The iPhone is the most popular mobile device in the world. It has changed the way we interact with information, entertainment, and communication.
The iPhone has also changed the way we interact with each other. Since its release in 2007, it has become a staple in most people's lives. It is more than just a phone; it is a tool for staying connected to our friends and family and for creating new connections.
The iPhone app market is an ever-changing landscape of innovation: it's not just about making something that works well; it's about creating something that stands out from the crowd.
In order to succeed in this market, you need to have something that appeals to your audience. This can be as simple as making sure your app has a catchy name or as complex as developing an entire brand identity around your app's functionality.
Here are some real-life success stories of starting an iPhone app:
1. Storeo ($32.4K/year)
Brandon Bayer (from Ohio, USA) started Storeo over 8 years ago.
The core function is very simple. It takes a video, splits it into 15-second segments, and finally saves it to your camera roll. After uploading each slice to Instagram, people who watch your Story will see it seamlessly transition from one to the next without any jarring transitions or cut off words.
2. EarBuds ($24M/year)
Jason Fox (from Austin, Texas, USA) started EarBuds over 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Jason Fox and I’m the Founder and CEO of EarBuds. EarBuds is a social music app that’s available in the iOS App Store and is coming out to Android soon.
It’s been amazing to see the top X-Games athletes like Mark McMorris or top NFL talent like Baker Mayfield connect and live stream with their fans on EarBuds.
3. HoopMaps ($36K/year)
Dominic Morris (from Sacramento, California, USA) started HoopMaps about 6 years ago.
Since we launched, we have amassed over 90,000 users across 11 countries outside the United States an have appeared on international media outlets such as SportsCenter and Shark Tank and partnered with The Big 3 professional basketball league.
4. BACH ($6M/year)
Mike Petrakis (from New York, NY, USA) started BACH almost 3 years ago.
My name is Mike Petrakis - I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of BACH, an app that plans and books bachelor/ette parties.
We have 40,000+ parties using BACH this month and we’ve grown from $0 to >$1M net revenue run rate in less than 6 months.
5. Salem Software ($120K/year)
Trevor McKendrick (from Austin, Texas, USA) started Salem Software over 10 years ago.
I’m Trevor McKendrick, founder of Salem Software. Our main product was a Spanish-language Bible iPhone app. Our primary customers were Spanish-speakers living in the US.
I grew the business to over a million users and sold it in 2015 to Salem Media (Nasdaq: SALM)
6. OnlinePianist ($840K/year)
Nimrod Cohen (from Tel Aviv, Israel) started OnlinePianist about 12 years ago.
My name is Nimrod, and I am the CEO & co-founder of OnlinePianist, a mobile application that makes it super fun & easy to play one’s favorite songs on the piano.
7. MoveWell ($12K/year)
Joel Runyon (from Austin, Texas, USA) started MoveWell over 5 years ago.
My name is Joel Runyon and I started an app called MoveWell. The app is designed to help you move better, get stronger and prevent injuries. It’s your ultimate movement and mobility companion.
Even though MoveWell brings in the smallest amount of revenue of any of my ventures, the project has some of my most enthusiastic followers. I used to have a business partner, but recently bought him out and am looking to scale the business even more by adding coaches, consistently adding content, and doing branded partnerships over the next 6-12 months.
8. Pomodoro Focus Timer ($4.8K/year)
Tianna Henry (from Toronto, ON, Canada) started Pomodoro Focus Timer over 2 years ago.
Pomodoro Focus Timer was an app I built to get more experience outside of tutorials and classes. Allowing me to work with and implement features I rarely got to explore in-depth. I continually revisit the project to refactor code and implement new features as my skills improve.
Having used the Pomodoro technique a lot while studying and working on projects as a way to control my focus. A Pomodoro Timer was a natural choice when deciding to work on a project of my own. I focused on building a timer with a simple design to limit distractions and avoid spending too much time in-app.
9. Ailment: space bullet hell ($60K/year)
Ivan Panasenko (from Madrid, Spain) started Ailment: space bullet hell over 3 years ago.
- My name is Ivan, I’m Ukrainian, based in Spain. I work as CG Generalist. And as Indie Game Developer I make games for fun.
- In this video, I wanted to share the revenue of my second game for iOS and Android that I developed using Unity. I hope it will help to get some ideas about mobile game development. As an example, I use my game - Endurance.
10. Blackbox ($210K/year)
Ryan McLeod (from Amsterdam, Netherlands) started Blackbox over 7 years ago.
- Ryan McLeod is an Apple Design Award-winning designer and developer. He shares how he's able to turn a passion project into a successful game with 7 million downloads and without any paid marketing.
11. Meister ($12M/year)
Michael Hollauf (from Vienna, Austria) started Meister over 15 years ago.
My name is Michael Hollauf, I’m one of the founders of Meister, and we currently have two very popular apps for team creativity and productivity on the market — MindMeister is the biggest online mind mapping app with over 11 million users worldwide, and MeisterTask is our new agile task management tool that already has 3 million users and is catching up fast with the likes of Trello and Asana, having won both Apple’s and Google’s Best of the Year award in its launch year.
We’re currently close to US$ 10 million ARR with our Freemium subscription business model on both apps.
12. Astropad ($2.4M/year)
Matt Ronge (from Minneapolis, MN, USA) started Astropad over 8 years ago.
My name is Matt Ronge and I’m Cofounder and CEO at Astropad. At Astropad, we make software and hardware tools for creative people. Our two main products are Astropad Studio and Luna Display.
My cofounder Giovanni Donelli and I started the company in 2013 and through bootstrapping we’ve grown the team to 16 people across 5 countries. Our first year selling products was 2015 where we made $500,000 and we’ve grown that to $3.4 million in revenue last year.
13. FitSW: Personal Trainer Software ($600K/year)
Jacob Montoya (from Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA) started FitSW: Personal Trainer Software over 5 years ago.
Hello! My name is Jacob Montoya and I am the founder of FitSW and its sister site FindTrainGain. With FitSW, we provide software to personal trainers to help them grow their businesses and enable them to use our technology to effectively manage their clients’ fitness. With FindTrainGain, we enable people searching for fitness help from all over the world to join a wide variety of Live Online Fitness Classes led by fun, energetic Fitness Instructors.
We enable people to stay fit and stay connected with fun fitness classes in this time of social distancing. At the same time, we also provided a way for fitness professionals to continue to work. We have instructors leading classes on everything from Yoga to Cardio Boxing to our most popular Dance Cardio class. Classes are accessible to anyone and many are priced as low as $5 a class.
14. The Jed Mahonis Group ($960K/year)
Rob Bentley (from Minneapolis, MN, USA) started The Jed Mahonis Group over 10 years ago.
Hi! 👋 My name is Tim Bornholdt, and I’m a co-founder of The Jed Mahonis Group. We are a custom iOS and Android app development consultancy, and we specialize in building native mobile app solutions for businesses of all sizes.
We’ve grown at a steady pace over the past eight years. We currently work with several large and small organizations including Great Clips, Profile by Sanford Health, Green Mill, and the USA CUP. My business partner and I started the company right out of college by investing $250 each and have since turned it into a nearly seven-figure a year agency.
15. Payment for Stripe ($720K/year)
Ryan Scherf (from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) started Payment for Stripe over 7 years ago.
I’m Ryan Scherf, the founder of payment.co (@payment), an app built on top of the Stripe payment gateway for creating card-present charges. Payment is available on iOS and Android, and allows customers who have created online stores to easily collect payments in person, in the same account, with no barriers or card readers required.
The app launched in January 2015, and since has grown to process over $70M in volume annually. The app collects a 1% service fee on every single charge.
16. Wolfpack Digital ($3.6M/year)
Georgina Lupu Florian (from Cluj-Napoca, Romania) started Wolfpack Digital over 7 years ago.
Hi everyone! I am Gina and I am the founder and CEO of Wolfpack Digital. The name of the company stems from my surname “Lupu”, which means “Wolf” in Romanian. We are an award-winning app development agency from Romania with an in-house team of 50 people. We design and build web and mobile apps start-to-end for startups and scaleups from around the world, while advising them with their business and product strategy. This has given me the opportunity to personally work with more than 40 entrepreneurs so far and to learn more about their business, which is super exciting!
This year Wolfpack Digital has exceeded the 1.5M USD yearly revenue threshold, yet what we are most excited about is the great atmosphere in our team and our amazing office space, coupled with the fact that we get more and more opportunities to work on meaningful apps with inspiring founders.
17. Gikken ($224K/year)
Alex Chernikov (from Berlin, Germany) started Gikken ago.
I’m Alex, the co-founder and CEO of Gikken /'gɪk ən/. We made a few apps and browser extensions used by 800,000 people every month. We’re (yet) small, profitable, and based in Europe’s most interesting city—Berlin, Germany.
We’re making around $18,000 a month with it being higher in school months and lower during the summer months. You may ask, “Why so little if you have so many users?” and that’d be a totally valid question that I’m also asking myself. Monetizing our existing user base better is our top 1 priority for the next year.
18. Mokool Apps ($1.8K/year)
Mukul Verma (from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) started Mokool Apps over 2 years ago.
Hello my name is Mukul Verma and I run Mokool Apps and we have expanded to create apps for the Shopify App Store. We released our first Shopify app on May 1, 2020, which was Translate Pro.
We are currently making $150 a month and our focus right now is on building the fundamentals for a huge business. In the first month Translate Pro was live we made many changes. These included adding a support software system, changing the onboarding from showing our simple features that solve problems, added analytics software, and much more which was not planned on launch. This all came from listening to our customers and following the data for Translate Pro.
19. Pioneer Mobile Applications ($360K/year)
Phil Scarfi (from New York, USA) started Pioneer Mobile Applications almost 6 years ago.
Hello! My name is Phil Scarfi and I’m the founder of Pioneer Mobile Applications.
Pioneer works with a wide variety of clients ranging from startups ($10k-$50k budgets) to larger enterprise organizations ($100k+ budgets). Over the past year and a half, Pioneer has nearly tripled the amount of clients and inbound leads we have gotten, we’ll discuss how we did that a little later!
20. Qolty ($1.2M/year)
Shuhan He (from California, USA) started Qolty almost 5 years ago.
Hi, my name is Shuhan He. I’m the founder of Conduct Science, a company which I created to try and provide scientists and researchers with the necessary equipment to complete their research.
The data is stored on the Qolty servers for years, meaning that work isn’t lost and can be used for longitudinal studies.
21. Labor Sync ($2.22M/year)
Dean A. Logan (from New Jersey, USA) started Labor Sync almost 13 years ago.
My name is Dean Logan, the co-founder, and CEO of Labor Sync. Labor Sync was founded in 2009 along with my father and CFO Al Logan and CTO Joe Burger.
The amazing thing about Labor Sync is our expansive global presence for such a small company, only 12 employees! Our product is available in over 17 languages and used in over 100 countries.
22. Online Solitaire ($120K/year)
Holger Sindbaek (from Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark) started Online Solitaire about 4 years ago.
Hello everybody! My name is Holger and I’m a designer-turned-developer from Denmark. In the last couple of years, I’ve been working on a solitaire gaming website called Online Solitaire, which features the most popular solitaire games such as Klondike, Spider, and Freecell.
At the moment Online Solitaire earns about $1,500 each month and I hope/expect that number to go up in the future.
23. SteelKiwi ($1.8M/year)
Viacheslav Ponomarov (from Ódessa, Vinnitsa) started SteelKiwi over 11 years ago.
Headquartered in two Ukrainian cities (Odessa and Vinnitsa), Steelkiwi is a full-stack American outsourcing company, providing web and mobile app development services. Anton Baterikov and I co-founded the company in 2011.
My main responsibility within Steelkiwi Inc. is non-technical team management. I run marketing, sales, project management, design, and business analysis teams. Together, we work on the improvement of the company’s internal processes and analyze the clients’ feedback. My partner Anton is in charge of all the technical aspects of our business.
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