Google reduces Android app prices in India

Indian women taking selfie Image copyright AP
Image caption Smartphones are proving as popular in India as many other nations

Google has cut the lowest price Android app developers can charge in India for their creations.

Apps on the Indian version of the Play store can now be sold for just 10 rupees (10p). The price floor also applies to in-app purchases.

Before Google's announcement of the price change, the lowest price developers could charge was 50 rupees.

An expert said the price cut should help Google hold on to existing Android users in the country.

Falling sales

In a blogpost, Google said it hoped the lower price would help developers reach more people in India.

Average incomes in the country are typically low, and the cut could mean more people can buy popular apps.

Jasdeep Badyal, from mobile analyst company CCS Insight, said the lower price floor would make apps more accessible and help maintain a high level of Android users in the country.

"The majority of smartphone market share in India is taken up by Android handset makers such as Samsung, Micromax and Intex," he told the BBC.

"But there are other platforms that are growing share (iOS and Windows) as price points continue to decline and as smartphones become more affordable."

The cut would also encourage developers to stick with Android, knowing that they could get more customers because they could charge less for their creations.

The announcement comes soon after two analyst companies published data showing smartphone sales in China, the worlds biggest handset market, were falling. Selling more Android phones in India could offset falls elsewhere.

Earlier this month, Indian authorities accused Google of abusing its dominance in search advertising.

The probe of its main search business was launched following complaints from Indian websites that said Google was unfairly promoting its own services.

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