In the world of mobile application development, estimating project costs is a critical step for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to venture into the iOS app market. Developing a mobile app for the iOS platform involves a multitude of factors that can impact the budget significantly.

This year, Apple’s App Store has 1.76 million apps and 460,000 games.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of estimating iOS app development costs and provide you with essential tools to make informed financial decisions.

6 Elements Impacting the Cost of iOS App Development

App Development Cost Based on Size

The size of your iOS app is a fundamental factor influencing development costs. Smaller apps, which typically have limited functionalities and a simpler design, often come with a more manageable price tag. To give you a more precise estimate, iPhone app development price for small apps can range from $10,000 to $50,000. These are often quick to develop, making them a cost-effective choice for startups or businesses with a tight budget. However, larger, more complex apps can be more expensive, reaching $500,000. These apps require more time, effort, and resources due to their extensive features, intricate design, and possibly the need for backend infrastructure. When estimating costs based on app size, it's crucial to define your project's scope and the features you intend to include to create a more accurate budget projection.

Complexity of iOS App

App complexity is another significant driver of development costs. Complexity can be categorized into two dimensions: technical and functional. Technical complexity may result from the requirement for intricate coding, the integration of advanced APIs, or the development of custom algorithms. Cost to develop an iphone app of such complexity can increase the budget by an additional $20,000 to $100,000 or more. Functional complexity, on the other hand, relates to the number and sophistication of features within the app. Highly complex apps may involve advanced functionalities such as AI integration, AR/VR elements, real-time data processing, or extensive databases. The more complex the app, the more time and resources it demands, ultimately driving up development costs. Striking the right balance between complexity and your app's intended purpose is essential to ensure that the added costs align with the app's value proposition.

iOS App Category

In 2022, gaming apps were the most liked on the Apple App Store, making up about 12.68 percent of all iOS apps. Business apps came next, with around 10.35 percent, and education apps were the third most popular, accounting for over 9.8 percent of active apps.

Most popular Apple App Store categories

The choice of your iOS app's category significantly affects iPhone app developers cost. Different app categories come with distinct requirements that can influence your budget. For instance, gaming apps tend to be on the higher end of the cost spectrum. These apps often require high-quality graphics, intricate game mechanics, and extensive gameplay testing. As a result, the budget for gaming apps can range from $100,000 to $500,000 or even more, depending on their complexity. Social networking apps may necessitate the development of complex backend systems and features for user interaction, contributing to higher costs for iPhone app development. Conversely, utility apps or simple informational apps generally have lower development costs since they usually have fewer features and a more straightforward user interface. When estimating costs, it's crucial to consider your app's category and how it aligns with your business goals, as it can significantly affect your overall budget.

iOS App Design

Investing in the design of your iOS app is a crucial but often cost-increasing factor. High-quality design not only enhances the user experience but also contributes to the app's success. Design expenses usually encompass creating user interfaces (UI) and ensuring a seamless user experience (UX). They also cover the production of visual assets, animations, and other graphical elements. Design costs can vary widely, depending on the complexity and visual appeal of your app. Simple and minimalist designs are typically more cost-effective, with design costs starting from $5,000. In contrast, intricate and custom designs, especially those requiring 3D graphics, animations, or complex interactive elements, can significantly increase the budget. Striking the right balance between design quality and your budget is crucial to creating a visually appealing and user-friendly app without overspending.

iOS App Launch

Launching your iOS app is a critical phase that impacts your project's overall expenses for iPhone app developers cost. App launch involves marketing and promotional activities that require financial investments. These activities can include app store optimization (ASO), social media advertising, influencer partnerships, and more.

Marketing expenses can range from $5,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the scope of your promotional efforts. Additionally, if you plan to run ad campaigns, such expenses should be factored into your budget. While app launch costs are essential for gaining visibility, attracting users, and achieving success, it's crucial to strike a balance between your app launch budget and the expected return on investment (ROI). Overinvesting in marketing without a clear strategy can lead to unnecessary expenses, while underinvesting may limit your app's reach and potential for success.

Learn more about iOS monetization strategy here.

iOS App Maintenance

After your iOS app is launched, ongoing maintenance and support become essential expenses. These costs cover regular updates to address bugs, enhance performance, and introduce new features.

Maintenance costs typically amount to 15% to 20% of the initial development cost annually. These expenses ensure your app remains up-to-date, secure, and competitive in the ever-evolving app market. When estimating your project budget, it's crucial to factor in these ongoing costs and plan for them to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your iOS app.

By understanding and considering these six elements when estimating your iOS app development costs, you can make informed financial decisions, reduce unexpected expenses, and increase the likelihood of a successful app launch. It's important to remember that these numbers provide estimates, and actual costs can vary based on your specific project requirements, location, and the expertise of your development team.

Undisclosed Expenses in iOS App Development to Be Aware Of

While estimating the cost of iOS app development, it's essential to be prepared for undisclosed expenses that can emerge during the project lifecycle. How much does it cost to make an iPhone app? These hidden costs can impact your budget and potentially lead to financial surprises if not properly considered. Here are some of the undisclosed expenses to be aware of:

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Calculator to Estimate Your iOS App Development Cost

At Axon, we understand the importance of providing you with the tools and resources you need to make informed decisions about your iOS app development project. That's why we offer a user-friendly cost calculator designed to help you estimate the expenses associated with your iOS app development.


Our calculator takes into account various factors, including the size of your app, its complexity, desired features, and more, providing you with a customized cost estimate that aligns with your project's specific requirements. It's a valuable resource to understand the cost to create an app for iphone and ensure you have a clear understanding of the financial aspects of your app development endeavor.

We invite you to try our iOS app development cost calculator. It will guide you through a series of questions and considerations to provide you with an estimate tailored to your project's needs. This tool will not only help you plan your budget effectively but also enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your iOS app development journey.

Comparison of iOS App Development Team Size Costs

When building an iOS app, choosing the right development team size is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your project's timeline, budget, and overall success. Here, we provide an in-depth comparison of the pros and cons associated with different team sizes, along with a comprehensive table for a detailed cost comparison:

Small Team (1-3 Developers)


  • Lower initial investment: Small teams require less upfront capital, making them a cost-effective choice for startups and small businesses with limited budgets.
  • Closer collaboration: With fewer team members, communication is often more direct and collaborative, allowing for quick decision-making and close involvement in the development process.


  • Longer development timelines: Smaller teams may take more time to complete projects due to limited resources, potentially resulting in delayed app launches.
  • Limited expertise: Small teams might lack the specialized skills required for complex app features.

Medium Team (4-6 Developers)


  • Balanced costs and timelines: Medium-sized teams strike a balance between costs and efficiency, providing adequate resources to manage a broad range of app projects.
  • Adequate resources: With more team members, you gain access to a wider skill set and can tackle a variety of features and complexities.


  • Moderate initial investment: While more cost-effective than large teams, medium-sized teams require a moderate initial investment, which may not suit extremely budget-constrained projects.

Large Team (7+ Developers)


  • Faster development: Large teams offer extensive resources, enabling faster development, which is ideal for complex projects or those with tight deadlines.
  • Suitable for complex projects: Complex features, intricate designs, and ambitious app goals are more manageable with a larger team.


  • High initial Investment: Large teams come with higher upfront costs, making them less suitable for startups or projects with tight budget constraints.
  • Potential communication challenges: Managing a larger team can introduce communication and coordination challenges.

Detailed Cost Comparison

Since the average cost to develop an iPhone app is generally calculated as the hourly rate of specialists, it may vary significantly depending on the team rates. Thus, we’d like to provide you with the average amount of work required for the different stages of app development.

By carefully evaluating the pros and cons of different app types of necessary steps, you can understand how much does it cost to build an iOS app in 2024 and make an informed decision that aligns with your project's requirements, budget, and desired timeline. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, and the right choice depends on the specific needs and goals of your iOS app development project.

Comparison of the Costs of iOS and Android App Development

When considering mobile app development, one crucial decision you'll face is whether to build your app for the iOS or Android platform. Each platform comes with its own set of considerations, including development costs. Here's an in-depth comparison of the costs associated with iOS and Android app development:

The decision between iOS and Android development should consider not only cost but also factors such as your target audience, app goals, and market reach.

Additionally, cross-platform development tools may provide a cost-effective solution for building apps on both platforms simultaneously.

Comparison Table for iOS App Development Costs Based on Developer Hiring Model

Comparison Table for iOS App Development Costs Based on Developer Hiring Model

When planning your iOS app development project, choosing the right developer hiring model is a critical decision that can impact  iOS app costs, project flexibility, and overall quality. Here, we provide an in-depth comparison of the pros and cons associated with various developer hiring models, along with a comprehensive table for a detailed iOS app cost comparison:

In-House Team


  • Full Control: With an in-house team, you have direct control over the development process, facilitating quick decision-making and immediate feedback.
  • High Collaboration: In-house teams tend to foster a high level of collaboration, which can result in a better understanding of the project and its objectives.


  • Higher Costs: In-house teams often come with higher expenses, including salaries, benefits, office space, and equipment.
  • Limited Expertise: The expertise of your in-house team may be limited to their skill set, potentially requiring additional hiring for specialized tasks.



  • Cost-Effective: Freelancers often charge lower rates compared to in-house teams or agencies, making them cost-effective.
  • Flexibility: Freelancers can be hired for specific tasks or projects, offering flexibility in your development approach.


  • Quality and Reliability: The quality and reliability of freelancers can vary, and finding the right fit can be challenging.
  • Limited Accountability: Freelancers may not always be available for immediate support or accountability.

Outsourcing Agency


  • Cost-Efficiency: Outsourcing agencies can provide cost-efficient development solutions.
  • Wide Skill Set: Outsourcing agencies typically offer a wide range of skills, covering various aspects of app development.


  • Communication Challenges: Working with a remote team can introduce potential communication and coordination challenges.
  • Time Zone Differences: Differences in time zones may affect real-time collaboration and support.

Detailed Cost Comparison

By carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each developer hiring model, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your project's requirements, budget, and desired level of control. Each model offers unique advantages and challenges, and the right choice depends on the specific needs and goals of your iOS app development project.

Reducing the Expenses of iOS App Development

Efficiently managing  iOS app costs while delivering a high-quality iOS app is a priority for businesses and startups alike. To achieve this balance, it's essential to employ cost-saving strategies throughout the development process. In this section, we explore various techniques and considerations for reducing the expenses of iOS app development. From initial project planning to design, development, and post-launch maintenance, these strategies aim to optimize your budget without compromising the app's functionality and user experience. By implementing these cost-saving measures, you can create a successful iOS app that aligns with your business objectives while remaining within budget constraints.

By integrating these strategies into your iOS app development process, you can effectively manage the cost of developing an iOS app while delivering a successful and budget-conscious app.

How Can Axon Help You with iOS App Development?

At Axon, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with iOS app development. Our team of experienced developers, designers, and project managers is dedicated to providing cost-effective solutions tailored to your business needs.

By partnering with Axon, you gain a dedicated team of experts passionate about delivering high-quality iOS applications that meet your objectives, stay within budget, and capture the attention of your target audience. Your success is our success!

Let's create an app that not only excels but also offers a strong return on investment for your business. Get in touch with us today to discuss your project and explore the possibilities.

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