Amazon.com is launching a tablet computer based on Google's Android operating system along with an application store to run software programs on it.
TechCrunch said Sept. 27 the application store, a rival to Google's Android Market, costs $99 for developers to join.
Amazon will pay developers a royalty equal to the greater of 70 percent of the purchase price or 20 percent of the list price of the app.
Applications, which will be available in the United States only and can be displayed on Amazon.com, must include Amazon's digital rights management protection.
TechCrunch also snagged a telling quote about how regimented the Amazon Android market will be:
"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."
The blog later said Amazon would release an Android tablet to compete with Apple's iPad, which is making headway against Amazon's Kindle as a machine for electronic reading.
Amazon did not respond to comment on either the tablet or app store as of this writing.
Both are intriguing possibilities. If Amazon is indeed building an app store, it will join Verizon's new V-Cast Apps store for Android in competing with Google's own Android Market.
An Amazon tablet would be as loathed by Apple as it would be welcome by Google, which fully expected several smartphones and tablets to launch to support its Android platform.
However, it's unlikely Google expected other vendors to set up their own application stores, using Android's open-source nature to control the app experience.
Why would vendors do this? To provide an alternative to Android's weak link. Officially, the Market only allows developers to sell apps in nine countries.
Unofficially, ReadWriteWeb has found evidence that Android Market's payment purview is expanding.
Still, it's clear that Verizon and Amazon view the expansion as too little, too late and seek to take matters into their own hands.