Amazon is planning to open an online app store for devices running on Google’s Android operating system tomorrow, according to rumours.
The online retailing giant would neither confirm nor deny the date of its new store’s launch, but the store is expected to offer apps, or software applications, for smartphones and tablet PCs.
If the rumours are true then consumers could be buying apps in greater numbers say a number of IT analysts. They maintain that Amazon’s App Store is good news for both the consumer and the online retailing giant.
‘If people can go somewhere they already know and trust and download apps that can be used across a number of mobile devices, it could change the way the consumer looks at apps,’ said Clive Longbottom, the director of Business and IT analysis consultancy Quo Circa.
‘This is a great move for Amazon and the consumer’
Seamless payment options
Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director for Gartner’s consumer technology and markets team, agreed and said Amazon’s existing customer infrastructure would make it easy for consumers to pay for paid-for apps, leading to greater sales.
‘Amazon is a brand that consumers know and use. There are payment mechanisms in place already so it will be easy for existing consumers to buy the latest apps.
‘There are billing issues with the Android Market (Google’s online apps store) which is not doing so well because it’s hard for consumers to purchase paid-for apps.’
Ms Baghdassarian said Amazon was also planning to use its search and discovery tool or its ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ model to sell more apps to the consumer. ‘Amazon said it is planning to make recommendations on everything it sells, not just apps.
‘For example, if you’ve bought a set of pans from Amazon you should expect to receive details of a cookbook app referring to the pan that you bought. This is a powerful sales tool,’ she explained.
Apps to be tested and approved
Unlike the 100,000 apps available from the Android Market, each app will be tested and approved before being unleashed on the public, Amazon said. This testing and approval approach is similar to the one deployed by Apple’s iPhone Apps Store.
Quo Circa’s Longbottom concluded: ‘Amazon has got to maintain a controlled environment for this to be a success. It would be nice if Amazon can provide large numbers of apps that are clean, manageable and which do not compromise the consumer’s devices. However, we’ll have to see.’
Keep up with the latest developments in computing by signing up to a trial of Which? Computing magazine
How to follow the latest Which? Tech news
Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.
Prefer RSS? Don’t miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed.
For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.
Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared – find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up – we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 – find the best laptop deals