Mobile apps industry in India

Today, mobile phone is the hottest product in consumer electronic markets. Companies like Apple, Sony, Nokia, Samsung, HTC, and LG are launching new phones every few months and making a lot of money on of this opportunity. About half of the mobile phones in the market today are smart phones and it is predicted that within five years, all mobile phones will be smart phones. As smart phone usage is increasing, smart phone applications are also increasing and demand of smart phone apps developers is also increasing worldwide.

According to the industry report, one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets today is India with over 700 million users. Having more users create more demand for mobile apps and to increase profit, India telecommunication companies are putting a lot of focus on having more mobile apps. In a short time, India's mobile apps industry has grown to over two hundred thousand workers and currently is the faster growing sector in the IT industry. It is not just providing apps for internal market but also move quickly to global market. For many years, India wanted to export its software products but could not compete with U.S giants like Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, Facebook, Google etc. but with mobile apps, the market is suddenly wide open. Now Indian's mobile apps began to penetrate the smart phone and tablet market. It is estimated that this new export market could reach $4 billion US Dollars by 2015 as India is ready to do business in all types of wireless devices.

According to the report, Indian mobile developers are specialized in apps for Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad and iPod but they also develop custom apps for Blackberry, J2ME, Android, Symbian, and others. Their mobile apps includes sales applications, games apps, social networking apps, mobile commerce solutions, web services integration, traveling apps, maps, navigation, and weather forecasting apps. The market for tablet apps includes business, health, entertainment, games, web, connectivity, security, email, e-Books, video managers, etc. The typical skills needs for this market are Java, Objective C programming language and technologies like DHTML, XHTML, AJAX and CSS. While mobile development process is not much different from traditional development but an app developer must focus on understanding customer's needs and business idea by create effective apps with easy to use interfaces and high quality. Their apps must be up-to-date and follow every new innovation with details and updates of the mobile technology.

The report noted that since the beginning of the mobile trend few years ago, many India's universities have switched regular programming courses to mobile apps programming courses. Objective C is replacing C++, IOS and Android is taught as early as second year course in Computer Science programs. This quick decision has provided its mobile industry with a large number of skilled workers who can meet global demand and allowed India to dominate this lucrative market. A school official explained: “Because our schools can change our training programs according to market demand, we can develop workers quickly for our industry. Other countries such as China or Malaysia often have to wait for their government's direction, their education systems follow rigid ministry framework and local policies, and therefore they missed the chance.” A company owner said: “Today, you have to catch the trend when it starts, not when everybody already know about it. To compete in global market, you must monitor the market for opportunities. The new rule is: “The fast will beat the slow as speed is everything”. It is not difficult to get into mobile business, trainings in IOS and Android are quite simple but you must move fast and have a large skilled workforce to overwhelm the market and keeping others from getting in. Today we have several hundred thousands of skilled programmers ready to do business. Our fast response to market demand helps keep India to remain number one destination for both Information Technology (IT) outsourcing and mobile apps outsourcing. Recently we attract a lot of new customers, especially companies that developing mobile apps.

The report noted that since India already succeeds in IT outsourcing, moving to mobile apps outsourcing is just a natural step. Since Indian developers already know how to follow disciplined process to design and build software, they can easily transition to mobile apps to meet specific requirements. The mobile app outsourcing industry can provide cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality of product and security of information for its customers. This distinguishes them with other countries where quality is considered as “Just good enough” and low cost is often associated with poor design and lack of security concern.” An Indian government official explained: “We have been successful in IT outsourcing, our workers are well trained in software engineering disciplines and quality. In this highly competitive world of mobile apps, they must continue to perform as their services must be fast but affordable and to succeed they must satisfy customers completely.”

According to the report, the future market will be the integration of social, mobile, and cloud computing. Together these three technologies will completely change many businesses and create new market with high demand. Smart phones will connect everything; cloud computing will make storage and access easier; and social network will make collaboration among companies faster and more efficient. The next challenge is having all information content fully integrated and mobile devices will be the platform for effective networking and new ways of work. They will links people to their works no matter where they are. Cloud computing will allow the delivery of information and functionality to all users whenever they need. All of these technologies will be integrated to create a user-driven ecosystem for all future computing. This will require a highly skilled software engineers who are trained in system architecture, system integration, and parallel programming. How fast can India response to this new demand? Is it India or other countries the dominant player in this next market is still remaining to be seen?


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University