Details are still vague, so consider this speculative for now, but Amazon is poised to do something that involves Android — and it looks like it may be a competitor to Android’s official Android Market, which is analogous to the iPhone’s App Store. Beginning late last week, Amazon began reaching out to developers about an opportunity; interested developers are being asked to sign an NDA before they’re sent more details. We’ve confirmed with multiple developers that Amazon has been sending out feelers, and while we’re still working on confirming the details of Amazon’s project, there are a few clues scattered around the web.
In a thread on Listware, multiple developers are apparently talking about Amazon’s proposal. One notes that the opportunity looks “more restrictive than Android Market”. Another talks about Amazon’s global payments system, which has much broader reach than Google’s payments.
Some other blogs have speculated that this might be something that Google is doing in tandem with Amazon (after all, Amazon’s MP3 store comes as a default app on stock Android installs). But these comments seem to indicate that this isn’t the case.
If Amazon is planning to launch its own Android app store, it could further add to the app store fragmentation that’s already begun (Verizon is launching its own App Store). Openness is great, but if users have to go shopping around to multiple App Stores where apps differ in availability and pricing, that could result in confusion.
We’ll have more on this soon.