Regardless of the industry you’re in, mobile applications have become an increasingly vital component to business success.
According to Statista research, over six billion smartphone subscribers are currently worldwide. And, in the next few years, that number is expected to increase by hundreds of millions!
Just as smartphone usage is growing and becoming more and more popular, mobile app development has also seen a tremendous increase in demand.
Further, you can see from the infographic below; mobile app development is now one of the most lucrative industries worldwide.
But how much does it cost to build a mobile app?
Well, that’s something that many people are searching for. Some small businesses find it challenging to get accurate figures because the answer depends on the project itself, its functionalities, and its purpose.
But according to data collected by GoodFirms, the cost of development usually varies between $24,830 and $137,150.
The average cost is around $77,000.
But what factors affect the overall costs?
Let’s take a look at them one-by-one to get a clear understanding of just how much an app can cost you.
Overview of Factors That Influence the Cost of Building A Custom App
The costs to develop an app can vary greatly depending on:
- The features you want
- How quickly do you need them?
- How experienced is your developer? And many more.
You need to consider these nine factors when calculating your costs.
1. Type of App: Are you thinking of eCommerce, gaming, ticketing, social media, or travel mobile apps?:
Mobile apps fall into many different categories, each with its own price tag. In general, social media and eCommerce apps can cost more than other types because they require more integrations with other technologies.
For example, if you want to integrate eCommerce with Uber’s API or provide the ability to share products via social media, expect additional charges.
Similarly, if you are thinking of developing a gaming app, you need to consider the cost of licensing images, models, and music.
And if you don’t want to give away the game for free, adding in-app purchases can also make your app more expensive.
Moreover, as per Statista research, these are the most popular apps available in the App Store.
Here is an estimation for a few types of apps by mobile app development companies:
1. Basic Informative Mobile App–$10,000 to $30,000.
2. E-Commerce or Shopping Mobile Application- $30,000 to $60,000
3. Unique Marketplace Applications- $60,000 to $100,000
4. Mobile Game Applications- $60,000 to $150,000
5. User Productivity Mobile Applications- $15,000 to $30,000
6. Business Process Management Applications- $20,000 to $50,000
2. Platform: Are you targeting iOS, Android, or Windows phones?
The type of platform (i.e., Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Windows) you want your app to run on will affect the development cost because some platforms are more complex than others.
For example, Top mobile app development 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 Android than iOS and outsource app development than perform it in-house.
Furthermore, according to the survey, the hourly rates for designing an Android, iOS, or hybrid app are as follows: (average economic cost – average high-end cost).
Here is an app development cost breakdown by platform:
1. Google Play Store –$35,000+
2. Apple App Store –$45,000+
3. Windows Phone –$30,000+
Besides, Android users had a choice of 3.48 million apps as of the first quarter of 2021, making Google Play the app store with the most available apps. With over 2.22 million iOS apps available, the Apple App Store was the second-largest app store.
While the exact number of apps may fluctuate as Apple and Google remove low-quality content from their app stores on a daily basis, the total number of apps has been continuously expanding over time.
3. Technology Stack: What Programming Languages Are You Using?
The technology stack (or the choice of programming languages and frameworks) can directly affect how much you pay for an app to a mobile app development company or developer.
For example, if you want to use Swift to develop your iOS app instead of Objective C, you need a developer with Swift expertise.
And if you choose an open-source framework like Symfony or Yii, expect to pay for plugins and integrations.
Although mobile app development companies are gradually shifting toward Swift, the salaries of Objective-C engineers remain slightly higher.
4. Functionality & Features: Do You Need GPS, QR Code Reading, Push Notifications, or Voice Recognition?
The features you want in your app are one of the most significant variables to consider when it comes to development costs.
The more features you ask for, the more complex your app will be – and there is no standardization in app development.
For example, if you want to add functionality like an image carousel, social media integration, or offline mode, expect to pay extra.
5. Time to develop: How long do you want the development process to take?
Another factor that will affect your cost is how long you want the development process to take. Besides, depending on the complexity of your app, it can take up to six months or several years.
The more time you give the developer, the more complex and valuable features your app will have. But this comes at a price: It can slow down the development process and increase your costs.
6. Region: Is Your Development Partner From the U.S. or India?
If you want to hire a developer in India, expect to pay more than if you choose to hire someone from India.
The cost of an app largely depends on where your developer is based. The average hourly rate for a developer in the United States is $35/hour, and in India, it’s $18/hour.
7. Developer Experience: Are You Hiring a New or Established Developer?
If you want an established developer, expect to pay more than hiring a company (or individual developer) with less experience.
New developers can offer low rates because they are just starting. And they have the chance to develop a portfolio of apps for their career.
On the flip side, established developers better understand the development process and what it takes to design, develop, and test a successful app. They also have the skills to meet deadlines and budget requirements.
8. Project Team Size: How Many People Will Be Working On Your Project?
When you hire a project team, the cost will be higher than hiring one person or a company.
For example, a project team of 10 developers will cost two to three times more than hiring an individual developer.
In addition, assigning more employees to your project means more oversight and communication between the client and the development team. This can slow down the process and add additional costs for coordination and documentation.
9. The number of screens & interfaces: Does it have two pages or 15?
The number of screens and interfaces you want will also affect the cost. If you need 15 screens, expect to pay more than if you just needed two.
Remember that the number of screens and interactions is a feature. It will take longer to develop a complex multi-screen app, which means your cost might be higher as well.
Understanding what elements affect expenses is the greatest approach to get the most out of your mobile app development budget.
Using the variables above, estimate how much your mobile app will cost. Then, hire mobile app developers with expertise in the platform you chose and discuss your budget in more detail.
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