If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad you probably spend a lot of time scanning the pages of the the Apple store looking for applications (Apps for short) to install on your device. When you have found something you like or were looking for, you then pay the generally very small fee, download your chosen item and go away happy.
Have you ever thought to yourself? “If I could develop an application myself I could maybe make a few dollars” Then dismissed the idea because at around ninety nine cents a pop you figured that you will not make enough to make it worthwhile, allied to the fact that you know nothing about mobile coding platforms and would not know where to start; Just another daydream? maybe, maybe not.
Taking the first point, let’s take a look at the math for a moment, some of the people with successful Apps that are listed in the Top Applications part of the App Store are actually selling well over 35k copies of their App a day, yes you read that correctly; Thirty five thousand a DAY!
Now the standard App price is around $0.99, after paying Apple their commission you make around $0.70, the math will tell you that is $24,500 and that is just one day’s sales.
That was an illustration of what is possible if your App gets popular; Bringing it down to a more conservative level, let us say that your App only sold 600 copies a day, that still makes a respectable $420 per day; With the work already done in development that is income you did nothing further to earn.
In order to see what is involved in making an App, it might be an idea to define exactly what an App is. An App could be useful to people, an example might be a World time clock or a compass. It might just be for fun; Ever heard of the iFart? the guy who developed that made a fortune.
You might target an App at a specific group of people in a certain market or niche, dog lovers, nurses, teenagers, pilots, birdwatchers the list is endless.
Games are another good topic and sell very well, they could be elaborate, but even simple ones do well too.
An Improvement on something that is already out there, with added more features and making it even more useful.
A couple of things to bear in mind is that at around a dollar a time, Apps are so cheap that anyone can buy them even in multiples, as time goes on more and more people will own iPhones and iPads; As Apple bring out new models so the the secondhand market increases which allows many more people own Apple products too, that would otherwise not be able to afford them from new.
All the time Apple products are gaining a larger slice of the market because they have little competition, great news for App developers.
With the power of social media sites such as Facebook word of a cool App can spread globally in a matter of days.
It is not the intention of this article to make it seem as though developing an App is a simple matter, nor is it without some cost. You will not be able to make Apps by downloading free tools from the internet, although you will find many to assist you in the development process. If you possess programming skills then you will probably have little trouble doing the programming work yourself, for the Apple APP framework you will need to be familiar with Objective-C Cocoa. If your eyes have just glazed over and you are not tech-savvy do not worry at this stage, if this is the case then all you need to do is find a developer that will do this part for you, if you do not feel able to learn it yourself.
There are a few must-haves to begin with, obviously if you want to develop iPhone Apps then you will want an iPhone and you will also need to fairly familiar with how to use it.
It will also be best to own a MAC computer with the latest operating system, although this is not totally necessary and there are workarounds for this. You may also need to join the Apple iPhone Developer Program this costs $99; If you are using a development partner this will not be necessary as they may already have a license. Supposing you have no skills or you think you don’t? It is appreciated that not everyone possesses the necessary development skills, but these can be hired, all you need is the desire to succeed, a little research and planning and of course an idea for an App.
Don’t worry that a third party may steal your idea either, you can get them to sign a legally binding non-disclosure agreement.
Programming is only half the story, there are many excellent programmers out who fail miserably with their Apps, because they have no idea how to do other tasks and how to market them and get them accepted by Apple for inclusion into the App store inventory, which is the most important skill of all.
Even the best App can remain totally unknown if not marketed correctly this is why many people fail, they promote their Apps using the wrong methods out of the confusing variety available, there are actually only few ways that work well and these are not widely about outside the inner circle of top developers.
Without this insider knowledge, and a few other tricks of the trade, App developers are doomed to failure every time.
The first and most important thing you need to do is brainstorm an idea for your App. All you need is an idea. That is the key to success. Everything else is secondary and can be learned or outsourced for what can be an extremely lucrative business. For more information on how you may become an App developer yourself see the link in the authors bio box.
There are many iPhone App developers out there, and some very talented programmers, but without the knowledge of how to present and market their creations a lot of them fail to make an impact.
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