Amazon may launch its own Amazon Appstore for Android devices as early as March 22nd, according to a report by Wired. The Amazon-branded third-party app store will rival Android’s native Google Android Market on most Android devices.
In addition to carrying third-party Android titles, Amazon is looking to differentiate its model from Android Market by offering lower prices on select apps and exclusive titles. Apps sold via Amazon Appstore will come with Amazon’s DRM mechanism and will also make it easier for consumers to re-download digital titles, much like what Amazon has done for e-books via the Kindle bookstore.
Wired notes that its tipster says that apps can be purchased through a browser, like on Google’s Android Market, or via an app on Android devices.
Customers will be able to purchase apps through the Amazon.com website or directly through a native Amazon app on their Android devices, said our tipster, who is involved in the launch. Our source asked to remain anonymous due to a non-disclosure agreement.
While an Amazon app store may create confusion with Android Market, Amazon stands to be a serious competitor to the official Android Market as Amazon has payment mechanisms in more countries than Google does with Google Checkout, which is used for purchasing apps on Android Market.
Whether the Amazon Appstore may pave way to an official Amazon-branded Android tablet is unclear. Currently, Amazon is still boasting the advantages of a dedicated e-reader device through its Kindle platform, though the company does offer a Kindle app for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.