The iPhone is a revolutionary handset. But it is also the key to a virtual gold mine – the iTunes App Store, where independent developers can become multimillionaires in just a year.
iphone app development austin Since its launch in July, the App Store has grown to become an indie developer’s dream come true. Steve Demeter, developer of the vastly popular $5 iPhone game Trism, announced he made $250,000 in profit in just two months. His team? Himself, mainly, with a little bit of help from a friend and a contracted designer (whom he paid $500). If his profits continue at this rate, Demeter will earn nearly $2 million by July 2009.
“Ireally didn’t think about the money,” php web development company Demeter said in a phone interview with Wired.com. “I got an e-mail from a lady who’s like, a 50-year-old woman who says, ‘I do not play games, but I love Trism.’ That’s what I did it for.”
What’s more, Demeter initially released Trism as a free native application in the Jailbreak community – meaning it was a game that users could play only if they hacked their iPhones. The prospects of making money were uncertain, but Demeter had a vision: He knew iPhone apps would get big once Apple released a software developer kit to allow third-party apps on the handset, and he wanted to get in on the platform early.
Though Demeter’s success was fortuitous, he said he expects other applications to see similar numbers. He said the factors that made Trism stand out were unique gameplay (Trism is essentially a version of Bejeweled using the iPhone’s accelerometer), high replay value and an online leaderboard that creates community. He said applications with great content will sell themselves, and that’s ultimately what other developers need to focus on, too.
In a sense, the App Store, despite its corporate ties, has created an open market where developers can strike it rich with minimal resources – even out of a garage – so long as they possess the talent and the time.