500pc increase in demand for iPhone app programmers

28 Oct 2008

The demand for iPhone programming jobs has skyrocketed by 500pc over the past six months as the iPhone Software Developer Kit (SDK) creates a brand new marketplace.

The success of the iPhone has taken everyone by surprise, and certainly Apple CEO Steve Jobs after he revealed that 10 million of the devices have been sold so far.

In August, he announced that iPhone users have downloaded more than 60 million applications from iTunes since they went on sale with the launch of the iPhone on 11 July.

Jobs said while most of the applications are free, users paid on average US$1m a day for those which are not – yielding Apple an impressive US$30m in sales within the App Store’s first month of trading. Jobs predicted that if this continues, Apple will crest US$360m a year in new revenue from apps.

According to oDesk, an IT skills outsourcing provider, demand for iPhone programming jobs has skyrocketed by 50pc over the past six months.

“Apple’s introduction of the 3G iPhone and the iPhone 2.0 platform has driven global demand for oDesk’s highly qualified freelance iPhone developers,” said oDesk CEO, Gary Swart.

“The App Store and Apple iPhone SDK have created a whole new marketplace that oDesk is best able to serve.”

For the period from March through September 2008, the oDesk trends show an increase from under 30 to over 140 jobs per month for iPhone app developers, iPhone SDK engineers, and other iPhone programming and consulting jobs working in the ‘oDesk oConomy’ network of providers from the US, Russia, India, Ukraine, China, and 100 other countries.

“There is a huge demand for iPhone developers and people are quickly learning iPhone development,” reported Adeem Basra, founder of one of oDesk’s highly ranked iPhone development companies, based in Lahore, Pakistan.

Basra’s start-up has hired five additional iPhone programmers. “The demand picked up after July 2008. I believe we are still way under capacity,” Basra said.

oDesk has introduced a qualification test to help employers select the best certified professionals for their projects and jobs. The qualification test is available free of charge to all registered oDesk providers.

Embeddable widgets of the oDesk Trends covering nearly a hundred key job skills and roles will be available soon to industry websites, business publications and media covering IT jobs and outsourcing.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: the iTunes App Store

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years