February 8, 2012
A new TechNet-sponsored study (PDF) suggests that Apple's App Store ecosystem has generated nearly 500,000 jobs for the US economy in under five years' time. Keep in mind, the study takes into account jobs created both directly and indirectly by Apple (i.e. employees working to make apps for competing environments like Android and WP7). Of course, Apple's iOS (nee iPhone OS) wasn't the first platform to see mobile app development, but The Next Web's Matthew Panzarino clarifies the facts and figures discussed:
[TechNet] says that in 2007, the economy was at zero, which is a bit misleading as there were definitely companies producing apps for mobile phones in ’07. But it can’t be argued that the market is infinitely larger since the App Store hit the scene.Fair enough. The study also sheds a little light on where the most app development is occurring geographically. As shown in the image below, California leads the charge by a wide margin, accounting for nearly a quarter of the young economic sector. The only issue I can think of to contest these statistics relates to an excerpt from TechNet's own summary, that "each app represents jobs--for programmers, for user interface designers, for marketers, for managers, [and] for support staff." A good many apps have small teams, often just one or two people deep -- and that's just among the better-known titles! How many apps out there do you suppose are single-person, hobbyist-type exercises where potential income is little more than the cherry on top? How many of these folks actually make iOS games for a living? But hey, even if you cut TechNet's numbers in half, a quarter-million new American jobs ain't bad. Especially in this economy, amirite?