Amazon to enter Android Market

Sep 28, 2010
Tech

Amazon (AMZN) is building an app store and a new device for the Android Market as it looks to deliver proprietary products beyond the Kindle. Also in today’s App Industry Roundup, BlackBerry reveals its “PlayBook” while a new iPad rumor says the next device from Apple will be thinner. Amazon apps Web retailer Amazon.com is preparing […]

Amazon (AMZN) is building an app store and a new device for the Android Market as it looks to deliver proprietary products beyond the Kindle. Also in today’s App Industry Roundup, BlackBerry reveals its “PlayBook” while a new iPad rumor says the next device from Apple will be thinner.

Amazon apps

Web retailer Amazon.com is preparing to launch a store for Android apps, according to TechCrunch. If true, Amazon will join a growing field of companies that look to offer their own versions of an Android storefront.

Most of the action is coming from the carriers, as both Verizon Wireless (VZ) and T-Mobile are creating new versions of an Android store to appeal to their customers. The T-Mobile store, for instance, is expected to lean heavily on apps that appeal to families.

The interesting thing about Amazon’s approach is that it appears to be acting more like a gatekeeper for apps than T-Mobile’s glorified recommendation engine. Hence, it’s akin to Apple’s approach, where it will have strict requirements on what apps will be approved for sale and they will to be “laced with Amazon DRM,” according to TechCrunch. The store will be U.S. based to start, and reporter MC Siegler did not have information on a launch date or the devices that will work with the store.

However, in a later post, Siegler wrote that there were strong rumors that Amazon is developing and would sell an Android tablet of its own to compete with the Apple iPad (AAPL). That sounds completely logical as Amazon looks to push beyond its successful foray into eReaders — the Kindle — into new devices. And based on the Kindle’s success, who wouldn’t be interested in checking out a touch-screen tab from Amazon? I know I would.

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BlackBerry shows tab

But am I interested in BlackBerry’s new tab?

I was last week, but now I’m not so sure as there remains much mystery behind the device, even as it was introduced publicly on Monday. Called the PlayBook (not the BlackPad), Research in Motion’s device will not be available for the holiday season nor will it be as consumer friendly as the iPad. Instead, the device is being developed for the corporate road warrior who already has a BlackBerry.

Boo. I don’t like that approach. I don’t need an iPhone to buy an iPad. I don’t need a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to buy a Galaxy tab. But RIM believes its existing customer base will want a device with a bigger screen that requires users to tether it to a BlackBerry to get a wireless connection. That means draining two batteries at the same time and possibly paying for tethering costs as the PlayBook will not have a way to get online independently.

RIM is hedging its bets on this device, however, as it made no commitments as to when the 7-inch PlayBook will be available, at what price point and from which carriers. If you’re interested, take a look at this PlayBook promotional video.

New iPad on the Horizon

Finally, Apple is getting ready to launch version 2 of the iPad. According to a report from Goldman Sachs, as reported by Apple Insider, the “second-generation iPad … will feature a camera, mini USB and a lighter design.” It will be ready for sale in the spring of 2011.

The camera will make it FaceTime compatible as well as put the iPad on par with most of the tab competitors that will hit the market soon. But according to this report, there is no 7-inch iPad in the works, as been widely rumored.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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