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How much does it cost to develop an iOS App

We get asked by many people how much it costs to develop a iOS mobile app, and we hate having to give the proverbial 'how long is a piece of string length' response.. but we keep on doing it anyway. 

To save you from that experience (and to save our time!) we decided to write a list of the key questions you should ask yourself in order to quickly knock up a specification for your app idea that will mean you can get a reasonable quote for your app.. and importantly - to check if its financially viable.

The difference in costs for an app to be deployed on android and on Apple phones via the play stores varies in cost from as much as $500 set up and $30 a month...  to $100,000 set up and $5,000 a month. So  getting your detail is very important in the early planning and feasibility stages to avoid wasting time and a lot of money.

The KEY QUESTIONS - answering these will form the basis of your SPECIFICATION:

1. What is the purpose of your App...  that is to say what problem is it solving for whom. This is critical because users of your App have so much choice when choosing an app. Once you have established the purpose/problem you need to work out how much having the app worth to you and them - it can be financial, saved time, convenience or more but you MUST answer it (this is the viability question....  is your app worth building).

2. What features will give users the minimum you need to solve the problem(s) you identified in question 1. Write each individual feature you will need down on paper. Cross off anything you don't absolutelyneed to start with (or put  these features into a 'phase 2' for separate quote)  then go through it again. The more detail (including page sketches) you do here.. the better an more likely what gets developed matches your vision without expensive rework. The more you cross off your list the cheaper  your app will be.

3. Go to the apple play store and type in keywords for the problem, and features you wrote in (2 - above) then see if someone already did it.  If so - whats different about yours that people would want to download and use it?

4. Do you need to integrate with any other systems - if so exactly what data needs sending where and when. What if it fails to be delivered? Also how sccure does your data need to be

5. Do your users need to login to the app? why? Do you need to communicate with you app users remotely? 

6. Will the app change over time, how? 

7. Does the app need a payment mechanism of any kind, a menu, or a catalogue?

These answers will be a great start to give a developer an idea of what you need, what development tools will be needed, whether you can use a DIY app builder or a hybrid. And should get you a quick budgetary cost ... and discussion around options.

We love everything about apps - if you have a question about the cost of an iOS app or an Android app , give us a buzz or send an email. It will be a pleasure to help you.

Posted by Simon Fortescue

Simon is passionate about helping businesses leverage technology to outstrip industry growth norms.

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