PhonePe Launches Appstore To Challenge Google Play's Dominance In India: Here's Why

Walmart’s subsidiary, PhonePe, has launched the Indus Appstore in India, challenging the dominance of the Google Play Store. This development, set against India’s rapidly growing app economy, represents a strategic push into a market that has seen mobile app usage skyrocket to 1.19 trillion hours in 2023.

What Happened? Four months prior, PhonePe had invited Android developers to publish their apps on this platform, as reported by Moneycontrol. The Indus Appstore is not only a response to the growing demand for apps in India but also emerges amidst tensions between Google and Indian startups over Play Store policies and fees.

The app, available for manual installation from PhonePe’s website, features a mobile number-based login, catering to users without email accounts. PhonePe’s partnerships with OEMs like Nokia and Lava, integrating the store into their devices, are vital for consumer adoption, given the challenges of manual app installation.

For Android developers, the Indus Appstore is particularly appealing. It allows app listings in 12 Indian languages, in addition to English, and doesn’t charge the 15-30% fee on in-app purchases that its competitors do. Initially free for developers, the platform will later charge a nominal annual fee, offering flexibility in payment gateway integration.

See also: Amazon Enters India’s Fast Fashion Arena With ‘Bazaar’, Rivals Flipkart And Ajio On Alert

Furthermore, the Indus Appstore promises robust, India-based support to address developer grievances, a frequent issue with Google and Apple. This support includes dedicated account managers and a transparent rating system, enhancing developer experience.

Why it matters? This launch coincides with Google’s ongoing regulatory challenges in India. The CCI’s directives to Google to modify its app market practices, although later set aside by the NCLAT, highlight the contentious environment in which PhonePe’s Indus Appstore enters.

This initiative follows PhonePe’s acquisition of Indus OS in 2022 and aligns with its broader strategy, including advertising and value-added services for app visibility and promotion. The Indus Appstore is part of PhonePe’s expanding ecosystem, which already includes the ‘Switch’ platform, offering app-like experiences in various categories, and competes with Paytm’s mini app store.

PhonePe, since its inception in 2015, has grown remarkably, amassing over 510 million users and securing substantial funding, indicating its strong position in the market and potential to make the Indus Appstore a significant player in India’s app economy.

Read next: Flipkart In Talks To Acquire Struggling Dunzo In Hyperlocal Market Reshuffle

Don't miss a beat on the share market. Get real-time updates on top stock movers and trading ideas on Benzinga India Telegram channel.

Posted In: FintechTechGoogle Play StorePhonePe
Fintech Focus Newsletter

Your update on what’s going on in the Fintech space. Keep up-to-date with news, valuations, mergers, funding, and events. Sign up today!