Bun Tharum, Phnom Penh
Thousands of people have downloaded a Cambodian-developed application for the iPhone and iPad that allows users to listen to radio on their Apple gadgets.
Sath Mony, a cofounder of the business, told me recently that the new application allows people to listen to Internet-based radio, like VOA Khmer, Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio France International (RFI), World Khmer Radio and Khmer Post Radio.
The software development sector could prove to be an exciting new job market for Cambodian programmers hoping to affiliate themselves with companies like Apple, which is popular among young consumers here for its iPhone, iPad and iPod.
Founded last year, KhemaraSoft now employs five developers, four consultants and an adviser—all of whom mostly communicate over the Internet to organize and complete their tasks from locations scattered across Cambodia, the US and New Zealand.
Radio Khmer is free to download, but Sath Mony says the company’s English-Khmer dictionary, which costs $3.99 at iTunes, is its most popular app.
“Most people who are studying and using English every day need a dictionary for an assistant,” he said.
That revenue helps, as companies like KhemaraSoft must pay Apple $99 a year to post apps on iTunes and a further 30 percent of sales. As of the third quarter of 2010, ending in September, Apple had sold 14 million phones. That’s as many iPhones as there are people in this country.
Sath Mony said his company is moving ahead and expanding.
“We have a plan to hire more people to develop an Android application,” he said, referring to Google’s own open-source mobile platform, which is expected to grow into Apple’s main competitor.
Cambodia Android Users Group: We need Khmer language on Android