This sounds like madness to us, but take it for what you will: TechCrunch
is reporting via some tipsters that Amazon is preparing to launch its
own Android app store, of all things. Revenue split is rumored to be
"the greater of 70 percent of the purchase price or 20 percent of the
List Price as of the purchase date," which is pretty strange wording --
this "List Price" concept is apparently designed to prevent you from
undercutting pricing with other services -- and there'll be a $99 fee
to gain entry, which is pretty standard. Apps will be required to use
Amazon DRM and could be featured on Amazon's site, which is potentially
a pretty big upside considering the kind of traffic that bad boy gets.
As TechCrunch notes, a particularly interesting blurb in the
alleged terms states that "[Amazon has] sole discretion to determine
all features and operations of [programs] and to set the retail price
and other terms on which [they] sell Apps," implying that pricing is
their call -- not yours -- and they've got some say in how your app's
going to work and what it's going to do.
Clearly we're missing something here, since they're starting with zero
market share, the Android Market is the obvious choice for consumers,
and there are some really odd terms -- and Bezos isn't a dummy -- so
we'll hold out and see where this goes. After all, with Google
apparently actively reigning in devices
by lording Market access over manufacturers' heads, there might
actually be some room for third parties to get some traction here over
the long term.