Start-ups and well-developed businesses, no matter how small or big, can ill-afford to neglect the vitality of Apple’s App Store market. There is just so much to be gained – both in revenue and industry visibility – from iOS app development that meets trending criteria.
Apple has a reputation for creating upscale, lifestyle products of higher quality. The business of iOS app development has become a multi-million dollar industry. Likewise, the resulting high-profile of having your app featured in AppStore is something that can’t be expressed in income figures.
That is how brands – in the most positive and awe-inspiring sense of the term – are formed.
If you are an independent iPhone app development firm, a “one-man show” seeking ways to board the bustling App Store market or a business in need of a cutting-edge, game-changing app, there are things you should know before entering this highly competitive game.
You might be in two minds regarding regulations, expenses and target audience for your apps – or something else entirely.
Either way, this article is for you, for we got it all covered!
Apple App Store: How Does It Work?
The place to begin attaining knowledge for your iOS app development journey is – right at the source! After all, it’s best to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Apple’s site section dedicated to developers, offers tools, resources, frameworks and precious documentation all for free. Of course, only applications that can be integrated seamlessly with virtually any device have a chance of making it big.
Therefore, Apple offers learning material on how to conduct app development for a variety of devices:
- Apple Watch
- even Apple TV!
The key resources for designing, developing and, ultimately, distributing a quality end-product are Xcode and Swift. These robust tools are necessary for writing good code and building interfaces that require the least amount of said coding.
Of course, once created, apps have to go through a very rigorous line of checks and approvals. A team of experts in the App Review division is reviewing and approving (or disproving) every app that is submitted for inclusion in the App Store.
Sometimes these reviews can be escalated to a higher tier called Executive Review Board, led by Apple marketing leaders. The reasoning behind this, as the company itself claims, is that iPhone and iPad users can have full trust in the quality and security of apps they are downloading.
Using the resources given free of charge may be just the beginning and, for most, it may not be enough. From $99 per year, businesses and iOS app development experts can become a part of the Apple Developer Program. Which brings us to our next point…
How Much Does iOS App Development Cost?
As with anything cost-related, this too can get somewhat tricky. The average cost of developing a smartphone application depends on several factors and what drives them can be summed up with:
- The level of app development complexity (whether it’s basic, middle of the road or complex)
- How prolific the company is (a new business looking for it place under the sun or well-established veterans of the industry)
- The sophistication of design and its customization
- App infrastructure and backend
- Features and platform the app is made for
- The geographical location of the app development company
- Team size (how many project managers, UIUX designers, developers, and QA specialists it has)
So, the question is – how do you estimate the cost of iOS app development process?
Generally speaking, businesses seeking to board this cutting-edge vertical will need to cash out anything between $5,000 and $300,000 for a team of developers to plan, design, engineer, test and deploy an iOS app.
That is quite a gap! And it’s justified by the key factors listed above. Assuming you are in a business that wishes to be a proud owner of a sturdy, reliable end-product, the cost of a medium complexity app might exceed the $70,000 mark.
Depending on app functionality and complexity, a different hourly rate will be applied to the final cost. The question of time invested in iPhone app development and implementation of its features is a delicate one.
Looking at it very loosely, the time needed for developing an Apple app from scratch ranges like this:
- 400-750 hours for a simple functionality application
- 750-1100 for medium complexity application
- well over 1200 hours for apps of high complexity
Adding high-end features that boost user engagement, payment processing, user log in and so forth, naturally, increases the time needed to complete the app and, consequently, the going rate.
There are, of course, other costs developers should be wary about, related to actually hosting the app in App Store which has a fee of $99 per year.
Due to the store’s policy of taking a percentage of your sales, as your sales volume increases, the question of fee expenses will become less significant over time.
And speaking in terms of return of investment, in May 2019, the average price of apps in the App Store was $0.88. In 2019, the most popular iOS app category was gaming apps which came with an average price of 49 cents, even though a majority of 3.2 million apps (the current number estimate for App Store) are free to download.
Apple User Demographics: How To Find Target Audience For Your iOS Appplication Development
It is no secret that Apple users are a very specific group of consumers – and you should think in terms of this every step of the way as you plan your iOS app development steps!
Communicating with this niche and understanding it in the way that really speaks to it is essential. iPhone and iPad users value cutting-edge design, trendy features, and the feeling of always being at the vanguard of the mobile app user scene.
A survey conducted by Google unveiled methods US consumers use to discover (and stay true to) new apps, and five most common were:
- Their family or friends are using them
- Browsing App Store
- Recommended to them by App Store
- Saw an ad in another application
- Read about them
When considering the design of your Apple Store app, always address the following concerns:
- What can I offer that my industry‘s competitors lack?
- Decide on design according to your demographics’ age group (minimalism and simplicity works with an older audience, vibrancy is for younger ones)
- Convey and employ emotions in order to make people actually use your application
- App Store Optimization (a creative title, description with just the right keywords, a cool icon design, screenshots and videos, choosing the right category for it…)
Some of the ways you can promote your iOS app to the correct audience are:
- Creation of in-app and online ads (social media marketing, paid or free, also does the trick)
- A PR marketing strategy (e-mail campaigns, being featured on specialized content platforms, blogs and online magazines…)
Of course, to define the “correct audience” in the first place is no easy feat. It requires thorough market research which is absolutely imperative before you get to the gist of your audience’s behavior, tastes, and general lifestyle.
Some ways to do this is by conducting surveys and research, building app monetization policies, connecting directly to the focus group and combining the mobile VP with user feedback.
Numerous studies have been conducted on App Store user behavior. Generally divided into two categories – of those Decisive vs Explorative – users react differently to exploring a product page. They even react specifically to a different layout of product pages.
Remember, getting your data and stats right is pivotal in order to prosper in this incredibly competitive industry.
iOS App Development Pros And Cons For Your Enterprise
Let us first discuss the reasons WHY a modern-day business enterprise needs an iPhone/iPad application.
Besides the obvious reason such as return on investment and enhancing levels of revenue and income, having a well-rated iOS app also:
- Increases your brand recognition and value
- Extends business’ reach and footprint on an up-scale market and platform
- Apple’s innovative reputation reflects on your businesses
- Arguably unrivaled performance and great consumer experience
- Access to an audience that is tech-savvy
- Very high ROI
With that said, several key advantages of iOS app development could be regarded as:
- Best User Experience – a top-notch customer service backed with constant app development life cycle maintenance and synergy of hardware and software make for spotless performance.
- Market Presence in Most Developed Nations – Apple is often accused of being “elitist”, but this is mere because their high-end products are popular in markets where the business return on investment rate is very high due to a high standard of living. The iOS user is willing to spend more, therefore, revenue from app development’s end result is consequently higher.
- Loyal Base – Apple enthusiasts are a loyal bunch, and who wouldn’t want to have access to a consumer base that values such a virtue (so you can value it back)? It naturally follows that iOS users are also, in general, happy users. As iPhone and iPad apps work smoothly, the chances are you too will be a happy app provider!
- Security – Big thing nowadays. Upholding user identity and privacy, protecting users (and businesses) from any external threat such as viruses, hacking, phishing and malware is taken with utmost seriousness in AppStore which enforces and adheres to the most strict of safety requirements. iPhone app development teams should take it seriously too.
- Cheaper and faster development (compared to Android) – Thanks to Apple’s programming language, Swift, developing an iOS app is up to 40% faster and even less expensive than creating Android apps which are coded in more demanding and generally sluggish Java.
Naturally, it is necessary to point out to some downsides of native iOS app development:
- Higher costs of maintenance in case the app support a wider range of Apple devices
- Apps can only be developed on Mac OS X
- App Store has very strict guidelines that change often so the process of getting applications added to the store can be tiresome
- Small developers with a tight budget may have to rely on simulators in order to test their apps because Apple devices are costly
Finding the right balance between these advantages and disadvantages is what will provide the right outline for the business plan of iOS app development procedure.
iOS App Development Stats And Trends To Follow – Plus, Useful Tips
Although it is difficult to optimize conversion rates in a world polarized by desktop and mobile consumption, there are some hard facts obtained from years and millions of sessions worth of analysis. These help shed light on matters such as understanding the App Store, visitor flow and some general trends pointing to the future of iOS app development.
The most comprehensive study thus far has shown what we all already know:
The first impression counts!
To elaborate, it can make a difference of 35% in conversion rates if Apple users are enticed to explore your app more upon landing on its page, so app development agencies should strive to maximize decisive install rates.
What’s more, most users only read the first line of description – meaning, business marketers must highlight crucial functionality and features for the app in its first three lines of description.
The way to make this count is by adjusting your app’s page’s layout to iOS preferences. There is a difference in how App Store app page looks compared to Google Play and since 60% of users won’t scroll past the first impression, businesses, decision-makers, and developers should work together to:
- Make it clear what the app is for in 3-6 seconds of the user viewing it
- Be direct and state your purpose in this first impression (this will divide users into “Deciders” who will either leave or install immediately and “Explorers” who will continue exploring to get more info)
- Because layout in App Store differs to that in Google Play, iOS app development firms must use different creatives in former in order not to lose estimated 20%-30% installs in iOS which happens when creatives are used in both shops is exactly the same
- Using a video in the app’s description increases install rates by over 25% (users who watch a video are 3 times more likely to install the app)
- Expand global apps through localization. Treating each market (country) specifically yields results because although the entire world now seems like one single market, different cultures have different habits.
- Creative design of app page should be frequently refreshed
Recent studies show that, on average, a person has over 80 apps installed on their phone, with 175 billion downloaded annually. In fact, in the US, consumers now spend more time using apps than watching TV.
Gaming apps take the cake when it comes to popularity (37% in market share), and are followed by, in this very particular order by
- Social (25%)
- Music (23%)
- News (6%)
- Travel (6%)
- Utility (3%)
A fact revealing just why it’s so important for your iOS app development process to capture the imagination and attention of the user is this: as much as 65% of iOS app downloads come from App Store browsing.
Takeaways On iOS Application Development
Jumping on the iOS app development and App Store bandwagon makes all the sense in the world – if done right! Although complying with numerous regulations and Apple Guidelines (which have been subject to quite an overhaul in the summer of 2019) might be a tad difficult – the fruit of this labor is sweet!
For one, adopting the industry’s highest practices means getting a top-performing app whose productivity and security are setting industry standards. Also, a whole new world of unique demographic opens up and being able to analyze it and predict its behavior is a stepping stone to success.
Taking that first step towards turning your dream app from mere fantasy to reality is a painstaking process…but we can help!
We’ve ranked the top iOS app development companies that can boost your brand awareness and expand your business. Find them here!