To create an iPhone app, you require – a skills checklist, a target audience, right tools and most importantly, a killer iPhone app idea.
If you come up with a unique iPhone idea, there is a very good chance that it might make you a millionaire; and this is probably why so many app developers scratch their heads to come up with brand new concepts.
However, sometimes you may be tempted to take the shorter way out and create a copy of an already-existing app idea that seems to be doing well on the market. However, here are a few things you need to consider before you do that:
Is it legal?
Yes, software can be patented too. If the software you’re eying belongs to a big corporation, it might be worth checking out if there’s a patent or any other kind of Intellectual Property protection associated with it. If there is, you’re out of luck. Creating an app around that concept is like calling those guys and asking them to sue you.
How strong is your competition?
Why bother wasting so much time and energy when you know that the guys ahead of you have ten times more resources and can make their app better or more original at all times? Unless you have figured out a way to break this massive barrier to entry, it wouldn’t make sense to pursue the idea.
Can you improve on the existing app?
While existing competition for an app idea means that your life is going to be harder, it definitely does not mean that their product is the best it could be. If you can add something to the already existing idea that can improve the app or make it more appealing, go ahead.
However, you need someone well-versed in market research to figure out whether it would be worth the fight. Some simple questions that could help here are:
- Are buyers happy with the existing app?
- If not, what do they not like about it?
- Are buyers satisfied with the price of the app?
- Can you offer an improved version of the app at a much lower price?
- Do you have the resources to market the new application and its superior features adequately?
- Can you find a financier to help you launch the app on a large scale?
Can you sell the app for free?
This is a bit underhanded, but if you’re not willing to spend a lot of money developing or marketing the app, perhaps introducing it at a bare minimum price or even for free would help tilt some users towards your side.
However, during this phase, it’s important to seek as much user feedback as possible and figure out what other features users are looking for.
Based on this feedback and some more research, you could add significant extra functionality to the app and sell the full version as a premium product while continuing to sell the previous version for free.
To sum it up, there’s more than one answer to whether you should work on an already-existing app idea. Bottom line is, it totally depends on your situation as well as that of the original application on the market.