Android vs. iOS App Development: Android is Cheaper for Small Businesses, But iOS Has Benefits

 Almost two-thirds of small businesses that built a mobile app for less than $30,000 (63%) developed exclusively for Android operating systems, compared to only 41% of companies that developed an iOS app for the same price, according to a new report from Top Design Firms, a directory of digital agencies.

Top Design Firms surveyed small business owners and managers to learn about the cost of developing a mobile app. The data reveals that it is less expensive to develop for Android than iOS and to outsource app development than perform it in-house.

The exact cost of app development, however, varies significantly based on each small business’s specific needs and location.

Dawei Li, outsourcing strategist for, an outsourcing consultancy, says that in Android’s favor is reduced cost, while native iOS apps allow for inclusion on the App Store.

Overall, he expects that many small businesses will decide to develop for both iOS and Android operating systems.

“Recent advancement in software development has allowed developers to build both iOS and Android apps using one code base instead of two, saving development hours and cost,” Li said.

Android apps have traditionally been more expensive for businesses, but frameworks such as React Native and Flutter are increasingly allowing businesses to cost-efficiently develop for both iOS and Android.

Outsourcing App Development Less Expensive Than In-House Development

  • About half of small businesses (49%) that outsourced to an app development company spent $30,000 or less to develop their app. Only 33% of small businesses that build a mobile app in-house matched that price.

John Ross, chief executive of Test Prep Insight, an online education company, says there are two reasons to outsource app development:

  1. Expertise: App developers are highly specialized and outsourcing offers efficiencies you can’t get in-house
  2. Cost: When you outsource an app development project, you can often get a fixed price proposal, capping your project costs and limiting your financial risk
  • For Ross’s company and many other small businesses, outsourcing app development serves to avoid the cost of hiring new employees and managing their work.
  • Still, some small businesses are willing to bear the cost of in-house app development in order to ensure quality.

“Having people who understand your business model and can easily work with the rest of your team is important,” said Daivat Dholakia, director of operations at Force by Mojio, a GPS fleet tracking service. “[An in-house team] can ensure your app will be of good quality.”

  • Overall, app development costs depend on a company’s unique specifications and preferences.

Read the full report here:

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About Author

Leigh Porter's first love is to love people. Beginning her career as a neonatal RN was an obvious choice until life threw the curve ball to embark on a new IT endeavor. Pursuing this fresh career was a piece of cake with her resilient and steadfast character. Outside of the office, Leigh also diligently gives much of her time faithfully as a nationally awarded volunteer leader to a very dear to her heart organization.