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Monday, September 27, 2010

Amazon may launch tablet and app store

This rumor just hit the wire. TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon is preparing to launch their own Android app store, possibly tied into the Kindle app. So users will be able to buy apps alongside books. According to the story, app developers will be able to offer both free and paid apps in the store, Amazon will take care of payments and DRM, and Amazon will have decision-making power over what apps are approved.  Be sure to read the TechCrunch story for all the details.

In a related rumor, TechCrunch also got word that Amazon is preparing to launch an Android-based tablet. No further details or specs are known or even rumored at this point, but there have been rumblings in the past that Amazon is working on additional hardware. Their latest ad campaign takes aim squarely at the iPad, so it stands to reason that they might want to develop a tablet themselves.

Everything is rumor at this point, but if true, it would make sense for Amazon to have the tablet and app store ready for the holiday shopping season (though, of course, they may not), so we'll hopefully know more soon. [via TechCrunch]

The tablet rumor is exciting...the app store rumor is absolutely not. Much like Verizon launching their own app store, this will only serve to fragment the Android app market, and confuse customers. The average customer won't understand why their friend's Android phone can run an app that their new Amazon tablet can't, despite being the same OS. Ultimately, Android's openness means that manufacturers are free do do things like this, and competition is usually a good thing. So if Amazon thinks they can pull this off, there's nothing to stop them from trying. Personally, I'm anxious to hear more about the tablet.

Yeah, I actually do find it confusing that there are several different Android app stores all with different stuff. It just doesn't  make sense to me. I'm curious about the tablet, though. Is this going to be an e-reader/tablet combo, or just a tablet? I'm curious about both types of devices, so it'll be interesting to see what comes of all this.

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