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India’s digital payment and services company PhonePe has launched the Indus AppStore Developer Platform to break Google’s Play Store monopoly in the country. The USPs of this new AppStore Developer Platform are that it has zero platform fee and no commission on in-app purchases, which, on paper, appear to be more developer-friendly.
While developers will be able to list their apps on the Indus AppStore without paying a fee, PhonePe will charge a “nominal” fee one year after the listing. In other words, developers will have to pay nothing to list their apps for one year. Luckily for developers, PhonePe will not charge a commission for in-app purchases until the rule changes. On the contrary, Goole levies a 15-30% commission on in-app purchases, which can significantly reduce developers’ revenue.
According to a report from TechCrunch, PhonePe partnered with several phone makers to distribute the app store. It’ll also be available in 12 Indian languages to attract people who don’t understand English. To address developers’ issues promptly, an India-based team will provide support.
This is not the first time an Indian company has launched an alternative to challenge Google’s monopoly in distributing apps through its Google Play Store. Paytm launched a mini app store alliance with similar objectives. However, Paytm’s Play Store alternative hasn’t seen much success since its launch. But with PhonePe promising better app discovery and consumer engagement and aiming to build a “credible” alternative to the Play Store, it’ll be interesting to see if the company manages to taste success.
Earlier this year, the Indian government forced Google to allow third-party app stores in the country, paving the way for the likes of PhonePe to launch Play Store alternatives. Only time will tell if the government’s decision truly helps Indian companies develop a successful app store that is more focused on addressing issues faced by local developers.