December 20, 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?



  • Haggie

    The Amazon app store is really irrelevant for all except those that purchase an Android-powered Amazon tablet.

    It will only contain a small subset of apps that Amazon has carefully screened. It is just the final brick in a walled-garden of content that Amazon hopes to sell thru their branded tablet: books, movies, television, music, and apps. All from Amazon, all delivered to your Amazon tablet, with Amazon taking their cut.

    Try getting a content app into the Amazon store. Do you really think you’ll find the Nook in their store? Or Pandora? Or Orb?

    I’m not criticising Amazon for doing this, I’m just saying that it really isn’t that important in the bigger Android world. They are just knocking-off Apple’s iPad model.

    • http://www.nightshadelabs.com David Shellabarger

      Why would it only have a “small subset of apps that Amazon has carefully screened”.
      Last I checked, Amazon has a very large set of books and other products. Not sure why this market would be any different.

    • George

      Weird comment. They already have Amazon MP3 pre-loaded onto a lot of phones, but it’s not exclusive to anything. It’s a program, and it actually works quite well with Pandora, so I don’t see that there’s any conflict between Amazon and Pandora, just the opposite.

      I like the idea for the simple fact that I don’t really want to have to give my credit card online to too many people. Amazon already has it, and will continue to have it for the forseeable future, so the more that I can get through them as opposed to someplace else, the better.

  • tekrhino

    As with other major vendors, if the 20% dealio is true, it could only be a promotional thing for a limited time. After all, it’s all about the Benjamin’s right?

  • JoAnn

    The fragmentation argument is weak anyway. Did fragmentation hurt Microsoft? Not really. They still own the desktop market despite inroads from Apple and Linux.

    As for the last 3 negatives, I see a huge business opportunity for market federation software. Create an android app that searches all the markets for the best deal and you might have a hit on your hands. Expand on that by offering services to broker deals for software makers and markets.

    Competition is never bad for the consumer. I don’t know of anyone lamenting the many choices of online stores for travel booking or bookstores. I doubt they’ll lament more choices for Android.

  • http://android.marvinlee.net Marvin

    Fragmentation of Android is something that could not be avoided.
    At least until Google got their own Android Market right, many others will have their own ideas of creating a market for Android apps.

  • http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/ Nathan

    I seriously doubt Amazon is going to charge only a 20% fee.

    Historically, they’ve charged 50% or more for Kindle Books.

  • Miguel

    “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.”

    LOL. You obviously have not used their Android apps. Try using their MP3 app to find a brand new album by artist. It’s almost impossible unless you know the complete album name.

  • PhineasJW

    Isn’t this really the hint that Kindle is going Android?

  • Barry

    I sense the need for an AppStore Manager App.

    One application would seamlessly present all of the content from one more more App Stores.

    Also for developers – App Store Developer Management – a desktop application that will push your updates out to as many App Stores as you want.

    • Ken Pennett

      You would be speaking of APKtor, it does this…

  • http://www.whatswrongwithit.net John

    As far as the return policy goes, there WILL be one. Its the law, if the product is defective they have to refund it.
    Google is to a certain extent breaking the law with this where new versions are concerned, if you tried a previous version and returned it as defective you no longer get the option of returning a supposedly fixed newer versions. Problem is most people wont bother calling a lawyer for a .99 app.
    I currently have two apps on my phone that I paid for but simply do not work which I can not return/refund because I downloaded them a second time even though the second time was a supposedly fixed newer version.
    Google is “skirting” the law by having a return policy in place, that couldn’t happen if there were NO return policy at all.
    The question is will it be a fair return policy for both developers and consumers?

  • http://trueacu.com/Charles_Strodtbeck Strodtbeck

    What if Amazon’s new “Android App Market Place” is a “Mobile App Market” Or an “App Market” where they serve up apps for any platform?

    Hmmm . . . a one stop mega shop for all your app needs! Amazon!

  • Josh

    Your 20% rumor is just flat wrong. Check with those that have details on the agreement devs are being asked to sign. TechChrunch has some of the details. The dev cut is less and rules much more restrictive. Good luck Amazon and I really hope other devs read the fine print. I did, and I will pass for sure.

    • ari-free

      That’s OK. Consumers will pass on your app because they are tired of buggy untested apps.

  • http://www.mobification.com Dusan

    I think it will be good. Monopole is a bad thing.

  • AG

    I think the editor of this article is very much an Amazon fanboy. What about the contextual shopping platform that CSN Stores offers? The payment and customer acquisition/retention points you made don’t solely apply to Amazon…