Apple have really played a blinder over the past few years. The iPhone is one of the best products to hit the mobile market in a long time.
The winning combination of sleek looks, quality construction and the simple yet brilliant design of using fingertips to navigate around the device has appealed to millions worldwide. Another reason for the success of iPhone is the huge number of applications available from the itunes App store. For those of you who don't know, an application is a little piece of software that can do anything from make noises like a Jedi light Sabre to connect you to Twitter, tell you the weather in your area or turn your iPhone into a spirit level.
Apple have created an opportunity whereby ANYONE can become a software developer literally overnight. For just $99 per year ANYONE can become a development member. All you need then is a Mac computer, some time, and a little knowledge.
The app store has thousands of apps, some are free (they gain revenue by also displaying advertisements) some are just 99p (or cents) whilst others such as TomTom software are around £50 ($80) Apple take a percentage of app sale revenue but the developer gets the lions share.
Even the most stupid apps make money. There was one available called iSteam which gave the effect of steam on the screen when you breathed into the microphone. In truth you'd probably only use it once or twice to demonstrate the genius of your new phone to your mates before deleting it. the developer grossed a cool $100,000 from this app.
Another App called iFart which, you guessed it, played fart noises was earning the developer $10,000 PER DAY!
You can see then the potential that becoming a developer offers. In addition to creating your own apps, developers who know there way around can command exceptional fees for creating apps on behalf of corporations who want to get in on the iPhone party.
I've done a little bit of digging as it does seem something that with a little effort could bring exceptional rewards
iPhone apps are written in the programming language "Objective-C" and Cocoa touch. These languages although not easy can be learned within a matter of weeks if you are dedicated enough to learn. There are some great resources out there (and some crap ones) a good place to start would be to read this book, "Teach yourself iPhone Application Development in 24 hours" this book assumes you have no previous knowledge of programming but does rely on you being able to use (and own) a mac. Another good book is from the renowned "dummies" series iPhone Application Development For Dummies
Both these books will have you writing iPhone apps by the time you have finished them. You then simply need to take what you have learned and come up with an app that people will want.
If you do hit the big time, remember me when you are ordering your first Bentley! :)
What sort of app would you like to see on the iPhone?