Creating your future in a rapidly evolving tech world involves developing innovative mobile applications. When it comes to mobile app development, the iOS platform stands as a lucrative frontier for many businesses.

However, the central issue is the escalating cost of hiring in-house iOS developers. Statista highlighted that the average salary of an iOS developer in the US is around $125,000 per year. 

Screenshot taken from Statista

That's a steep price for startups and even some established companies to afford. To navigate this financial burden, many companies are turning toward offshore iOS development as a viable alternative. According to the Global Outsourcing Survey by Deloitte, 76 percent of businesses outsource IT functions. 

With the different iOS app development trends, choosing the top iOS development company can boil down to their iOS developers. So, how much will it cost to get the best talent? 

Benefits of Hiring Offshore iOS Developers

Top iOS app development companies often suggest offshore development to get quality work without breaking the bank.

Why? Hiring an offshore developer has several advantages, and here are some of them: 


First off, hiring a developer from other regions may be more cost-effective. 

Skilled workers from developed countries often have higher rates, largely because of the cost of living. As mentioned above, US-based iOS developers have an hourly salary of $62.50 per hour. When you hire someone from the Philippines, you will only pay a fraction of this amount. With the current industry rate, you may only need to pay about $20-$30 per hour.

Access to a global talent pool 

Tapping into a global talent pool offers companies a strategic advantage. Different backgrounds can enrich the workforce with diverse skills and perspectives that can drive innovation and creative problem-solving.

If you want to target Chinese app users, hire developers from China or nearby regions because they will know what features and functionalities will be well-received by those living in China. They have a better understanding of the cultural nuances. In short, they are the best ones to translate these into the iOS development process. 

Time zone advantages 

Having teams in different time zones means work on the iOS development continues around the clock. 

For instance, when the in-house team finishes their day in the US, an offshore team in Asia is just starting theirs. This can lead to faster project turnaround and more efficient use of time. Essentially, you always have someone working on the project, and this is a huge advantage if you’re working on time-sensitive developments. 

Of course, there are also disadvantages to such a setup.

Working with an offshore team can sometimes lead to misunderstandings due to language and cultural differences. Even when both parties speak English, nuances and colloquialisms can be lost in translation. 

While risks are associated with offshore development, the benefits often outweigh them, especially in cost and resource optimization.

The digital era has paved the way for a more interconnected world. It’s now possible to source talent from any corner of the globe. Given these factors, you may ask, “How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer?” The answer is multifaceted and depends on various factors. 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Hiring an Offshore iOS Developer 

When comparing how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer, consider the following: 

1. Hourly rates 

Hourly rates depend on the developer’s location, experience, and expertise. For example, the cost of hiring developers from Eastern Europe may be cheaper than employing one from the US. However, their rate of $30 to $50 per hour may still be higher than their Asian counterparts. 

If you compare the rates, you can secure the expertise of an Asian-based iOS developer for only $20 to $40 per hour. 

One important thing to note when comparing rates is the output. While you want to get the most cost-effective rate, you still have to factor in their quality of work. 

Sometimes, you may be tempted to lowball a developer. You may experience issues during the development process. Or worse, encounter problems at the height of the app development. This means that you may have to rehire a new developer and re-do the entire process. That’s an added cost on your end. 

So, if you compute how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer, you will know that it all boils down to quality and turnaround time. 

Some businesses go for a fixed price per project since it allows them to have cost certainty. They can have customized billing on the job scope, including the timeline. 

Such contracts provide a clear answer to how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer. 

2. Project complexity

If you’re going for an hourly rate, you must consider the project’s complexity. For example, a simple application with basic functionality and minimal UI/UX design will require fewer work hours. 

Think about it: a simple development project can take roughly two to four months. So, if you’re paying someone from Asia with an hourly rate of $40, you have to shell out $12,800 to $51,200 for the project. 

A more complex application with advanced features, custom creations, and integrations with third-party services will be more time-intensive. Given the same scenario above, a complex project with a working span of nine months at the minimum. In such a case, you may need to pay your offshore iOS developer $57,600 and up. 

Before committing to an iOS developer, have a clear understanding and documentation of your project’s requirements. This way, it’ll be easier to communicate your expectations to the offshore developer, lessening the back and forth. This clarity helps get accurate cost estimates and ensures that both parties are on the same page about the project’s scope. 

3. Team size 

How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer? If you plan on hiring an offshore agency, consider the size of the development team. You may want to work with a larger team if you have complex projects with tight deadlines. 

Initial costs may be higher since you have to pay more people. Still, it is cost-effective. You have more hands on deck to expedite the development process. This means the faster you can launch the app, the earlier you can start revenue generation. 

As with any project, ensure the team or developer has the requisite skills and resources. You want to hire a developer or team that can handle all important aspects of the project. You have one team working on design and development to testing and deployment. 

4. Expertise and experience 

Think about skills and experience when weighing how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer. More experienced developers may do things faster with higher quality, but it also means paying a premium. Here’s a breakdown of the cost based on experience:

Entry-level developers: Junior developers have less than two years of professional experience. They may charge an hourly rate of $20 to $40. 

Skills-wise, their know-how may be limited to the basics of iOS development. This means they may require more guidance and supervision. While they can be more affordable, hiring one may not be advisable if you don’t have the resources for training. 

Mid-level developers: These developers have a more solid grasp of iOS development that allows them to charge $50 to $70 an hour. With two to five years of experience, they have likely worked on various iOS development projects with success.

If you’re working on an app with average difficulty, mid-level developers offer a good balance between cost and expertise. They bring a reasonable experience level without the high costs associated with senior developers. 

Senior developers: These are seasoned professionals with over five years of iOS development experience. Hiring them means benefitting from an extensive knowledge of iOS development, including best practices and design patterns. They are also well-versed in optimization techniques. 

Another advantage of hiring one is the leadership and mentorship capabilities they bring to the table. These capabilities contribute to the overall efficiency and productivity of the offshore development team that you work with. In some cases, they will be enough to also serve as the project manager. 

Of course, the extensive skills and experience of senior developers come at a higher cost. They may have an hourly rate ranging from $80 to $150. This cost may be prohibitive for smaller businesses or projects with tight budgets. 

Note that highly skilled senior developers are in great demand. So don’t be surprised if you find it hard to find or hire one. 

For a more effective iOS development team, consider hiring at least one junior and senior developer to bring balance. 

How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer? Additional Costs To Consider

To arrive at the proper figures of how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer, you also need to figure out indirect costs. Here are some of these additional expenses: 

Project management 

How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer? Aside from their salary, you must also account for the tools you must have to ensure project implementation. Think about communication and project management tools. 

If you’re working with a small team, you may opt for the free version of Slack and Jira. These tools ensure on-time project completion. As these are free versions, they come with limitations. You should still be ready to scale them as the need arises. 

Quality assurance checks 

Another non-negotiable when thinking of app development is the QA process. The process ensures the final product meets all specifications and quality standards. This step is a must to identify potential bugs and issues before the app goes live. 

Besides hiring a developer, you must also have a QA person in charge of running a range of tests. This includes unit and integration testing. They need access to various tools and devices to test the iOS application under different scenarios.

Testing may indeed be time-consuming. However, skipping this step can result in a subpar product and a risk of potential reputational damage. 

While this doesn't directly affect the cost of hiring a developer, it indicates if you’re working with the right developer. You want someone who can develop an app that follows a smooth iterative process. 

Overhead costs 

No matter the scale of the app development process, be ready for any unforeseen instances. For example, you might need to purchase licenses for development tools or software. If the project requires additional server space or specific hardware, factor them against your overhead costs. 

Set aside a portion of the budget for unexpected expenses or challenges that might arise. Accounting for these miscellaneous overheads ensures you have a buffer for unforeseen costs. 

Ways To Minimize Risk and Maximize ROI of Hiring an iOS Developer

“How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer?” Answering this question means having a good strategy in mind. Here are some that can help: 

1. Prepare a budget

Before looking for a developer, you should have a budget in mind. How much are you willing to pay a developer to bring your idea to life? A well-defined budget provides a clear framework for you and the developers, setting expectations from the outset. 

When calculating your budget, you may want to do revenue forecasting to assess proper financial boundaries. The idea is to have all crucial areas of the project have adequate funds.

With a set budget, you are in a stronger position to negotiate rates and services with potential developers or agencies. 

However, if an urgent hurdle comes up, it’s also worth noting that companies can leverage cash out refinance. Having another source of funds can cover all aspects of the development process. In a way, it can help you address the concern of “how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer.”

2. Conduct thorough vetting 

How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer? By now, you know rates depend on geographical location and expertise. That’s why you should never forget the vetting process. You want to ensure the developer you plan to work with has the skills, experience, and ethics that match your needs. 

Use technical tests or coding challenges to verify the developer's skills. See their portfolio and check previous work to ensure they meet your standards. It’s also helpful to consult previous clients or employers. This will help you to get a sense of their work habits and reliability.

Aside from vetting their skills, you should also check their cultural fit. It may not be apparent initially, but cultural fit is critical when working across different cultures and time zones. 

A comprehensive vetting process can significantly reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person. The process ensures you have a reliable, skilled developer on board. Remember that iOS development, especially for a proprietary product, requires absolute confidentiality. You want to work with someone you can trust. 

3. Define scope and milestones 

When working on a development project, effective communication is a must. Before work begins, define the project scope and milestones. With this in place, it’s easier to prevent scope creep. It also ensures everyone is on the same page on the project goals and what needs to be accomplished. 

It’s also way more efficient to work on milestones. These milestones provide clear checkpoints for progress. It shows where the bottlenecks are, making it easier to nudge the accountable party. 

However, treat scopes and milestones as mere guides. Don’t forget the importance of staying flexible in accommodating necessary adjustments and changes. 

4. Opt for a trial period 

The best way to justify how much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer is through a trial period. Before you fully commit to an offshore developer or team, it’s okay to request a trial run. Some agencies even offer this as part of their package.  

Furthermore, it provides a valuable opportunity to assess the developer’s performance and fit with your project. Use this time to establish a working relationship and ensure that communication and workflow processes are effective. 

A trial run will allow you to evaluate their work quality and communication skills. It’s also a good test of their reliability in a real-world scenario. What you don’t want is getting tied to a long-term commitment with a developer that doesn’t meet your needs. 

Secure Your Digital Future 

How much does it cost to hire an offshore iOS developer? You probably know by now that it requires a comprehensive analysis of various factors. If you plan to hire an offshore developer, evaluate these elements carefully. See whether it will do your business good. This ensures you find the right balance between cost and quality. 

While the costs of hiring an offshore iOS developer can vary, the financial benefits often make it a smart business move. Always weigh the pros and cons of offshoring. Keep in mind that it all depends on your requirements and budget.

Ivan Serrano
Business and tech writer
SaaS-y content
Ivan have been a technology and business writer since 2015 working with companies like SmallBizClub, StartupNation, Namecheap and Time Doctor. Ivan love writing his whole life and being in business development has given him a unique perspective. He's obsessed with our constantly evolving fast-paced society and finding new ways to integrate that into amazing content that teaches the readers something new.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Offshore iOS Developer?