Amazon released their long awaited Android Application Store last week and is all the buzz. It has a lot of bells and whistles including recommendations, test driving of apps, and prescreened apps that won’t fry our phones. It also features some exclusive titles like Angry Birds Rio and some of the titles are cheaper than in the Android Marketplace.
All in All, the Amazon Marketplace is being hailed by all the Pundits as being good for the consumer. After all, competition is a good thing and should drive innovation. We hear that Google will be rolling out a new version of their Marketplace with some exciting new features too. However, this increased fragmentation may not be the best thing for the Android platform. There are already several dozen app stores available on Android and Amazon’s success will just bolster that number. We hear that lots of Operators and Retailers are planning their own.
As consumers, we don’t want to drive to Walmart, Costco, and BJs individually to find the cheapest items. That seems to be the direction in which Android is heading and each of these stores have about the same number of applications as Costco has items for sale, making fragmentation a huge nightmare for subscribers. Makes Apple’s walled garden not look so bad.. huh?
Meta stores that can search across App Stores might be the new big thing. Hopefully, a lot of the emerging App Store retailers will offer APIs to access their content, making it easy for consumers to search across them and pick the best selections possible. It would be similar to how we use Google today to search out the best deal before buying a music system. We expect some creative start-ups to emerge out of this opportunity...