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Amazon to launch own Android app store

Rival mobile service to offer approval system and alternate pricing

Online retailer Amazon has announced plans to launch its own download store for Android devices. This would appear to rival Google's existing Android Market.

Amazon Appstore differs primarily from the Market in that it's perhaps more akin to the iPhone App Store. Amazon will be approving game and app submissions individually, as opposed to the Market's relative free-for-all system.

TechCrunch claims that Amazon will be more lenient than Apple, though copyright-violating and pornographic apps will be barred.

The retailer also intends to determine apps' pricing itself, and will adjust them over time – including discounting during sale events or even making them temporarily free. It is possible that Amazon may undercut Android Market prices on occasion.

Developers may, however, set a 'List Price', which they're guaranteed 20 per cent of even in the event of heavy price drops. Under normal pricing conditions, developers will receive 70 per cent of all proceeds. Amazon will deploy the recommendation tech used on its main site to help promote apps – including on App purchases made via PC can then be pushed to users' Android devices.

Android hardware manufacturers who for any reason decline to use Google's applications will still be able to use the Amazon alternative, while any and all existing Android apps will be compatible with it (subject, of course, to approval).

Amazon Appstore, which is apparently designed with tablets in mind, is due for release at an unspecified point this year, but a developer portal is available now. It's free at present, but will eventually charge a $99 annual fee.

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Alec Meer avatar
Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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