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Cost of Application Development: iOS vs Android

According to Google Trends, "app development cost" is one of today's most popular search terms in the United States and UK, with regional interest rates reaching 100 and 94 respectively.

app development cost google trend, app development cost interest over time

Since iOS and Android are indisputably the two major mobile ecosystems as of now, let's see what makes up the app development cost for each of them, and how it can actually be reduced.

Apart from DIY approach when you just choose an app builder online, drag and drop whatever features you want to see in your app, and pay a monthly subscription fee for getting some sort of app support and maintenance, there's just one way for any  business willing to look serious with their apps - custom app development either in-house or by a 3rd party with sufficient expertise and resources. Custom app development prices vary, too, depending on the required set of features,  functionality, and geography.

Assuming you stick to the market prices and are ready to pay something between $80 and $100 per man-hour of work, a very simple app with a basic set of features such as stock or template-based user interface (UI), email login, user profiles and ability to sync data across different Apple or Android-based devices will cost for app development around $20,000. Yet, such an app is very unlikely to bring you any profits, as users are rarely attracted by mobile apps that look like DIY ones. While monetizing such apps is something out of the ordinary, they're are still good for presenting your business to users or sharing your personal stuff in the mobile space.

Android & iOS application development Cost

However, if your iOS or Android app is part of your overall corporate mobile strategy and is aimed at boosting your business and/or increasing user loyalty, you should think of your app development budget in terms of sustainability and ROI it'll provide. It's a myth that high cost of app development will guarantee its quality and success in the marketplace and, vice versa, low prices inevitably lead to poor quality. Development provider's expertise and access to resources are what you should consider first and foremost prior to planning your app development project budget. A local US-based provider will charge you something between $60 and $150 per may-hour for the only reason - made in the USA. In the UK, providers will charge you £60-£80 per hour for your app development, and in Eastern Europe, a regular hourly price for the same quality job will range from $20 to $50 (for more app developer salary details please see my earlier blog post). As you can see, in many cases the cost of your iOS or Android development depends on your choice of the place where it'll actually be built.

The infographic below is based on our rough estimate of your Android or iOS app development cost given your development budget is $80-$100 per man-hour. If it's a must for your app to be made in the USA (or Canada, UK, Germany, etc), be ready to invest a lot into custom app's UI/UX design and functionality development, and don't forget to include the cost of QA and testing, as well as promotion within a certain app store.

Read about our Chicago mobile app development.

Yet, if you're looking for a high quality, bugs-free and sustainable app able to bring you instant value in a long run - you should definitely look beyond your national borders to countries with cheaper iOS and Android developers, as you'll be able to either build a more cutting-edge functionality for the same money, or allocate a larger budget to your app promotion without sacrificing your OPEX.

App development cost: iOS vs Android

Basic Features

Feature iOS Android
App development cost 03 stock / template-based interface $5000 $5000
App development cost mail E-Mail login $1500 $1500
App development cost 06 sync data across devices $6000 $6000
App development cost 07 user profiles $6000 $6000
App development cost 08 custom app icon design $500 $500

Advanced Features

Feature iOS Android
App development cost 10 custom user interface $13000 $12000
App development cost 11 social login $3000 $3000
App development cost 12 in-app paymants $6500 $6000
App development cost 13 shopping cart $13000 $12000
App development cost 14 product review / rating system $6000 $6000
App development cost 15 dashboard $6500 $6000
App development cost 16 camera $6000 $6000
App development cost 17 messaging $5000 $4000
App development cost 18 geolocation $6000 $6000
App development cost 19 gallery: photo / video $4000 $4000
App development cost 20 calendar integration $5000 $4000
App development cost 21 3rd party API integration $16000 $15000

App Admin Features

admin Feature iOS Android
CMS $19000 $18000
Moderation $8000 $7000
Reporting $9000 $9000
User administration $12500 $10000
Payment administration $9000 $9000
Ticketing system $15000 $15000

Rough Project Estimates

application development cost Feature iOS Android
Basic App $19000 $19000
Advanced App $62000 $59000
Complex App $176000 $166000
Do you have a mobile project idea and need help putting together a technical requirements specification?
Vik is our Brand Journalist and Head of Online Marketing / PR with 11+ years of international experience in IT B2B. He's also a guest blog contributor to Business2community, SitePoint, Journal of mHealth, Wearable Valley and other IT portals.