PhonePe Challenges Google’s Dominance with Indus Appstore, Focusing on Indian Languages and Gaming

In a bid to challenge Google’s stronghold on India’s Android mobile apps ecosystem, PhonePe has introduced the Indus Appstore. With a clear mission to become India’s preferred app store, PhonePe’s Co-founder and CEO, Sameer Nigam, unveiled the platform, emphasizing its commitment to developer and customer satisfaction.

Key Features of Indus Appstore:

  • Localisation Emphasis: Indus Appstore prioritizes support for local languages, allowing users to switch between languages for a more inclusive experience. Advertisements, descriptions, and other content will be available in regional languages such as Hindi and Telugu.
  • Video-Led App Discovery: The platform adopts a video-led approach for app discovery, leveraging the popularity of short-form content and video formats to engage users and enhance app visibility.

  • Mobile Number Login: Unlike traditional methods relying on email IDs, the Indus Appstore introduces mobile number logins, providing a more streamlined and personalized experience with recommendations based on user behavior.
  • Smart Updates: The platform incorporates “smart updates” using data optimization techniques to update apps seamlessly in the background, enhancing the adoption rates of new versions.

  • Gaming Suite: Indus Appstore aims to build a comprehensive gaming suite with access to a diverse range of games from both domestic and global aggregators, totaling around 200,000 mobile apps and tens of thousands of games.
  • Neutral Content Stance: Unlike other app stores, Indus Appstore intends to remain neutral regarding content regulations, allowing developers more freedom. It will not interfere with the type of content or applications, aligning itself with legal standards.
  • Developer Freedom: Developers on the Indus Appstore have the freedom to use any payment platform without incurring commission fees for in-app purchases. This is in contrast to Google Play Store’s payment policy, which imposes a 15%-30% fee on developers using its billing system.

Revenue Model: Indus Appstore plans to generate revenue through advertisements, content discovery solutions, and fintech services, including payments and mandate solutions for developers.

Developer Onboarding: Developers can list their apps on the store without charges for the first year. The platform is yet to finalize a pricing structure beyond the first year, but it’s expected to be in the “low single digits” on top of the basic fee.

In summary, PhonePe’s Indus Appstore aims to disrupt the app store landscape in India by offering a user-centric, language-friendly, and developer-supportive platform with a focus on gaming and a neutral content stance.

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