In a move that has been met with a bit of confusion and some anticipation, it looks like Samsung will be removing paid content, including apps and in-app purchases, on its Galaxy Store. While this is happening in select countries only, it’s a pretty interesting move from the Korean OEM at a time when a lot of brands and apps are looking at monetization to make up for pandemic-related losses. But users in several countries have gotten the notice that you will only be able to get free apps from the Galaxy Store starting January 26, 2021.
Piunika Web shares the notice that Samsung has put up on the Samsung Galaxy Store’s seller portal which states that the Galaxy Store and Themes will no longer be selling any paid content and in-app purchase items so developers and distributors will not be able to sell anything in the selected countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Iceland, Moldova, Pakistan, and Uruguay. Apps and content previously purchased by customers can still be accessed from the My Apps menu.
There is no explanation as to why Samsung is doing this. Of course it sounds like pretty good news for users but for developers, it may be something else. The probability that they will be offering the apps for free totally on the Galaxy Store is pretty low. Most likely, they will be pulling out their app from there and just make it available on the Google Play Store. The wording from Samsung seems like they will be removing apps that have paid content unless they make it free, so most likely they’ll just leave the Galaxy Store.
But it may also be possible that Samsung will be the one to make apps and in-app content totally free rather than force developers to do so. It doesn’t make business sense though for them to do this so most likely, it’s the developers that will be taking on the cost if they do decide to stick around and make their apps and other in-app content free.
There’s also no news if this will be limited to the 8 countries mentioned above. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to having these countries go first so we’ll have to figure things out when we get more details from Samsung.