Accelerating the app economy in Indonesia: Android and Google Play’s impact in Indonesia

Accelerating the app economy in Indonesia: Android and Google Play’s impact in Indonesia

Indonesia has become one of the fastest-growing mobile economies in the world, with an increasingly mobile-engaged population of more than 200 million mobile Internet users in 2022.[1] As Indonesia’s mobile economy grows, a flourishing app ecosystem will help drive its digital transformation and support economic growth. Operating systems and app distribution platforms are two key enablers of scale.

Operating systems, such as Android, provide manufacturers with a platform to build devices and create hardware, making smartphones more affordable and accelerating mobile innovation. Better affordability and accessibility of Android-powered devices has led to up to 97 million more Indonesians being connected to the Internet through smartphones, potentially adding up to Rp 653 trillion (USD 44 billion) to Indonesia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the last five years compared to if Android was not in the market. Meanwhile, Android consumers have also benefitted from greater app availability and the convenience of pre-loaded apps.

On the other hand, app distribution platforms such as Google Play connect Indonesian consumers to a wide variety of apps ranging from productivity tools to mobile games, while providing a secure platform. 88% of Google Play consumers believe that the platform helps in discovering new apps aligned with their needs, while 84% believe Google Play features reduce online harm. Indonesian developers have benefitted as well, generating over Rp 1.5 trillion (USD 103 million) in revenues through Google Play through both domestic and international markets. The app ecosystem enabled by Google Play and Android has generated new jobs in the app economy and enabled the creation of jobs through the freelance economy.

Nonetheless, challenges remain before Indonesia can fully harness the opportunities present in the app economy. The final section of this insights piece provides recommendations on how Indonesia can tackle these challenges.

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[1] Statista (2023), “Number of mobile Internet users in Indonesia 2019-2028 (in millions)”. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/558642/number-of-mobile-internet-user-in-indonesia/

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