There’s finally cause for celebration for the mobile community in India after Google announced that it has finally enabled developers in the country to sell paid apps for Android through its Google Play app store.
The move to open the paid app ecosystem in the country, which Google says has grown to become its fourth largest market for downloads worldwide, comes less than a month after the search giant mistakenly added India to its paid app list, only to u-turn on the move within 24 hours sans explanation.
Opening up in India makes a huge amount of sense for Google and the company explains that activations in the country have jumped by more than 400 percent over the past year. Indeed, arch-rival Apple is reportedly changing the way it sells the iPhone in the country, tapping two retailers to provide new sales channels beyond operators, such is the growth potential there.
There are no raw figures provided to indicate the number of active handsets or Android users in the country, but we can assume that the number is significant and growing, since Android users there have downloaded more apps in the last six months than over the previous three years, Google reveals.
The move is sure to help Android users in India enjoy more local content and Google is also enabling local currency payment, will which allow its users to pay in Rupees. Equally developers will be able to use in-app monetization and subscription-base sales for their apps too – both of which are supported by Android and Google Play.
Devs in India can get going immediately, as the blog post explains:
If you are an Android developer based in India, you can get started right away by signing in to your Developer Console and setting up a Google Checkout merchant account. If your apps are already published as free, you can monetize them by adding in-app products or subscriptions. For new apps, you can publish the apps as paid, in addition to selling in-app products or subscriptions.
When you’ve prepared your apps and in-app products, you can price them in any available currencies, publish, and then receive payouts and financial data in your local currency. Visit the developer help center for complete details.
The benefits also extend globally, of course, and Indian developers will be able to target the “hundreds of millions” of Android device owners in other supported international markets with apps that can be priced in other local currencies.
The opening of Google Play is also just one month before its Nexus 7 tablet is set to hit India. That’s according to Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS which recently revealed that the popular 7-inch device will arrive sometime in November.
During the first eleven months of last year, India’s smartphone shipments passed 10 million for the first time, to account for 6 percent of the near 166 million shipments made. It wasn’t just the increase in anticipated demand that rose, as smartphone sales topped one million per month for three consecutive months, September through October, which was another first in the country.
The sale of paid apps in Google Play is currently enabled in more than 32 countries, each of which is listed here - alongside further details for developers.
Image via Flickr / Zallio