Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

Could Amazon's Appstore steal Google’s thunder, bring order to Android chaos?

by Howard Wolinsky

Amazon’s (AMZN) Appstore could ace Google’s (GOOG) Android Marketplace as a trusted source for apps, analyst Tim Bajarin said in PC Magazine.

Amazon’s secret sauce is space it offers for users’ comments and reviews to tell potential buyers what apps are worth buying.

“This is a very strategic move by Amazon, and it could actually bring some sanity and consistency to the Android development community and all Android users. At the moment, Google's approach to creating Android is scattered,” Bajarin said.

He suggested that Google’s blind spot is that it wants to get Android on as many phones as possible to make available Google search and advertising. Google has its eye on a potential $10 billion in Droid dollars by next year as the OS lands on one billion devices, tablets, TVs and so on.

“Part of the problem with Google's Android strategy is that it thinks Android needs to be open source. This means that Google creates the core source code and then vendors who use it can customize it to deliver various forms of differentiation,” Bajaran said. “While that is great in concept, what it has led to is various levels of fragmentation within Android devices, apps, and even services.”

He said in contrast with Google, developers and consumers are kept sane with the more disciplined approach taken by Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT).

He said Amazon could bring order to the Google chaos and become the center of the Android world: “Amazon could become the trusted source for applications and services and, in the end, steal a lot of thunder from Google,” he said. “In fact, I think that Amazon could become the major disruptor of Android apps and emerge as the eventual center of the Android universe.”

Meanwhile, Gartner reports that Android will continue growing as OS on smartphones, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone-based Nokia (NOK) devices being No. 2 followed by Apple’s iPhone OS and Research In Motion (RIMM) in 2015. This projection backs an earlier IDG forecast.

“Android's dominance became clear in late 2010, the projected Windows Phone climb to second in 2015 startled some observers when IDC announced its numbers, because to date the Windows Phone OS and Nokia Symbian devices, when sold separately, have not offered much promise,” Matt Hamblen reports in Computerworld.

Still, Nokia is the key: “Gartner has revised its forecast of Windows Phone's market share upward, solely by virtue of Microsoft's alliance with Nokia," Gartner said.