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Do people make money from app development

jasonsmith

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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?
Sincerely,
Jason
 

Gregoris

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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?
Sincerely,
Jason

of course! you can make a good living from it. That guy who made that trism game or what ever it was called, that was nothing specials imo and he made 200,000 in a month! so really just from making apps or games that are addictive you will make a killing and of course with the right advertising of the app/game so people will get the word out and will spread with word of mouth.

Good luck in doing so and if you ever make some then feel free to tell us about them.
 
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jasonsmith

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Thanks for your response.
I'm just wondering if this is just an example of the selected few, while most everybody isn't that lucky.
 

Skull One

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Before I had invested $3K in my new iMac, I wanted to know what my first year ROI would be. Those were two of the articles I used for making my decision. That and to justify it to the wife ;)
 

iCrank

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Skull One said:
Before I had invested $3K in my new iMac, I wanted to know what my first year ROI would be. Those were two of the articles I used for making my decision. That and to justify it to the wife ;)

Lol. It gets hard to purchase once you get married.
 

Skull One

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Funny thing is, my wife signed off on it before I showed her the data. She secretly wanted an iMac 27" to my surprise.
 
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jasonsmith

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First off, thank you for your replies.
Truth is, *** I *** wanted the 27", so I made my wife convinced it was HER idea to get it in the first place.
That being said, writing this thing off that 27", I am not clear about your conclusions. Having read your suggested articles, in my opinion, it ain't looking promising at all. Looks like if I haven't made an angry bird or the like, I am lucky if I am even close to a break even. Is this your conclusion too?
 

iHolophyte

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jasonsmith said:
First off, thank you for your replies.
Truth is, *** I *** wanted the 27", so I made my wife convinced it was HER idea to get it in the first place.
That being said, writing this thing off that 27", I am not clear about your conclusions. Having read your suggested articles, in my opinion, it ain't looking promising at all. Looks like if I haven't made an angry bird or the like, I am lucky if I am even close to a break even. Is this your conclusion too?

My wife has a 27" every night.... Oh wait are we talking about something different here? LOL
on a serious note id love to develop an app as I'm sure everyone makes something out of it :)
 

Skull One

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Is this your conclusion too?

I try, for the most part, to be very factual in my posts. And when giving my opinion, I do my best to clarify it as such. So with that in mind, the rest of this post is 100% my opinion and is not based solely on factual data.


I have studied the following dev kits:
1) XNA by Microsoft. Coding for WP7 phones and Xbox 360.
2) Android SDK by Google. Coding for Android based phones.
3) XCode by Apple. Coding for iOS based phones.

My minimum requirement to study a dev kit requires me to write a 2D sprite engine, read at least 50k thousand lines of existing code and read two published books on the subject matter.

I completed that task 100% for XNA. Microsoft, simply put, has the best dev kit on the market for their products. I was 95% completed on the task for Android but failed to finishing writing my sprite engine due to getting fed up with dealing with 7 screen layouts and trying to figure out how to handle three GPUs and one software emulator from Android phone makers. I consider developing for Android to be a waste of time now. In fact I left Android a mere 3 weeks later and bought an iPhone 4. I am 75% of the way into my iOS research. I am just about to start work on my sprite engine. At present I consider Apples SDK to be a very close second to XNA in terms of developmental ease.

Now to make things interesting Xamarin (Xamarin) is now in the early testing stage of using C# to develop for iOS 5. And based on what I have tested under Xamarin for iOS 4, I suspect this will be my software development platform of choice. I will be able to leverage my background in coding for the Xbox 360 against both the WP7 and iPhone. While Xamarin does offer an Android version of their dev kit, I don't see myself going down that path unless I have a run away hit on iOS or WP7. And the reality is, I believe I have less than a 1% chance of that happening.

Now where does that leave the justification of a $3k investment? I firmly believe I should be able to write at least three apps and break even on the hardware costs no matter what. I have no disillusions about making enough money to cover my time in writing the applications though. Even if I sell 15K apps, across all three, at $0.99 each, that means I will only see $10,395. From that I now have to pay taxes at probably around 37%, so that now leaves me at $6548.85. Since I have to subtract my initial hardware investment, that leaves me with a net of $3548.85. Figure each application is a minimum of 300 hours of coding, graphics and testing that means I will make a mere $3.94 an hour. Since I am already a professional application developer in the HVA/C industry, that means I will be taking a substantial pay cut to code these three applications.

So what is the motivation for doing it since I just showed it isn't for the money? I want to be able to look in the mirror and know that I did it for myself. I want to feel like I did back in 1983 when I published my very first game for the TI-99/4a. The very reason I got into programming in the first place. I sold a game called Carnival that was distributed on Cassette Tape along with a lot of other programs for $127. I now write code every single day for the HVA/C industry. Some of it is very cutting edge as far as software goes. But alas it has never given me that thrill that I had the first time I finished my game and someone else besides me played it.

I find it funny that I have 2600+ users that use my million plus line application every day to specify, engineer, quote and order $90 million a year worth of HVA/C hardware and yet I still feel like I am missing out on something as a programmer.

So the question my wife finally asked me was the one that made the choice painfully obvious.

"Will you have fun again"?

So you have to find your question now. And remember you have to ask yourself one other question to go along with that question. The same one I did.

"Can I afford to do this and not make a dime"?

I placed my order for a iMac 27" i7 3.4Ghz quad core with 16GB of RAM the very night I knew the answer to both questions was a resounding yes.


My conclusion is; go into it knowing you aren't going to make a dime. And remember to thank your spouse for letting you do something you WANTED to do, not something that you HAD to do.
 
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wikkymaster

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of course you can make money doing it, just make sure its something people will pay for
 

Skull One

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of course you can make money doing it, just make sure its something people will pay for

Spoken like someone that has never published a single application with more than 50K lines in it.
 
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