Leads Pack of New Android App Stores

Google's Android operating system is so open source, so companies such as, Verizon and Sprint are taking advantage of the platform to offer mobile applications.

Want to set up shop and sell mobile applications? There's a platform for that: Android, operating system Google unleashed to the open source community. And companies taking advantage of the search engine's largesse.

The Wall Street Journal advanced the story TechCrunch started last month that is launching a shop for Android apps that would compete with Google's own Android Market and Apple's App Store.

Developers would pay an annual $99 fee to join. Following the example set by Apple and Google, will command a 30 percent cut of app sales, with the developers keeping the rest.

The Journal's report essentially echoes this document, which adds the color that developer will be paid app royalties equal to the greater of (i) 70% of the purchase price or (ii) 20% of the List Price."

Applications, which will be available in the U.S. only and can be displayed on, must include Amazon's digital rights management protection. Moreover, apps sold through may not be sold at a lower price elsewhere.

"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 distribution agreement claims. is essentially leveraging the open source nature of Android, which has soared to grab nearly 20 percent of the smartphone market in the last few months, and built its own walls around it.'s controls around the app store recall its closely-controlled Kindle model.

An Android app store from would follow Verizon's V Cast Apps for Android effort, which launched in September.

V Cast Apps sports more than 5,000 developers and while it clearly competes with Google for Android developers, the company vowed not to hinder the Android Market by controlling the applications that appear on its Android smartphones.