Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

This is the newest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Is The Nokia/Microsoft Alliance A Threat To Android?

A few days ago, we posted a rundown of the details found on the Amazon Appstore Developer Blog, and noted that the store will be very controlled compared to the nearly anarchistic Android Market:

On a subjective note, after reading through the details, I can’t help but wonder if Amazon is just going about it better than Google. I largely agree with David’s issues with the Market: it’s spammy, there’s no solid system for exploring new apps, and going further, there are tons of issues with fragmentation and poor quality. That’s not to say that Apple’s doing it right, either; they’ve got their own issues. That’s why I think Amazon’s Appstore has the potential to be great – it strikes a balance between the two. Fundamentally, that may be at odds with Android’s absolutely open mantra, but in practice, it may be a better solution.

I ended by questioning whether or not the Appstore could ultimately be successful, though:

All that aside, whether the Appstore will stand a chance is up for debate. The Android Market is what comes preinstalled, and for most everyday users, it’s plenty good enough. Can Amazon encourage enough people to go the Amazon route instead? Who knows.

Some of you pointed out a few things via the comments that I hadn't factored into my own equation. Alchemist suggested that Amazon could "make deals with OEMs to ditch Google Market for its own." Jason brought the Kindle into the discussion, saying "my biggest surprise will be if Amazon doesn't come out with a Kindle Android tablet or other devices with their market pre-installed." A valid point given just how popular the Kindle is - millions of devices shipping with the Appstore pre-installed is nothing to sneeze at. And Vert was sold on the Appstore simply because of the higher standards.

It's also worth noting that success is fairly subjective; Amazon may be only shooting for a chunk of the market in the same way other third-party markets (such as GetJar) are, rather than market dominance.

With all that in mind, what do you think? Does Amazon have grandiose dreams of surpassing the Android Market, or is it merely shooting for a small percentage of a huge pie? Can they succeed at either? Why or why not? Vote in the poll below, and then sound off via the comments below.

Can The Amazon Appstore Succeed Against The Android Market?

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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.

  • Kindroid

    This is the beauty of Android and Google, it doesn't have to be either/or. And the internal competition will drive the advancement as hard and fast as the outside competition.

  • Falken

    There should be another option:
    "No, because their legal contract screws the developer"

    Their contract is worse than Apple's.

    - Amazon has total control of the price of your paid app, right down to being able to make it available for free.

    - You have to list your app at the best price it’s available on any other store (so you can't offer any promotions on Android Market or elsewhere). It must always be offered cheaper at Amazon.

    There are many reasons why it's unacceptable. A guy named Al Sutton put together an interesting take on it. http://blog.alsutton.com/2011/01/05/926/

    If you study the Amazon contract and understand it's implications you'll realize Android developers are being totally screwed by Amazon.

    • ari-free

      "Amazon has total control of the price of your paid app, right down to being able to make it available for free."

      If they make money based on what you make then why would they want your profit to be down to zero? They would know more about pricing than the individual software developer (unless the developer is working on an economic forecaster) and they would know which price to maximize profits.

  • AmazonFTW

    If Amazon can prevent/stop such criminal developers like DavinciDevelopers from selling pirated works (often free from XDA) as their own for profit on the Market, etc. That alone might be worth it if Google continues to ignore it IMO.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    Amazon might be thinking of making the next Kindle, or the Kindle after the next using Android. I think the only thing that's stopping them now is that they are waiting for the color e-ink display to be more mature.

    If they make their own Android powered Kindle, and have the own app store, it's hard to argue that they couldn't achieve some level of success.

  • ari-free

    Everyone knows Amazon and they know how to sell stuff. They even know how to promote other sellers. Contrast with google which doesn't even know how to sell its own nexus properly.
    Google has made quite a few improvements but there is still a major gap that a new server or a new set of rules can't fix. They need to have a group of humans to test to see if each app is buggy, insecure and illegal. If they aren't willing to do this then they should just hand the whole thing to pros like Amazon. Android isn't going to do very well in the long run if the app situation doesn't improve.

  • ari-free

    Another point that's not mentioned is the rating system. Amazon is much more robust so people can down-rate ratings such as "it suxx" "1 star-ghddfc" etc. Reviews can be discussed for more insight. That also helps developers understand what people are really thinking about their product.

  • Kane

    Amazon's developer program is $100 a year, as opposed to $25 lifetime, so it'll naturally attract more serious developers and will contain less garbage. Natural selection in this case will work out better for the consumers.

    And Amazon's distribution channel is highly valuable - I think they'll succeed as being a market with higher quality apps, definitely.

  • http://compscialien.blogspot.com compscialien

    I see the fee as getting rid of many of the developers who spam terrible apps, yet it may also stop developers who make very robust and helpful (or fun, in the case of games) apps from publishing. I don't see many free apps being published on Amazon's Market either: most of the free ones that do come out would probably be very limited demos. It also makes me think, will Amazon's market support the same filtering that the stock Market does? When you are searching for apps, did you know Market secretly filters out apps that are too old (or too new) or don't support your screen density/size? Or if an app is marked as it requires a camera (or other hardware, such as NFC support), and your device doesn't support it, it won't be displayed. And with the new liceasing system being integrated into the Market, allowing one app to be downloaded free, then upgraded using an API that allows for keys, paying, etc. to a paid/upgraded form, instead of having two different entries on the Market, as we see with many apps. I'm curious to how this will turn out also for end-users. Most users on this site are pretty tech-savvy compared to the average population, and may not like the idea of switching to a new Market application, if they can hardly figure out the one they have now.

    But as it's been said before, I'm curious to just how it will turn out. I'll probably check it out, even it I don't buy anything.

  • http://thepointlessblog.wordpress.com swapnil

    heres my article on best android markets yet


  • Thomas Fröm Sweden

    If Amazon Appstore would work outside the U.S, then Amazon could have a chance to take over the Android Market.