Last week, there were two parties related to iPhone packed full with Japanese iPhone developers.
The one on Friday took place at the corporate headquarter of APPLIYA.
APPLIYA is a very interesting company. They aim to become an iPhone software publisher; they don't have any internal engineers. They find interesting iPhone engineers and produce interesting iPhone apps.
Most of the software made by a single engineer (or small group of engineer) can be interesting but very rough cut application and may not have good graphics, etc.
APPLIYA tries to match the engineering with right kind of contents such as manga, anime or more traditional Japanese contents such as Ukiyoe, and produce more convincing apps.
As such, the party at APPLIYA drew about 50 to 60 people, most of whom are iPhone software developers interested in working for APPLIYA and about 30% were media and blogger including the world-famousdanny choo.
You can find the list of their apps by searching their name: "APPLIYA."
But right now, there focus is to sell series of Evangelion (a Japanese anime) apps for die hard Evangelion fans:
No.1 and 3 are basically camera app which will add Evangelion elements to the taken photo.
The party on Saturday was a big one, over 100 developers, media and those interested in iPhone business gathered in a loft in Mita. The event started as the reunion of January event held at Six Apart, San Francisco.
The party was organized by Conit, the developer of Melody Bell
All the presenters did their Japanese version of presentation.
And at the near end of the party, there was a lightning talk session.
Here are some of the highlights:
Geppetto introduced iNinja, a real Japanese Ninja action game. The guy said that there is a whole collection of ninja app on App Store but few are real Japanese ;-)
Kazutoshi Otani, a well-known Mac advocate based in Osaka presented the equipments he use to take photographs with his iPhone. He plans to have an iPhone based photo exhibition soon.
Takayuki Fukatsu, is one of my favorite developer, he is the guy who developed the guy famous for making LiquidPics. He is also very vocal iPhone developer and runs a network of iPhone developers on twitter. He showed the upcoming sequel (or maybe the update) to his popular camera app Quad Camera.
Pankaku, Inc. was the last to present. He is the author of LightBike, one of the few Japan made app which reached the no.1 in U.S. AppStore.
He said he is pretty lucky and it wasn't something he had expected. He just worked hard on the app trying to refine it even after the release. And suddenly they were at the top.
On the party floor, there were a few dozen developers who didn't take the stage but were showing around interesting stuffs which assured that the developer momentum is also very strong in Japan although most of them now realize the Japanese iPhone market alone would not be a good business; for the successful ones, the U.S. AppStore sales can be 2-3 times bigger than that of Japanese.
Because many developers in Japan are desperate for information from the other developers as well as for partners who can help, I think this kind of developer activities will take place more often this year.