Friday, September 28, 2012

Quick Review: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play, Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN)

Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN)  had introduced its Appstore for Android last year in March, which led to mobile app developers hoping for the best. Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android Market (now Google Play) did not look promising at the time, so a powerful third-party app from Amazon seemed to be the best solution.

But it was easier said than done. Within a short time after its launch, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), warned mobile game developers not to use the Appstore regarding issues like over pricing, promotion and distribution. The IGDA felt that the entire gaming industry would be negatively affected Amazon’s popular “free app of the day” program came under the scanner, because the app developer (Shifty Jelly) providing the app was promised 20% of the list price on downloads, but due to an unclear agreement between the 2 parties, the developer failed to make any money on the day over 100,000 apps were downloaded!

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Other problems with the Appstore cropped up as well because review times for apps were too long, users could not contact developers with questions immediately, and apps were not structured for different screen sizes. Amazon admitted that they were still learning the ropes, but the breaking news was yet to come.

In October last year, Amazon launched its own Android-based tablet – Kindle Fire. Their intention to develop an app for Android made perfect sense. By blocking access to Google’s Android Market for its tablet users, they were effectively steering users to their own Appstore. They have also made several improvements to the overall app such as increased efficiency and a revamped developer portal that includes new tools and software developer kits. The Amazon’s in-app purchase SDK was added that enables the integration of the company’s “1-Click” purchasing for in-app goods. 

Developers are more or less satisfied with Appstore, with some of them giving positive feedback about it as well. Even so non-Kindle Android and iOS devices remain the big names in the market. Android’s Google Play store comprises 675,000 apps, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s App Store has 700,000, while Amazon has only 51,000. This is due to the huge database of Google and Apple, which Amazon needs to catch up to.

However, if Amazon wants to surge past these two giants, they need to work beyond Kindle Fire tablets and come up with cutting-edge products with state-of-the-art technology.

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