Home to a university with a successful app incubator program, South Carolina has more than its fair share of talented app developers – 3,160 to be exact according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) most recent count. In 2014 these professionals earned on average $81,610, creating innovative apps for local businesses, schools, banks, large corporations, and government agencies. In fact, the wireless industry trade group CTIA estimated that South Carolina’s app developers generate $57 million each year.
BLS figures show that in just four years between 2010 and 2014, 390 new app developer jobs were created in the state. The South Carolina Employment Security Commission further projects that in the decade leading up to 2022 app developers will increase their ranks by 25 percent, adding 120 professionals to their ranks each year.
The current success of South Carolina’s app industry is a result of strong growth in the mobile device market, made possible by improvements in the state’s wireless infrastructure.
South Carolina’s App Infrastructure
South Carolina has been improving its internet – and especially wireless network – infrastructure over the last decade. In 2009 the FCC reported there were just 1.25 million residential internet connections, a number that would grow significantly to 3.24 million by the beginning of 2014.
The area of coverage in the state has also been expanding. Today there are only a few pockets – such as around the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests – that lack wireless service. In fact, the vast majority of residents in South Carolina can choose from at least three network providers. In terms of speed, the FCC reported in 2015 that 66.6 percent of its residents connect to the web via broadband, with up to 60 percent of rural residents having access to internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps.
These improvements in coverage area and speed have made the following statistics possible:
- The most recent census numbers show that 30.5 percent of South Carolinians report they access the internet from multiple locations, and 20.8 percent report they access it from multiple devices
- The FCC recently estimated there are 2.19 million mobile wireless devices in circulation throughout all of the state, including smartphones