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 Amazon.com 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, Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com, must include Amazon’s digital rights management protection. Moreover, apps sold through Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com distribution agreement claims.
Amazon.com 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. Amazon.com’s controls around the app store recall its closely-controlled Kindle model.
An Android app store from Amazon.com 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.