Amazon Opens App Store for Android; Apple Is Displeased

By Patrick Morgan | March 23, 2011 10:48 pm

What’s the News: Despite Apple’s recent lawsuit against Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore,” Amazon successfully began selling applications for the Google Android smart phone yesterday. The launch unveiled two previously unmentioned perks: a free-app-of-the-day promotion and a feature called Test Drive that allows users to try apps on Amazon’s website before buying them.

What’s the Context:

  • Amazon’s Appstore, which provides over 3,800 Android apps and is in direct competition with Google’s own “Android Market,” drew the ire of Apple last week because of ownership issues over the name’s similarity to Apple’s own “App Store.” The company says Amazon’s use of the name will “confuse and mislead customers.”
  • Another way Amazon is luring people to the new store is by providing a different premium app for free each day. The first free app was Angry Birds Rio.
  • As Discoblog has covered, apps have a way of creating controversy, from Apple’s rejection of an application by a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist to a fair number of somewhat raunchy apps.
  • And weird apps are always game for Discoblog too, including iPhone translators that speak for you and the app that (may) clear your acne.

Not So Fast: As some tech gurus note, Amazon’s app-purchasing process is confusing for some people, and involves bypassing the Android Market and allowing “third-party apps to be installed from outside sources.” Confusion aside, this process could make you vulnerable to viruses as well.

The Future Holds: Amazon says it will soon integrate its apps into its recommendation engine, allowing you to see apps that may be relevant to you just like you can see suggested books. There’s still no official news as to whether Amazon’s Kindle will eventually be able to run the Android operation system.

Image: Amazon

  • R Aloys

    Tom Toles, among others, is brilliant, but if you really think political cartoonist == political journalist you’re not playing in the real world. He and, say, Matt Taibbi or Glenn Greenwald have entirely different jobs.

    To imply otherwise to score bigger against Apple would seem at best to indicate that if you’re aspiring to journalism, it is of the tabloid variety. Whatever gets you through the night, I guess, though I hope your science coverage remains less, er, expressionistic.

  • nick

    ‘The company says Amazon’s use of the name will “confuse and mislead customers.”’

    Yes, because suddenly iPhone owners are going to try to go buy apps from Amazon.

    I’d like to point out that using App and Apps (and even Appz) as shorthand for application has been in use in the software piracy industry for, like, forever. Apple just likes to dust stuff off and present it like it was just handed to them, fire-from-Prometheus style.

  • Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor)

    @R: Point taken. Changed from “journalist” to “cartoonist.”

    @nick: Just wait until Apple wades into the casual dining market (at Apple stores?) and gets into a big apps/apps smackdown with TGIFriday’s, Chili’s, et al.

  • Charles

    All near-dominant companies eventually strive to become monopolies. Apple should look at the unsuccessful suit by Coca-Cola to deny Pepsi-Cola the use of the word cola over a century ago. The judge ruled cola was a generic word describing the type of beverage. App and App stores are certainly going to be seen the same way. I used to think Microsoft was a particularly disgusting example of a would-be monopolist and bully. I now see they’re all the same. Except that Steve Ballmer is still more disgusting than almost anybody.

  • Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor)

    @Charles: Makes me wonder if Microsoft got into any issues about the very generic sounding “Windows” name.

  • Charles

    for Amos, I don’t know about that. But Microsoft’s many many monopolistic schemes are well documented on the web. The image that stays with me the most is something that happened back when the company had almost total dominance over software, before the internet had become very widespread. Microsoft would not tolerate any competition for its products and, after stealing their ideas, would wipe any competitors out, succeeding nearly totally with Borland, WordPerfect and many others. Microsoft would arrogantly have an industry meeting each year to inform other software companies of areas it was NOT planning to get into, thus telling them it was safe to get into those little niches! The arrogance of this amazed me (along with the passivity of the Justice Dept. at the time). Steve Ballmer was the Enforcer Goon who arrogantly ran these meetings where crumbs were dropped off the table for the competitors to fight over on the floor. There is very little schadenfreude I cherish that surpasses that which I feel for him as he blunders from one failure to another now as Microsoft CEO, while for years under him the stock price has gone nowhere.

  • Brian Too

    Oh no, Apple is displeased! HRH Jobs will lay waste to his minions, and his wrath will lay heavy upon the land!

  • Toney Colver

    This is a nice video!. I’d like to see more! You know? I’m now doing angry birds a contest ,-Coke VS Pepsi-, to win $250 Coke or Pepsi products or Visa gift card from the Player Incentive Survey.Please press on my weblink.

  • Ezra Routte

    foundmanywillgo alongwith your blog.

  • Mai Marois

    Hi, Nice article! Just decided to say thanks as I read your blog with keen interest. As I am trying to educate myself on this topic and your blog was helpul to me. I have saved your blog to my favourites and I look forward to reading more from you. We are also looking for content writers to review apple iphone apps, would love to hear from you. We are just getting going, tell us what you think as well :)

  • Ellie Adams

    Amazingly intersting writing thanks for sharing the info.

  • Sumit Kumar

    Amazing information from amazon own app store..Thanks


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