The report claims that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will be responsible for developing this app store. It also suggests that this Indian application store will not levy a 30% cut on transactions and in-app purchases like Google or Apple. The Indian government already has an application called Mobile Seva. This is a mobile application store created to facilitate the process of development and deployment of suitable mobile applications for the delivery of public services through mobile devices. The report claims that the Modi government might just revamp this existing platform into a full-fledged app store.
The sources said, "Android has 97% market share in India so we should intervene and handhold Indian startups. Making it mandatory for Android phones to be pre-instaled with our apps in under consideration". The app store is being built under the Aatmanirbhar App Scheme. Government's existing Mobile Seva app store maybe ramped for this purpose as well, they added.
If this new rumor becomes a reality, it will be interesting to see if this India-first app store gains enough traction to emerge as a mainstream platform for downloading apps in the country.
The government sources further reveal that India's app store will not charge 30% gatekeeping fee like Google and Apple. Note that recently, many Indian startups have raised concerns around Google’s Play billing system, saying that the tech giant cannot force Indian app developers/owners to sell digital services by compulsorily using its billing system. In fact, many founders believe that India needs a local app store to provide more choice to consumers.
Building an app store might not be a mountainous task, but attracting developers to make their apps available in the app store will be. Even tech giants such as Samsung and Huawei have taken years to make most of the popular apps available on their app stores despite often incentivizing developers with various schemes.
Time will only tell if a national application store becomes successful and gains a prominent market share. Tech giants like Huawei, Samsung, and Amazon have tried but failed to gain traction with their own alternative app stores. It has taken these large conglomerates years to attract most of the popular developers and popular apps to their respective platforms.