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How to Develop Your iPhone Application Idea

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 11/30/2009

Here is a guide on how to prepare an iPhone application idea, find developers and designers and then get it up on the iTunes' App Store to begin making money.

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    Get Rich with iPhone Apps

    For many people, developing an iPhone application seems like a new get rich scheme. We have heard stories about ridiculous iPhone applications reaping in exorbitant amounts of money, with Apple taking half of the receipts as the new iPhone pimp. If iFart can make a reported $40,000 in two days, why can't you?

    The reality is that iPhone application development is real software development and requires a clear understanding of computer programming. A market has been created where people generate ideas then find an application developer to bring it to life. This can be a difficult market and an easy way to get your idea stolen, but you can sell your iPhone application idea to a legitimate developer.

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    iPhone Application Idea and Developers

    First, have a very clear idea of what kind of iPhone app you want to create. It should often be concise, useful as a practical application and worth the charge or ad support involved.

    Then look around the iTunes' App Store to find iPhone application developers that are both small and in line with your vision. Find an application developer that has had similar products, but nothing quite like yours. Make a short list of different small iPhone application companies that you are going to contact. Many of these companies will have freelance software developers that work on their idea, just as yours. In this case, find their profile and any other possible information about a flagship iPhone application in their arsenal, and look up the applications developers individually. These are usually going to be the best people to with whom to pitch ideas.

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    Communicating with the Right People

    If you are going to be pitching your idea to these iPhone application developers, you should have your project together. Create a project proposal with very clear structural ideas. Make sure you know every aspect of this application, what features you will want, any graphical information that should be included, as well as who is going to buy it.

    It is also good to include a flow chart for the application. You may need a graphic designer on the project as well, because visuals will not usually be the programmer's responsibility. To do this, you may want to try job-posting sites to find a graphic designer to come on board.

    With both the programmer and the graphic designer you write out a contract to go with your proposal telling them exactly how much money they will receive from sales, which should be written in terms of percentage. It would be best to keep this divided equally in three parts.

    Before you begin contacting people you may want to give yourself a company name and provide professional references for credibility. This is done no matter what type of freelance project you are doing. References do not have to be software related, but need to prove you are a professional person who can be trusted.

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    Other Ways of Finding Developers

    There are other ways to find developers. There are many freelance websites that allow you to post a possible project and let people contact you for their part. This is actually a great way to meet new programmers and people who just want to work on a fun iPhone application development project aside from their regular job. and Elance are both good resources for that. In this case, as well as with the graphic designer, ask to see a portfolio so you can get an idea of their skill set and preferences. This is a standard request and should not be met with hostility, even though you are not an industry professional. You may also benefit from trying to hire several developers, but your project has to have real potential if this is going to be a possibility.

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    Applying to iTunes

    On your own, you need to apply to be an iTunes' distributor. This is a relatively easy process, though it is hard to be certified. You have to give a clear company name and idea of content that will be provided. Insert the same information that you did to your developers about your iPhone application product and you will have a good chance of getting approved. If you do not get approved the first time you can try again later.