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Distribution of Mobile Apps in India

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Distribution of Mobile Apps in India

Distribution of mobile apps is dominated by international app stores in India. With a nascent and booming e-commerce industry and poor credit or debit card penetration, telecom operators tend to play a bigger role in the distribution of mobile apps. For example, Samsung Apps has partnered with local and regional telecom operators (Vodafone India) to enable carrier-billing. A unique trend of physical app distribution platform that has emerged in India and spread to other related countries is AppsDaily, a local technological innovation whose success is built on existing gaps in the local operating environment. While the physical channel will continue to exist, stakeholders and investors such as Vodafone, Samsung and Blackberry are of the justified view that scaling up requires regulatory intervention to ease digital payment mechanisms that allows widespread digital distribution of apps.

While the highest proportion of demand comes from gaming enthusiasts a growing proportion is now coming from enterprises and government agencies who wish to implement technology and mobility solutions for greater transparency and efficiency. Accordingly, eGov app store is q home to some apps that are becoming popular among end users, such as eprocurement, e-heatlh, etc. The use cases suggest how these apps have streamlined processes and increased efficiency manifold. On the other hand Make My Trip presents a case of service extension. It is especially of value to last minute travellers, who find such applications convenient. Likewise,  TUC is an offline freemium app that helps students, researchers, scientists and engineers to solve the complex calculations on a tap.

Smart phone devices form a fundamental component of the app ecosystem. In the second quarter of 2015, India witnessed 210 per cent increase in the shipment of smartphones. With smartphones and tablet devices entering the market at price points that are disruptive (e.g. Micromax) there is an upsurge in app demand. A survey highlights the lack adequate network infrastructure -telecom operators and infrastructure providers have an important role to play in this regard as does the role of a predictable and strong regulatory environment. Operators in the country and elsewhere view apps as a threat to their existing business model. However, with the inevitable technological advancement operators will have to adapt to the new reality of greater data use. In case of conflict between regulation and technology, the balance of convenience is to favour innovation in public interest. A perspective of Indian telecom operators towards the app economy was presented by Vodafone India.

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