Defying Apple, Amazon launches AppStore for Android

NEW YORK Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:07pm EDT

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com has introduced its store for Google Android smartphone applications, ratcheting up its fight with Apple Inc.

The online retailer also said on Tuesday that the game Angry Birds Rio for Android is available for the first time exclusively through the Amazon AppStore.

Amazon is promoting the game, which is tied to News Corp's Twentieth Century Fox animated film RIO featuring Angry Birds characters, by letting people download it for free for a limited time.

The move sets up Amazon as an alternative way to buy apps on tablet devices and smartphones, challenging Apple's iTunes store.

"What Amazon has ... is consumer trust and credit card numbers," said Sarah Rotman Epps an analyst with Forrester Research. "By layering its payment system on the Android market, (Amazon) will grease the wheels for consumers to buy more Android apps."

Consumers are able to use Amazon's popular 1-Click payment option to purchase apps. Additionally, a feature lets people test an app on their computer before buying it.

Amazon's AppStore comes one day after Apple sued Amazon in a bid to stop the online retailer from allegedly improperly using Apple's App Store trademark.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Derek Caney and Richard Chang)

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