In part 2 of my ongoing series on how to create your own iPhone or Android mobile app, I am going to discuss market research. In part 1 we discussed whether you want to make a specialized niche market app or a lottery winning mass market app. You select a general app topic based on your own passions and/or expertise.
Using myself for an example, I decided to make a niche market iphone app (we will discuss iphone vs Android and other phones in a future issue!) and I decided to use my expertise about Walt Disney World® travel.
The next step in the App Wizard plan for app success is to do some market research. There are two places that I recommend doing research: the iTunes App store and Google Android Marketplace. iTunes requires that you install iTunes on your computer and go to the App store section. The Android Marketplace is accessible via your web browser.
Your strategy at this point depends on whether you have selected mass or niche market. If you have selected niche market then you want to search for apps in the general area of interest. For me, I searched on “Disney” and found a host of apps relating to Disney. Then I narrowed my search a bit by searching on “Disney travel”. It didn’t take me long to discover that there were no apps which addressed the Disney World transportation system — so I had discovered an empty niche waiting for me to fill it!
Take note of typical prices for iPhone apps that are similar to the app you want to create — this will help you to determine how much you want to charge for your app (stay tuned, another future article!). I suggest that you select at least 3 apps that are similar to your future app and actually purchase them, download them, and install them on your iPhone. Spend some time getting to know these apps and their features, this will give you some ideas for features to add to your own app. This will also give you a sense of what might be unique about your app.
As a general rule, you want your app to bring something different and unique to the market place.
The same rules apply to mass market apps. Probably the biggest difference is that most likely there are already going to be apps that do what you want to do. Your job is going to be to add new features and twists to existing ideas. If you do have a new idea that nobody ever thought of before, you have truly hit the lottery jackpot my friend — iFart being a really good example of this type of situation.
Don’t have an iPhone? If you have an Android phone (like me) then you will want to do the same technique on Android Marketplace. The Android Marketplace is not as developed as iTunes. That makes iTunes a better choice for market research.
That brings us to a close for Step 2 in creating your own iPhone/Android Mobile App. You should now have a good sense of what else is out there, what kind of app you want to create, some of the features you want in your app, and a general idea of how much you want to charge for your app.
In Step 3 we will discuss different types of smart phones on the market today and which one(s) you want to make your app for…