What's the fastest way to get an application built and submitted to the app store?
We're willing to pay a development house (or individual, though we prefer teams). We'd prefer to use a domestic house than outsource to India, China, Taiwan, etc.
Thanks in advance.
This is probably not an answer you expect.. but from experience, I will tell you that the "FASTEST" way to get an app developed regardless of whether the developers are here or India or Estonia :) is to have a VERY WELL DEFINED SPEC with USER STORIES and sufficiently thought through UI layouts etc.
If you have just "ideas in your head" it will take you a long time and $$$ to get the app done.
If you can manage your product requirements well, then even a decent developer(s) will get your app done in no time... In most cases, time is consumed in poor specs leading to the app not doing what you want it to and you spend a lot of time iterating and being disappointed. I have used local design teams and some hybrid teams. Same thing holds true. If you are in the bay area call Halosys. They did some work for me and I was impressed.
Hope this helps.
I use a service called elance.com. It lets you receive live bids and communicate with providers before selecting. The reason I use elance over others is because a lot of domestic providers are on elance (significant price difference though).
Just post your project, require they are located domestic, verify that their dev team is actually located in us.
Review their project management system as well for communication.
Or... you can hire someone to deal with communicating with the outsourced company.
If price is an is issue, depending on what your app does, there are new technologies that allow web developers (not just programers) to build apps such as Titanium and Appcelerator. If this is ok it drastically lowers prices as you are using a different skill set. I can verify for that since I am writing apps in Appcelerator and I do not have the normal apple Xcode experience.
I would suggest you Google around for a local iPhone application developer or development company. Using a local company will have many advantages since you can sit down and meet with them, see what they are thinking, write on paper, draw on whiteboards and really work through logistics and situations.
My company uses appcelerator now for a lot of mobile apps. For relatively simple applications we can do them in about 1/10 the time we could previously. It's a great framework. PhoneGap is ok, but I prefer appcelerator.
Good luck! Go local :] - assuming you can find someone decent