How Much Does It Cost To Develop an iOS App?

Posted by Davzo Inc

Posted in Development


If you had to buy a smartphone, which one would you choose: a smartphone that costs $100 or $1000? Obviously, the price you are going to pay highly depends on what you expect to get. The same is true for iOS application development.

Various factors determine the amount of money you will invest in iOS app development. The type and complexity of the app, features and functions to be created, developer’s qualifications and location are crucial points that will come into play. Consequently, it is a good idea to contact different developers, discuss your project with them and get quotes to be able to plan your budget accordingly. We have singled out several aspects that you would want to be informed about before approaching your partner and getting a rough estimate for your iOS app.

Type of app. Are you looking for an app with basic and simple functions? Or is it an app that is data driven? Or perhaps it is a game… Each of these apps requires a certain set of skills, different timeframes for completion and, therefore, relevant budgets. If the app has a static functionality with no backend development and has a few screens, the cost will most probably be up to $5.000. Complexity. How many features and functions are you looking for? How difficult are they to be developed? UI and UX designs, backend development, security issues, number of prior testings are all important components to define the level of your app’s complexity. An app of an average complexity might cost you from $20.000 to $75.000. If it is a game app, you will need graphic design and 2D or 3D solutions. In this case, you should expect the cost to be no less than $20.000. Furthermore, an enterprise app with client-user interactions, in-app purchases, and a large database can cost you up to $500.000, and even more.

API development. Find out if your app needs to be integrated into an existing API (e.g. CarPlay), or if you need to develop your own server. A bit heavier app that talks to an API, uses GPS functionalities of iPhone, and requires data exchange between the server and the client will cost you up to $30.000.

Time needed to develop the app. Apparently, when the developer needs to work within tough deadlines, the cost will rise sharply. To save your budget and get a quality code, it is encouraging to start planning early and take a moderate pace during the development. It puts less pressure on the developer and you know you have time to ask for revisions if needed.

Who is the developer? Keep in mind that it will be less expensive to outsource the app development, and you will have to pay more to cooperate with a high-end development company. The geography is what you will need to take into account here. Usually companies charge based on the number of hours the project requires to be accomplished. No secret, prices per hour vary drastically from country to country. Canadian and American developers will charge you from $75 to $250 per hour, while western European specialists will work for $35 to $100 per hour. Eastern Europe is known for lower rates: from $30 up to $150/hour. The lowest rates will be found in the Asian work market. Indian and Bangladeshi developers will usually work for $10-$70 per hour.

To have an approximate idea of how much your app will cost, you need to break the whole project into smaller tasks and discuss with your developer how many hours each of them will take. If you want to develop a simple app, it will usually take some 600 hours to be created. More complex ones will require up to 800 hours and even more. Thus, an app development can cost from $5.000 to over $500.000.

Project management. Surprisingly enough, many clients would ignore this important component of app development. A smooth experience and a high-quality product is achievable only with a competent manager. Do you think you are skillful enough to take on the responsibility? If not, consider budget for a professional project manager. If yes, do not forget to include your own salary.

Now you can come up with a rough estimate of your iOS app. To get a real quote, you will need to contact your developer and discuss all of the details with your partner.

We are left with the last major point not to be missed when calculating the budget for iOS app development.

Post-launch costs. It is important to have a nailed down monetization strategy to be able to assess your financial resources precisely and plan the development process effectively. This refers to both short term and long term planning. Thus, only 30-35% of your budget should be used to develop the software of your app. All the rest should be meant for further updates, maintenance, and promotion. Without post-launch activities, you risk going unnoticed among hundreds and thousands similar apps in the Apple App Store.

Your partner may or may not warn you about the importance of anticipating the costs of the whole process of app development. Do not make one of the most common mistakes - looking upon app development as a merely technical task. Remember, you will need to cover costs of promotion, updates, possible revisions, customer support, etc. As this is a continuous process, you might prefer to create a minimum viable product (MVP) as a first step. Performing only most important functions, MVP is a product that satisfies your current business needs and addresses major customer demands. Afterwards, you will take care of the additional features and further revisions. Basically, you pay to get the MVP and then you pay to take your product to a higher level.

App development can cost you a fortune or be an affordable task. It is your duty to start with the end in your mind and have a clear idea of what you want to get as a final product. Informed decisions will help you save your time and pick affordable and manageable options. You have the freedom to choose between simple and complex apps, define the timeframe of your project, and request quotes from various developers. Get ready to outperform many apps in the Apple App Store. Contact your candidate partners to get an estimated budget and make your way to a successful iOS application!

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