India launches its own app store to counter play store commission

PhonePe, a Walmart Inc. owned fintech, has launched a mobile application store for consumers in India. The Android-based store is called Indus Appstore, pits the product against Google’s Play Store.

Indus Appstore is allowing free app listing for the first year and will allow app developers to choose any third-party payment gateway for in-app billing, and they will not be charged any commission if they use an external payment gateway. At a later date, Indus will also provide its own in-app billing and catalog solutions, but these will remain strictly optional for app developers.

Phonepe CEO Mr. Nigam said that talks were on with phone makers to have the Indus Appstore installed by default on handsets sold in India soon

Not saying that you should go and download this appstore right away. We already have Fdroid as a better option to google play . From privacy standpoint not sure whether the privacy policy of this Appstore is any better than googles. But this step helps in a way to counter Googles Anti-Competitive practises in the region. So ultimately users might be benefitted from any resulting consequences from this move.
For context Phonepe is the largest digital payments app in india , so it kinda has good market share and can have a significant impact on the users and google.

Google has been at receiving end of some monetary fines by india’s competition commission.
Not sure whether google will ever allow third party billing but it might be forced to have much better terms with developers and users.
Haven’t tried out this app store myself but would be interesting to know if it has some uses cases in short term.

I had some thoughts that if the Apps from this app store would still be dependent on play services api. If not then it could serve as an alternate app source to install banking apps on something like Graphene OS without even enabling sandboxed play services.
But that would still be dependent on whether they have a good privacy policy or not.

1 Like


Need people’s views on this one.

So i tested this app store and first up it requires you to give a phone number to even get started.

Tried downloading some apps and it looked like all apps were basically play store builds which i could see from their app signatures.
So basically it worked like another aurora store but one which asks for your phone number to use it. xD

Maybe they bring some sensible features like more developer friendly in-app billing. But currently its doesn’t look of any use.
These efforts will not be enough to have an impact on google and its practises , as most apps are still dependent on the play services api including banking , which has become an integral part of android. Thus making it harder to fight google dominance on Android.