iPhone Mobile App Development Cost

Brett MillerMobile Development, Software Development0 Comments

I am often asked “What Does an iPhone Mobile App Development Cost?”.

Developers for iPhone apps basically come in three tiers arranged by the minimum project size they will consider. Pricing models from these reputable vendors group these tiers as follows …

  • $4 – 12k (lowest level): iPhone development hourly rates usually between $40-70/hr. There are qualified vendors out there who operate within these lower price points, but you should also be aware that there is a greater risk of problems occurring from sub-standard practices and/or limited levels of expertise. If you are operating with restrictive budgetary constraints and find yourself at this level be prepared to take on more of the onus for success. Diligent vendor pre-qualification, detailed specifications and ongoing project involvement are a must.
  • $12 – 35k (moderate level): Vendors with iPhone development hourly rates in the range of $70-110/hr. This is the level where you will find most vendors. Typically this level engenders qualified personnel, solid project experience, reasonable iPhone development costs, and the ability to help you structure and manage your project.
  • $35k and up (elite vendors): Hourly Rates around $100-180 per hour for iPhone development services. Elite spectrum vendors will typically deliver more visually enticing apps, with all the bells and whistles, and typically with the least amount of programming time. These vendors have the best qualified programmers and graphic designers, plus they have proven corporate record and extensive experience. You will pay a premium for that experience and expertise … but depending on project imperatives this may be your best path to success.

iPhone Mobile App Development Cost – Fixed Bid or Hourly Rates

Typically iPhone development projects are done on a fixed bid basis because these applications have fewer user capabilities and back-end integration requirements then their computer based counterparts. Therefore vendors can be more accurate in their estimates. But be aware that in a fixed bid the vendor must pad their price in order to protect themselves from unforeseen costs. Inversely, the structure where vendors simply provide an estimate based on their hourly rate will be lower because the cost of overruns (if any) is passed through to the client.

Low End Freelancers, Offshore vendors, and Online Bidding

This model is not for the faint of heart. Failure rates are estimated to be near 75% and sub standard results are the norm. If the price seems to good to be true, it probably is. I would avoid this model under all reasonable/normal circumstances.

Do It Yourself iPhone Development Tools

There are many online tools that are free or inexpensive. These can obviously be used to attempt to control most app development costs. The problem in this model is twofold; success depends on understand the myriad of options that might be available and having the technical acumen to get them to work. Learning the limitations and appropriate applications can be daunting. The do-it-yourself concept is akin to learning to do the maintenance and repairs on your car; probably not the best idea.

Your Project’s App Development Costs

Get qualified vendors via referral. Make sure the referring party has actually worked with that vendor in the past and even then … check that vendor’s track record as a further assurance that they will be able to deliver on your project objectives. Have this resource (or resources) put together a detailed quote on your project and then you will have your answers.

I would be happy to provide referrals to qualified companies (that I know are talented and affordable) based on your budget and project requirements. Please fill out my contact us page (or email me at [email protected]) if you would be interested in such an introduction.


Here’s a video update I put together on iPhone App development Costs in April 2014:

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