What is Indus App Store and how to install it?

In a strategic move to compete with the Google Play Store, the digital payment platform has launched the Indus Appstore developer platform. Here is everything you need to know about this newly-launched platform for developers.

India now has a homegrown app store with the Indus Appstore developer platform launched by the digital payment platform PhonePe. The company intends to entice Android app developers with the prospect of no platform fees or commissions for in-app payments. This indicates that the developers don't have to pay a single penny to the platform and keep all the money for them. PhonePe decided to launch a homegrown app store to compete with the Google Play store in the app market amid several questions raised by the developers over Google's monopoly on apps. Here are all the details you need to know so far about this newly launched Made-in-India app store.

What is the PhonePe's Indus Appstore Developer Platform?

Indus Appstore is designed to cater to the needs of Indian consumers' cultural and localized needs. Developers will have an alternative to Google's platform fees and commissions with the Indian-made app store. They can list their apps on this new platform in 12 local languages other than English. The company said that after the first year, a nominal annual fee will be charged to list apps on the Indus Appstore Developer platform. This means the first year is free for them. The app store is currently available for marketers and developers only and not for users. However, the website says 'Launching Soon for Users.' Developers won't be charged any commission or fee for in-app payments by this new platform. It will be possible for developers to integrate any payment gateway into the apps of their choice.

Is PhonePe's Indus Appstore a Threat to Google?

Everything is at its initial stage, so it will be too early to even make any prediction. Since Google has also been in the game for years now it will not be an easy task to compete with this giant for any new entrant. However, there could be a few reasons for making a smooth way for this newly-launched app store. Google has been charging 15-30 percent from the developers for in-app purchases while at Indus the listing will be free in the first year. These charges have been the main reason for disagreement between the Google Play Store and the developers.

Still, it is nonetheless difficult for the app store to navigate a highly monopolistic environment. Google's Android Mobile Operating System dominates over 95 percent of all smartphones in the country making its launch a clear challenge. With more than 35 lakh apps available on Android, Google Play's App Store is the largest App Store in the world. It is no secret that Indians download apps on the Google Play store in high numbers compared to other countries. So, the road ahead for Indus Appstore is not as smooth as it appears. Let's see how it unfolds in the future but for now, it's not that easy to take on Google.

Key Facts About The Indus App Store

  • Mobile phones from Nokia and Lava will be preloaded with PhonePe's Indus Appstore which can be used instead of Google Play.

  • PhonePe is in the process of negotiating pre-installation agreements with several other smartphone manufacturers.

  • If Google Play is already available on your smartphone, users hardly download an alternative app store. So, pre-installation of alternative app stores is crucial to competing with Google.

Closing Thoughts

The launch of the Indus Appstore is a calculative and strategic move by PhonePe in response to the criticism of Google and Apple's App Store rules and fees. It hopes to provide a more fair and local option for Indian app developers. Thus, the move may help make app stores more competitive and may force big tech companies to lose their dominant position in the future in their top markets.

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