Why the iPad Is So Promising for Developers

The iPad may be Apple’s (s aapl) next gold rush, but it’s also positioned to pay dividends to mobile developers in a big way. Applications for the much-hyped device will generally cost more than similar offerings on the iPhone, developers said in a story from the BBC this morning, due to unknown demand for the iPad and the extra work required to design to create feature-rich offerings that take advantage of the gadget’s high-tech screen. That presents a lucrative opportunity for developers who can entice users by fully leveraging the device’s capabilities.

Just how many people will want an iPad (or any other tablet) is uncertain, but GigaOM Pro VP of Research Michael Wolf predicts the tablet app market will reach $8.2 billion by 2015 (sub req’d). The increasing demand for mobile applications is crystal clear, however, according to data released today from Mplayit. The app discovery and merchandising startup said that 35 percent of iPhone, Android (s goog) and BlackBerry (s rimm) users are interested in paid applications, with BlackBerry users willing to pay the biggest premium of all, with a medium price point of $5.99.

Those figures should be especially encouraging for developers targeting users of the iPad, which promises to offer a more interactive experience than is possible on even the best smartphones. Consumers who have grown accustomed to shelling out a couple of dollars for an iPhone game will surely pay a premium for titles that leverage the iPad’s 9.7-inch, high-resolution screen and its multitouch functionality. So if the iPad is a hit, developers who can deliver the goods on the impressive device will benefit as much as Apple will.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Forecast: Tablet App Sales to Hit $8B by 2015

5 Tips for Developers Targeting the iPad

The iPad: Cable TV for Publishers?

Mobile OSes Are No Longer Just About Mobile

Image courtesy Flickr user Johnny Vulkan.