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Everything You Need to Know about iOS App Development Cost In 2023

26 October 2023

What Is iOS App Development?

Apple Inc. has developed an operating system for mobile devices, such as smartphones-iPhone & smart tablets-iPad. Apple developers can create applications for iPhone & iPad, and they are known as iOS apps.

Why iOS App Development Is a Tempting Field for App Developers?

According to Statista, the share of iPhone users in the USA is steadily increasing. It indicates that Apple has maintained its market share beautifully over time.

Apple also enjoys its dominance in the leading developed countries in American & European regions. Therefore, iPhone apps are getting high ROI from the iOS market. And it is the most tempting thing for mobile app developers who are looking for a decent return. 

Apple has made this possible by taking stringent measures to maintain high-quality and excellent user experience with its devices, iPhone & iPad. Moreover, strict rules and clear guidelines for iOS developers in the App Store added more features to keep the charm of iOS apps intact.

Of course, being a proprietary ecosystem, iOS app development costs always remain higher than Android, resulting in excellent quality and exceptional UX. With these insights, let's learn which factors influence the iOS app development cost. 

In Sum:
  • User-friendly Ecosystem: IOS proved a powerful mobile OS on the planet that boasts excellent UX and UI design,
  • Compatibility: Apple is a proprietary company. So, its product iOS is available only for iPhone and iPad devices. Thus, synchronization between iOS and Apple devices is easy and seamless.
  • Security: Apple strictly adheres to the standard rules for the safety and security of its customers. So, the entire iOS ecosystem is foolproof against various threats. 
  • Loyalty: Apple has a diverse user base, mostly in affluent countries, and users are loyal to Apple's products.
  • High Purchasing Power: Apple's users have high purchasing capacity and always prefer to use the latest devices and operating system versions. 

Factors & Development Phases Affecting the Cost of iOS App Development 

Various factors cumulatively determine the cost of iPhone App Development. Let's check them one by one.

Size of the iOS App:

The numbers of features and amount of content decide the size of the iOS app. Typically, iOS developers decide the size of the app in the following ways.

Basic iOS app:

  • It has a few features and functions and is simple to interact with. 
  • They are relatively inexpensive to develop.
  • It takes one or two months to develop.
  • It costs $5K to 10K.

Semi-complex iOS app: 

  • It has a moderate number of features and functionality and is a little bit hard to interact with.
  • It demands two to three months for development.
  • It costs $10K to $50K.

Enterprise-grade iOS app: 

  • It has tons of features and functionality and accomplishes a lot of interactions at once.
  • It consumes six or more months to develop.
  • It costs more than $50K.

The Complexity of Features & Functionality:

In the iOS ecosystem, some features are relatively simple, some are moderately complex, and some are highly intricate.

Low-complexity iOS Features:

  • User login & registration
  • User profile and settings
  • Data synchronization 
  • In-app purchases 
  • Costs $20K - $60K
  • This category of apps offers basic functionality and has a simple UI/UX design. 

Medium-complexity iOS Features:

  • Data visualization 
  • Geolocation 
  • Push notification 
  • Social media integration 
  • Costs $80K - $250K
  • This category of apps has a high-end backend and provides an adaptable UI.

High-complexity iOS Features:

  • AR (Augmented Reality)
  • ML (Machine Learning)
  • IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Advanced multi-factor user authentication 
  • Costs $250K - $500K
  • This category of apps has a robust backend, highly interactive UI/UX design, and integration of cross-selling & up-selling features. 

App Type:

Different types of apps work on iOS devices, such as web, hybrid, cross-platform, and native apps.

Web App – 

Web apps are browser-based. Therefore, they have to face many restrictions in terms of the features and functionality they offer. You can use standard web development technologies, HTML. CSS and JavaScript to create web apps. Thus, they are relatively cheaper.

Hybrid App – 

As its name suggests, hybrid apps are something in between web apps & native apps in features and functionality. So, they are a little bit costlier than web apps but cheaper than native apps. The hybrid app code is wrapped by a native container, making app marketplace distribution easy.

Cross-platform App –

Cross-platform app development needs and JavaScript frameworks are the best choices. For instance, Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin are known frameworks based on diverse technologies. Frameworks save time and money compared to native technologies and give native-like experiences and access to various hardware and software features. Therefore, cross-platform mobile app development is cheaper than native app development. 

Native App - 

Native apps development technologies, such as iOS and Android, provide developers full access to native devices and OS features and functionality. Thus, app experiences remain exceptional, leaving enough scope for developers' creativity. Of course, due to the higher rate of native app developers and more time needed for the development, native mobile app development always remains costlier than cross-platform app development.

App Category:

Recently, Statista revealed statistics of the most popular iOS app categories. It means if you invest in developing iOS apps in those categories, you are liable to get a decent ROI. 

Let's look at the average costs of iOS app development in different categories of apps.

  1. Gaming iOS app costs range from $30K to $250K.
  2. Business iOS app costs range from $50K to $150K.
  3. Education iOS app costs range from $10K to $80K.
  4. Health & fitness iOS app – Its cost ranges from $10K to $250K.
  5. Medical iOS app costs range from $30K to $90K.
  6. Social media iOS app costs range from $10K to $60K.
  7. Entertainment iOS app costs range from $15K to $100K.
  8. Shopping iOS app costs range from $5K to $50K.
  9. Travel iOS app costs range from $5K to $50K.

Some categories of iOS apps demand a lot of integrations and development of tons of features. Moreover, they have a little bit more complex interactions and UIs. 

Therefore, they require more work, time, and investment. For instance, gaming apps require 2D & 3D graphics and very complex coding to set unique game interactions. 

Similarly, health and fitness apps always need the integration of various hardware sensors and establishing connectivity among the devices. Therefore, such categories of apps are costly to develop and consume a lot of time and resources. 

Let's learn about different levels of complexity in different categories of apps:

Simple Level of Complexity Categories:
  • Lifestyle- Weather, Fitness, Horoscope, etc.
  • Education – Language Learning, Flash Card, etc.
  • Productivity – Notes, Calendar, To-do List, etc.
  • Entertainment - Music, Video, Gaming, etc.
Medium Level of Complexity Categories:
  • Social media – Messaging, Dating, etc.
  • E-Commerce – Shopping, Food Delivery, Ticketing, etc.
  • Finance – Banking, Budgeting, Investment, etc. 
High Level of Complexity Categories:
  • On-demand – Personal Shopping, Home Cleaning, Ride-Hailing, etc.
  • Healthcare – Telemedicine, Medical Records, Health Tracking, etc.
  • Enterprise – CMS, CRM, ERP, etc. 

App Design & Animation 

App Store guidelines emphasize UI & UX design to make apps of high quality. Therefore, iOS designers must work hard to get approval for app publication in the App Store. It adds cost to create attractive, intuitive, and functional app UIs and exceptional user experiences. The iOS app design process used to have the following stages. 

User Research

User research involves 

  • Target audience research
  • Personal development
  • Competitor analysis, etc., depending on the app niche. 

It costs roughly $100 - $300.

UI Design

It involves 

  1. Sketches 
  2. Wireframing 
  3. Prototype design

It also demands using the latest tools for each step to create interactive outcomes. 

It costs $10K to $40K.

UX Design 

UI and UX designs go hand-to-hand and follow the same stages. 

It costs $2K - $8K.


Designers must create brand identity logos befitting screens of various mobile devices and follow App Store guidelines. It also involves the creation of various icons representing the brand theme. 

It costs $5K - $20K.


Graphics design, backgrounds, and images are essential parts of illustration design. Designers use Adobe Creative Suite or other tools to develop mobile-friendly illustrations following App Store guidelines. 

It costs $5K-10K.


Designers are creating GIFs, Videos, and other forms of animations to create visual appeal and deliver messages effectively on iOS mobile platform. 

It costs $10K-20K. 

App Deployment Cost

The following are some significant factors influencing the cost of iOS app deployment.

Apple Developer Program Membership: 

Apple Store requires membership fees from iOS developers to publish an app for $99 per year. With a valid membership, iOS developers can access the tools and resources available on the App Store. So, we need to consider the annual fees by the App Store in the app deployment cost.

App Store Submission Fee: 

App Store asks for a one-time submission fee to upload an iOS app for review and subsequent marketing. It is $99 per app. You need to add it to the cost of app deployment.

In-App Purchases: 

App Store facilitates iOS apps for in-app purchases. Of course, it requires a 30% commission from all revenue generated through in-app purchases. You must count this cost in the app deployment stage.

Apart from such basic costs, there may be additional costs associated with developing and deploying an iOS app, such as:

Hardware and software costs: 

For iOS app development, investment in a Mac computer is mandatory. Similarly, for testing the iOS app, the iOS app development company must have some previous and latest versions of iOS on its devices, iPhone and iPad. However, the iOS platform releases new versions of iOS devices each year, and app development companies must buy them. These add some costs in iOS app development per project. They may also need to purchase additional software, such as a code editor or a testing framework.

Third-party services: 

Third-party services, such as Map, Cloud, backend hosting, analytics, and push notifications, are crucial for iOS apps to offer some features and functionality. Therefore, iOS developers integrate these services by paying their purchasing or subscription charges, and you need to consider them in your iOS app development costing.

Marketing and promotion: 

App marketing is possible through various channels, such as App Store, in-app ads, paid ads, website, social media, app-to-app directories, etc. You must plan a marketing and promotion strategy that fits your app category and allocate a budget for all. Thus, it adds in-app costing throughout the app lifecycle.

Size of App Development Team/Company

The size of the iOS app development team can significantly affect the project's cost. 

A larger team will generally cost more than a smaller one, as each member must be paid for their time. 

The number of developers required for an iOS app development project will depend on the app's complexity and the development timeline. 

A simple app with a few features may only require a team of two or three developers, while a more complex app with a lot of features may require a team of ten or more developers.

The hourly rate of each team member is given below:

  • Business Analyst – The hourly rate of the BA team for iOS app development ranges from $60 to $150, depending on the app category and complexities.
  • UI/UX Designer – The hourly rate of the app design team varies from $15 to $50.
  • iOS app developer – The hourly rate of iOS app programmers ranges from $20 to $100 in different geographies.
  • Scrum master – The hourly rate of Scrum master varies between $50 to $150. 
  • QA Engineer – The testing and QA team hourly rate range from $30 to $70.
  • Project Manager – The hourly rate of a project manager can be $12 to $40.

When you ask for a quote from the iOS app development company, you need to ask for a ballpark estimation, and it may consist of how many hours each team member will spend on your project up to completion. If you have a deadline, you need to add more members for each task, which can drastically increase the cost. 

hire ios app developer

App Security

Here are some examples of different security features and their typical cost:

Data Encryption: 

Data needs to be protected during storage as well as transition over the network. Data encryption is the technology to protect data during transits. However, the data encryption service is not free, and you need to pay for it. Thus, you must add data encryption costs to the app development costs.

Of course, the cost of implementing data encryption will vary depending on the type of data being encrypted, the level of encryption required, and the complexity of the encryption algorithm.

  • Basic: $500 - $1,000
  • Advanced: $1,000 - $5,000

Application Sandboxing: 

Application Sandboxing is a proven security mechanism because it isolates an app from the rest of the system. So, it can prevent an app from various threats and vulnerabilities prevailing in the system as well as the network itself. The cost of implementing application sandboxing will vary depending on the complexity of the app and the level of isolation required.

  • Basic: $1,000 - $2,000
  • Advanced: $2,000 - $10,000

Code Review: 

An app code review by experts helps early detection of various vulnerabilities and possible errors in the code and helps us to remove those before the app goes live on the App Store. However, app review service cost depends on various factors, such as

  • App size
  • App complexity
  • The reviewers' experience
  • The level of detail required

The cost may be:

  • Basic: $1,000 - $2,000
  • Advanced: $2,000 - $10,000

Penetration Testing: 

When a QA team simulates a possible attack on an app to find security vulnerabilities, it is called penetration testing. It may have different costs depending on 

  • Size of the app
  • Complexities of the app
  • Experience and expertise of the developer
  • The level of detail needed 

The cost of penetration testing can be:

  • Basic: $2,000 - $5,000
  • Advanced: $5,000 - $20,000

App Maintenance 

Here are some examples of different maintenance tasks and their typical cost:

Bug Fixing: 

Identifying errors in the design and code of the app is called bug fixing in the iOS app. The cost of bug fixing can vary depending on the bug's complexities and the iOS developers' experience level.

  • Basic: $500 - $1,000
  • Advanced: $1,000 - $5,000

Security Updates: 

The app developers need to release various security updates time-to-time. The cost of security updates will vary depending on the frequency of updates and complexity.

  • Basic: $500 - $1,000
  • Advanced: $1,000 - $5,000

Design Updates: 

Design in an app sets its visual appeal. Designers often release design updates for iOS apps to enhance the visual performance of the app. The cost of design updates will vary depending on the scope of the changes and the designer's experience level.

  • Basic: $500 - $1,000
  • Advanced: $1,000 - $5,000

Performance Improvements: 

App performance is a vital factor for an app's success. Developers often release updates to enhance app performance. Thus, the iOS app runs faster and more smoothly. The cost of performance improvements will vary depending on the complexity of the changes and the developer's experience level.

  • Basic: $500 - $1,000
  • Advanced: $1,000 - $5,000

Location of App Developers 

The rate of iOS app developers varies greatly depending on location. Developers in developed countries have high living standards. Therefore, iOS app developers in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe have the highest rates. 

In contrast, iOS app developers in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America have comparatively somewhat lower rates.

Here is a table that shows the average hourly rates for iOS app developers in different locations:

Location Hourly Rate
United States $100 - $200
Canada $90 - $180
Western Europe €80 - €160
Eastern Europe €50 - €100
Asia $30 - $60
Australia  $80-$200
Russia  $60-$150
India  $20-$100
Latin America  $25-$80

These rates are a range, and you need to do extensive research before hiring an iOS app developer for your project.

Here are some factors that can affect the rate of an iOS app developer:


More experienced developers typically command higher rates.


Developers with specialized skills like game development, IoT, or AI can ask for higher rates.


Developers in high-cost areas, such as San Francisco and New York City, expect higher rates.


The demand for iOS app developers can fluctuate depending on the market. In times of high demand, developers may get higher rates.

It is important to note that the rates listed above are for full-time employees. If you are looking to hire a freelance iOS app developer, the rates will likely be lower. However, when comparing the two options, you will need to factor in the cost of benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off.

How do iOS App Development Costs Differ from Other Platforms?

iOS app development costs differ from other platforms in a few key ways.

Development Cost: 

IOS app development is generally more expensive than Android app development. It is because iOS developers are in higher demand and command higher salaries. Additionally, iOS apps are typically more complex than Android apps, contributing to the higher cost.

App Store Submission Fee: 

Apple charges a $99 annual fee for developers who want to submit their apps to the App Store. This fee is not required for Android app developers.

Marketing and Promotion Costs: 

The iOS users are more likely to pay for apps than Android users. It means that iOS app developers may need to spend more money on marketing and promotion in order to generate downloads and revenue.

Overall, the cost of developing and marketing an iOS app is higher than the cost of developing and marketing an Android app. However, iOS apps can also be more profitable than Android apps due to the higher willingness of iOS users to pay for apps.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences in iOS app development costs compared to other platforms:

Factor iOS Other Platforms
Development cost Higher Lower
App Store submission fee $99/year None
Marketing and promotion costs Higher Lower
Potential profitability Higher Lower

How to Reduce iOS App Development Costs?

Here are some tips on how to reduce iOS app development costs:

Plan Carefully.

Careful planning is a must for iOS app development. Do planning according to your business strategy to make the app high in ROI. It will save your cost of app development cumulatively.

Set Realistic Expectations.

When you consider the expectations of the end-users of the app, it becomes a realistic app. It can give you a good return. So, don't try to create an app with all possible bells & whistles. Include only the essential features and functionality in the iOS app.

Outsource Development.

When residing in a developed country, consider outsourcing an iOS application development project to a reputed company in a developing country like India. Thus, you will save some bucks due to the wage difference. Consider Jeel Techsoft as your dependable partner.

Use a Pre-built App Framework.

Pre-built app development frameworks have many things ready to use for an iOS app developer. Thus, you can save time and expenses on many mundane tasks and cut the overall development cost.

Use a Hybrid App Development Approach.

Hybrid and cross-platform apps use a single codebase on all platforms and drastically save costs. If your app allows you to compromise native features and functionality, consider this option.

Use a Low-code or No-code Development Platform.

Low-code and no-code iOS app development platforms save a considerable cost on programming tasks and make app development cheaper. However, you will get the simple app with limited features and functions with such platforms.

Get Feedback Early and Often.

When you strive for good performance and UX, user feedback matters more. So, try to get feedback from the teams and actual app users at the end of each sprint. Thus, you will get a much-improvised app at the end.

Following these tips can reduce the iOS app development cost without sacrificing quality.

Here are some additional tips to help you save money on iOS app development:

Use a Simple Design.

A simple app design means limited features and functionality. So, it becomes a cheaper option for you.

Avoid Unnecessary Features.

If you avoid unwanted features and functions in the app, you will have a user-centric app at a comparatively low cost.

Use Free or Open-source Resources.

All resources are not paid, particularly in open-source platforms. Thus, find free and open-source resources for your iOS applications and use them to save costs.

Negotiate with Developers.

If you have a budget, show it to the development team and request them to find ways to cut the cost without much compromise on intended features and functions.

Be Prepared to Make Changes.

Once you have done your app development planning, chances of changes remain. So, take a flexible approach during the development and be ready to change your plan and strategy if needed. Many changes will lead you to stay on your budget.


Q: 1 – What iOS app testing costs you?

A:1 – you can break down iOS app testing in the following ways.

  • UX testing - $100 to $500
  • Performance testing - $50 -$150
  • Functional testing - $100 to $1000
  • Security testing - $300 to $800
  • Platform testing - $30 to $200

Q: 2 – What is the additional cost for your iOS app development?

A: 2 – The following additional costs need to be included in your iOS app's overall cost.

  • Updates - $350
  • CDN - $100
  • Data storage - $250

Q: 3 – How can you reduce the iOS app development costs?

A: 3 – You can reduce the ios app development cost by taking the following measures.

  • Plan carefully
  • Set realistic expectations
  • Outsource development
  • Use a prebuilt app framework
  • Take a hybrid app development approach if possible
  • Use low-code or no-code platform
  • Get feedback early and often
  • Use a simple design
  • Use free or open-source resources
  • Negotiate with developers
  • Be ready to make changes
  • Use a cloud-based development environment
  • Automate the development process
  • opts for MVP

Q: 4 – What are the benefits of iOS app development?

A: 4 – You can avail the following benefits with iOS app development.

  • Higher user engagement
  • Enhanced security
  • Consistent user experience
  • Long-term device support
  • Access to a quality audience

Q: 5 – What is the iOS application development cost based on the size and scale of the app's nature?

A: 5 – For small-scale iOS app development:

Planning & Design –

  • Wireframe & prototype design - $500-1000
  • UI & UX design - $1K-3K

Development –

  • Frontend - $2K-5K
  • Backend - $2.5K-5.5K

Testing & Deployment –

  • QA – $500-1000
  • App Store submission - $100-300

For medium-scale iOS app development:

Planning & Design –

  • Wireframe & prototype design - $1K-2K
  • UI & UX design - $1K-3K

Development –

  • Frontend - $5K-10K
  • Backend - $2K-5K
  • API integration - $1K-3K

Testing & Deployment –

  • QA – $1K-2K
  • App Store submission - $100-300

For large-scale iOS app development:

Planning & Design –

  • Wireframe & prototype design - $2K-5K
  • UI & UX design - $5K-10K

Development –

  • Frontend - $10K-20K
  • Backend - $12K-22K
  • API integration - $3K-7K

Testing & Deployment –

  • QA – $2K-5K
  • App Store submission - $100-300

Q: 6 – How iOS app development cost fluctuates based on team size?

A: 6 – the cost of the iOS app changes with the size of the app development team.

  1. For small teams –
    • Avg. hourly rate- $80-120
    • Estimated cost - $20K-40K
    • Typical roles-
      • An iOS designer
      • An iOS programmer
      • An iOS project manager
  2. For medium teams –
    • Avg. hourly rate- $100-150
    • Estimated cost - $40K-100K
    • Typical roles-
      • 2-3 iOS designer
      • 1-2 iOS programmers
      • An iOS project manager
      • An iOS QA specialist
  3. For large teams –
    • Avg. hourly rate- $150-250
    • Estimated cost - $100K-250K
    • Typical roles-
      • 5+ iOS designer
      • 2-3 iOS programmers
      • 1-2 iOS project manager
      • 2 QA Specialists

Q: 7 – What is the average hourly rate of iOS freelance developers?

A: 7 – For a simple iOS app development, freelancer iOS developers charge you $34 to $79. Similarly, for a complex iOS app development, they charge $90 to $120, depending on their expertise.

Q: 8 – What is an hourly rate of an offshore iOS app development team?

A: 8 – an iOS app development team in an offshore company may charge you $45 per hour for a simple app and $79 for a complex app

Q: 9 – What is the average salary for an in-house iOS app developer?

A: 9 – The average salary of an iOS app developer may range from $100K to $120K per annum.

Q: 10 – Why is iOS application development considered costlier than its Android counterpart?

A: 10 – The first thing is that the iOS platform is proprietary. So, it charges high for everything. Moreover, its devices, peripheral accessories, and services come with a cost and lock that compels users to buy their products. Finally, the platform charges an annual registration fee to its developers to use the platform and its services.


If you need more help from iOS experts, Jeel Techsoft is a perfect destination to discuss your project and concerns.