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    Report: PhonePe in advanced discussions to pre-install Indus Appstore on smartphones

    PhonePe is in advanced discussions with smartphone makers to pre-install its Indus Appstore on their devices, according to an ET report. Akash Dongre, cofounder of Indus Appstore, told ET, “Indus Appstore has currently entered into strategic OEM (original equipment manufacturers) partnerships with Nokia and Lava, and is in advanced discussions with several other major smartphone manufacturers, which will further amplify our reach.”

    PhonePe’s plans to integrate with smartphone manufacturers were first reported in 2023. Pre-installation in smartphones gives app stores a significant competitive advantage, as users are more likely to continue using the app store already made available to them.

    He also noted that Indus is offering zero listing fees for the first year and zero platform fees for in-app transactions, while allowing developers to choose any payment gateway to integrate “compared to paying up to 30% commission charges by global app stores”

    Some context about Indus Appstore

    In 2023, PhonePe launched the Android app store, ‘Indus App Store’ , which allowed app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing without paying any commission to Indus. At the launch, the payments company said, “Indus Appstore is PhonePe’s attempt at creating a more competitive and localised mobile app store economy for India, which is already the largest mobile apps download market globally,”

    Indus Appstore was launched amidst antitrust scrutiny against Google Play Store. The big tech platform’s app store was criticised by multiple startups and app developers for its billing system, prompting an investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in 2020. The investigation subsequently led to the CCI ordering Google Play Store to allow app developers to use third-party billing systems in 2022. The Commission also ruled that Google was not allowed to discourage third-party app stores or force smartphone manufacturers to preinstall the Play Store.

    Yet, Google is still under scrutiny for its billing policy as the CCI has launched an investigation this year into the new policy Google introduced following the antitrust order in 2022. The investigation was brought on by complaints from those with multiple startups and industry associations alleging that Google’s new billing policy was unfair and discriminatory and reduced incentives for app developers to partner with alternate payment processors. The investigation is still ongoing.

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    The post Report: PhonePe in advanced discussions to pre-install Indus Appstore on smartphones appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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