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PhonePe in Talks With Major Smartphone Makers for Mobiles to Come With Pre-installed Indus Appstore PhonePe is in talks with smartphone brands to have their Indus Appstore pre-installed in the mobiles.

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Online payment app, PhonePe is in conversation with top smartphone brands to have their Google Play Store rivaling application, Indus Appstore. This is the next step from PhonePe to shift the consumers from Google Play Store to their own Appstore and reach over 150 million people.

Talking to ET, Akash Dongre, co-founder of Indus Appstore, revealed that, "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."

Dongre continued by stating that Indus Appstore aims to have more than 150 million users by the end of the year and is ready to rival the scale of the competition by building deep partnerships with the developer ecosystem, focused on transparent policies, fair commissions and local support. "We have over 250,000 apps on the platform and the popular app categories include finance, games, social media, entertainment, shopping, etc."

Phonepe acquired the parent company of Indus Appstore, to rival the likes of giants such as Google's Play Store and Apple's Appstore, in May 2022 for $90 million. It was originally cofounded by Rakesh Deshmukh, Akash Dongre and Sudhir Bangarambandi.

Indus is rolling out an enticing offer for developers with zero listing fees for the first year and no platform fees for in-app transactions. This means developers can integrate any payment gateway they prefer, sidestepping the hefty 30 per cent commission fees typically charged by global app stores, as stated by Dongre via ET.

In response to growing tensions between Google and app developers over billing policies and commissions, PhonePe's introduction of Indus Appstore has already attracted popular apps like Blinkit, Zepto, MakeMyTrip, and Paytm, along with major gaming companies such as Dream11, Nazara Technologies, A23, MPL, Junglee Rummy, Taj Rummy, Rummy Passion, RummyCulture, RummyTime, and CardBaazi.

"It is very much necessary for any large gaming platform to be listed on the Google Play Store simply because of its scale and access, and also, to compete with rivals. That said, we have to ensure that the business doesn't bleed, especially at a time when taxation challenges have already stressed margins. Therefore, we will explore all options which are available," a source told ET.

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