A glimpse at Amazon's app store
Price divergence and exclusive deals
Bored bloggers at a German website tried typing the expected address of Amazon's forthcoming app store, and were rewarded with a glimpse of the initial stock and pricing.
The site has disappeared now, and Amazon's service isn't expected to launch until later this month, but Android News managed to grab screenshots of the store showing 48 applications, many priced to undercut Google's Android Marketplace, and two that appear to be exclusive to the Amazon store.
"Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Force Recon" and "3D Spider Walk" both appear to be exclusive, at $2.99 and $0.49 respectively, but we won't be able to say for certain until the store opens. But more interesting is how Amazon has exploited its ability to tweak the prices to create loss-leading lines.
Android News has a breakdown, comparing the prices of applications common between the stores and showing that Amazon has cut the price of eight applications, by an average of around 50 cents, while increasing the price of three – but only by five cents. That's only in the 48 applications that were listed on the proto-store, which probably includes a greater proportion of modified pricing than the whole catalogue.
But it is indicative of how important Amazon thinks price will be, already evidenced by terms and conditions that permit the would-be Marketplace competitor to vary prices without negotiating with the application publisher. That policy is proving controversial with publishers, but does provide Amazon with a differentiator for its offering.
Attracting defections from Google's Marketplace isn't Amazon's main focus: there's a much bigger opportunity in those who've never downloaded an application before, so a handful of loss leaders is probably all Amazon needs to appear competitive, while assuring new customers that Amazon is the only store they'll ever need. ®
And with extra functionality too
Not only will the app be free, but it has extra features - it'll helpfully root your phone, log your keystrokes (always useful), send SMS messages to premium numbers (just in case you forget to do it yourself), plunder your credit card info (presumably for backup purposes), spam urls on internet (a great way to keep your 3G internet from timing out), and install new apps (who doesn't like even more apps!).
In summary anyone entrusting their device to some dodgy pirate site gets everything they deserve.
apple aren't the first to do things, despite what they tell you
ubuntu (an other linux distros) had app stores for years before apple
What I am saying
If you install some dodgy warez app on your device and then install "free" (i.e. pirated) software you ARE going to get a dose of malware. You're putting your expensive device and your personal data at the mercy of a warez site to save a few euros. It's nuts.
I got an email today from amazon UK to my UK email address.
Clicked the link, downloaded the app store... click angry birds. It wants a credit card, for a free app. (Google marketplace already scores here).
Add credit card, click buy. 'App Store not available in your region'.
FFS Amazon. You could have said that beforehand. Like not email a .uk address registered to an Amazon UK account saying it's 'available now' in the first damned place. Or say *somewhere* that it was US only *before* going through all the download/register crap.
Going US only is annoying. Going US only *and* going out of your way to our noses in it just bloody stupid.
I think they'll merge the two by virtue of the fact Amazon is launching an app store. Do you think such a store stands much chance of success unless there are devices that ship with it? It would just be another Appslib which is to say an also-ran. I think it is very clear Amazon intend their own tablet, possibly Kindle branded but certainly pitched in the same way.