This post is idea number 4 of potential niche business ideas that I am considering pursuing. As explained in the purpose of this blog here, I will be discussing 10 or so niche business ideas that I have an interest in. At the same time, I will be taking ideas that YOU would like to see me try out – submit your ideas here!
After 30 days or so, I will be closing the submissions and then will combine the best ideas you have submitted and a few of my own ideas and allow everyone to vote on the ONE idea they would like to see me pursue. This winning idea will get my full attention for 90 days or so and will be blogged about step by step from start to finish. At the end of 90 days, the process starts over with new ideas from me and new submissions from YOU!
So, I am writing about a wide variety of ideas that may be labor intensive or may have passive income potential – it doesn't matter to me. These may be online ideas or offline ideas. I am MOST interested in ideas that the average person can get started quickly in 90 days with low barriers to entry. You can read about my 3 previous ideas right here:
Idea #2 – How to Sell Used Clothes Online
The Mobile Phone Application Market
Okay, now I wanted to discuss the potential for creating and launching a mobile phone app business. What does it take to get started in the business? Is this something that is feasible for 1 person to get started doing without too much difficulty? Also, what is the potential for success? These are some of the things that I want to discuss briefly.
Obviously with the advent of the Apple iPhone, Google Android, and other smart phones, mobile phone application revenue has been increasing. However, is there still growth potential and how much? To get a glimpse of the industry overall, lets take a look at some numbers from Gartner, Inc:
- Mobile Phone Application Revenue for 2010 was $5.2 billion
- Projected Revenue for 2011 is $15.1 billion (a whopping 192 percent increase!)
- Projected Revenue for 2014 is $58 billion – a 1000% increase from 2010 (oh snap!!)
So, is the mobile phone application business a good one to get into? Well, from purely a growth potential perspective…absolutely! So, we have checked the box of it being a good industry.
A Look at the Competition
Secondly, we need to take a look at the competition. Here is a quick list of some of the most popular mobile phone application categories from Nielsen, Inc.
So games is the most popular category of app downloads. However, there is still plenty of money to be made in other categories. As far as competition goes, each category is different and its important to analyze the market to see if there is room for your idea. I don't want to spend much time looking at specific categories, but I believe there is room anywhere if you find the right niche and/or need. Yes, the competition is fierce! But if you have a unique idea, or can find a low competition niche, I think you can break into the mobile phone market.
I have TONS of experience looking at and finding low competition niches for websites. Even though an overall website category like “finance” for example can have extremely tough competition, if you find the right keywords, you can still rank at the top of Google very easily in the finance market. I imagine it would be the same for the mobile phone app business. If you find the right niche and have a unique approach, you could probably find some success.
Mobile Phone App Success Stories
Here are few Applications that have taken a unique approach and have found some success.
- iShoot – Tank Artillery Game – made $37,000 in one day – has brought in millions now.
- iSteam – Makes your iPhone look like there is steam on the screen – made $100,000 in one month
- iFart – Makes certain noises – Made $40k in 2 days – much more since then
- Foursquare – Check into locations, beat your friends. Makes millions
- Knot Guide – Shows you how to tie knots – Way over 250,000 downloads
- Couch to 5k – Get in shape to run a 5k training guide – LOTS of downloads (unclear how many or how much money made).
- Traffic Light Changer (its a joke) – Pat Flynn created this for $400, it now brings in $75/day via Ads – App itself is free.
This list could be really huge, but I wanted to point out just a few that are unique ideas that have done well. In particular, the iSteam, iFart, Knot Guide, Couch to 5k, and Traffic Light Changer seem to be pretty unique that I wouldn't have necessarily thought of or thought would be successful. However, it just goes to show you that there is money to be made in the small niche ideas. This is what I would be doing (finding a small unique niche idea) if I decide to go into the app business.
How to Develop a Mobile Phone App
Obviously, I am not a app. programmer. However, I have outsourced a number of projects on freelance sites such as elance.com and freelancer.com. This is the route I would expect to go with developing an application. So, the upfront capital is required; however the amount really depends on the app itself – it could be a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars.
The other route to go is using a service such as AppMakr. This service apparently will help you create your own iPhone app without any programming experience! I know nothing about it other than what I have read. But it looks like a great service if you have a simple idea and want to create a quick application for a mobile phone. In fact, if you vote this as my winning idea, I just might do a free app with AppMakr and do another one with an outsourced developer!
Pat Flynn also did a podcast specifically how to get into the iPhone App business not too long ago. He goes over some other details not covered here, that could be helpful if you personally decide to get into the business. You can check out his iPhone App podcast right here.
How to Market a Mobile Phone App
Maybe someone can help me out here – How are people marketing their apps? From what I have seen, many successful applications simply list their product in the iPhone App store and that's it! Isn't there more to marketing than this? I guess I don't know what others are doing here. But I would imagine that creating a website and driving some traffic that way would be a great way to help promote the product. This is an area I would certainly brush up on before I jumped in head first. What do you think?
Anyway, there is SO much more that could be said about the mobile phone app business, this is just scratching the service. However, I simply wanted to introduce the idea and hear your thoughts! Is this a business idea that you would like to see me pursue and then document step by step on this blog for the next 3 or 4 months? If so, let me know. What other thoughts do you have in regards to this post and the mobile phone app business in general?
Want to see me try a different business idea? Be sure to Submit Your Idea Right Here.