Is there money to be made in app development?

Is there money to be made in app development?

By | September 6th, 2012
2 Comments on Is there money to be made in app development?

We hear success stories about apps, and get excited to hop on the

bandwagon. Is this as exciting a space as is made out to be? How lucrative

is app development?


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App development is said to be a lucrative career. With the demand for customised apps increasing constantly, app developers have a lot of work to look forward to. When it comes to earning potential, you cannot deny the fact that like all other fields, how much you make depends on how good you are at the job. Moreover, with extremely high competition in the app development market, you only have to come up with something very good to remain in the rat race.

Here are some statistics. According to a recent statement, Apple paid out $2 billion to app developers. These couple of billions is shared among the many developers involved. So, the individual share doesn’t come to a significant amount. However, think about Angry Birds, which went on to be a phenomenon on iTunes. This app made $4.5 million, discounting Apple’s share. Considering that over 6.5 million units of this app have been downloaded by people all over the world, it only makes sense that developers earn a good share. Now, not all apps are Angry Birds and not all developers are Rovio. According to a recent survey on the success of apps (based on the number of downloads), out of all apps developed, 50 percent receive less than 1,000 downloads. If the app is developed for Apple, then Apple takes its revenue share and developers are left with something in the range $500 to $2,500. This is much less than what Rovio makes for Angry Birds.

The best paid apps, which rank among the top ten percent of apps available in the market, get an excess of 75,000 downloads, do make very good money. However, these stats are for people who would like to venture into setting up an app development business or freelancers who look for a source of alternate income. If you are looking for employment in established development companies, the scope is huge for app developers. On an average, an employed developer makes $93,000 per year. The salary of senior developers who work on Java J2EE platform goes up to $1,11,000 per annum. Six figure salaries are also earned by developers who are employed in reputed companies which work on developing apps for iOS and Android. Junior app developers make as much as $75,000 per annum. The good thing about this industry is that the rate of growth is pretty high.

So, as I said above, it all boils down to how good a developer you are. Do you have it in you to make an app as successful as Angry Birds, or probably something more unique? If you do, you could be rolling in money before you can even realise it. In any case, employment potential is huge. Many small and medium size businesses which cannot afford to hire big companies are always on the look out for freelancers. So, you could become a freelancer and substitute your income substantially. If you hit upon an app that goes on to be like another Angry Birds, you could be a very rich person.

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Rahul Mehra
Rahul Mehra is the co-founder of UGS Academy and CEO of UG Software Technologies. He’s a seasoned technocrat with more than 14 years of experience and specializes in web and mobile applications. He tweets