Competing Outlet: Korean Mobile Carriers Open New Application Store | BusinessKorea

Monday, September 25, 2017

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
6 May 2015 - 1:45pm
Cho Jin-young

A Korean application market to vie with Google Play and App Store will launch on May 14 by the top three Korean mobile carriers. The new application market is expected to inspire Korean app developers with a market of over 50 million users.

The tentative name of the new platform is One Store. When a developer uploads his or her application on the One Store, the app is registered in the respective application stores of SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+ at the same time to be sold in the same manner. The same commission is applied to those apps sold this way, too.

The purpose of the One Store is to deal with global players’ dominant position in the domestic app market. Google and Apple are estimated to have taken up 51.8 percent and 31.3 percent of the 4.5 trillion won (US$4.16 billion) market in terms of sales last year, respectively. Meanwhile, the three mobile carriers, smart phone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics, and portal sites like Naver had to settle for a combined market share of 13.0 percent.

Developers are welcoming the news in that the app registration procedure will be simplified along with those for sales and profit management. In addition, after-sales services for their applications will be facilitated by the One Store. However, some experts are predicting that the One Store is not enough to turn the tables, since the market share of Google and Apple is already as high as over 80 percent.

Their argument is not unfounded in that the trend of payment is shifting from paid downloads toward in-app purchases. The ratio of paid downloads declined from 50.8 percent to 45.3 percent between 2013 and 2014, while that of in-app purchases went up from 31.0 percent to 36.5 percent.

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