The current question on every entrepreneur’s lips is how to get into the app business and be successful about it. With a large and rapidly growing market, apps are being launched onto the market daily.
There are lots of questions to consider though, such as which platform to build for (Apple or Android) and how to make money from the apps produced. These are now addressed in greater detail.
Free and cheap apps are likely to get more downloads in the mobile apps business, but obviously make less money per download.
However, monetizing free apps can be achieved by showing ads at strategic points during the use of the app – such as while waiting for a game to load. This can be an excellent way to bring in significant revenues for your business.
Additionally, a problem with charging more than a dollar or two for an app means that you have to start providing customer service. With a cheaper or a free app people do not expect as much customer service if any.
Another decision you need to take in developing your app business is whether to focus on Android or Apple. Strategy Analytics (2013) explains that Apple and Android have been competing heavily for market share and that Android and Apple managed to secure 92% of the share of global smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2012.
The report suggests that Android has grown its share of the smartphone market from 51% to 70% in just a year. As Strategy Analytics puts it: “Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time.” Meanwhile, Apple is reported to have a 22% share as of the end of 2012. This might indicate that Android is the best platform to choose, however, developing apps that work across all of the different types of Android phone is fraught with many difficulties.
Great successes can be achieved in this business. Tim Ferriss, author of Four Hour Work Week interviewed Chad Mureta, an entrepreneur that has achieved great successes in this area. In his mobile app business he has generated “millions” in revenue. Chad was bringing in $30,000 per month profits just two months after launching his business. He argues that 90% or more of his apps have been successful and have made money.
Of course, failure is also possible. Indeed, in a Guardian report, Canalys research was reported on which found that 66% of apps get less than 1,000 downloads in their first year on the market, and some get zero downloads.
Business models for success include coming up with the idea for an app and either developing it yourself or getting it developed for you, or alternatively becoming an app reseller. The latter is an idea that people are less familiar with, but Blum (2012) states that it can be win-win, since developers often have a great app idea but no clue how to sell it.
Looking at the figures it is easy to see why you should get into this applications business if you’re passionate about it of course. In 2011, Cheng reports on Gartner research and stated that the app market was due to generate $9 billion in revenues and $18 billion in 2012.
Clearly the app business is growing at an extremely rapid rate and there is space for new players in the market. By reviewing the lessons here, it may be possible for you to build a solid business through apps development or acting as a mobile apps re-seller or both.