Hong Kong based Stepcase was founded by Leon Ho in 2007.  Its iPhone photo community, Steply, has over 7.5 million users. In comparison, one of the most popular Android photo app, Camera 360, has about 6 million users.

“When iPhone first launched, its camera was not very good, especially when taking photos at night or when your hands shake.  We developed a simple app to detect hand shake.  I remembered it was Christmas when it launched.  In 1-2 weeks,  the free app recorded over 100,000 download,” said Leon Ho.

After that, Leon and his team knew photo app is the way to go.  They develop their own apps  and they also open their platform for other developers.  So far, there are about 10 apps on Steply – five from the Stepcase team and five from third parties.   “A total of 7.5 million users have downloaded Steply’s apps – 4 million for our own apps and 3.5 million for the third party apps.”

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Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...