Between piles of trash and stray dogs near a Mumbai slum is the entrance to MoFirst Solutions Pvt., where two dozen workers sit shoulder-to-shoulder with no air conditioning and write code for iPhone apps on laptops.
“The rates Indian developers charge are very low,” said Akash Dongre, chief operating officer at MoFirst Solutions, where clients pay as little as $15 an hour for a programmer.
MoFirst is tapping India’s next wave in outsourcing, with thousands of programmers that charge a fraction of Silicon Valley prices to capitalize on demand for programs for Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and devices running Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software. Developers-for-hire for mobile applications may generate $5.6 billion in revenue by 2015, a 14-fold jump from this year, Forrester Research Inc. (FORR) estimates.
“India is a logical place to do it for the same reason the software and services model has worked here: lower cost,” said Anshul Gupta, an analyst at research firm Gartner Inc. in Mumbai.
Applications on Apple’s online store have been downloaded more than 15 billion times since its opening in 2008 -- with the Cupertino, California-based company getting a 30 percent cut on each sale -- as the surge of iPhone sales spawned demand for games and applications.
“It’s not about the device -- that’s not what makes sales happen -- it’s about the ecosystem,” said Gupta. “You need to have applications.”
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