Amazon launched a mobile app store today for Android phones, aptly named the Amazon Appstore, and it’s providing all sorts of indirect and direct competition to other key app stores. Apple, which isn’t a direct competitor because its own App Store applies to iPhones and not the Android, is still suing Amazon because they claim ownership of the title “App Store,” and expect consumer confusion to result from the similar names. Meanwhile, because of several differences between Amazon’s app store and Google’s, Amazon is poised to give the algorithm behemoth a run for its money (though Google has not yet commented on the topic of Amazon’s launch).
At other app stores, prices are set by the individual app developers. True to Amazonian form, Amazon will be the one pricing the apps it sells; thus they may provide better deals than Google’s Android Market. Amazon is also offering significant incentive to visit its store by offering one paid app for free each day. And, because Amazon’s business already focuses on offering personalized recommendations based on its users’ preferences, it’s in a good position to provide app shoppers with relevant suggestions. There are myriad apps on the market, so this is a meaningful advantage.
The store is also outstripping Google in the safety department. Google does not review the apps it sells (which led to the spread of malware through numerous Androids) but Amazon will be pulling apps from its store if they steal consumer information or, of course, if they don’t work at all. As businesses come to rely on mobile apps and consumers continue to purchase more apps overall, Amazon is positioning itself to be the biggest fish in a huge market.