Cost of Developing an App: Calculating the Budget of iOS Application

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Starting with Your App Development Project

There are a lot of questions you should ask yourself as an entrepreneur, developer or consumer, before starting an app development process, such as what you want the app to do, how much money you are willing to invest, what audience you wish to target and so on. Good app developers create apps because it is what they like to do, app development is their craft and they are passionate about it. However, app design is a significant investment in terms of money and time, and starting such a project you need to make sure that it will pay off.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an iOS App?

In this article, our experienced app developers will talk about the cost defining factors of app development and the budget you need to allocate for an iOS app design project. Unfortunately, it is impossible to define the cost of an iOS app because there are many risks and changing factors involved in the process of software development. However, you can judge how much money you will have to pay by the type of application you wish to create: a basic app, a complex database app or an iPhone game.

The Cost of a Basic iPhone App

The cost of a basic iOS application with a simple functionality developed by a professional team of app developers can start at $1500 and go up to $5000 and more. You can minimize the cost if you approach the developers with a ready logo and a package of graphics for the app. Otherwise, this step will cost you more than $1500. The cost will grow at an exponential rate as you will add new features, change design elements or make any other modifications to the initial requirements.

The Cost of a Complex Database Application

Native database iOS applications are sophisticated software that requires a great expertise in the mobile technologies to design, so you can expect the price tag to range between $15000 and $50000 or higher. Natives applications are technically challenging because they are driven by data, and the developers need to have a deep understanding of the iOS environment, design guidelines and approval process to create a quality product and successfully launch it to the market. The app developers have to create the logic behind the app, design a feature map, and built an intuitive and user-friendly interface, adding texts, images, videos, sounds and other materials supplied by the client.

Gaming Apps

Creating a game for iPhone or iPad is probably the most expensive area of mobile app development, especially if you want a product with stunning 3D graphics and engaging gameplay. iPhone games may cost you anywhere between $30000 and $300000 depending on their type and scope. For instance, an action game with 3D graphics and a number of different levels will without a doubt cost you well over $150000.

The iOS Game Market

Modern-day smartphone owners are accustomed to high-quality applications, so if you want your product to be in demand, you need to create a game that will meet the high expectations of the audience and offer a truly engaging experience. However, do not forget - the more features you add, the more you have to pay. Of course, an ap with exciting features and great designs have more chances to get to the top of App Store and attract a lot of users. The number of downloads has a direct impact on the return on investment. So if you want your iOS gaming app to pay off, be prepared to invest a lot of money in the development.

Additional Functionality

AS we have already mentioned, adding extra features to your app will increase the development cost. Here are some of the feature you may want your app to posses and how much they are going to cost you:

  • Game Center. You may want to integrate your app with the Game Center, and the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK) gives you this advantage. This will lower the cost for something around $1500-$2000.
  • In-app advertising. This feature will cost you more than $2000 depending on the type of ads you want to show within your iOS application, but you will be able to pay off the investment, selling this ad space to other brands.
  • Offline functionality. This feature give you an opportunity of accessing and saving the content without internet connection and updating the app with XML files and will cost you an additional $2000-$6000. However, it is a very convenient feature that will without a doubt make your and the users’ lives easier and add value to the app.
  • Integration with social networks. It is a feature that almost all modern apps possess, which is not hard to implement, resulting in an affordable cost of around $1000. We would strongly recommend you to spend some extra money to enable your customers to share their content and promote your app in major social networks.
iOS App Design

Design is one of the key aspects of any smartphone app because it what makes the first impression when the users launch it and what primarily appeals to them. That is why you should never economize on hiring a good designer. Design cost depends on the level of the designers’ experience, the scope of work they need to do and the range of devices they need to cover. Typically, iPhone app design costs range between $1500 and $15000. Once the design is ready, you can hand it to the developers, who will flesh it out, turning graphics into the program’s code.

Total Cost of Developing an App

When you have designed and coded the app, you can publish it to the App Store. To do this, you need to be registered as an official Apple developer for the annual fee of $99. Keep in mind that 30% of your income from app sales will go to Apple. Moreover, marketing your app to reach out to a bigger audience will cost you at least $2000, depending on the scope of audience you wish to target. All of it increases the app’s budget, but help you to create a great solution that attracts the attention of customers and meets their expectations.

Other Factors That Impact the Cost

Among other factors that may impact the cost of app development is the need to integrate your app with an existing backend or build the backend from scratch. Judging from our experience as IT experts, most of the apps require an integration to a new or existing backend. Moreover, sometimes it is necessary not only to integrate your app to a backend, but also to third-party tools distributed by other vendors.For example, you can save money on designing original elements and instead buy off-the-shelf solutions like push notifications or e-commerce tools. However, be aware that if you want to integrate your app with too many third-party tools and services, you will probably need to create an architectural diagram, which may come at an extra cost.

How to Choose the App Developer

Typically, when you contact professional app developers with an app idea, they evaluate the approximate cost of app development based on your app’s wireframe. Nevertheless, this cost may change due to many factors including risks and changes to the requirements. Also, select the developers carefully, pay attention to their portfolios, read client testimonials and conduct interviews with the candidates.

What to Look for in App Developers

Choose only software design firms that you trust. If you know anyone who has developed a successful app, ask the contacts of the developers. Use freelance platforms carefully - you never know whether the people who reply to your jobs have enough expertise to accomplish the task. If you are confident that your will reach success, you can ask the developer to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA).

Quality Comes First

When looking for app developers, you will be approach with an extremely wide range of app design costs. Do not be distracted by the figures - choose the developers with the best expertise in your area. Of course, you can find digital agencies who offer software development services at some $1000, but clear your eyes - it is not possible to create a quality application for this cost. Do not save money when it comes to the quality and security of your iPhone app, and your investment will pay out, becoming a steady source of income for your business.

Work with our Team

If you are thinking of creating an iOS native app or any other software product, you can rely on our professional app developers. Contact us to discuss your idea, and our experts will estimate the cost of your project and give you valuable advice on how to maximise its value for your business.