When Apple first released the iPhone, there was a gold rush of apps selling for 99 cents and earning thousands of dollars a day for doing something as simple as turning your iPhone into a flashlight. Those early gold rush days are long gone, so if you’re interested in creating apps for the iPhone/iPad, you may be wondering – what do people want?
- First, the largest iPhone/iPad app market is games. Games don’t have to offer super sophisticated graphics. Two of the biggest hits recently have been Angry Birds and Floppy Bird, which use simple animation to create a compelling game. As long as you have an interesting idea for a game, you can intrigue iPhone/iPad users.
- If you don’t want to create a game, the next big gold mine is specialized apps. Apple, Microsoft, and Google already give away free word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation apps, so you have little chance of competing with these big companies; however, you can look for profitable niche markets that are still open to individual developers.
- For example, a specialized app to help real estate agents won’t appeal to everyone, but it will definitely appeal to real estate agents. How many free real estate agent apps can you find on the market? Maybe a handful? If a useful real estate agent app comes on the market, how many customers can you expect? The answer – most real estate agents who use an iPhone/iPad.
- If you try to appeal to everyone, chances are good your app will get lost in the crowd and wind up reaching no one. If you try to appeal to a niche market, chances are good your app will stand out among the potential customers most likely to buy your app in the first place. The secret to success is to target a niche market, whatever that might be.
Since many people are hesitant about paying money for an app before they can try it, a good marketing technique is to deliver a free app. If people find it useful, they’ll keep using it and tell others about it. Then, you can make money by selling in-app purchases that expand on the features of the app. By making your app free, you provide a no-risk way for people to test your app. By offering in-app purchases, you target only happy customers who are already using your app.
There is no single type of app that will magically guarantee success. Simply target a niche market, make your app free, offer in-app purchases, and you, too, can start your own software company from your home.