a rash of other outlets providing their own stores as a result.  Who wants to look at their Droid 2 and see Android Market, Amazon, Motorola, and Verizon stores?  It’s not as awesome as it sounds at first.

Obviously, there are others that might come to mind both for and against the idea.  I hate publishing posts like these if only because a half hour later I want to make it “9 Reasons…” or something else.

Do you see any other ways that Android benefits from having a player the size of Amazon getting involved?  What about possible problems?

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