MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

PhonePe launches homegrown Android-based mobile app store, aims to take on Google

Indus Appstore will allow Indian users to download 2 lakh mobile apps and games across 45 categories. Users will be able to discover apps in 12 Indian languages along with features such as video-led app discovery, login using mobile number (not mail) and app updates based on data plans of the users

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 22.02.24, 10:42 AM
Sameer Nigam (left), founder and CEO, PhonePe, with IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Delhi on Wednesday

Sameer Nigam (left), founder and CEO, PhonePe, with IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Delhi on Wednesday Sourced by the Telegraph

Walmart-backed fintech player PhonePe on Wednesday announced the consumer launch of its homegrown Android-based mobile app store called Indus Appstore. The appstore hopes to make inroads into Google’s dominance in the Indian app market place.

With more than 90 per cent of the Indian smartphone owner using Android, Google Play Store accounts for an estimated 74 per cent of in-app spends in India.

ADVERTISEMENT

Indus Appstore will allow Indian users to download 2 lakh mobile apps and games across 45 categories. Users will be able to discover apps in 12 Indian languages along with features such as video-led app discovery, login using mobile number (not mail) and app updates based on data plans of the users, among others.

A key concern among app developers in the current mobile app stores dominated by Google and Apple has been the service charges and billing systems.

Google has a 15 per cent service fee for the first $1 million revenue earned by the app developer each year. This goes up to 30 per cent for earnings in excess of $1 million each year.

The membership fee in the Apple developer programme is $99 per membership year and a commission rate of 15 per cent under the App Store Small Business Program.

The bottomline is that developers, particularly early stage developers and start-ups who are looking to expand their user base, end up paying a significant chunk of their revenue as service fees and commissions.

PhonePe in a statement said that there will be no app listing fees for one year (till April 1, 2025) for developers and they would be free to use any third-party payment gateway for in-app billing. Further, the developers will also not be charged any commission by the appstore if they use an external payment gateway.

The timing of the launch of the homegrown appstore comes amid recent clamour among Indian start-ups for more free market competition in the mobile app store space.

“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,” said Sameer Nigam, CEO and founder of PhonePe.

“The four key facets of our localisation approach are browse, search, video discovery and product description. We will be working with the founders to provide all the tooling and the automation to make it easier to submit content in 12 languages,” he said.

Union minister for electronics and information technology Ashwini Vaishnaw, who was present at the launch of the app store, said the country could see the rollout of the first homegrown semiconductor chips by December 2024.

Vaishnaw also indicated there is a thought process to develop a homegrown handset brand in the coming years with the manufacturing ecosystem in the country maturing.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT