That new Android app store that Amazon is rumored to be working on? Yeah, SlashGear just landed a copy of the Terms & Conditions for it, and it confirms just about everything we'd heard earlier:

Okay, some details:

  • For each sale of an App, we will pay you a royalty equal to the greater of 70% of the purchase price or 20% of the List Price as of the purchase date (70/30 is standard, this 20/80 split is somewhat odd and confusing)

  • The List Price is apparently in place so that you can’t sell your app cheaper on other “similar services” — meaning other app stores, presumably

  • The “similar services” should also include the forthcoming Chrome Web Store, if I’m reading this correctly

  • There is a $99 fee to be a developer in this program (the same as Apple’s iOS developer program)

  • It seems like if your app is available on other platforms, you have to make sure to update it at the same time on Amazon’s store that you do in any other store (this will piss off a lot of developers)

  • Apps will have to be laced with Amazon DRM — meaning they will only work on devices they approve (obviously)

  • Amazon has the right to pull any app for any reason (obviously)

  • Apps can also be shown on amazon.com (this is up to Amazon)

  • You can offer free apps

  • The app store is U.S.-only (at least for now)

  • This part is interesting too: “We have sole discretion to determine all features and operations of this program and to set the retail price and other terms on which we sell Apps.”

Some pretty lame requirements there, no? I agree that Google's wide-open, hands-off Market isn't really the best, but going to the other end of the spectrum doesn't really seem much better to me. Factor in a higher developer fee and a boatload of extra restrictions (pricing and availability has to match other app stores, extra DRM, etc), and it's hard to see how they expect this to be a success.

[Source: SlashGear, TechCrunch]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://www.appbrain.com/ Mathijs

    It will be interesting to see if Amazon will add all its powerful recommendations and review magic to their Android market. This is sorely missing from Google's market and one of the main reasons AppBrain exists.

    If the user experience is great, I can see this becoming a big success.

  • Jon Stein

    Assume for a second that Amazon is preparing an Android-based Kindle. I highly doubt it would have phone capabilities, so Google won't approve it for access to the Android Market. Amazon needs their own store because there is little appeal for an Android device that can't get apps.

    I would personally love to have an Android Kindle - a high quality Android device that costs $200-300 and doesn't require a super-expensive data plan committment? I'm there!

    • Aaron Gingrich

      That's cool, except for the fact that how many developers do you expect a store that only works on 1 device to attract? And not only is their audience relatively small, but they have to pay $100 to release one app. Even if there are only a handful of Android tablets with Market support, it makes more sense to just release apps on the regular market.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    Don't underestimate the power of the Amazon.com web site. I wouldn't be surprised to see they offer something like "Buy an app for your loved one at the last second before the big day."

    People shop at Amazon.com for physically good all the times, and if Amazon manages to create a strong app market, people would buy apps while they are shopping for other things.

  • http://www.lokaltrafik.info/ john

    What Amazon can do is to compete on market usability, because that's what Google's offering is lacking.

    Also, I wonder if Amazon is doing this on their or if Google's involved in this somehow. It seems like a competitor to Android Market, but could definitely add value to the Android platform.

  • Alex

    "US only" = dealbreaker for me. $99 for worldwide access would be worth trying it out.

    Their DRM sound interesting but I wonder how successful it will be since Java is quite open - obfuscation seems to be the best solution to slow down cracking.