Icon Apps founder and CEO Al Eisaian

IconApps, Inc. founder and CEO Al Eisaian shows off his new Inlight App, now available on Apple's App Store. Half of the Glendale firm's software development team works in Armenia. (Courtesy of Nishe Modoyan / December 31, 2008)

A Glendale technology company has launched a lifestyle application for Apple smartphones designed in the United States, but with much of its development and coding done by workers in Armenia.

The Inlight App, aimed at women, provides mobile access to articles and lists on topics such as life, love, family and health, according to Nishe Modoyan, marketing manager for IconApps, Inc.

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FOR THE RECORD: An A1 story on Jan. 31 (“Armenian workers help local firm create ‘app-eal’”) incorrectly stated where the company is located. IconApps is based in Altadena, not Glendale. It’s founder, Al Eisaian, is a resident of Glendale.

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Apple featured the app, launched Tuesday, as one of the best new lifestyle applications nearly immediately, she said.

The company has 14 employees, half of whom work in Armenia.

“Social impact is important to our company identity. Currently unemployment is extremely high in Armenia and the tech field is a great sector that can help lower those numbers,” Modoyan said. “These highly skilled jobs don’t depend on your geographic location and this allows you to earn a good living in your field without having to leave the country in which you were born and raised.”

IconApps founder and chief executive Al Eisaian said unemployment might be high within traditional industries in Armenia, but not in technology.

“They are the best-paying jobs in the market,” said Eisaian, 49, who was born in Iran but is of Armenian descent. “As far as employment in the technology sector, Armenian developers can compete with anyone. There’s a long tradition of technological innovation and standards in Armenia, even when it was part of the Soviet Union.”

Eisaian said he’s relying on advertising to support the app, as Inlight can be downloaded for free at Apple’s App Store.

“If you look at Instagram, they (initially) had no revenue or profit. Eventually a lot of people used them and they figured out how to monetize it,” Eisaian said. “It takes awhile to figure out the business model, but we have a very lucrative audience of tech-savvy women. A lot of brands would be very interested in getting contextual and valuable advertising messages across.

“It could be awareness-building,” he said. “A diaper company might want to sell a diaper service to moms. Safeway might want to sell a delivery service. The monetization will take care of itself.”

Visit www.iconapps.com/inlight to view the app.

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Follow Tim Traeger on Twitter: @TraegerTim.

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