Nokia’s Ovi store will start allowing Indian users to pay for apps through operator billing instead of direct payments using credit cards. Apple’s app store also makes people pay in dollars, using their credit cards, but with the Ovi store now allowing people to pay through their operator instead, this could lead to a rise in adoption of apps.
So far, Nokia has only tied up with Reliance Communications, but more can be expected over time. India is the second largest market for the Ovi store, and sees over 4 million downloads in a week, and removing the credit card restriction is only likely to see this number go up.
Whether this deal will continue next year, when Nokia launches its first Windows mobile based phones or not remains to be seen, but if the Windows marketplace supports such transactions, it might help them to gain a foothold in a market where the App Store and Android Market have still not made much headway.
The launch of the Airtel app store in February, which Aircel also quickly followed up with, and supported with operator billing, simplified the app purchase process for the end users, which led to significant increase in downloads, with games leading the downloads. In just four months, the Airtel app store saw 13 million downloads, but did not release figures of how many of those were paid apps.
Similarly, Reliance already had their app store as well, but integration with the Ovi store, which has many times more apps available for download, is a definite bonus, and if the revenue sharing model isn’t too one-sided, then Reliance stands to earn a good profit as well.
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He joined the company in 2016 as Head of India and South Asia at Discovery Network