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Amazon Android apps to drive down pricing?

by Kristen Nicole

Is Amazon (AMZN) launching an Android app store to compete with Google’s (GOOG) own? The beauty of Android is its diversity, with an open platform enabling manufacturers and publishers to develop custom interfaces and products for consumers. But Amazon, known for its competitive pricing strategy, may be taking Android’s open platform to another level. Leaked screenshots of Amazon’s Android app store shows apps priced below those found in the original Android Market.

It’s a similar tactic Amazon employed with its Kindle book prices, listing them cheaper than their physical counterparts. When Amazon first launched its MP3 stores, its songs were priced well below the standard 99-cents found on iTunes, shocking customers and Apple (AAPL) with its blatant departure from standards initiated by Apple’s music distribution platform. Whether Amazon does, in fact, plan to undercut Google’s own app pricing or not, consumers can bet Amazon’s App Store will have its own irresistible set of benefits.

Xoom tablet love

Adobe (ADBE) is also hanging its hopes on Android’s open platform, launching Flash 10.2 today. The revamped version is optimized for tablet use, including the new Motorola (MMI) Xoom. The Honeycomb tablet is the poster child for Android tablets right now, pitting itself against the iPad through features, product support and even pricing. Today’s release marks an Android OS update across the board (kind of), delivering support for Froyo 2.2 and Gingerbread 2.3, meaning smartphones can get in on the improved media experience as well.

The Pulse News Reader application is also excited about the Xoom’s potential to penetrate the tablet market, with an update specific for Honeycomb 3.0.1. Coupled with the Flash update, the new Pulse reader is a thing of beauty. As the Xoom fights to dominate the tablet world, continued support of this revolutionary mobile device keeps it relevant in this highly consumerized space.