PhonePe, the fintech platform owned by Walmart, is gearing up to unveil its own mobile app store soon in India. The homegrown Android-based app marketplace called Indus Appstore will be available for consumers later this month. The app store is confirmed to list apps in 12 Indian languages besides English and it has already onboarded a variety of apps including Flipkart, Ixigo, Domino’s Pizza, Snapdeal, JioMart, and Bajaj Finserv. PhonePe’s foray into the app store business with Indus Appstore is expected to disrupt Google’s dominance in the space.
Indus Appstore will be launched on February 21 in the country. The PhonePe-owned native Android-based mobile app store is confirmed to bring an array of categories to provide localised, contextual and personalised experience. The app store will be available in English and 12 Indian languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi and Tamil.
Several known brands have already listed their apps on the Indus Appstore. The names on the list include Flipkart, Ixigo, Domino’s Pizza, Mobile Premier League (MPL), Snapdeal, JioMart, Bajaj Finserv, TOI, and Wow Skincare. It is also collaborating with game developers such as A23 Rummy, Gameskraft, Dream11, Rummy Passion, and Nazara Technologies.
The release of Indus Appstore comes about four months after the digital payments company opened up its app marketplace to Android developers. With the latest move, PhonePe aims to challenge the monopoly of the Google Play Store by catering to India’s one billion smartphone users, particularly in regional languages. At present, Google leads the space with around 95 percent market share in the country. Apple’s iOS has a minor share.
The Indus Appstore had promised zero commission for in-app purchases on the platform. The app stores by Google and Apple charge between 15 percent and 25 percent commission for in-app purchases, in addition to other charges. India imposed two antitrust fines on Google last year and the company was asked to make changes to its business agreements with OEMs and other partners. The tech giant is also facing regulatory scrutiny over the business practices of their app marketplace in several other markets.
PhonePe, the Walmart-backed startup, which was previously a part of Flipkart, had reportedly joined hands with Nokia and Lava to integrate its new app store into their devices in November last year.