How Much Does it Cost to Build an iOS App?

Sudeep Srivastava October 19, 2022
iOS app development cost

So you have decided to develop a mobile app for your business and chosen iOS as an ideal platform to reach and engage with your potential customers. The very next step is to consider the iOS app development cost to set your budget plans. If so, this is the right place to get started.

This article guides you throughout with the cost of iOS application development, factors that contribute to the iPhone app development price and a comparative analysis of android and iOS app development cost with regard to the current market standing.

To give you a quick overview, a quick answer to “how much does it cost to build an iOS app” will land you around a ballpark figure of $15,000 – $450,000, if you choose to outsource your mobile app development company in the US, whereas, getting the same services in other regions might range from $10,000-$200,000.

Experts suggest mobile app outsourcing since it plays a vital role in high quality iPhone app development without any compromise with the app quality and performance. Besides the cost range mentioned above, you need to gain a better grasp of hidden factors and backgrounds to analyze the overall cost of your iPhone app development project.

How do we do that? Let’s begin with the industry standard calculation method to estimate your iOS app cost.

iOS App development Cost Estimation Formula

The cost of mobile app development, be it Android or iOS, is estimated on the basis of hours it takes to develop and multiplying that amount with billable hours of resources spent.

The iPhone app development cost calculator formula looks something like this:

Formula-for-iOS-App-Development-Cost

Furthermore, by dissecting every little element, you will see that there are numerous factors at play that add up to the total cost of your iOS app development.

Certain criteria such as required tech stack, the location of your development team, UI/UX design, iOS app’s complexity level, app type, and other possibilities construct your mobile application development cost.

How about we delve right into all those factors?

cost estimate for your iOS app development project

Factors that Determine Cost of iPhone App Development

The features, functionalities and the cost affecting factors ensure your app has the potential to meet the requirements of both customers and your business. It is feasible to integrate additional features in the app to meet users’ demands. Therefore, your iOS app needs to have more business-driven features like navigation, payment gateways, and so on.

Factors that Determine Cost of iPhone App Development

These business driven features play a significant part in estimating your iOS app development budget, along with the factors listed below:

iOS app size

When your iOS app size increases, so do the number of screens and features, resulting in higher development time and cost. There are different methods and processes put to work to determine the features and functionalities you choose, so you can start by validating the app idea and its features before initiating the app development process.

Also, conduct a thorough market research that includes competitor analysis and giving a special focus on areas like devices used by the users, features they appreciate and elements that hinder great user experience, etc. All this can be done by inspecting similar apps as the app idea.

Also Read: Understand the mobile app development budget by app type

Here’s the checklist of cost of developing iOS app based on the app size:

iOS App Size Average Development Time Average Development Cost
Small app development cost 2-4 months $8,000-25,000
Medium app development cost 4-8 months $25,000-50,000
Complex app development cost 8+ months $50,000+

Complexity of iOS app

It is a given that an app is considered efficient only when it contains numerous diverse features. Now, we have segregated and arranged these features into five categories which contribute heavily to the estimation of iPhone mobile app development cost.

Complexity-level-of-the-Apps Deployment Model of Architecture- There are two types of backend development- Custom and BaaS. In custom software backend development, you will be provided with a backend architecture made from scratch. On the contrary, BaaS development offers only the ready-made backend architecture.

Development of Admin Panel- The admin panel development is the core of the app. It is built to keep tabs on the activities performed on the app, view app statistics, and update app content anytime

Third-Party App Integration- It is inevitable for your app to interact with other third-party apps in order to perform certain functions such as using Facebook or Google to sign up or interacting with a monetary app for transaction functions.

Addition of In-App Purchase- Most of the apps developed now contain the in-app purchase feature for the app monetization purpose.

Use of Device’s functions- More often than not, your app will need to use certain functions like GPS, Bluetooth, and so on, in which case it is prominent that you add this feature to your app.

Here’s the checklist of cost of developing iOS app based on your app complexity:

App Complexity App Description App Development Cost
Basic iOS app Apps with basic UI requirements and functions $10,000- 20,000
Medium and complex iOS app Apps with high backed and custom UI requirements $50,000-$250,000

iOS app category

Now that there are endless types of iOS mobile apps, the cost of each app depends on its category to a major extent. Each category comes with its own functionalities, demographics, security criteria, etc. Here’s a graph depicting the most popular iOS app categories for 2022.

Popular app categories

Now, here is a cost breakdown of developing an iOS app based on its category:

iOS App Categories Average Development Time Average Development Cost
Gaming app 4-20 months $30,000-250,000
Business app 2-10 months $5,000-150,000
Education app 2-12 months $10,000-80,000
Entertainment app 3-15 months $15,000-100,000
Travel app 2-8 months $5,000-50,000
Shopping app 3-8 months $5,000-50,000
Social networking app 5-8 months $10,000-60,000
Health and fitness app 1-15 months $10,000-250,000
Medical app 2-6 months $30,000-90,000

iOS app design

An app’s design process and animation is another prominent factor that we must include while addressing the question “what is the cost of developing an iOS app?” It is understood that different designs, animations and illustrations will pertain to different costs for the same app.

Not to mention, the engaging app designs can help you with the increased engagement and conversion rates. For example: Appinventiv helped KFC increase its conversion rate by 28% by illustrating a highly intuitive iOS mobile app.

kfc by Appinventiv

Additionally, here are top three iOS app design processes you must be familiar with:

Wireframing- Wireframing is used to create the user experience map and features. This task is accomplished with the help of tools like Photoshop, Balsamiq, and MARVEL.

UI Design- When you create an app for iOS, flat design is employed in order to render clarity and depth. Whereas in Android, material design is the first preference to display creativity and simplistic boldness. You can also check out- iOS vs Android app design differences for reference.

Animation- Animation is an additional but crucial feature for some apps like social media, restaurant, and gaming.

Here’s a detailed iOS app development cost breakdown based on your app design requirements:

App Process Tasks Average Development Time Average Development Cost
App design research
  • Market research
  • Competitor analysis
  • Market trend analysis
  • Selecting ideal solutions
Based on niche and available resource $100-$350
UX design
  • Rough sketches
  • Low fidelity wireframes
  • High fidelity wireframes
  • Simple- 10-14 hrs
  • Medium- 50-60 hrs
  • Complex- 150+ hrs
$2000-$8000
UI design (visuals)
  • Mood boards
  • UI mockup samples
  • Final UI mockups
  • Simple – 14-20 hrs
  • Medium- 80-90 hrs
  • Complex- 100+ hrs
$10,000-$40,000
Branding
  • Creating brand identity
Logos, icons and social media $5,000-$20,000
Animations and illustrations
  • Visualizing user and on-screen content
  • Direct manipulation
  • User action visualization
Based on level of animations $1000-$20,000

iOS app development team size

The iOS app development cost significantly relies on who you choose for developing your app – a freelance iPhone app developer or proficient iOS app development company.

Here’s your checklist of iOS app development cost based on individual talent size:

Development Role Global Avg. Development Cost

(based on /hour)

iOS app developer $20-$100
UI/UX designer $15- $50
Scrum master $50-$150
Project manager $12-$40
QA engineer $30-$70
Business analyst $60-$150

As you can see, hiring individual talent can rather be a costly affair, which is why, it is suggested to hire a full stack iOS app development team from a reliable app development company at a cost-effective price.

Development team location

Location plays a crucial role in deciding the iPhone app development price, for e.g. the price of iphone app development in India is different from the cost depicted by an iphone app development company in the US.

iPhone app development price

It is understood that services around the world vary significantly in terms of quality as well as cost. And the change is most prominent when we compare the west from the east.

Keeping the location factor in mind, here’s a cost breakdown of iPhone app development:

Region App Development Cost
India $20-40/hr
United States $80-170/hr
Ukraine $30-100/hr
Australia $80-200/hr
Russia $60-150/hr

While the above factors depict the overall cost estimate of your iOS app development, post development processes such as app launch and app maintenance also play an integral part in the final budget.

iOS app launch

One of the prominent objectives of building an iOS app is to successfully launch it on the App Store. Well, you cannot just do that. An app only gets selected on the App Store when it adheres to all the guidelines. This is the major reason why publishing apps on  the App Store is considered a hard nut to crack.

iOS app maintenance

The work does not end with your app getting launched in the store. There are other additional elements that contribute to the increment in the cost of developing an ios app, like app maintenance.

There is a certain iOS app maintenance cost to pay for the following services:

  • Constant Updates

With constant changes in technology, your app also needs to be updated whenever a new update for the OS is launched. This will ensure the compatibility of your app with the latest update and you can provide a hinder-free experience to your users.

  • Troubleshooting bugs

You can never be too careful of the bugs in your app. It does not matter whether your app has been launched or is still in the development process, bugs can be found in either case. So, it is obvious that maintaining a bugs-free app is not free of costs.

  • Changes in the design of the app

“Change is the only constant”. This statement drives us to the point that with the ever-changing technology and trends, you always have to be on the lookout for any room for improvement. Constant updates on your app’s design will certainly add to your average frontend maintenance cost of ios app development.

custom iOS app development solutions

Let’s move further to the indirect iOS app development costs you might miss.

Hidden iOS App Development Costs You Should Know About

The cost factors mentioned above are too apparent and would not miss your attention, however, a few hidden iPhone app development criteria might miss your sight while developing your iOS app. Worry not, we have listed down those criteria below so that you don’t skip on any detail.

Hidden Cost Factors Average Cost /Year
Data storage $500
CDN $150
App developer account cost $99
Annual iOS updates $1000
Monitoring and maintenance $4,000-12,000

Yes, this was all you needed to know to build an iOS app for your business. Although, it won’t hurt to conduct a comparative analysis of iOS and Android app development. Right?

Comparative Analysis of iOS and Android App Development Cost

To offer you a clearer perspective on iOS development, let’s journey down the road of comparison between the app development costs of Android and iOS.

1. Design

When it comes to designing, there is not much difference in the time taken for building intuitive and functional UI Design for Android and iOS. However, it is believed that iOS app design is superior in quality as compared to Android. High-quality standards of the App Store can be concluded as a reason behind this small yet significant difference.

2. App development time

Time taken to develop an iPhone app and Android app is not easy to conclude. There are several elements at work that determine the time-efficiency of any process.

In terms of coding and the language used, Java and Kotlin  (used in Android development) are heavy languages with more lines of coding as opposed to Swift (used in iOS development) or Objective-C. Hence, iOS provides an expeditious development process when it uses Swift.

Moreover, fragmentation also plays a pivotal role in deciding Android and iOS app development costs. When it comes to Android, there is a sea of diverse devices with different screen sizes and OS versions, for which you need to prepare.

Whereas, Apple has somewhat 20+ devices which make its device fragmentation process easier than Android. Hence, development time and certain aspects of costs are low in  iPhone development cost.

Android vs iOS app development

3. Duration of testing

Testing is an unavoidable part of the developing process, so it is also a crucial factor when deciding which is better – iOS vs Android app development.

As mentioned above that the device fragmentation for iOS is faster than the Android, the testing process also becomes more concise and simplified for iOS. For Android, the testing process is tediously lengthy for your app needs to be tested on a hundred devices with a distinct resolution, screen size, OS, etc.

4. App development hourly rates

The basis of this distinction lies in the language used in Android and iOS development process. As mentioned above, iOS apps are built with Swift or Objective-C language which is costly as compared to Android apps built with languages like Kotlin and JAVA. It is so because iPhone app developers using Swift or Objective-C language tend to charge 10% to 15% more than the ones using Java.

5. App Launch

Due to the fairly high standards of Apple for app submission and publication, it is a bit of a task to get your app approved. Once it is done, you would be required to pay $99 per year as charges on the App Store. Whereas, on Play Stores, there is only a one-time fee of $25 and it is also easy on rules and regulations.

Now, you already know there are many development costs to account for when looking to create your iOS app. Therefore, a wise decision would be partnering with an experienced iPhone app development company to gain a few practical and cost effective solutions for smoother development.

Consult your app idea

How Can Appinventiv Help You with iOS App Development?

Appinventiv is a leading iPhone app development company known for building secure, scalable iOS digital solutions. Our iOS software developers ensure that your applications are engineered to make you future-forward businesses.

As a full-stack iPhone app development company we have deployed 100+ native iOS apps for global brands such as Pizza Hut, JobGet, Asian Bank, etc. that witnessed skyrocketing success rates and were chartbusters on the App Store.

Our experts specialize in building  apps for diverse use cases ranging from real-time analytics to route matching, geo-tagging, video streaming, and more across multiple sectors. So without waiting any further, discuss your goals with our experts to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What affects iOS mobile application costs?

A. There are numerous factors that contribute to the final estimated iOS app development cost.

Primarily, the cost is decided on the number of hours taken for the development process, what kind of app it is – enterprise, social media, standalone, etc.

The fact that whether the app is simple, mid-level, or complex is also a huge factor that is taken into consideration while calculating the cost. Other factors include the location where the app is developed, the team size of iPhone app developers, iOS app developers cost, app design, iOS app maintenance cost and deployment, and so on.

Q. How to estimate iPhone app development cost?

A. Well, there is no one-word answer for the cost of iPhone app development, but the formula has been devised for calculating the cost of developing the iOS app. It is based on the hours taken in the development process and then multiplies it with billable hours of resources spent.

Q. Is there any price difference in developing apps for iOS or Android?

A. The answer to this question is yes. There is a price difference between the average cost to develop an iPhone application and an Android app. Due to fragmentation, Android apps can cost you a bit more since the testing process becomes tediously long, and there are so many devices you would need to cater to.

Q. Why choose iPhone apps for business?

A. There are numerous features of iPhone app development that are beneficial for any business if they decide to go with developing the iOS app. Some of them are:

  • Instant global exposure
  • Real-time customers
  • Higher ROI and revenue
  • Impeccable quality standards render a high chance for your app to perform phenomenally.
  • Robust security for business data and information.
THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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