How much does it cost to make an iOS app?
Developing a mobile app can cost anywhere between $40,000 for a simple app and more than $300,000 for apps with all the bells and whistles.
But, why does making an app cost so much? What affects its price and what can you do to reduce the cost?
Let’s find out.
The app development process typically begins with an idea or concept, which is then fleshed out into a detailed plan.
The plan usually involves identifying requirements for the app and preparing a product roadmap. You should also come up with a design, figure out what data the app would store of its users, and how users will interact with the final product.
Once the plan is in place, the development team can start the mobile app development process, which includes implementing the features and ideas that are in the plan.
This is followed by QA (quality assurance) testing to ensure that the app works as intended.
Still, even after the app is released to the public and has active users, the development process doesn’t end there (especially right after the launch). App developers continuously monitor user feedback and introduce necessary updates, even with apps that have been around for a while and are in good shape.
The short answer is that you can pay as little as $40,000 or as much as $300,000 to develop a mobile app.
The cost of mobile app development depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the app, the number of features, the design, and the experience of the development team.
Here’s what influences the mobile app development cost:
Developing an app requires certain equipment, like a good computer that can run the software and the development tools. The cost can rack up, especially if you need to upgrade your existing computer or purchase new equipment. For example, the price of a MacBook Pro ranges from £1,349 to over £3,299.
The best way to save on app development costs, if possible, is to make do with the equipment that you have.
Building an app from scratch requires more than a basic understanding of programming. Luckily, there are plenty of available platforms like Udemy which offer courses online where you can learn everything from the basics, like how to build an app without coding, to more advanced app development skills.
The courses can cost anywhere between £10 to £200, depending on what it offers.
If you have prior coding knowledge or are a software developer then you might be able to save a few pounds if you spend some time researching and figuring out what exactly you’ll need to create the app.
To distribute an app through Apple’s App store, you’ll need to create an Individual Developer Account, which charges an annual fee The Apple Developer Program cost in the UK is the equivalent of $99.
Apple charges a fee to all developers that want to add their apps to the App Store, regardless of whether the app is paid or free.
The company also takes a percentage of revenue when someone buys your app from the App Store.
Large companies that want to distribute internal use apps through Apple’s store can do so by joining the Apple Developer Enterprise Program, which costs $299 per membership.
Static and interactive graphics, photographs, and audio files, as well as app templates, logos, and icons cost extra.
For example, designing logos can cost between $100-$700 and even up to £2,000 for small businesses.
The only way to save your money is to use your skills to create the assets you need for your app, though, you will need to either pay for a subscription at a designing platform or programs like Adobe Photoshop.
A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Premiere Pro, Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Xd, Acrobat DC, and Illustrator, costs £51.98 a month.
The price of hosting depends on the type of data that the app deals with, such as audio, video, and photo. If the app is media rich, it would require a higher CPU web-server with more disk space and RAM.
Based on these factors, an app hosting web server can go for $70-$320 a month.
The most popular hosting solutions you might consider are Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
Saving on development tools might prove harder, compared to other expenses when it comes to the cost of building an app. These tools allow you to build and test the app and are essential to the app development process.
Still, you might be able to find some test tools for free. Tools like Fabric, which allows you to monitor and fix app issues, and Mixpanel, which keeps track of user activity, offer free plans with the most basic features.
If you need to hire developers to finish the project faster, be prepared to put aside a good amount of money.
Developer salaries can range from £50k to £200k, depending on the level of experience and where you’re looking for candidates. For example, people in the IT and programming sector in London make over £67,000.
Although you might not need to bring a developer on the team full-time, for the entire project, you will likely need help at one point. When that time comes, you can look around for a freelance developer. According to Upwork, their median hourly rate is $27.
You may also need to hire testers, a business analyst, a Scrum Master, and a project manager.
There are many aspects of the app development process that affect the app development cost in the UK. While the price can vary significantly based on circumstances, factors that determine the cost of the app are the type of app, features, and location.
The cost of making an app in the UK can vary depending on the complexity of its features.
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around $40,000 – $120,000 for a simple app with basic features and $120.000 – $200.000 for a moderate app.
The cost of developing an app in the UK with extra features is between $200.000 and $300,000.
Another important factor that affects the cost of the app development is the type of app. The average cost of app development by type is around $100,000.
iPhone app development cost is higher compared to the cost of developing an app for Android. The most expensive type of app to develop is a startup app, which can cost up to $300,000.
|Type of app||Estimate cost||Time|
A large price tag on an app doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the product, but it may indicate the pay variations among developers in different countries around the globe.
Developers in North America and Australia earn the most both for iOS app development and Android app development. The rate can also vary based on the experience of the developer and the programming language used in the development process.
|Region||Cost for App development for iOS ($/hour)||Cost for App development for Android ($/hour)|
On average, apps take about three to nine months to develop, depending on their complexity and project structure.
Each phase in the development process requires a different amount of time to complete.
|Type of development activity||Cost|
|Project Brief||1 to 2 weeks|
|Concept design||4 to 5 weeks|
|Design Sprints||6-12 weeks|
|Development and prototyping||6 to 12 weeks|
|Deployment||Up to 2 weeks|
The cost of the app depends on a variety of factors, including:
Here are some examples of how much developing certain types of apps would cost.
TikTok is a popular video-sharing app that runs both on iOS and Android. The cost of an app like TikTok can start at around $70,000 and take approximately 1,200 hours to complete.
Airbnb is an example of a successful marketplace software that combines an on-demand app and an e-commerce store. The cost for this kind of app would typically start from $75,000 and take approximately 1,000 hours.
The cost of creating an app like Tinder would start at around $70,000 and might take around 1,000 hours to complete.
Developing an app isn’t typically a one-man job because it takes technical expertise and an understanding of different fields of work. It usually involves computer engineers, UI/UX designers who know their way perfectly around digital graphics, product managers, project managers, and QA specialists.
If you do all the work by yourself, without hiring any help, the iOS app development would cost you around $99 – the fee that Apple charges for their developer program, which you need to pay to distribute your app on the App Store.
Google, on the other hand, only charges a one-time $25 registration fee.
Developing an app yourself is essentially a low cost mobile app development process, but it will likely take a lot of time to finish.
Still, there are other costs associated with app development and maintenance, which depend on the type of app you’re developing and its size. For example, you must pay for hosting to store data and you might need some plug-ins to improve the functionality of the app.
|Type of costs||Cost|
|ecommerce commission fees||The payment gateway provider may charge a fee of 1-3% to process payments for your app.|
|Plug-in costs||To improve user experience, you might need to add some plug-ins. This may set you back anything from £50 to £200.|
|API costs||Using third-party APIs in your app might come with extra fees.|
|Hosting||Most apps require server hosting to host the data that users interact with when using the app. Hosting can cost anywhere between $70 and $320 a month.|
Once you officially launch the app, you’ll also have to think about maintenance costs. The industry standard is around 15-20% of the original development costs.
The cost of developing an app, both for iPhone and Android devices, varies based on a variety of factors, such as the type of app and the complexity of its features. If you’re looking to develop an app for iPhone without spending too much money on it, then you’ll have to do most of the heavy lifting yourself.
The cost to put an app on the App Store is $99. Apple charges an annual fee of $99 for those who want to join the Apple Developer Program.
Google charges a one-time fee of £20 to put an app on the Play Store.
Even if you do all the work yourself, you’ll still need to buy an Apple Developer Licence, which costs $99.
Creating an iOS app can cost anywhere between $40,000 and $300,000. The cost depends on the type of app, the complexity of the features, and location, among other things.
My name is Nikola, and I’m an SEO Specialist and a tech enthusiast. I graduated from the Faculty of Economics, the department of E-Business Management. My experiences go from implementing ERP Solutions, CRM practices, and finally, on-page and off-page SEO. I take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to SEO and keeping up with the latest changes to search algorithms. I love experimenting with new strategies and testing the results to see what works best. Outside of work, I enjoy tinkering with new tech gadgets and exploring the latest apps and software programs.