Amazon has launched its Appstore Developer Portal, aimed at letting Android developers submit apps for the launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android. The date of this launch is still undetermined.
"The sheer number of apps available today makes it hard for customers to find high-quality, relevant products – and developers similarly struggle to get their apps noticed," says Amazon's Appstore Team. "Amazon's innovative marketing and merchandising features are designed to help customers find and discover relevant products from our vast selection, and we’re excited to apply those capabilities to the apps market segment."
"Our customers also have a strong interest in mobile, and across the company we are working hard to make our great products and services available on mobile devices," the team adds. "We continue to innovate the mobile shopping experience with the Amazon Shopping app, Amazon Price Check and the recently launched Windowshop for the iPad. We have numerous Kindle apps, and customers can shop our MP3 store from their mobile devices. Our subsidiaries like IMDB and Audible also have robust mobile applications. An Appstore is a logical next step for Amazon in mobile."
For developers wondering why they should submit to Amazon's store, the company says that for the first time, they'll have access to tens of millions of active Amazon customers, as well as Amazon's marketing and merchandising features, and the convenience for customers to use existing Amazon accounts for purchasing apps online or on their mobile devices.
Naturally, cries of fragmentation are being uttered throughout the tech Blogosphere, and as Jason Kincaid notes, Verizon working on its own app store as well, and others will likely come later. He also got the followings statement from Google:
"Android is an open platform – and entities other than Google are free to create their own content and marketplaces, much like the web."
If Google wants users to go to the Android Market as their main destination for Android Apps, it's going to have to do some sprucing up of that Market and possibly offer some tools to combat what Amazon and others may offer down the line. That said, you have to wonder how important Google deems it for users to get their apps through the actual Android Market. The users are still buying Android apps either way, and that can only be good for the operating systems. Given the potential reach of such an offering from Amazon, it could be great for Android.
It remains to be seen if results from Amazon's appstore will turn up in Google search results, but if so, it simply means more visibility for Android apps.