March 23, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The Amazon App Store debuted on Tuesday, but the new Android Market competitor isn’t available to customers on AT&T Wireless. That’s because AT&T doesn’t allow installing non-Android Market apps. Well, not yet at least.
AT&T is working on a solution that would enable support for the Amazon App Store on its Android phones. AT&T will notify those users when that day arrives, so customers can sign up to be pinged through email at AppStoreAccess.com. The HTC Aria, HTC Inspire 4G, Motorola Atrix 4G, and Samsung Captivate are the only phones listed on the page, so it’s likely those will be the phones that support whatever method AT&T uses to enable the Amazon App Store.
We noted in previous posts that the Amazon App Store cannot currently install on AT&T Android phones because AT&T’s software blocks non-Market installations. One possible workaround that may be in development could be that AT&T will release an update that will pre-load the App Store onto its phones and provide some type of white list or security token to enable future app installations. AT&T and Amazon may find a way to enable some type of set-up that would permit Amazon to bypass the non-Market embargo but still prevent users from side-loading APK’s.
It will be interesting to see how Google responds to this development. Google has taken a hands-off approach as Verizon introduced its own VCast store, and lesser known market alternatives have existed since 2009. However, AT&T going out of its way to support another company’s app store in competition with the Android Market is a whole ‘nother bag of surprising.