Start-up developers look set to take advantage of the rocketing popularity of mobile computing devices, with new research predicting a surge in the sector over the next five years.
According to 2,000 IT developers and specialists from 87 countries surveyed by IBM, software application development for mobile platforms such as the iPhone and Android, as well as tablets such as the iPad, will surpass the development of traditional forms of computing by 2015.
IBM also found that the vast majority of specialists surveyed believe that cloud computing will become more prevalent than on-site computing as a primary means of acquiring IT in the near future.
Globally, mobile applications sales are expected to undergo massive growth over the next three years, with revenue jumping from $6.2 billion this year to around $30 billion by 2013. This trend is set to spark many new developer start-ups.
According to Foad Fadaghi, research director at research company Telsyte, the mobile device application business is currently worth $100 million dollars in Australia and is expected to grow by 33% over the next 12 months.
“It’s the second fastest growing industry behind e-books,” he says.
While the games category is currently the most popular paid category, utilities and maps applications are also common. Fadaghi says business applications will become more prominent in future as more businesses provide employees with mobile devices.
According to Fadaghi, start-ups that wish to capatilise on the mobile application development should think outside the square and focus on something that doesn’t already exist. “There’s a lot of clutter in the app space,” says Fadaghi. “Products that make a lot of noise or have good PR or marketing will naturally rise to the top”.
He also suggests developers should keep in mind that the application market is a global one, and pay attention to what is already available to buyers. Businesses that wish to focus locally should ensure they are not copying what is already out there, or similar applications that are available for free.