To succeed in iOS development firstly you need to know what your app competition is up to. An iOS developer needs to know this not only for developing a new app. However, a developer must also understand app competition research in order to gauge market trends, and to discover what competitors are doing to succeed or fail in the app business.
As previously stated, there are a couple of reasons to research your app competition: 1) To find successful competitors in a niche market, and 2) To understand your competition, and what is causing them to fail or to succeed.
When conducting app niche research, a developer will find a competitor that they wish to emulate or overcome. In order to succeed in an app niche, a developer must research the top competitors in that niche. Once this is done, the developer must be aware of any noticeable downturns or unexplainable success. In this manner, we can learn from the mistakes and successes of competitors.
Here I can go over a couple of different methods that my team and I have used in the past regarding app competition research. One popular method is simply keeping a finger on the pulse of the market by daily analysis of the App Store which is explained in more detail here.
Secondly, what we typically do is get say, 3 top app competitors and look at their stats. The goal of this exercise is two-fold. Firstly, we want to see what kind of past chart rankings they have on App Annie. Then, one other important task is to check the app reviews of these competitors. Checking reviews of competitors can give us a magnifying glass into user satisfaction with these 3 app niche competitors. For example, does the competitor have 5 star or 1 star reviews? If so, why? Is it likely that we can beat one or all of these competitors?
Lastly, some other places to look at are the graphics: icon, screenshots, and app gui design. It depends on what app you are competing with, but you can find somewhere that they are lagging (even with the big boys).