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PhonePe’s Indus Appstore: A Closer Look at India’s New App Market Challenger

Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing and they will not have to pay any commission to Indus, placing this in sharp contrast to Google’s billing policy.

Walmart-owned PhonePe on February 21 launched a new app store for Android called the Indus Appstore that will compete with Google Play and other third-party app stores in India. The company has claimed that it’s an attempt to encourage competition and establish a localised mobile app store economy in India. 

Notably, Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing and they will not have to pay any commission to Indus. This is in contrast to Google Play’s policy which requires app developers in India to display Google’s billing system in addition to any third-party billing system, and more importantly, pay Google a commission between 6 to 30 percent regardless of which billing system the user chooses.

Indus Appstore will instead charge developers an annual listing fee, which is waived for the first year “to accelerate developer registrations.” The company has not mentioned what the annual fees for developers will be after the first free year. Indus also plans to provide its own in-app billing system at a later date, but this will remain strictly optional for app developers, the company said.

PhonePe also shared that users will be able to access the Indus Appstore in 12 Indian languages, thereby catering to 95 percent of Indians’ language preferences. “Indus Appstore embodies our commitment to building a truly inclusive digital ecosystem where every Indian user feels at home,” Sameer Nigam, CEO and Founder of PhonePe, remarked.

In the backdrop of app developers’ discontent with competitors like Google PlayStore, is this the right time to launch an indigenous app store? In this video, MediaNama’s Sarvesh Mathi delves into various factors that may favour Indus Appstore and challenges that may create roadblocks to its growth.

Watch the full video here:


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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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