Samsung has added operator billing to its store on Android devices, becoming the only OEM apart from Nokia to offer such a mode of payment in India, reports PTI. Among Android devices, Samsung will be the only manufacturer that offers operator billing for apps on its devices (no Nokia X doesn’t count as Android).
The billing service is only applicable for apps and games sold via Samsung Apps that is pre-loaded on all Android devices that are sold by the company.
While the news is good for developers, it is not clear how much the telcos are charging from the OEM for the service. Microsoft has been working with telcos to enable operator billing on the condition that the telcos take their share after giving 70% of the earnings to the developers. That does not seem to be the case here.
It is worth noting that telcos payout only 40-45% to the developers when using a service such as Fortumo. It is not clear if Samsung managed to get a better deal from Vodafone and Aircel.
Samsung had launched operator billing of sorts back in 2011 for Airtel customers, using Premium SMS. However, this service was available for only handsets running Wave operating system. The company had later abandoned this OS and is now focusing on low-end devices running on Tizen OS.
Credit card penetration is pretty low in India, due to which India still trails behind when it comes to purchases on Google Play Store and iOS Store. Google launched operator billing support to a few more countries earlier today, but India was not on the list. It is not clear why the company has not launched that service in India, from what we have heard it could be due to the high revenue share demanded by the telcos, regulatory issue here and even poor infrastructure in place.