Microsoft today announced that they have become the first global smartphone platform to enable carrier billing for app purchases in China through China Mobile, India with Idea and Brazil via Claro.
For a country like India, where Credit card penetration is extremely low, carrier billing becomes the only option for in-store and in-app purchases. With carrier billing option enabled, app developers can now invest further in windows app development, as they can monetize their apps and accept in-app payments easily.
In a official blog post, Microsoft has said that they have now established similar deals with 81 carriers in 46 markets across the globe.
Going forward, Idea subscribers will be able to make app purchases from Microsoft Windows Phone store. the purchase amount will then be either deducted from user’s pre-paid balance or then will appear in the monthly bill for postpaid user.
Enabling carrier billing drastically increases the app purchases, especially in developing markets like India. Microsoft published 2 graphs that shows 8X rise in purchases in emerging markets.
Microsoft has not mentioned anything whether they are planning to tie-up with other operators or not, but given that penetration of Windows phone is still quite low in India, they would do well if they can forge such partnerships with atleast top 3 or 4 Indian operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance. That would bring about over 80 percent of Windows phone users under carrier billing umbrella.
Another interesting point to note is that Microsoft’s revenue share to app developers is much higher than other carrier billing providers. At 70% percent revenue share, app developers will be delighted. Other carrier billing providers offer in range of 50 percent.
Microsoft has also pointed out in their release that No other mobile platform provider is working harder than them to open up emerging smartphone markets to developers. They specifically pointed out 2 things
- In-app purchases – including those made through carrier billing – have grown to be 76 percent of all paid revenue (IAP+DTO), while the addition of ad mediation has helped increase advertising fill rate to 95 percent across all markets.
- Nearly 20 percent of the titles that Microsoft merchandises in the top 25 markets are developed within that country, while 66 percent of merchandised Windows Phone Store apps appear in the local language. In fact roughly 75 percent of Windows Phone app downloads are for a language other than English. Thanks in part to our merchandising efforts we estimate that Windows Phone customers download an average of 122 apps each.
As mentioned earlier, we hope that Microsoft comes up with tie-up with other mobile operators as well!