Amazon is said to be readying an Android app store and tablet, a move that should boost Google's mobile platform while also challenging Google's own Android Market.
TechCrunch last night published a story that got market watchers buzzing, initially basing it on a few tips but later confirming details. Blogs such as AndroidGuys had already been speculating about the possibility of an Amazon Android app store in the wake of a post on an Android developer community site that seemed to suggest a store might be in the works.
Amazon is also possibly getting into the Android tablet market, according to TechCrunch. The market for tablets, e-readers like Amazon's Kindle and other such devices is heating up and blurring. Earlier this week, Sharp announced plans for Android tablets called Galapagos that initially will be available only in Japan but that are seen as possible Kindle competitors.
As for Amazon getting into the Android app store business, this would pit the company vs. not only Google but Verizon, which has been accepting submissions for its V CAST Android app store, as originally reported by the Android and Me blog.
While Verizon already has a V CAST app store for RIM BlackBerry devices, the separate Android app store would cater to users of such devices as the various Droid smartphones that run Android 2.2 (Froyo). Verizon should also advance the Android app market concept by allowing customers to sync up app purchases with their Verizon service billing.
The fact that Android apps will be available through multiple stores should provide choice for developers and consumers, as well as give Android another differentiation vs. Apple and its one and only App Store for iPhones and iPads.
The open source Android mobile OS has been riding a wave of momentum of late, with study after study showing increased acceptance of the mobile platform. ChangeWave last week reported that business are increasingly gobbling up Android smartphones, partly at the expense of RIM BlackBerries. Separately, Gartner released a report recently stating that Android this year will become the world's No. 2 best-selling mobile OS, ahead of Apple's iOS and the BlackBerry OS and only behind Nokia's Symbian.
Follow Bob Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs