Android’s many markets bring opportunity and growth

by Kristen Nicole

Amazon takes control of Android AppStore

You can buy just about anything you want from massive retailer Amazon.com, and that will soon include Android apps. Amazon [AMZN] revealed its developers kit for its upcoming AppStore earlier this month, but more details about app pricing are just now emerging. It looks like Amazon is taking a pretty controlled stance on pricing apps for the AppStore, setting their own prices as part of the approval and launch process.

Amazon’s always been one to compete with Apple [AAPL] (and even Walmart [WMT]) on pricing digital goods, namely MP3 downloads, and it looks like Amazon would like to retain control over pricing wars that could emerge as mobile apps make their way across a number of differentiated marketplaces. I’m guessing Amazon will eventually make some concessions around app pricing, if they want to keep developers happy and interested in creating content for the AppStore.

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Android’s lasting impact

Google’s [GOOG] Android OS is facilitating these differentiated marketplaces, providing a foundation for developing apps on a number of devices, with options for brands and manufacturers to make their own portals for consumers to access. This is becoming a software threat to Apple, with Steve Jobs acknowledging that Android devices out-shipped Apple during the company’s transition to iPhone 4. More notably, Jobs added his interest in Android’s OS sales for Q4 2010, with Apple’s side of the story surfacing during tomorrow’s fiscal earnings report.

Android’s platform has also made it easier to access educational information, putting smartphones to good use as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Martin Luther King Inspiration app offers quotes and photos from the Civil Rights leader, delivering motivational words today, and every day beyond.