iOS vs. Android Developer Salary: Which Mobile App Platform Brings You More Money?

Artyom Dogtiev

In App Stats

November 14, 2016

With a rapid advance of the mobile app ecosystem in general and the Internet of Things in particular, more and more people decide to join a multi-million army of mobile app developers. As of 2016 the total number of developers who build for mobile has reached 12 millions and it’s projected to hit 14M mark by 2020. With the number of people being involved in a mobile app development, the question how much does app developer earn and what mobile platform brings higher income becomes crucial.  Back in January of this year we’re doing an analysis of a mobile app developer salary and at the time the average mobile application developer salary was $97K. Let’s see how this figure has changed since.

Mobile App Developer Salary Key Data Points:

  • Worldwide mobile app revenue in 2016 – $51 billion
  • US mobile app developer salary is $102,000 / year
  • iOS app developer salary in US is $98,000 / year
  • Android app developer salary in US is $101,000 / year

First of all let’s consider the total mobile app revenue recent growth and how it will change in the near future. According to Statista.com data, gathered from App Annie and VentureBeat, the total revenue for 2015 was $41 billion and this year it has reached $51 billion. By the year 2020 it is projected that the worldwide mobile app revenue will double and reach $100 billion. The accuracy of this projection will depend on the level of advancing and adoption of the IoT within this 4 years period, as well as both iOS and Android mobile platforms growth in such countries as China, India and in less degree US and Europe.

Worldwide Mobile App Revenue in 2016, in billions USD

worldwide mobile app revenue in 2016

Source: Statista

With that mobile app revenue volume in mind, let’s look at a mobile app developer salary in different countries. The current average salary of a mobile app developer in US is $102,000, which is $5,000 more than the number we established in January of this year – $97,000. After converting from a local currency to USD, we see Canada and Australia following US with $81,000 and $78,000 respectively. In countries like India an average wage a mobile app developer gets monthly is only $4,700, which may seems to be way less but, given the difference in the development of these countries economy, it’s not necessary the case.

2016 Mobile App Developer Salary, by Country, in USD, in thousands

Source: Indeed

Next let’s stack up an average mobile app developer salary in US with other IT professions. With the exception of Data Scientist ($129k / year) and Big Data Engineer ($117k / year), mobile app developers annual salary ($102 / year) is on par with others or exceed them. We should also keep in mind the level of competition these different sectors of the IT have, obviously the supply of mobile software development specialists is higher than for other sections mentioned on the chart.

US Top IT Average Annual Salaries in 2016, in thousands

Source: Payscale.com & Indeed.com

If we look at the following graph, that presents how the salary index of both iOS and Android app developers fluctuated over time, we see it had a spike at the beginning of 2014. The spike can be explained by almost 30% growth in smartphones sales in 2014, the total number of smartphone unites sold that year reached 1,2 billion. That bump in the number of smartphones people got in their hands triggered an increase in demand for both iOS and Android OS development and hence the salary went up as well. The current iOS app developer salary in US is $98,000 / year and Android app developer is $101,000. This salary data estimated from 31,942 employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed.com in the past 12 months.

US iOS vs. Android App Developer Annual Salary

Source: Indeed

Mobile app developers are being paid a different salary based on their location. Let’s take a look at the salary they get in a few cities in US and analyze how a specific mobile platform choice influences their salary as well. Among San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, New York and Cupertino, the latter based mobile app developers on get the highest salary, on average $143k for iOS and $142k for Android app development. Even though in other cities developers are paid less, the overall trend remains – app developers for both leading platforms are being paid almost the same salary. It’s yet another proof of that Benedict Evans, analytic of Andreessen Horowitz VC firm, recently observed – both iOS and Android mobile platforms won.

US iOS App Developer Annual Salary, by City

Source: Indeed

Finally, let’s look at how a mobile app developer salary depends on a developer’s experience both top mobile platforms, starting with iOS. An entry-level (0-5 years of experience) iOS developer may expect to be paid about $80k a year, having 5-10 years of experience under your belt, brings additional $20-40k of an annual income. iOS development professionals with more than 20 years of experience get $120k or more a year.

US iOS App Developer Salary, by experience

Source: PayScale

Android app development experience has almost identical influence on a salary developers get and it is yet another proof that both leading mobile platforms have matured and rule the mobile ecosystem together.

US Android App Developer Salary, by experience

Source: PayScale

As of late 2016, an average annual salary of a mobile app developer in US is $102,000. Mobile app developers counterparts in other countries are being paid significantly different, ranging from 81,000 USD in Canada to 4,700 USD in India, both local economy and the scale of a the mobile ecosystem influence financial compensation mobile app developers get in these countries. Comparing late and early 2016 data reveals mobile app developer salary increase, $5,000 up. A projected mobile app revenue doubling by 2020 allows to assume that a mobile app developer wage will continue to increase as well.