The Indian Government is considering to open an App Store that could Potentially Compete with Apple's App Store
After years and years of working with Apple to help India become an alternative manufacturing base to China and Apple convincing their supply chain to begin opening Indian facilities, the India Government is now considering to thank Apple by opening a Government run App Store that could technically compete with Apple's App Store. It's low ball, third-world politics at its finest.
A new report out of Delhi today notes that "The Central government consider requests from technology entrepreneurs to launch an Indian digital application store.
India already has an app store for governance-centric apps, which can be scaled up to begin with, said one of the officials cited above. In addition, there is a need to also introduce policies requiring handset manufacturers to preload alternative app stores.
The Indian government 'is not averse to the idea' of launching its own app store, officials said. The existing digital store for government apps, developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), hosts a slew of applications such as e-governance app Umang, health app Aarogya Setu and storage app DigiLocker.
One government official added that 'Building an app store is like building a shopping mall and the government can very well facilitate it.'"
Global experts are of the view that India is well placed to break the dominance of global technology giants in its digital app ecosystem.
Government officials recently stated that the issue emerges from the fact that Google’s Android operating system has a '98% market share' in the smartphone segment in India whereas it’s much lower in other countries including the US.
Another government official stated that 'The problem of monopoly is very acute' adding that Google receives user and usage data about other apps listed on its Play Store and, also competes with them through its own offerings." For more on this, read India's Economic Times report.
The timing of this news is a little disturbing considering that Apple just opened their Official App Store in India on September 23.
Though at present, the government's potential plans for an App Store is really more of a potential threat to Google's dominance in India' App Store space.
For Apple, the shorter term issue in India will likely be having to preload native Indian based apps on future iPhones which is quickly becoming the standard position taken by government bodies like the EU and Russia.