So you have decided to develop a mobile app for your business and chosen iOS as the right platform to reach your potential audience. Next thing to do is consider the cost to develop an iOS app for setting your iOS app development budget. This blog will give you a quick guide on various factors affecting the iOS app development costs for your next iOS project.
How much does it cost to develop an iOS app? The iOS app development cost in the US or the UK will land you around a ballpark figure of $10,000 to $450,000, whereas getting the same services from India will fall in the range of $5000 – $100,000. Suppose you are an individual with a brilliant app idea looking to develop an iOS app that stands out in its niche. In that case, you should consider stepping out from the comfort of searching ‘hire iOS developers near me and focusing on how to reduce iOS app development costs without impacting your app’s quality and capabilities.
How do we do that? We start by gaining a better grasp of how to calculate the overall cost of developing an iOS app by understanding the various factors and background processes that go under iOS app development. Here is an industry-standard calculation rule to get you started:
iOS App Development Cost Calculator
If you are looking for a quick rough estimate of your average cost to develop an iOS app, you could use the following iOS app development cost formula to get a better idea:
iOS app development cost = Platform+ UI/UX development hours x (Development Time x Developers Hourly Rate)
Factors affecting Cost of iOS App Development
There are many factors to consider when answering ‘how much does app development cost.’ Especially when we think about iPhone app development costs. There are many factors to consider and think about before deciding your iOS app development budget. We have divided these varied costs in a perfect iPhone app development cost checklist for making it easier for you to plan your iOS app development project:
1. iOS App Size
|Type of App||Average iOS App Development Time||Average iOS App Development Cost|
|Small App Development Cost||1 – 2 Month||$5,000 – $10,000|
|Medium App Development Cost||2 – 6 months||$10,000 – $50,000|
|Enterprise App Development Cost||6 months +||$50,000+|
Cost to develop an iOS app development ∝ App size
The size of your iOS app will directly impact your iOS app development cost. When your iOS app size increases, so do the features and number of screens, resulting in higher development time and subsequently higher cost of developing an iOS app.
2. Complexity of Features
|App Complexity||App Description||Cost to Develop an iOS App|
|Basic App Development Cost||Apps with basic functionalities & UI requirements||$5,000 – $20,000|
|Complex App Development Cost||Apps with high backend & complex UI requirements||$20,000 – $250,000|
Two primary aspects affect the cost of developing an iOS app – the number of features and complexity of features. Naturally, a higher number of features can lead to higher app development costs. However, the complexity of these features has a greater impact on the overall project. For example, a simple To-Do app would require many small-scale features such as ‘Add a new note,’ Text-Formatting options, sharing notes to social media platforms, and more. As opposed to this, IKEA furniture has letter number of features, but it uses cognitive technology like AR/VR integrations that are complex features and cost significantly higher.
3. iOS Talent Required for developing your iOS App
|Position||Hourly Rate (global)|
|iOS Developer||$20 – $100|
|UI/UX Designer||$15 – $50|
|Scrum Master||$50 – $150|
|QA Engineer||$12 – $40|
|Business Analyst||$30 – $70|
|Project Manager||$60 – $180|
There are many aspects and layers to iOS mobile app development, and all different skills have different market values globally. This is just for your reference to understand the average cost to develop an iPhone app at other positions. As you can see, if you go to hire individual iOS talents, the overall app development project can become a costly affair. Alternatively, you can hire an offshore iOS App Development Company for a full-stack iOS app development solution at cost-effective rates.
4. Hiring Approach
How you avail the right talent or outsource your iOS project will significantly affect your overall iOS app development cost. Now generally, there are three fundamental ways to go about your iOS project:
- Hire In-house team
- Hire Freelancers
- Outsource to an Offshore Company
4.1 Hire In-House Developers for your iOS Project (Cost Level – High)
In-house developers refer to setting up an internal team of iOS developers in your organization that work as permanent employees under your payroll. Hiring in-house iOS developers have its limitations and benefits.
You should hire in-house developers for your iOS project when you:
- Have leisure time to complete the project
- Have multiple and recurring projects throughout the year
- Have a huge budget to pay salaries and other non-deferable expenses of maintaining an employee – bonuses, increments, sick leaves and more.
- Want complete ownership and control over the management
You should avoid hiring in-house developers when:
- You have a one-time project requirement
- You are on a tight deadline
- You don’t have the technical skills to interview iOS developers
- You don’t want to divide your attention between formulating business growth strategies and micro-managing your iOS team
4.2 Hire Freelancers for your iOS project (Cost Level – Moderate)
Freelancers are individuals that take up jobs on a per-task or per-job basis. They can be approached via freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
Hiring freelance iOS developers is ideal when you:
- Want to create a bare-bones iOS app
- Need an additional resource to finish an existing project in time
- Have a small task that needs to be taken care of
You should avoid freelancers for your iOS project when:
- You are working on an important project
- Your app has sensitive data points that should not be breached
- You don’t want to risk project abandonment
- Security is a priority for your iOS app
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4.3 Outsource to Offshore iOS Development Company (Cost Level – Low)
Outsourcing refers to leaving the technicalities to the expert. If you don’t want to entangle yourself in the hassles of technicalities associated with iOS app development, you can outsource the project to a professional offshore iOS development company.
You should hire Offshore Developers for your iOS project when you:
- Need an enterprise-grade iOS application
- Have access to global and specialized IT talents
- Want round-the-clock support
- Utilize your time to focus on important core business strategies
- Want to save on overall iOS app development cost significantly
You should avoid hiring Offshore Developers when you:
- Don’t want to give up control over your operations
- Need to attend physical conferences with the team
- Are not comfortable with time-zone differences
5. iOS App UIUX Cost Breakdown
Various iOS app design sub-processes take a different number of hours to complete and subsequently have different costs. Here is an iOS app design cost breakdown that can help you get a clearer idea of the cost to design your iOS app.
|Process||Tasks||Average iOS Development Time||Average iOS Development Cost|
|Research||✦ Market Research
✦ Competitor Analysis
✦ Latest trends Analysis
✦ Selecting Best Solutions
|✦ Depends on the niche, available resources & popularity||$50 – $350|
|UX Design||✦ Creating rough sketches
✦ Making low fidelity wireframes
✦ Making high fidelity wireframes
|✦ Simple – 14 hours
✦ Medium – 56 hours
✦ Complex – 140 hours
|$2000 – $10,000|
|UI design (Visual Design)||✦ Creating mood boards
✦ Making UI mockup samples
✦ Finalizing UI mockups
|✦ Simple – 14 hours
✦ Medium – 87 hours
✦ Complex – 210 hours
|$1000 – $5000|
|Branding||✦ Creating brand identity options
✦ Shortlisting options
✦ Finalizing the best option
|✦ Depends on targeted social media platforms, logo consulting, and other factors.||$5000 – $20,000|
|Animation and Illustrations||✦ Creating a visual sense of connection between users and on-screen content
✦ Enhance the sense of direct manipulation
✦ Provide clear visualization of the user’s actions
|✦ Depends on the level of animation and illustrations||$1000 – $30,000|
6. Cost to Develop an iOS App as per iOS App Categories
These are the most popular app categories, as per a study published by Statista on July 2022. Based on this graph, we can see gaming apps are the most trending apps on the app store, followed by businesses, education,utilities,etc. Generally, there is a direct relation between iOS app category popularity and iPhone app development cost.
Cost-Breakdown of Developing an iOS App as per App Categories
|iOS App Categories||Average iOS App Development Time||Average iOS App Development Cost|
|Gaming Apps||3 – 18 months||$30,000 – $250,000|
|Business Apps||2 – 15 months||$5,000 – $150,000|
|Education Apps||1 – 12 months||$10,000 – $80,000|
|Health & Fitness Apps||1 – 18 months||$5,000 – $250,000|
|Entertainment Apps||3 – 15 months||$15,000 – $100,000|
|Food & Drink Apps||1 – 4 months||$10,000 – $30,000|
|Travel Apps||1 – 8 months||$5,000 – $80,000|
|Shopping Apps||3 – 8 months||$15,000 – $100,000|
|Social Networking Apps||3 – 8 months||$10,000 – $50,000|
|Medical Apps||2 – 4 months||$30,000 – $90,000|
7. iOS App Development Cost Breakdown as per Developer Location
|iOS development cost||$20 – 40/hr||$80 – $170/hr||$30 – $100/hr||$80 – $200/hr||$60 – $140/hr|
One of the major app development cost factors for iOS app development is deciding the region of development. Different countries have different standards of livings, costs of living, and subsequently different development hourly rates and pay. As you can see, the iOS app development cost in India is the cheapest.
You should decide whether to hire in-house/ onshore app development companies or offshore iOS app development companies based on your app project requirements and many other factors.
8. Online vs. Offline
Online iOS app cost – $80,000 | Offline iOS app cost – $50,000
One important consideration when getting your iOS app developed is to decide if you want your app to be online or offline. As the name suggests, online apps are enabled by establishing a connection to the internet and are capable of having additional features. Naturally, this leads to significantly higher costs.
If your app needs only access data, business records, or manuals, you should invest in an offline iOS app that can significantly bring down your cost of iOS app development.
9. Native vs. Cross Platform
Native iOS app cost – $100,000 | Cross-Platform app cost – $15,000 – $20,000+
There are two approaches to iOS app development – Cross Platform or Native iOS app development. Both methods have their limitations and scope. But cross platform iOS app development costs are generally lesser and allow your app to be published on iOS and Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
However, they come with performance challenges, slow code performance, and limited user experience. As opposed to this, native iOS app development costs are significantly higher, but they come with a higher level of security, lesser maintenance, improved scalability, and other such benefits.
10. Cost to develop an iOS app with API Integrations
API integration is one of the most valuable and necessary features that allow an online iOS app to seamlessly connect with other organizations or data vendors to automate various app features. It establishes a connection between two services by linking their APIs, enabling them to transfer and exchange data. There are different kind of APIs for different kind of services.
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1. Payment Integrations – Payment APIs
Payment API Cost: $2500 – $5000 | Hours: 50 +
For creating a eCommerce iOS app, you would need to integrate your iOS app with payment APIs to allow your potential audience to have ease and access to making payment for your services via their preferred banking methods. Some of the most common and popular payment integration APIs and systems are:
|Payment Gateways||Transactional Charges||Monthly Charges||Currency conversion Fees|
|PayPal||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction||No fees $30 for PayPal Payments Pro Package||0.4% to 3.3%|
|Stripe||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction||None||2%|
|Authorize.net||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction||$25||N/A|
|Braintree||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction(No fees for the first $5000 processed)||None||2%|
|Apple Pay||1% + $0.25-$10 for instant transfer||None||N/A|
Any skilled iOS developer can easily integrate these payment gateways to your iOS app by utilizing Apple’s payment APIs.
2. Third party API Integrations
Third-party API integrations are systems that iOS developers integrate into their software to allow third-party users to access or manipulate it. General broad examples would be Google, Facebook, and other social media APIs that allow you to user their functionality in your iOS app.
Here are some popularly and commonly used third-party API integration and their cost breakdown analysis for your iOS app development.
|3rdParty Integration Service||Key Features||Average Cost to Integrate|
|Google Maps||Navigation or Geolocation Access||$200|
|Facebook ApIs||Authentication & Authorizing||$200|
|Skyscanner API||Get flight search, ticket prices, and live quotes for travelling||$100|
|Movie Database API||To access movie titles, IMDB rating, runtime, release date, awards, plot, and lots of other data||$600|
|Booking API||To access accommodation queries, facilities, prices, and other info from hotels around the world||$800|
11. iOS Testing Cost Breakdown Analysis
One of the most important aspects of any mobile app development process is to test the app over and over again for various performance, security, and other factors to ensure your iOS app is fully functional and passes the Apple App Store guidelines and rules for your app to be published on the App Store.
|Type of Tests||Description||Average app testing time||Average app testing costs|
|UX Testing||Testing different aspects of user experience by testing workflows, visuals, and interactivity.||10 – 60 Hrs||$200 – $1500|
|Functional Testing||Helpful in testing the accuracy of your iOS app functionality by asking a diverse range of users to test your iOS app. It also helps find bugs and defects.||50 – 200 Hrs||$700 – $3000|
|Performance Testing||This test is performed after the app is ready and before deploying it on the App Store. Here you should test the app for:
✦ App Response Time
✦ Impact on battery consumption
✦ Network bandwidth utilization efficiency\
✦ App size optimization
|10 – 30 Hrs||$150 – $500|
|Security Testing||Security is a significant concern when it comes to the mobile app.
Test your iOS app security by:
✦ Protecting the code
✦ Control third party application transfers
✦ Avoiding Jailbreak
✦ Test and Updation
|50 – 120 Hrs||$800 – $2000|
|Platform and Device Testing||Fairly easier compared to Android as limited devices to test for.||10 – 20 Hrs||$100 – $200|
12. Hidden iOS App Development Costs
The above-mentioned costs are very apparent and won’t miss your attention too. However, some hidden iPhone app development costs might miss your sight when deciding on a budget to create an iOS app. Here we are listing down all such expenses you should be aware of:
|Hidden Costs to Develop an iOS app||Average cost/year|
|Monitoring and Maintenance||$4000 – $12,000 Annually|
|App Developer Account Cost (Annually)||$99|
iOS App Development Cost Deduction Tips and Tricks
You would have realized there are many app development costs to account for when developing your iOS app. However, seeing these huge numbers can be a little tiring and demotivating.
This is why we cannot leave you to deal with the headache of considering all these costs yourself! Here are some effective, practical, and helpful remedies to reduce your cost to build an iPhone app effectively:
1. Go for a Minimal Viable Product
If you are unsure of your app idea or its practicality, it is always a good idea to first go for an MVP. MVP is an app solution that helps you get a preview of your final product at less than half of the price.
It’s the smallest possible solution with only the core functionalities that help you understand how your customers perceive it, how it solves their problems, and how it can improve. This allows you to fine-tune your final iOS app with all the rectifications instead of making changes after deploying the first version of your iOS app.
2. Opt for a Cross-Platform App
We discussed native vs. cross platform app development options earlier in the blog. While native iOS apps are more powerful and capable, most of the time, your app requirement doesn’t need all the capabilities of a native app to be an efficient solution for your target audience.
Cross-platform app development allows you to develop your app at significantly lesser prices and allows your app to reach both leading mobile app development platforms – iOS and Android.
3. Outsourcing your iOS app development
As we discussed in the cost of developing iOS app factors earlier, the Location of your app development agency plays a significant part in deciding your app development costs.
Considering there are countries that provide significantly cheaper iOS app development solutions like Ukraine and India, you can save up a lot of app development budget by outsourcing your iOS project to one of India’s top leading iPhone development companies.
4. Outsource to Offshore iOS Development Company
Suppose you are from a non-technical background or don’t want the hassle of micromanaging and overlooking the app development process. In that case, consider outsourcing your iOS app project to offshore iOS agencies with proven experience and credibility under their belt.
5. Be clear with your project requirements
For any significant cost savings, efficient planning is the best possible solution. So even if your company is a startup or an enterprise, you cannot forsake planning.
Understanding some basic iOS app development factors will help you be better prepared to understand what exactly you want from your app, which will reduce trial and error and the cost of reworking the fundamentals of the app repeatedly.
Benefits of iOS app development
There are many other benefits associated with iOS app development as well. Here are some reasons developers prefer iOS over Android:
1. Better App Revenue
iOS has always been known for leading the way in revenue generation, even after having a significantly lesser global market share than Android.
As per Statcounter, Android owns 71.52%, whereas iOS only has 27.83% of the market share in the global mobile operating system sector. Yet, in terms of app revenues, Apple has performed better than Android from 2016-2020.
2. Security of Enterprise Data
iOS is the preferred choice for businesses applications as it provides better enterprise data security and accessibility. With iOS, enterprises can afford to follow BYOD principles as they offer better mobile device management tools. iOS also enables easy centralized administration for controlling all connected iOS devices.
3. High-Quality Standards
iPhone apps have a better market perception about their quality and standards to deploy your iOS app on the App Store; the iOS app needs to pass the strict and thorough scanning of the Apple App Store.
Though it can be taken as a flaw or hurdle, you would get a much better response once the app is deployed than publishing an app on the PlayStore.
4. Technically sound Audience
iOS users are generally perceived as being more open-minded towards innovation and tech-savvy. Due to this, iOS developers get immense opportunities to craft state-of-the-art applications that dare to be different, new, and experimental.
5. Low Fragmentation
One of the significant advantages Apple holds over Android or any other operating software is its closed ecosystem. Due to its closed ecosystem nature, iOS only runs on a limited and finite number of devices. Therefore, when we think about testing apps for Android, we have to worry about making it compatible with an endless number of smartphone brands and all their smartphone variants. With Apple, you only need to worry about testing your iOS app for iPads and iPhones.
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Wrapping it up!
With this, we conclude our blog on the cost of developing an iOS app. Make use of this iPhone app development cost breakdown guide to get your iOS app development project started at the most cost-effective rates. iOS is the ideal platform for your mobile app development project if you want access to an audience with higher purchase intent and plan to monetize your app.