A Developer Insight on Apple and the App Store in 2009 [Sponsored]

This is a sponsored post by the developers of Star Walk, an amazing iPhone app that I completely endorse and recommend. Star Walk devs are looking for some feedback and I encourage you to help them out because they really deserve it.

We are all immersed, surrounded, bombarded by everything that involves Apple, iTunes, the App Store, the iPhone and the iPod Touch. 2009 has seen the App Store phenomenon growing exponentially and people are confident enough to say that it will never stop, or at least not for a long time. But what kind of year has it been for the developers of the 100,000+ iPhone apps that are available in the App Store?

Today on the iPhone Download Blog we are writing an open letter as developers to tell you about our experience dealing with the App Store: the highs and lows, the great achievements but also some disappointments and problems encountered, things that are still unknown and that we are trying to get our head around.

A little more than a year ago we decided to start the iPhone adventure. We worked hard on an idea and submitted it to Apple with some hopes, fears, and a lot of expectations. How is it going to be received? Will people like it? Those are the main questions for every developer. It is still a new world, which is fast and sometimes harsh. If people don’t like what you have worked on for months, you will soon find out that you have worked for nothing, and nothing will hurt more than not appearing at least in the top 100 apps of the category you are in.

Our idea was based on our passions, astronomy and stargazing. We are lucky enough to live close to the forest and have a lot of clear skies that allow us to admire the sky in all its beauty, and so Star Walk was born following our own inclination. But how many people have the same passion as us? Well, it was soon the be found out…

It turns out that apart from the passion for the Apple world, iPhone and iPod Touch users need beauty, smoothness, intuitive features, and only if your app has those features, people will get closer to it. So we discovered that the customers out there, you guys, are passionate as much as we are about astronomy.

It seems like Star Walk has pretty much all of those characteristics and as our first app, it has been so far (for the whole year) very successful, never leaving the top 10 in the Education Category.

Now comes the difficult part… What’s next? What would people like from us? Are they waiting for something more from us? Do we already have a fan base? Are we still an anonymous company in the crowded App Store? Is following our passion the key to success? It seems like it is not so easy to find out answers to those questions. We tried! In fact, we have now 4 more apps in the App Store but only Star Walk has reached the top.

Obviously we are not doing everything right but it isn’t really easy to understand what’s right and what’s wrong. Therefore we started some small marketing research to become more knowledgeable about the App Store world and to make more successful apps.

We are convinced that in the near future this market will become more and more sophisticated, demanding and targeted. We know where we want to be, we are good at Education (we hope) and we want to stay there and for this, every feedback helps.

To do this properly we need your help.

It would be great if you could answer a few questions for us to help us understand you more! Click here, take our little survey (it is only 5 questions) tell us you have taken the survey on our twitter page and a random selected group from those who have answered will win Star Walk promo codes, iTunes gift cards, and an iPod Touch! Winners will be announced on Twitter @StarWalk on January 5th. Thanks a lot for your time and for making us one of the best educational application in the App Store.