Back in April I wrote up some parallels I was seeing between the current iPhone app explosion and the first big wave of mass adoption of the Web. One of the patterns I predicted at the time was a building rush of incumbent companies coming into the space:
“Brands Rush In. In the late ’90s it suddenly dawned on a broad swath of incumbent brands (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) that their customers were looking for them online. To anyone in the Web application development business (as I was at the time), customers were everywhere and billing rates were whatever the market could bear. I haven’t yet seen the flood of brands hit the iPhone, but early adopters are there and I’ll be very surprised if the same cycle doesn’t play out here.”
Just a few months later, I’m seeing data to suggest that this trend is now in full swing. Every iPhone developer I talk to tells me they’re getting more pings about contract development work (whether they’re available for hire or not). A recent AdMob research piece fanned the flames by suggesting that 70% of iPhone owners had downloaded an app from a recognized brand, and another 60% would “definitely” or “strongly consider” downloading one from a well-known brand they liked. And Ian and I have been noticing an uptick in developer-related searches on AppStoreHQ.
To test this theory further, we just shipped a new, searchable developer directory at AppStoreHQ. Published developers can claim their profile and indicate whether they’re for hire (so far almost 200 developers have raised their hand). And for folks who find that amount of choice overwhelming, we now offer a developer matching service – tell us what kind of app you need built and we’ll match you with up to three qualified developers ready to bid on the project.
Is this trend for real? I’m about to find out, and will share stats as I have them. Stay tuned…