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Best Buy Mulling Android App Store Behind

Jason Ankeny, FierceDeveloper
October 11, 2010

In the wake of multiple reports indicating online retailer (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) is poised to roll out an Android application storefront to rival Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) own Android Market as well as efforts like Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) Wireless' V Cast Apps, big-box electronics giant Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) said it is deliberating whether to launch an Android app store of its own. The Wall Street Journal reports that in response to a question about the Amazon app store, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said he would consider building one of his own. Best Buy CTO Robert Stephens later clarified Dunn's comments, stating, "We are exploring this concept at this very early stage, but we have no concrete plans at this time. Google, though, is an obvious partner." Best Buy accounts for close to 20 percent of consumer electronics sales in the U.S. All stores include a Best Buy Mobile kiosk -- in addition, the company operates 120 standalone Best Buy Mobile locations across the country, touting a host of carrier services handsets and accessories.

Expect the app store ranks to continue multiplying like rabbits, said Gartner analyst Ray Valdez. "New people will continue to introduce app stores -- carrier telcos, device manufacturers, e-commerce sites," Valdez said. "But it will be like people having a fax machine -- it is not a game changer, but just part of doing business."

Citing sources asked to sign NDAs about the initiative, TechCrunch reported late last month that the forthcoming Amazon app store will offer both premium and free Android applications -- for each paid app sold, developers will receive either 70 percent of the purchase price or "20 percent of the list price as of the purchase date," a stipulation presumably in place to dissuade developers from selling their software at a discount via competing stores. Amazon will charge a $99 annual fee for entrance into its developer program, with no listing fee for apps -- AndroidGuys later reported Amazon will waive the fee during the first year as a "token of [its] appreciation" for signing up.

Amazon's proposed App Store Distribution Agreement, obtained by S