The answer to How much does it cost to make an app has over time become one of those questions that businesses across industries have been struggling to find.
With the ever-growing demand for mobile apps from the millions of millennial users that have now entered and soon are going to replace Gen X, it has become almost a mandate for businesses to look into space if they wish to have a chance at the future.
Well, while you will get an idea of how big the app development industry is, in these statistics below, the intent of the piece would remain to find you a numeric answer to What is the development cost of an app.
See how gloriously flourishing the mobile app domain is? Well, now that we have attended to the statistics, let us move on to looking into the crux of what this piece is for – Answering exactly how much does an app costs – a question that holds a special place in every guide to successful app development.
In order to understand the true average cost of app development, it will be very important to see what all does it entail i.e. the factors that shape up the development cost for an app.
*There’s a time factor as well, which have detailed in this article here – What is the Time Estimate of Mobile App development?
So, let’s see that first. Let us look at the app development cost breakdown.
Factors that Shape up the Cost of Making an App
A. The individual Mobile app development process.
This is the phase where your app is ideated – its competition is noted, the validation of idea is checked, and a general consensus is being formed on the user persona you would be offering your service to.
At this stage, three major things happen:
- Market Research
There are a bunch of things that are looked at, at this stage. The overall demand for the solution that you are planning to offer is analyzed in great details.
The idea is gauged on the basis of competition in the market, both direct and indirect. It is seen if the app idea is something that has a place in the future of the mobile space, etc.
- User Persona
Another thing that the stage gets you is the complete idea of the user persona. You get a clear idea of who your users are, what are their preferences, what devices they work on, what they expect from their mobile journey, etc.
- Market Capitalization
Apart from giving you insights into your customers and the competition, you also get to know of how big the market is, how much of a profit will you be able to generate at the back of it, etc.
This process usually takes up 40 to 80 hours of researchers’ time.
The next part of the process that carries a direct impact on the mobile app development cost is the project scoping.
Here, the details of the project – its detailed description, technology stack, proposed features that should be present – are shown in detail.
Like Ideation, this process too contains multiple elements –
A. App Complexity
The complexity of your mobile app is the first thing that settles the development cost for an app. The more complex your app is, in terms of features, integrations, the technology used, etc. the more expensive the mobile app development process would become.
Another factor to consider in case of mobile app complexity is if you are investing in a fresh app or reusing the code for the cost of custom mobile app development would always be very high.
Time range wise, the difference in cost of less complex apps and high complexity ones can be in anything between 600 to 1600 hours.
B. App Category
The category or the type of your application is the next thing that carries a direct impact on your cost of app development. While a standalone app would come with a low application development cost, an app that is connected with multiple devices, like an IoT mobile solution, will be a lot more expensive to create.
Mobile App UI/UX Design
Depending on how intricate you want your app to look, hours will get added in your app development cost bill. The more you load your application with animation or motion design, the more resource hours would go into it and the more would be the cost of app development.
Now, even in mobile app design, there is a cost that cannot be avoided – Wireframe. The initial design of how the application would look is something that you will have to consider no matter how simple a design you plan on keeping later.
The time it takes to design a mobile app ranges in the field of 150 to 400 hours.
Mobile App Platform
In your journey of the basic app research itself, you will find that the cost of creating an app for one platform or rather an individual platform like Android and iOS will cost a lot more than taking the cross-platform route. This cost-difference is what lowers the weight scale on the cross-platform side when we talked about the Cross-Platform vs Native App Development debate.
Native app – the former option – is any day a lot more expensive than the development of a cross-platform mobile app – the latter. The reason is that because, in the case of cross-platform app development, you have to write one code which then develops two versions of the apps.
An even more cost-effective option compared to the cross-platform application is Web application. Apps like the PWAs are very time-efficient when it comes to development – something that translates into a low cost of app development.
Mobile App Launch
While the top mobile app development agencies usually don’t charge for posting an app on the Play Store or App Store, the stores themselves charge for publishing an app.
While Play Store publishing is more cost-effective than App Store posting, the cost is there.
So, be aware that you will have to pay a one-time fee of 25$ in case of Play Store publishing and $99 per year for pushing your application on Apple Store.
Mobile App Maintenance
The whole process of mobile app development does not just end at the launch of the mobile app on the Play Store and App Store. There are a number of maintenance activities that you will have to look after – Upgrades, Design Changes, Bug Fix, etc.
The general formula of cost of app maintenance calculation is 20% of the cost of app development on a yearly basis.
Now that we have looked at the different processes of mobile app development and how much time goes into them – something on the basis of which the answer to how much does it cost to make an app is estimated, it is time to look into the last two factors that define what cost range the app would fall in.
B. Team Size
The number of people who are involved in making your application also impacts the cost that you will have to incur for development.
When we talk about team size, there are basically three options that you have – Freelance and Small Sized Company, Medium Sized Agency, and Large Sized Company.
Let us look at all the three options one-by-one.
Small-Shop Agencies or Freelancers
The team size of this criteria is basically in the range of 10 to 50 employees. And the cost range that comes up when choosing the mode is somewhere around $2,000 to $25,000.
Medium Sized App Development Agencies
These are companies, like we are at Appventurez, who have a team fixed for all the different processes involved in the app development process. The size of the team, in this case, is somewhere between 300 to 1000 people.
The cost of investing in a team size of this sort comes out to somewhere around $25,000 to $2,00,000.
Large Cap App development Agencies
The most expensive and selective out of the lot is this option. Large-cap companies are usually made of 2,000+ employees handling all the different processes. They usually handle multiple projects at one time, making it difficult for your scope of work to get through.
The cost that generally comes down when you invest in a large-cap business is in the range of $450,000 to $1,500,000.
C. Location of the Agency
The place where your partnered mobile app development agency is located has an immense contribution to make in the answer of how much does it cost to make an app. The price range usually lowers as we move from west to east, making the USA a more costly place to get an app developed from and India likewise, is a lot more cost-effective – and thus a hub of mobile app development outsourcing. This happening has become a reason as to why you should outsource mobile app development.
So, here were the factors that come together to form the mobile app development cost. Now that we have looked at what these are and the hours that go into each of them, it is time to look at the next important thing that has to be considered with equal care – Factors that increase the cost of mobile app development.
Let us look at the answer to the question.
What Causes a Rise in the Mobile App Development Cost
The hours that we saw above and the computed cost that it all comes down to is although usually the base price, there are a number of factors – both revealed and hidden that add on to the cost of mobile app development.
Let us look at some of those hidden and cost hiking charges that get added in the answer to How much does it cost to build an app-
- Functional Service
These are those elements that are needed to carry the functionalities of your mobile app. Some of the most common examples of this category of service include – Push notification, Chat, SMS, eMail.
- Infrastructure Service
This category consists of all infrastructural elements like where the application is hosted, where the information is stored, etc.
The different features that add to the cost in this section are – Data Storage, CDN, Servers, Development Tools, Images Data, etc.
- Administrative Service
You would like to give the functionality of an administrative dashboard to your users, within which there would be things like – Content Management, Functional Service Management, Analytics, User Profile, and Data Segmentation, etc.
So, here are three primal factors that bring in a rise in the mobile app development cost estimate. The good news is that our team of mobile app developers know the secret to bring the mobile app development cost by manifold.
Contact them to know what it is and how you can bring the overall cost of mobile app development down.
A young entrepreneurial technocrat who is the Co-Founder & CEO at Appventurez Mobitech. After completion of his masters in Computer Application, he dived into the world of technology as an iOS developer. As a CEO, he firmly believes teamwork and collaboration are the essential tools for any company’s success.
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