Do people make money from app development?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by JasonSmith2020, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. JasonSmith2020 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Dear all,
    I've been searching the net extensively, but found no satisfactory answer to this question: can people make reasonable amounts of money by developing apps for iOS (or for any mobile platform, for that matter)? I am not talking about the lucky (or VERY talented) few, who manage to come up with a hit app and take the jackpot. I am asking if a typical person (whatever that means - but generally speaking, a pretty good developer with a reasonable idea) can make a decent living out of just developing apps. Specifically - how many of you have managed to do so?
  2. Shawnpk macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    You can develop apps for yourself and make money or develop apps for other people/companies and make money.
  3. mamoonkay macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2011
    nice post

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.
  4. JasonSmith2020 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Shawnpk, since you've developed apps, can you give me a rough idea how much money did they produce, and how much effort did they require?
  5. Shawnpk macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, I have 3 apps in the app store right now. I haven't made very much money so far, but these apps can be a starting point for building an app business. Anything you put in the app store can be used as a reference as to what you can accomplish. You can use these references when looking for work as an app developer.
  6. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    A lot of apps are designed as promotional tools. I'd venture that their are more developers that make their living being paid to do work like that for other companies than make a lot of money developing and selling their own apps.

    Think of it like this:

    10 years ago it was a pretty big deal if your business had a website. Good web design services were hard to come by and were generally quite expensive. Now, every business has to have one to be competitive and there are thousands and thousands of web developers that earn a living developing these sites.

    Today, it's a pretty big deal if a business has an app. Good app design services are hard to come by and are generally quite expensive. Over the next 5-10 years as the number of people using mobile OS's increases, so will the demand for promotional apps.

    While it will be tough to make a living writing and selling your own applications, there will be lots of work available for seasoned app developers just like there is for web designers today.
  7. CarletonTorpin macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2011
    It's easy to read stories dated back in 2008 and think that "Wow, all I have to do is a program a simple game app like Paper Toss and I'll make a million dollars!". That may have had an element of truth back three years ago when there were a paltry 7,500 apps and, thus, not a lot of options for spending that 99 cents. The landscape has changed now.

    App developing, regardless of the platform, is a new gold rush and most of the big money has been made. It's now up to developers to actually listen to the public and program what they're asking for. They need to come out with the apps that people have specifically said "This doesn't yet exist and I will pay money for it to come out".

    A roundabout answer to your question is, it's entirely possible to make money as a developer. It's also entirely possible to make money as an artist or a musician but if you don't have a quality product and people who are willing to spend money to buy/experience it, then you're not going to make enough money to quit your day job.

    So my suggestion is to listen to what specific groups of people want and what they're requesting from developers and make those apps. Don't churn out another Angry Birds clone. Find a niche and become the best app ever for "female psychical therapists who need to keep detailed notes of their patients" or "archeology students that want to know all the locations in a 50 mile radius that sell quality pick-axes".
  8. Digijohnny macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2011

    my first app (my rocket pod 2nd & 3rd gen hardware only), sold sporadically , over the last year,with no advertising,no bad reviews) made under $1000, for about 3 month development time,but this was my first xcode project ever, just set the price for free and 50 were downloaded the first day. im thinking of adding iads and gamecenter.
    aside from the $1k, this did get me a job.
    my latest is a bit more ambitious, with a proven target audience of 100,000+, and 18 months solo dev time ,ill keep you posted, due out any day

    if you had something of general appeal(pong) or niche app(loan appraiser) and you were willing to pay for targeted ads(i.e facebook,google,bing) you think you could still clear 50 cents on a $0.99 app, or try relying on iads,

    but, definitely gone are the days of $100k drag and dropped tip calculators and sound boards
  9. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    you know, I was just talking on another forum about programming and what not, I am still a pretty noobish programmer, but I think a simple app would be a fun project.

    Can any of you guys name some programs, tools, or languages are great for making apps? Might as well do something for kicks before school starts and I hate programming again lol
  10. macdevgame macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2011
    The mac appstore is newer and much smaller than the iphone appstore, i'd say there's still a gold rush there. Less customers, but easier to sell an app there too.

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