One of the challenges for Amazon.com when it launched its Android Appstore in March was the inability for AT&T customers to access the marketplace on their devices, thanks to restrictions the carrier has traditionally placed on the installation third party apps not coming through the official Android Market. The companies promised at the time that the situation would change.
And now it’s happening. App developers started to get word of the change yesterday as AT&T informed them that access to the Amazon Appstore and other third-party app stores will be enabled starting with the new Samsung Infuse 4G Android phone.
AT&T confirmed the news in a statement to GeekWire today and went further, saying that selected existing Android phones would also be updated to enable the capability.
As you know, in March, we announced our intent to provide AT&T Android customers access to third party application stores. Future Android devices (including the recently launched Samsung Infuse 4G) will allow users to change their settings in order to access this content. Over the next few weeks, we will also roll-out this capability to existing devices in our base for which an upgrade is possible. Users will not need to take any action as their phone will receive the update automatically. At this time, we are able to send upgrades to the following devices: HTC Inspire 4G, Samsung Captivate, HTC Aria and the LG Thunder.
This would also appear to be good news for people who want to load their homebrew Android apps on AT&T, as well as MiKandi, the Seattle-based adult app store for Android. We’re checking with the MiKandi team to confirm how this affects them.