Earlier today, after several tips, we guessed that Amazon may be close to launching its own app store for Android — yes, another Android app store. Sources we reached out to weren’t sure about what exactly Amazon was launching, but many had been asked to sign NDAs about something. Now we seem to know a bit more. And yes, it appears that Amazon is on the verge of launching its own app store for Android.
We’re still going over the details, but if the information we’ve obtained is accurate, it appears there are a number of interesting tidbits around payments paid out through this store. And a number of new restrictions. Ugh.
Amazon’s entry into the Android app space follows Verizon’s move into the area as well with the forthcoming V Cast apps. I can’t wait to hear what Google thinks about all this competition on their devices. Hopefully Google CEO Eric Schmidt will talk about it tomorrow at TechCrunch Disrupt.
Update: Okay, some details:
- For each sale of an App, we will pay you a royalty equal to the greater of 70% of the purchase price or 20% of the List Price as of the purchase date (70/30 is standard, this 20/80 split is somewhat odd and confusing)
- The List Price is apparently in place so that you can’t sell your app cheaper on other “similar services” — meaning other app stores, presumably
- The “similar services” should also include the forthcoming Chrome Web Store, if I’m reading this correctly
- There is a $99 fee to be a developer in this program (the same as Apple’s iOS developer program)
- It seems like if your app is available on other platforms, you have to make sure to update it at the same time on Amazon’s store that you do in any other store (this will piss off a lot of developers)
- Apps will have to be laced with Amazon DRM — meaning they will only work on devices they approve (obviously)
- Amazon has the right to pull any app for any reason (obviously)
- Apps can also be shown on amazon.com (this is up to Amazon)
- You can offer free apps
- The app store is U.S.-only (at least for now)
- This part is interesting too: “We have sole discretion to determine all features and operations of this program and to set the retail price and other terms on which we sell Apps.”
Those are the details for now. It’s not entirely clear how closed or open this store will be. Also not clear is what Android devices this store (and its apps) will run on. More to come, I’m sure.