Amazon.com this morning launched its new Appstore for Android, despite a last-minute lawsuit from Apple over the “App Store” trademark. The Seattle company is looking to entice customers with the promise of one paid app for free every day, starting with Angry Birds Rio, an exclusive to the Amazon store.
The store is launching initially with 3,800 apps.
For now, the Amazon store won’t work on AT&T devices, due to the carrier’s restriction on third-party apps from outside Google’s Android Marketplace. However, in the Appstore Help section, Amazon says AT&T “is working to allow customers to install the Amazon Appstore and purchase apps from it.” Amazon points to an AT&T page where people can sign up to find out when the capability is live.
The launch of the Android Appstore is fueling speculation that Amazon might be working on its own Android-based tablet or Kindle. There have also been job postings seeking Android developers inside the lab that makes the Kindle. Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps writes that Amazon would be in a unique position to challenge the iPad.
“It would be easy to call the game for Apple as the second inning is starting, but we won’t, because we see a market that’s ripe for disruption by Amazon in particular,” she wrote. Amazon could create a compelling Android- or Linux-based tablet offering easy access to Amazon’s storefront (including its forthcoming Android app store) and unique Amazon features like one-click purchasing, Amazon Prime service, and its recommendations engine.” (Via ZDNet.)
The leader of the Amazon Appstore project has said the company is open to offering apps beyond Android. Possibly iOS apps? It’s not clear if that’s part of the plan, or how that would work.
For now, at least, the battleground between Apple and Amazon is in the courtroom. According to a Bloomberg News report, Apple alleges that Amazon is improperly using the “App Store” name, which Apple is seeking to register as a trademark. Apple is currently embroiled in a dispute with Microsoft, which claims that the phrase is too generic to be used by Apple alone.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit, citing the company’s practice of not talking about pending litigation.