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HomeTechPhonePe opens Indus Appstore for Android developers to challenge Google-Apple duopoly

PhonePe opens Indus Appstore for Android developers to challenge Google-Apple duopoly

In a bid to challenge the duopoly of Google and Apple, digital payments major PhonePe is opening its Indus Appstore to other Android developers.

The company on Saturday announced the launch of the Indus Appstore Developer Platform, which will be free for developers for the first year, after which a nominal annual fee will apply.

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Indus Appstore will not charge developers any platform fee or commission for in-app payments. Developers will be free to integrate any payment gateway of their choice inside their own apps.

This is a contrast to Google and Apple’s app stores, which have come under fire from regulators globally for charging a 30% commission for in-app purchases as well as restricting developers over choice of payment processing system.

Further, PhonePe is expected to soon launch its Indus Appstore, which will offer a localised experience to users in 12 Indian languages.

“India is poised to have over 1 billion smartphone users by 2026 offering us a massive opportunity to build a new-age, localized Android app store. Despite being such a large consumer market, app developers have always been forced to work with only one app store – Google PlayStore – for distributing their apps. Indus Appstore hopes to provide app developers a credible alternative to the Google PlayStore – one that is more localized and offers better app discovery and consumer engagement,” said Akash Dongre, chief product officer and cofounder, Indus Appstore.

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Dongre is also the cofounder of IndusOS, which PhonePe acquired last year. According to PhonePe, Indus Appstore will have a dedicated section called ‘Launch Pad’ to provide better visibility to new apps as well as search optimisation.

The platform will also offer several developer tools and features to address challenges faced by most Android developers, including a dedicated round-the-clock customer support team based in India, and an option to list their app in 12 Indian languages besides English, the company said.

In July last year, PhonePe said that it had completed the acquisition of app store Indus OS’ parent OSLabs, after reaching a settlement with majority shareholder Affle Global.

ET had first reported about the legal spat that broke out between Affle Global and PhonePe, even as a senior judge at the Singapore High Court had dismissed at least two appeals filed by Affle, which challenged the acquisition of OSLabs by PhonePe after a term sheet for the acquisition was signed.

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