Is Building a Custom Mobile App for iOS Cheaper Than For Android?

android and iOS

Nowadays, people can’t imagine their lives without smartphones. And it’s only logical, as there are applications for everything: chatting, reading news, watching movies, or checking weather forecasts. Any information you need can be accessed through pocket devices in a matter of seconds.

Of course, advanced and innovative programs also help to push technological progress further. Just take a look at how fast the concepts like virtual and augmented reality have become popular. Only 10 years ago both of these technologies were seen as marvels. But today, few people will be surprised if you show them VR games or AR programs that “add” objects into real environments.

Now, you may think that all of these apps are created by their owners from scratch. And you’re partially right because it’s always app owners who come up with brilliant ideas that they want to turn into real programs. However, not all of them are programming geniuses. In fact, many entrepreneurs that push software onto the market don’t even know how to code.

How do they make applications then? The answer is simple. They turn to custom mobile app development companies that have all the skills and experience that are needed to create flawless software. Today, there are plenty of such services on the market, and all of them are always ready to take on any project of yours.

Android vs. iOS

However, one of the biggest dilemmas of the whole custom mobile app development industry is still “Android or iOS?”. Speaking about the platforms themselves, there are plenty of differences. For example, Android provides much more flexibility, while iOS offers more security and a better app market.

Speaking about sheer numbers, the custom mobile app cost for iOS is usually lower. This is due to the simple fact that developing programs for Apple platforms is more convenient. After all, they even have a dedicated Apple-support programming language. It’s called Swift, and it has a flat learning curve.

Yet, it would be a mistake to say that all iOS programs cost less and are better than their Android counterparts. Ask any custom mobile app development services, and they will tell you that every single application is unique and that the price should be calculated for each project. Anyway, if your project is explicitly connected to iOS programs, hire iOS app developers to coordinate the project.

The Determining Factors


Start with determining the main functions of your future program. Ask yourself questions like: “What is the main idea?”, “Will there be any supplementary features?”, “Do I need third-party integrations?”. Once you have a comprehension of what the goal of the software is, come up with a particular function for it.

For example, if you want to create a social media platform, the key features include the ability to chat with other users and share some information with them. Also, consider adding things like photo/video uploads and so on. Keep in mind though that the more innovative your project is, the harder it will be to understand how it should work.

Also, speaking about integrations, you should always remember that implementing already existing systems may save you tons of time. For instance, if you need a payment system, it’s much more convenient to use the ones present on the market, instead of developing one from scratch.


The size of the program itself is determined by the efficiency of code and the complexity of the features, that’s pretty obvious. What is less obvious, however, is the size of the database you’ll need to support all the workload. One needs to understand how big their user base will be.

That’s where you need to think again about the main idea of the application and its target audience. The best idea is to always convey market research before even starting calculating the price of the project. It will help you to get an idea of how popular your product can become and how many users there will be at specific stages of the project. Of course, you need to account for marketing too, which isn’t always predictable enough.

So, the best solution is to account for a database that will support 50% more users than your initial predictions. This way you will be able to safely adjust to the rapid growth of popularity. Don’t worry too much, though. Most custom mobile app developers on the market know how to deal with upscaling. Even in the case if your initial database is not big enough, or the software itself cant work with so many clients, these specialists will manage to update the code to suit new circumstances.

Other Factors

Size and the complexity of the features aren’t the only things that can impact the cost, though. It’s just that they can be easily ruled out at the beginning. You still need to look at many other things, like:

  • Security
  • Visual content
  • Interface complexity
  • Maintenance plan
  • Hired service location
  • Update/upgrade strategy


The price of hiring a custom mobile app development company and creating a project from scratch is a crucial factor. Yet, the profitability of your future product is much more important to take into account.

It’s a fact that Android is the most popular OS in the world. However, it’s also a fact that AppStore is a much more profitable market than its Android counterpart. Why so? Well, it’s statistically proven that Apple device users tend to spend much more money on in-app purchases. And it’s logical, as most people choose Apple products because they appeal as more “premium” and have higher quality, even though it comes with a higher price.

On the other side, software launched on Android’s PlayMarket tends to have higher ad revenue. This is due to the fact that there are many more users that can tap on an ad and visit the website behind it.

So, to use this difference to your advantage, you should either plan to monetize in-app purchases if you’re going with iOS or build a strategy that will allow many paid advertisements inside the software.

Types of Software

Another crucial point to understand if you want to become a proud app owner is the difference between different types of software. There are 3 of them:

  • Hybrid
  • Native
  • Web

The easiest of the 3 is the web type. Basically speaking, it’s a website, but in the form of an application. Most of such apps only work with Internet access and have very limited possibilities. For example, it’s pretty hard to create a well-optimized mobile game in the form of web software. This type suits best for things like social media platforms and other services that require internet connection.

Native software is made to suit the specifics of a particular program and to make use of all of its advantages. Such apps can be really creative and have tons of innovative solutions inside them. If you’re planning on creating something really unique and outstanding, then this is the option for you.

The last type is called hybrid, and it’s made to work on many different platforms. This is the go-to option for those who want to have the largest user pool and the ones who aren’t planning on implementing complex features.

Summing Up

Getting back to the initial question “is creating a bespoke program for iOS cheaper than for Android?”, the answer is yes, it is. Yet, you shouldn’t make the decision on which platform to choose based on this factor only. There are plenty of other things one needs to account for to make the right decision. So, build a well-thought strategy, determine as many aspects of the project as you can, and choose an OS that fits your plans the most!

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.