Google recasts Android Market with new name

Tue Mar 6, 2012 1:10pm EST
 
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By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is renaming its online storefront for music, books and digital goods, its latest move to raise its profile in the market for electronic content sales and to better compete with Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

The company has retired the Android Market name for its store that sells apps, videos, music and electronic books on the Web and on mobile devices. From Tuesday, the store will be rebranded as the Google Play Store.

The change is designed to make it clearer to consumers that Google offers a broad catalogue of content in addition to the apps programmed for smartphones and tablets based on its Android operating system.

"Some people see the Android icon on their homescreen and they think it's just for apps," said Chris Yerga, engineering director for Android Digital Content, in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

The name is being introduced three and a half years after Google launched its Android Market as a central outlet for consumers to download the mobile apps created for the growing number of Android-based smartphones.

Android is the world's No.1 smartphone operating system, used in smartphones sold by Motorola, Samsung and HTC, among others.

There are more than 450,000 Android-compatible apps available from third-party software developers versus 550,000 apps available for Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

In the past year and a half, Google has expanded the menu of offerings in the Android Market to include digital books, music and videos - markets where Apple and Amazon have robust businesses. Apple said in October that more than 16 billion songs have been downloaded from its iTunes store. Amazon said last year that it sells more digital books than print books.   Continued...

 
Android mascots are lined up in the demonstration area at the Google I/O Developers Conference in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, May 10, 2011. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach