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Businesses in the Australian market are always looking to bet on trending technology such as iOS. They are building mobile apps for Apple devices to take advantage of this. More than 12 million Australians currently use the iPhone or other Apple devices.

According to Statcounter, iOS has a 47.1% market share of mobile operating systems in Australia as of September 2023. This means that approximately 47 out of every 100 mobile phone users in Australia use an iPhone.

If you’re considering developing an iOS app for your business, you’re probably wondering, “How much does it cost to make an iOS app?”. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of iOS app development services can vary depending on several factors, such as the app’s complexity, the features you want to include, and the experience of the development team you choose.

This blog will provide an in-depth understanding of calculating iOS application development costs. We have decades of experience in the Australian market and worked with almost every industry. With our expertise, we provided information on every factor that affects the cost, including the hidden cost of building an iPhone app.

Let’s understand the factors that influence the average cost of iOS application development.

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Factors that determine the cost of iOS app development

To calculate the actual cost, we must consider various factors that affect the budget. Here are some of the critical factors that decide the cost of iOS app development in Australia. To keep it short, we cover every factor with two points and include other parameters in them.

1.App Complexity and Design

UI/UX Design Considerations

One of the most important factors in app development is the complexity. It decides the average iOS app development cost and includes important parameters like UI and UX design. Just like everything else, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why we need to focus on creating visually appealing designs that are user-friendly and easy to navigate. It requires more resources and time and can impact the cost of app development.

In-depth design work may involve graphic designers, UI/UX specialists, and multiple iterations to ensure the app’s aesthetics and usability meet your expectations and those of your target audience. Businesses looking to hire iOS app developers need to understand this as it can impact the iPhone application development cost.

Wireframing for Cost Estimation

Before we start the process of developing an iOS app, we need to build a blueprint; wireframe is the tech term for that. It helps visualize the app’s structure and layout, providing us with a clear view of the actual app. Wireframing helps us understand how users will interact with the app and how much it will cost to develop. It also helps us identify design challenges and requirements early on, which can save us money later.

When designers and developers work together on wireframes, they can make sure that the app’s design meets its intended functionality. This reduces the chance of costly changes during development. In other words, wireframing is a great way to save money and time on app development. It helps us understand the app’s design and functionality before we start coding, which can prevent costly mistakes later.

2.Platform and Device Compatibility

Testing for Various iOS Devices

Apple provides a wide range of devices that run on iOS, and we need to ensure that our app is compatible. This includes testing different devices like iPhone and iPad modes to check the app designs, functionalities and performance works on varying sizes and capabilities.

To ensure your iOS app works on all devices, you must test it thoroughly. This includes checking for layout discrepancies, UI scaling, and performance issues. Developers test real devices, emulators, and simulators to make sure that the app works as expected. In addition to device hardware, you also need to consider screen resolutions, aspect ratios, and other device-specific features that can affect the user experience.

Compatibility testing is important because it helps to ensure that your app works well on all iOS devices. By testing your app on a variety of devices, you can identify and fix any compatibility issues before your app is released. This will impact the overall cost of developing an app for Apple.

Ensuring Compatibility with Different OS Versions

iOS is constantly updated with new features and APIs, so developers must ensure that their apps remain compatible with the latest and earlier iOS versions. This can be complex and costly, as new OS versions can introduce changes in design guidelines, security requirements, and system behaviours. Developers need to adapt the app’s code to accommodate these changes and may need to create fallback mechanisms or conditionally adapt features to ensure a consistent user experience. This will change the iOS app development cost average and can be expensive, but it’s necessary.

3.Backend Development

Developing Server Infrastructure

The cost of developing and maintaining a server backend for your iOS app can be significant. This is because the server infrastructure includes components like databases, web servers, APIs, and cloud services. The choice of technology stack, server architecture, and scalability options can all impact iOS application development costs.

Building a reliable, high-performance server infrastructure requires careful planning, programming, and ongoing maintenance. It is also important to consider scalability and redundancy features to accommodate growth and ensure uninterrupted service.

Database Design and Its Cost Implications

The complexity of your iOS app’s database structure can significantly impact backend development costs. Database design involves decisions about data schemas, relationships, indexing, and performance optimization. More complex data models require more time and expertise to design and implement.

Other factors that contribute to the cost of backend development for the iOS app include data migration, backups, ongoing database maintenance, and scalability features for anticipated user data growth.

The cost of developing and maintaining a server backend for your iOS app can be high, but it is essential to ensure the performance and reliability of your app.

4.Third-Party Integrations

API Integration Costs

Using third-party services or APIs can speed up app development and save time but it comes with costs. Developers need to work with documentation, handle API endpoints, and set up authentication. The complexity of the integration depends on the quality of the documentation, the number of endpoints, and the level of functionality required. Additionally, developers should anticipate potential updates or troubleshooting as third-party APIs evolve, which can impact the project’s budget.

Licensing Fees for Third-Party Services

Third-party services come with licensing fees that should be factored into your budget. The licensing model, usage volume, and number of users impact your ongoing expenses. Track and manage these fees to prevent unexpected financial burdens during or after iOS application development.

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5.Data Security

Costs Associated with Data Encryption and Security

Securing user data is important but can lead to extra development work and costs. Robust encryption protocols are essential for data protection. Costs for encryption technologies, secure storage, and transmission depend on security levels and compliance standards. Maintenance of security features also adds to the long-term costs.

Implementing Authentication and Authorization

To secure user data, encryption alone is not enough. Secure authentication and authorization systems are essential, but they come with costs. These systems involve developing user authentication flows, password management, multi-factor authentication, and user account management features. Maintenance of such systems is also necessary to address security vulnerabilities, updates to security standards, and user access management, which increases the overall project cost.

6.Customization and Special Features

Cost Considerations for Unique Features

If your iOS app requires unique or highly customized features that are not readily available in standard libraries or frameworks, these will necessitate additional development time and cost. If you want your app to stand out from the crowd of millions of other iOS apps, adding something extra is a great choice. These features can include innovative interactive components or engaging user experiences.

However, designing, developing, and testing these features can increase the complexity and cost of developing an iPhone app. While custom features can set your app apart from the rest, it is important to budget for their development to avoid unexpected overruns in costs. Careful planning and consideration can ensure that your custom features are a worthwhile investment and do not compromise the project’s overall success.

Custom Functionality Development

Developing custom functionality for your iOS app requires a deep understanding of your business processes, goals, and user requirements. This could include specialized algorithms, intricate calculations, or specific integrations with internal systems. The complexity and scope of custom functionality can vary widely, so it is important to discuss these requirements with your development team to get a detailed cost estimate and timeline.

The cost of developing custom functionality for your iOS app will depend on the specific requirements of your project. However, it is important to invest in custom functionality if it is necessary to achieve your business goals and provide valuable experience to your users.

7.Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing is a critical step in the iOS app development process to ensure that the app meets user expectations and business objectives. It involves a variety of aspects, such as functional testing, performance testing, and security testing. The level of testing required depends on the app’s complexity and security needs. Rigorous testing can add to the development timeline and increase costs. However, ensuring that the app is free of bugs and glitches and provides a reliable and smooth user experience is essential.

User acceptance testing (UAT) is a critical phase where end-users or stakeholders test the app to ensure that it meets their expectations and requirements. UAT typically involves a select group of users who provide feedback on the app’s functionality, usability, and overall experience. UAT costs include the time and resources required to organize the testing process, collect feedback, and implement any necessary adjustments. Planning for UAT as part of the development budget is essential to ensure that the app meets user expectations and business objectives.

8.App Maintenance and Updates

Ongoing Maintenance Costs

Every iOS app requires ongoing maintenance to make sure it remains functional, secure and up to date. iOS developers monitor various issues and provide technical support to resolve any problems with the app. We must include maintenance costs with iOS app development as it’s a requirement.

Maintenance costs can vary based on the app’s complexity and the level of user support expected. In addition to the initial development cost, the total cost of building an iPhone app may also include expenses related to server hosting, domain registration, and maintaining SSL certificates for secure connections. Long-term maintenance is essential for ensuring the reliability of the app and its continued value to users, making it a critical aspect of the overall cost of iOS app ownership.

Support for New iOS Devices and OS Versions

iOS apps require regular updates to maintain compatibility with new devices and operating systems. This involves adapting the app’s layout, interface, and codebase to account for changes in screen sizes, resolutions, APIs, security requirements, and design guidelines. Failing to update your app can result in a subpar user experience, decreased functionality, or even inoperability.

Hidden Cost Associated with iOS development

Hidden Cost Associated with iOS development

App Store Fees

App Store fees comprise several hidden costs that can impact the financial aspects of your iOS app development project. This cost structure can substantially influence your app’s profitability, necessitating careful pricing strategies to mitigate the impact. Here is a breakdown of the actual costs associated with the App Store fees,

Initial one-time registration fee for the Apple Developer Program: $159 AUD

Annual renewal fee to keep your apps available on the App Store: $159 AUD

Revenue sharing for in-app purchases and subscriptions: Apple deducts 30% of the revenue from the first year of a subscription and 15% of the revenue from subsequent years. For in-app purchases, Apple deducts 15% of the revenue.

Third-Party Service Costs

Many iOS apps rely on third-party services to improve their functionality. These services often employ fee structures based on usage or subscription models. Therefore, it is important to budget for the cost of these services, as they can increase considerably as your user base grows.

Here is a table of estimated costs for some common third-party services,   

Table 1  

Service  Description  Estimated Cost Range (AUD) 
Payment Gateways  Stripe, PayPal, etc.  $500 – $2,000 (Setup fees) + 2-3% per transaction 
Analytics  Google Analytics, Firebase Analytics, etc.  $0 – $1,000 (Setup) + $50 – $200/month (Subscription) 
Maps and Location Services  Google Maps, Mapbox, etc.  $0 – $1,000 (Setup) + $0.005 – $0.25/user per month 
Social Media Integration  Facebook, Twitter, etc.  $0 – $500 (Setup) + $50 – $200/month (Subscription) 
Push Notifications  Apple Push Notification Service (APNs)  $0.99/month per 1,000 active devices 
Cloud Storage  Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, etc.  $0 – $100/month (Based on storage usage) 
Authentication  Firebase Authentication, AWS Cognito, etc.  $0 – $500 (Setup) + $0.50 – $2/user per month 
APIs  Third-party APIs for various functionalities  Varies greatly depending on API type and usage 
Security  Code signing certificates, vulnerability scanning, etc.  $50 – $500 per year 

Data Storage and Bandwidth

As your iOS app matures, data storage and bandwidth expenses can emerge as hidden costs. The more data your app accumulates, the more expensive server hosting and data storage can become, especially as your data retention policy and user activity increase. Simultaneously, data transfer costs, also known as bandwidth expenses, can surge with a growing user base, especially if your app involves the frequent transfer of data.

Here are the actual costs of some common data storage and bandwidth services in Australia,

Data Storage cost for iOS app Development 

Service  Tier/Plan  Monthly Cost (AUD)  Storage Capacity  Suitable for 
Amazon S3  Standard  $0.023/GB  Up to 5 TB  Low-traffic apps, static content, backups 
Amazon S3  Standard  $0.0125/GB  Over 5 TB  High-traffic apps, media content, user data 
Google Cloud Storage  Standard  $0.02/GB  Up to 5 TB  Low-traffic apps, static content, backups 
Google Cloud Storage  Coldline  $0.003/GB  Unlimited  Archival data, infrequently accessed data 
Microsoft Azure Blob Storage  Standard  $0.023/GB  Up to 5 TB  Low-traffic apps, static content, backups 
Microsoft Azure Blob Storage  Archive  $0.001/GB  Unlimited  Archival data, infrequently accessed data 

Bandwidth Cost for iOS app Development 

Service  Tier/Plan  Monthly Cost (AUD)  Data Transfer  Suitable for 
Amazon CloudFront  Free Tier  $0  Up to 12 TB/month  Low-traffic apps, static content 
Amazon CloudFront  Pay-as-you-go  $0.085/GB  Over 12 TB/month  High-traffic apps, dynamic content, user data 
Google Cloud CDN  Free Tier  $0  Up to 10 TB/month  Low-traffic apps, static content 
Google Cloud CDN  Pay-as-you-go  $0.08/GB  Over 10 TB/month  High-traffic apps, dynamic content, user data 
Microsoft Azure CDN  Standard  $0.085/GB  Up to 10 TB/month  Low-traffic apps, static content 
Microsoft Azure CDN  Pay-as-you-go  $0.08/GB  Over 10 TB/month  High-traffic apps, dynamic content, user data 

Scaling Infrastructure

As your iOS app experiences user growth, scaling the infrastructure becomes essential to handle increased traffic and maintain a smooth user experience. Scaling often involves provisioning additional server resources and configuring the infrastructure to accommodate the surge in users. While scaling is a necessary response to success, it can be a hidden cost that’s frequently underestimated. Failure to scale effectively may lead to performance issues, downtime, and a negative impact on user satisfaction. Therefore, it’s essential to proactively budget for and plan infrastructure scalability to meet growing demands.

How do you calculate the cost of your iOS app development project?

There is a simple formula to calculate the cost of any app development.

Cost = (Number of hours * Hourly rate) + Other costs

Let’s say you are developing a simple iOS app that will take 100 hours to develop. The hourly rate of the development team is $100 AUD per hour.

Cost = (100 hours * $100 AUD per hour) + Other costs

Cost = $10,000 AUD + Other costs

If the other costs are estimated to be $5,000 AUD, then the total cost of developing the app would be $15,000 AUD. To understand the average cost of iOS app development, let’s take an example of a dummy app.

Example: Calculating the Cost for an iOS App - "MyBudgetPal"

“MyBudgetPal” is an iOS app designed to help users track their personal finances, set budgets, and receive financial insights. Calculating the cost of developing this iOS app in Australia involves considering the following aspects,

UI/UX Design

The user interface and user experience design are critical for “MyBudgetPal.” A skilled UI/UX designer may charge $15,000 AUD to create an intuitive, visually appealing design that ensures a smooth user experience.

iOS Development Team

Hiring a team of iOS developers and engineers is essential. Depending on the complexity of the app, a team may cost between $120,000 AUD and $225,000 AUD for development.

Backend Development

To manage user data, transactions, and budgets, “MyBudgetPal” needs a robust backend infrastructure. Backend development, including server setup and database design, could cost $22,500 AUD. Ongoing hosting costs and database maintenance may add up to $7,500 AUD per year.

Third-Party Integrations

There will be integration fees if the app integrates with third-party services for functionalities like payment processing or analytics. For example, integrating Stripe for payment processing could involve a $750 AUD setup fee and transaction-based costs.

Security and Compliance

Data security is crucial in a finance app. Costs may include SSL certificate purchase ($750 AUD) and the implementation of encryption and security measures ($3,000 AUD).

Testing and Quality Assurance

Rigorous testing to ensure the app functions correctly is secure, and provides a smooth user experience is essential. Allocating $10,500 AUD for testing and quality assurance efforts is a prudent estimate.

App Maintenance and Updates

The app will require ongoing maintenance, updates, and bug fixes post-launch. Budgeting for yearly maintenance costs is a good practice, with an estimated cost of $7,500 AUD per year.

In this iOS app-specific example, the total estimated development cost for “MyBudgetPal” in Australia would range from approximately $175,000 AUD to $290,500 AUD for initial development and first-year maintenance.

Conclusion

Calculating the cost of developing an iOS application may seem like a daunting task, but it is all about understanding the different components that make up your project. It involves considering various factors such as design, backend development, testing, and more. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a realistic budget aligning with your business goals. It is important to remember that while the cost of iOS app development is crucial, it is equally essential to focus on the quality, user experience, and the value your app brings to your target audience. With careful planning and budgeting, you are well on your way to creating a successful iOS app for your business.

However, it is important to remember that this is just an estimate. The actual cost of developing your app may vary depending on your specific needs and the experience of the development team you choose.

Why Choose Vrinsoft Pty Ltd for iOS App Development in Australia?

Vrinsoft is a leading iOS app development company in Australia with over ten years of experience in developing high-quality and innovative apps for a wide range of clients. We have a team of experienced and skilled iOS developers who are passionate about creating apps that are both user-friendly and visually appealing.

FAQ

How much does it cost to build an iOS app?

The cost of iOS app development can vary depending on your requirements. However, we can provide an estimation that can help you with your budget. You can expect to pay between $30,000 and $250,000 AUD to develop an iOS app in Australia.

What factors affect the average cost of iOS App development?

There are several factors that impact the cost of development, such as complexity, design, backend development and more. This factor will decide the cost of your app development or the success of your iOS app.

How much does it cost to maintain an app in Australia?

The cost of maintaining an app in Australia varies depending on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the app, the frequency of updates, and the level of support required. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between 15% and 20% of the initial development cost per year for app maintenance. Here is a table for app maintenance costs to help you understand further,   

Cost Component  Estimated Cost Range (AUD per year)  Notes 
Bug fixes and minor updates  $10,000 – $20,000  Hourly rates of developers vary, depends on complexity and frequency of fixes. 
Feature updates and enhancements  $20,000 – $50,000+  More complex than bug fixes, cost increases with feature scope. 
Infrastructure and platform fees  $500 – $2,000  Includes server costs, cloud storage, and third-party services. 
App Store/Google Play fees  $99/year (Apple) + $25 (Android)  Annual subscription fees for app stores. 
Security and compliance  $5,000 – $10,000  Vulnerability scans, penetration testing, and compliance with regulations. 
Marketing and user engagement  $5,000 – $50,000+  App store optimization, social media marketing, and user retention campaigns. 

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