Could an Indian app store take on Apple and Google?

Could an Indian app store take on Apple and Google?

We’ve already reported on the growing number of made-in-India apps over recent months. If local news reports prove correct we may soon be reporting on a made-in-India app store.

News service ET Now has reported that India is planning to launch its own app store as an alternative to the market-dominating Apple and Google offerings.

Confusingly there is already an official Indian app store – the Mobile Seva App Store – online, although it is self-described as ‘created to facilitate the process of development and deployment of suitable mobile applications for delivery of public services through mobile devices’.

ET Now has suggested that the government may ramp up the Mobile Seva App Store, presumably adding a commercial angle, though at the moment there is no official word on this. However, the aim appears to be to make the country more self-reliant, a core policy of the present government.

The government sources quoted remarked that as Android has a 97 percent market share in India, the government could intervene to help start-ups – and at a lower fee than the 30 per cent hosting fee that the two tech giants already charge. A plan to make it mandatory for Android phones to be pre-installed with the new store’s apps is also reportedly under consideration.

If such an initiative goes ahead, recent government bans on many Chinese apps and the growth of home-grown start-ups in the social and short-video sharing space may well have helped to encourage it. Names like Chingari, Roposo, Vokal, Trell, ShareChat and Mitron quickly picked up business in the wake of the ban.

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