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PhonePe unveils Indus Appstore in challenge to Google, Apple

Developers won’t be charged listing fee or commission on earnings until 1 April 2025

PhonePe unveils Indus Appstore in challenge to Google, Apple
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

PhonePe has launched its Indus Appstore, allowing users to download over 200,000 mobile apps and games across 45 categories in 12 Indian languages. 

With Indus Appstore, PhonePe attempts to challenge Google’s Playstore or Apple’s App Store in India, which is already the largest mobile apps download market globally. 

Users can search apps in 12 Indian languages, catering to the preferences of 95% of Indians. The app store also offers a brand new short video-based discovery feature, to make new app discovery more engaging for consumers.

Indus Appstore allows app and game developers to choose any third-party payment gateway for in-app billing, and they will not be charged any commission if they use an external payment gateway. 

At a later date, Indus will also provide its own in-app billing and catalog solutions, but these will remain strictly optional for app developers, PhonePe said in a press release. 

The apps will not be required to pay commission on their earnings to Indus Appstore, it said. 

There will be no app listing fee until 1 April 2025 for developers.

“Indus Appstore challenges the status quo, ushering in an era of more healthy competition in the mobile app marketplace, which in turn should help create a more democratic and vibrant Indian digital ecosystem. 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, said. 

Nigam said the company is in discussion with mobile phone makers to pre-load it on the handset.

“Anything that is allowed to operate under the law of the land, will be allowed to be uploaded on the Indus Appstore. If we remove any app, then we will share the reason for removal of the app,” Nigam added. 

Speaking at the launch event, electronics and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government is working on developing an Indian mobile phone brand based on learning from the success of large-scale mobile manufacturing in the country.

“We will work on developing our own Indian handset brand. We will work on creating the entire handset ecosystem in the country. Our initial success of having large-scale mobile manufacturing has given us very good learning,” he said.

“It has given the industry a lot of confidence. It has given the impetus to the ecosystem partners to come to India. That will be the journey in the next five years,” the minister added.

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