Amazon today announced its Amazon Appstore Developer portal -- an Android app store within the Amazon ecosystem. It's largely familiar, with the usual hooks for developers, though we'll have to wait a little while to judge its usefulness from a consumer standpoint. We spoke with Amazon's Aaron Rubenson, category leader for Mobile Services for Amazon.com, and Ameesh Paleja, general manager for the Engineering Division of Mobile Services for Amazon.com, for more details.
- Today's launch is for developers. Consumers will be able to download apps through Amazon later this year.
- Developers will upload apps through a self-service portal, developer.amazon.com, and include screenshots and metadata.
- Developers keep 70 percent of the revenue, with Amazon getting the other 30 percent. That's in line with the other major app stores.
- Developers will be paid once a month, within 30 days of the end of the month.
- There's not mechanism for app refunds, other than for installation problems. That's much like Amazon's MP3 store. If you buy it, you buy it.
- Amazon will screen apps to make sure they pass basic functionality. They'll test on a multitude of devices, on a the various versions of Android, to make sure it works and isn't malicious.
- Apps may be rejected for content; guidelines will be publicly posted.
- Amazon's not sure yet how long the app approval process may wake.
- When the customer-facing store is launched, you'll be able to purchase phones from the website, or directly from the phone.
- Amazon wants its app store to be available on as many phones as possible. Amazon was a little vague on how AT&T's ban on sideloading may affect this, but said "We're working with them to figure out the best way to resolve that."
- There's a $99 annual program fee; Amazon's waiving it for the first year.
Given Amazon's size, this obviously is one of the larger competitors to Google's own Android Market. Will it take off? We'll have to see. A couple of major questions that remain are whether it'll be preloaded on phones, and just how easy it will be to install apps. Today's just about the developers. So get to downloading, and let us know how it works out.
We've got more screen shots and a Q&A chock full of questions and answers after the break.
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