One point to note about India is the huge base of feature phones. These are not the smartphone variety with Android, iOS or Blackberry’s operating systems and app stores. It will take some time before the smartphones reach critical mass. So, in the near-term, the opportunity is not as much on apps but on delivering services to feature phones via mobile operator billing.
The combination of open publishing platforms and operator-enabled micro-billing can transform the MVAS space in India by creating entrepreneurs everywhere – just like Apple’s AppStore did globally. This is what will drive the local content industry and create services relevant in our daily lives.
There is an exciting new world ahead of us. India’s mobile data revolution has largely bypassed the local industry. With some big thinking from the operators and RBI to simplify the mobile micro-payments, we could see a huge flourish of ideas and innovation. Will 2012 see this happen?