Creating iPhone Apps Far From the Bay Area - The Wall Street Journal

Creating iPhone Apps Far From the Bay Area - The Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2009

The biggest concentration of developers for Apple's iPhone is in Northern California, as a story in The Wall Street Journal's San Francisco Bay Area section points out. But the ubiquity of the Internet makes it possible for a software developer anywhere in the world to make apps.

According to Mobclix, which operates the largest ad exchange network on the iPhone, the largest number of app developers come from the U.S., followed by the U.K., Canada, Germany and Australia. But there are developers in such far-flung countries as Malta, Reunion, Brunei, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

One example is Sameer Jain, the 39-year-old founder of Net Solutions in Chandigarh, India. He established an iPhone app team alongside his mainstay Web app business almost a year ago. Of about 170 employees, about ten of them work on iPhone apps.

Internationally known for its architecture, Chandigarh is an up-and-coming tech city in northern India, about 200 miles from Delhi. It is rising in the ranks of top Asian outsourcing destinations and was voted one of the best cities in the country "to work, live and play."

But even in the wealthy and highly-educated city, the iPhone development community is small. Jain says that he has heard there are other developers in the city but doesn't personally know of anyone else. When he held a user-generated development conference, known as BarCamps, for the iPhone last year, only about 30 people attended; 25 of them were from his own company. That's a small fraction of the 600 people that attended a recent development camp in the Bay Area.

Still, Jain says that he doesn't "see any challenges in terms of the actual development." He knows that developers in Silicon Valley might have the advantage of knowing what's happening in the industry first, but he says overall, "It's very easy to do it these days because of the resources available on the Internet."

Clients find the company through a Google search or by word of mouth. Jain says the company has developed about ten apps so far, including one for an Australian high school and another that helps users find nearby landmarks. The company is working on another ten more currently. Clients pay $3,000 to $15,000 to have Net Solutions build an app.

"We pretty much feel part of the eco-system," said Jain.

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