By Dan Gallagher/Market Watch
SAN FRANCISCO – Amazon.com Inc. launched its own mobile-app store for the Android operating system on Tuesday, and analysts believe the online megaretailer may be able to leverage itself into a powerful position in the fast-growing market.
Amazon will call its new service the Amazon Appstore – which already has drawn a lawsuit from Apple Inc., accusing Amazon of infringing on the trademark of its own popular App Store, which sells applications for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad mobile devices. Apple filed the lawsuit late Monday; an Amazon spokeswoman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
The Amazon Appstore will compete by selling mobile apps for smartphones and tablet devices that use the Android operating system developed by Google Inc.
The store went live Tuesday with more than 4,000 apps available for sale. That’s a far cry below more than 350,000 apps available on Apple’s App Store. Analysts say Amazon’s main advantage will be the ability to leverage its expertise in shopping and merchandising in culling through apps they can pitch to its customers.
Amazon also will test each app it sells, something that Apple does, but Google does not for its main App Marketplace.