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How Much Does it Cost to Develop a

Mobile Application?

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile Application?

The process of developing an app is a journey that doesn’t happen all at once. Whether you are an Android or iOS app developer or an Android or iOS app development company, mobile applications take time, labour, and, of course, finances to develop.

While in the earliest stages of app development, several questions must be asked and answered before any work can begin. One of the most important of these questions is ‘how much will this cost?’ The answer to this question varies depending on many factors. Nevertheless, a reliable estimate must be settled upon before mobile apps development can begin.

The answer to this crucial inquiry can make or break the development of an app as it directly involves the budgeting and labour distribution for the upcoming project. That is why the question of development cost must be addressed and answered at such an early stage of development.

In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about the mobile apps development.

Getting an Estimate for Mobile Apps Development

Your Android and iOS development costs are heavily dependent on many different factors. These factors are relevant whether you decide to carry out development in-house or hire a mobile apps development service. A good estimate for the cost of developing your mobile app takes all of these factors into consideration as they pertain to you and your app.

On average, it could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $300,000 to develop your app. That is a very wide range! That is why getting an estimate is non-negotiable. With a reliable estimate, you can properly budget for your mobile apps development according to the stages of development and factors that pertain to your app.

Factors Involved in Costing for Mobile Apps Development

Many factors go into the final cost of mobile apps development. Elements of the app such as what operating system it's designed for or the complexity of its functionality can have effects that hugely impact the final cost.

Some key factors that influence the final cost of development are listed below.

Type of app

The function of an app is very important in determining many parts of the development process, including the development cost. The type of app influences the number of features the app requires, the design process, the length of development time, and other factors.

• A simple or basic app: These are apps like clock or notes apps which would be relatively cheap to develop. Simple apps do not need any backend development or network connection, resulting in shorter development time. They can cost about $10,000-$15,000 in total to develop.
• Personalised data apps: These apps make use of user authentication to operate. They store data based on user input and present it to users. Examples of these are loyalty apps for stores. These apps require more complicated coding and therefore, cost more to develop. They can cost around $40,000-$80,000 to develop.
• Social applications: These are very complex applications that work exclusively with network connections and require an intense backend development. Social apps like Facebook are incredibly complex and handle large amounts of data as well as offer a wide range of features for users. Social apps can cost from $60,000-$300,000 to develop, depending on the features included in the application.
• Marketplace platforms: Marketplace applications serve as platforms for a variety of service providers to connect with customers. These marketplace apps involve commercial functions as well as social. These apps provide a direct line to different services as well as avenues for communication and payment between the service provider and user. Apps like these can cost about $150,000-$300,000 to develop.

These are just a few types of apps and their estimated costs. The cost of your app will be determined by your app type and the rates of your developers.

In-house or outsourced development team

In-house development may seem like the more cost-friendly and efficient option but it has its pros and cons as outsourced development does. The benefit of outsourcing a development team is that the hired team has more experience and may have a more advanced method of development than your in-house development team may have. This is especially relevant if you are a small company developing an app or it is your first time developing an app.

In the case of outsourced labour, the location of your developers also plays a role in your android and iOS development costs. The average mobile apps development service will probably charge per hour so let’s take a look at average hourly rates for different geographical locations.

Australia - $92/hour
North America - $150/hour
United Kingdom - $71/hour
Central Europe - $40/hour
India - $26/hour
South America - $43/hour

Your outsourced development can come from a small or large firm or a specialist company. These also affect the cost of mobile apps development.

Small firms are the cheapest source of mobile apps development labour and are ideal for apps that are not too complex. A specialist firm may charge significantly higher than others but this is because of the quality of work they produce. Large firms have the advantage of experience and resources but also demand high payment.

Mobile Apps Development process

The mobile apps development process when it comes to apps refers to the method of planning that developers opt to employ in the pre-design stage. There are two major development methods that an android and iOS app developer may use: waterfall development or agile development.

Waterfall development is a method in which the entire development timeline is outlined in detail before the commencement of a project. The waterfall method allows for concise planning and timely turnaround. The agile method on the other hand involves dividing the entire development process into smaller tasks. New tasks are set every week or two which means that they mostly go into the project with short-term goals that get expanded on.

Both of these methods have their pros and cons as well as their cost effects. Waterfall development gives a clear idea of cost from the onset but the rigidity of the method may not allow for unplanned expenses which occur often. Agile development on the other hand may result in a higher overall mobile apps development cost due to the lack of concise structure from the onset.

A mix of these two development processes is called ‘iterative development’ and is highly advised. This method involves a level of upfront planning such as wireframing but leaves the intricate details of the project as short and achievable tasks that will be defined as the project progresses.

App complexity and features

Different applications have different levels of complexity and a variety of features. The complexity of your app determines a huge percentage of the final app development cost. Apps with more complex features will cost more to develop while simpler apps will cost significantly less.

The complexity of the features included in an application affects whether developers need to write code from scratch or use a third-party API. Therefore, this factor also greatly affects the amount of time spent on mobile apps development.

Features like file uploading, messaging functions, in-app calls, push notifications, payment processing and many more take vastly different amounts of time to design and thus cost varying amounts. Assuming a $40/hr rate for developers, developing features like login and search options can take about 15-30 hours and cost anywhere from $500-$2000. Meanwhile, developing features like processing payments and streaming options can take about 60-150 hours and cost from $2500-$6000.

As you can see, the price range for app features is a pivotal factor when it comes to determining the final cost of app development. If you are on a budget, it is best to consult with your developer or development service to know the cost of developing different factors so you can have a definite estimate.

Design and interface of your app

The UI and UX design of your app are critical aspects of its makeup that affect the mobile apps development cost. An application needs to have a unique, innovative, and user-friendly interface to capture the attention of its customers and keep it.

The most important thing about designing an app is ensuring that it meets the needs of users to the highest degree. This is why UI/UX design has become one of the most important aspects of mobile apps development. The average user most likely has a plethora of options available in the market for whatever need your app may meet. What will attract and sustain a customer on an application is their experience interacting with the app.

Creating a unique interface from scratch requires large amounts of research and manpower. The UI/UX design of an app can cost anywhere from $3000-$30,000 depending on the app type and functions.

Maintenance

Even after the app has been fully developed, designed, and launched, there are still some cost factors that must be addressed. These are the costs involved in app maintenance. App maintenance covers updating, fixing bugs, and adding new features. Frequent maintenance is a must for any app. Maintenance ensures that your app stays relevant and up to date.

Maintenance should be scheduled and often as this ensures that you are at and above the level of your competition. You do not want your app to become outdated and irrelevant. Regular maintenance also ensures that you keep the interest of your users by offering them new features and visuals often enough that they don’t get bored.

For average mobile apps development, the maintenance cost is expected to be around 15-20% of the entire budget. This maintenance budget covers all aspects of maintenance as well as additional services that the application may require after its launch.

Cost of Development in Different Stages

The different stages of app development have different cost effects on the overall mobile apps development cost. These cost effects are not fixed and often vary based on the above-mentioned factors.

• The research or pre-development stage is the first stage of development. This stage involves market and user research for the app that is about to be developed. The discovery stage of an app can cost from $10,000-$15,000 in resources for research and planning.

• The design stage comes next and this is when the UI/UX design takes place. The cost of this stage has already been discussed above. The pricing for design depends on the designers’ hourly rate as well as the number of screens the project requires.

• The next stage is the development stage which involves the coding and adding of features and functions. The cost of the development stage is entirely time-sensitive as features take varying lengths of time to code and integrate.

• The testing stage comes next and this is a vital stage for mobile apps development. The testing stage is usually expected to take up to 30% of the total budget for development. This means that the cost of the testing stage is dependent on the overall cost of development which is determined by all the factors mentioned above. The testing stage requires such a large percentage of the budget because it is the final stage before app deployment. The app deployment costs can also be covered under the testing costs.

• The final stage is the maintenance stage which has already been discussed above. The maintenance stage occurs long after the initial launch of the app and requires further budgeting after the app development budget has been exhausted.

Conclusion

Mobile apps development is an intricate process that requires a lot of time and resources. It is not an endeavour that one should step into blindly. Having a clear idea of the costs that will be incurred over the entire process as well as the factors influencing this cost is important.

A good and comprehensive cost estimate helps with determining which aspects of mobile apps development you want to spend the most money on and what kind of app you can feasibly develop with your budget.

While mobile apps development may be costly at times, development aspects with higher costs are usually so because of the quality they offer and the value they hold in the development process. To develop a truly amazing application that will have users' needs met and remain relevant in the market, it is inevitable that the development process will be costly.

Knowing the cost of mobile apps development helps with planning and budgeting for the app you want. For more updates you can visit our Instagram page.

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