Geopolitics & World-affairs
India's indigenously developed smart phone operating systems have the potential to challenge Google's Android and Apple's monopolies
On July 1, 2015, the government of India launched its flagship program to transform India into a knowledge-based economy and digitally empowered society through its "Digital India" Program.
Since then, India has transformed itself from a "digitally lost economy" to a "digitally empowered economy". The government has made it possible by reducing the price of smartphone goods and making India self-reliant on smartphone manufacturing and other digital goods. As a result of that, digital goods users are increasing every day, especially mobile-phone users.
Prior to 2014, there were only 117 million smartphone users in India, but by 2022, the number had risen to more than 800 million, which is astounding. The total number of mobile phone users in India is now 1.3 billion. India is now holding second place in smartphone penetration, slightly behind China.
As smartphone penetration among the population has increased, the Indian government's dream of making India a paperless and digitally currency-transferred economy using the UPI app has become a reality. In India's digital money transfer system, India destroyed the monopoly of American companies such as Visa and MasterCard.
BharOS: Indigenous Mobile Operating System
Now, India is on the right track to end Google and Apple's monopolies in mobile operating systems and smartphone app environments, where they control nearly 100% of the Indian market.
Recently, India's premier engineering institute, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madars developed an operating system for smartphones, "BharOS". Within the IIT, Madras environment, a non-profit organization (NGO) JandK Operations Private limited (JandKops), which is funded by the government of India's Department of Science, under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NMICPS), developed the operating system, which is based on Android's open source system.
The BharOS provides access to trusted apps from organization-specified Private App Store Services (PASS) to provide additional protection to users and allow users to use any app of his/her own choice. The operating system will also include No Default Apps (NPA), an eye-catching feature that means it will not push cow cash apps like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
In addition to the above protections, the BharOS will also offer "Native Over The Air" features" to update and install the system automatically, which will keep the mobile phones up to date.
As a result, BharOS will provide the full package of data protection and data crawling with PASS, NDA, and NOTA.
IndusOS: Another Indigenous Mobile Operating System
This is the first regional operating system in the world. Like BharOS, this operating system is built on the Android platform. Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre, and Subir B, all IIT Bombay and IIT Kanpur alumni founded it in 2015.
It got 5 million dollars of funding from other companies; eBay, Quicker, inMobi, and Snapdeal.
This operating system is still in development mode to make it more efficient and more reliable to compete against Android and Apple.
India's Desktop OS:
India is also developing the desktop operating system BOSS(Bharat Operating System Solution) with the help of CDAC(Centre For Development Of Advance Computing) to kill the monopoly of Microsoft's monopoly in the Indian market.
Why It Is Necessary?
India has a population of 1.35 billion people and is still growing, so the market will grow until 2040 when the population will naturally begin to decline after reaching a peak. In this humongous market, Android's share is a whopping 95.69%, which means more than 95% population is using the Android OS. Besides, Android, the user of Apple is only, 3.54%. Despite this, Apple's market share is growing year after year as a result of its popularity and the shift of Apple's manufacturing base from China to India.
These mobile phone manufacturing behemoths have established a monopoly in the Indian market, and courts have accused them of stealing users' data in order to manipulate an already profitable market.
These organizations, particularly Android, are promoting cash-cow apps such as YouTube, Amazon, and others in order to manipulate users' independence in selecting various types of digital services.
These apps impose their own billing systems on developers, allowing the giants to demand that developers have to pay 30% of their profit on in-app purchases. That is killing India's new entrapranaures. The best example is Spotify, which was forced to leave Apple's platform due to payment issues.
Because of their monopoly on in-app purchase issues and forcing users to use in-build apps, the government of India's Competition Commission of India fined google $250 million dollars.
Their prospects in Europe are also dimming by the day. In 2018, the EU fined Google a record-breaking $5 billion for abusing its dominant market position, a penalty that was upheld in September this year following Google's appeal.
So, Google and Apple are no strangers to massive penalties.
What Else Does India Have To Do To Tame Their Influence In the Market?
Making an operating system will not be enough to kill their monopolistic world. Along with the operating system India has to build its own app store.
In today's time, the market of the app is worth billions in American dollars, and these digital giants are taking advantage of it and making billions of their own. In 2020, Apple made 19% of its revenue from apps, which was approximately $274 billion, and this data is not official because Apple does not disclose its app revenue. Meanwhile, in meantime Android made $38.6 billion.
Therefore, India must develop an app store in addition to its own smartphone operating system. This will make India more secure digitally and protect citizens from outside attacks. It will also reduce American influence in Indian democracy and policymaking.
Related Topic: Looking Ahead: What India Needs To Do To Outdo China Economically