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How to Calculate the Cost of Mobile App Development?

Published on 15 November 17
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The main task of any invention is to solve a particular problem or fill the existing need. As we do not imagine our lives without mobile phones, most of the recent inventions are connected with them. Do you have a bright idea of how to improve the lives of millions? Maybe the app you develop will be exactly what we all lack to be 100% happy individuals. Before you start doing anything, you need to find out how much does it cost to develop a mobile app. The growing number of smartphone users offers multiple business opportunities to entrepreneurs worldwide. A mobile app can make the interaction between your business and your customers more effective but it will require a lot of hard work, time, and financial resources from you. The cost of developing a mobile app depends on various aspects. To get the approximate cost estimation, you need to decide on the main purpose of an app, its features, and development process options.


1

Preliminary Rough Estimation


What to begin with to calculate the mobile app development cost? The fastest way is to look at what others have done so far and how much they've spent. There have been several surveys exploring this topic. According to a Clutch survey, you will have to pay around $171,450, and a Kinvey report suggests a bigger number - $270,000. There are online app calculators like this or this one you can use to get the idea of what price tag a particular feature has. In reality, you need to consider 4 main factors to determine the cost of mobile app.


1

Factor #1: Human Resources


You have two options. You can either hire a development agency or find a freelancer. Both options have some drawbacks so the decision-making process will be tricky. While hiring an agency might be a safe and rational choice, it will cost you more than working with a freelance developer. You will get an app faster as there will be a team of professionals using their previous experience to bring your app to perfection. That is why big agencies charge up to $200 per hour.

You might go for this option if you need an app of high complexity. You can do a preliminary research to find a couple of companies willing to take your order. Do not limit your search with the leaders of the market. Small agencies that have been in business for several years might be ready to do the same amount of work at a lower cost. Consider working with a foreign agency from abroad to optimize the mobile app development cost. US-based companies charge in average $100 per hour, while those from the Eastern Europe can do the job for $50 per hour.

The main disadvantage of working with a freelancer is that you will have to spend a lot more time. It is not that easy to find a real professional who can meet the required deadlines and expectations. Some of the candidates may lie about their qualifications and turn out to be unskilled. The lack of project management will make it difficult to keep things under control. The only attractive aspect seems to be the low price as they charge $30-40 per hour on average.


1

Factor #2: Features and Complexity


A lot depends on the purpose of an app. As soon as you decide what it should look like, you can move forward to its technical features like social media integration, advanced search, custom animation, etc. Building a simple app can cost you around $30,000, whereas a complex one does not have a limit on price. You might need to spend over a million to do everything right. Let's take a look at simple less expensive and more complex costly types of apps.

  • Mobile version of a website. This category includes all of the forms of a simple representation of data. A user reviews the suggested options and chooses the one they need to explore a particular topic. It costs around $1,500-$2,000 to build.
  • Databases. This type of apps allows users to find and work with information. They interact with a website or other online resources and are relatively difficult to develop. The price estimation is around $3,000.
  • Apps with APIs. These apps will interact with a website's APIs which brings one more level of complexity to the development process. The cost can reach $70,000.
  • Games. The modern app-based games seem to have better 3-D graphics than some of the movies we watch on a big screen. And if you are thinking about a virtual reality gaming app, remember that it will not be cheap. The cost depends on your imagination and skills of the team of developers.



Factor #3: Platform


Choosing a platform (iOS or Android) is crucial not only in terms of pricing but also timing and target audience. If you look at these options from a marketing point of view, you need to know who your target audience is. If we take a look at the recent research results, we'll see that the number of Android users worldwide is far higher than that of iOS. But it does not mean that you will always go for Android. The preferences of people differ from country to country and you need more detailed data about the region of your interest.

As to the timing, it can be one of the crucial factors. There is an inconsiderable price difference between the two platforms but Android-based one will take a lot longer to create. It is due to the wide variety of devices and their specific characteristics.


Factor #4: Additional costs


Some of the entrepreneurs forget about the next stage of making an app. You might have to spend up to $4,000 per month for your development for it to stay alive. The necessary updates and alterations should also be present in your business plan. Marketing and advertising is something you will have to pay for if you want people to find out about your invention.


What Next?


As soon as you know exactly what features your app needs to have, you can start planning your budget. If you've never done anything like it before, you might want to find an agency or independent expert to make the process easier. There are many steps to take ahead of you so be patient.


The main task of any invention is to solve a particular problem or fill the existing need. As we do not imagine our lives without mobile phones, most of the recent inventions are connected with them. Do you have a bright idea of how to improve the lives of millions? Maybe the app you develop will be exactly what we all lack to be happy individuals. Before you start doing anything, you need to find out how much does it cost to develop a mobile app. The growing number of smartphone users offers multiple business opportunities to entrepreneurs worldwide. A mobile app can make the interaction between your business and your customers more effective but it will require a lot of hard work, time, and financial resources from you. The cost of developing a mobile app depends on various aspects. To get the approximate cost estimation, you need to decide on the main purpose of an app, its features, and development process options.

app.

the leaders of the market. Small agencies that have been in business for several years might be ready to do the same amount of work at a lower cost. Consider working with a foreign agency from abroad to optimize the mobile app development cost. US-based companies charge in average $100 per hour, while those from the Eastern Europe can do the job for $50 per hour.

The main disadvantage of working with a freelancer is that you will have to spend a lot more time. It is not that easy to find a real professional who can meet the required deadlines and expectations. Some of the candidates may lie about their qualifications and turn out to be unskilled. The lack of project management will make it difficult to keep things under control. The only attractive aspect seems to be the low price as they charge $30-40 per hour on average.

1

Factor #2: Features and Complexity

A lot depends on the purpose of an app. As soon as you decide what it should look like, you can move forward to its technical features like social media integration, advanced search, custom animation, etc. Building a simple app can cost you around $30,000, whereas a complex one does not have a limit on price. You might need to spend over a million to do everything right. Let's take a look at simple less expensive and more complex costly types of apps.

  • Mobile version of a website. This category includes all of the forms of a simple representation of data. A user reviews the suggested options and chooses the one they need to explore a particular topic. It costs around $1,500-$2,000 to build.
  • Databases. This type of apps allows users to find and work with information. They interact with a website or other online resources and are relatively difficult to develop. The price estimation is around $3,000.
  • Apps with APIs. These apps will interact with a website's APIs which brings one more level of complexity to the development process. The cost can reach $70,000.
  • Games. The modern app-based games seem to have better 3-D graphics than some of the movies we watch on a big screen. And if you are thinking about a virtual reality gaming app, remember that it will not be cheap. The cost depends on your imagination and skills of the team of developers.


Factor #3: Platform

Choosing a platform (iOS or Android) is crucial not only in terms of pricing but also timing and target audience. If you look at these options from a marketing point of view, you need to know who your target audience is. If we take a look at the recent research results, we'll see that the number of Android users worldwide is far higher than that of iOS. But it does not mean that you will always go for Android. The preferences of people differ from country to country and you need more detailed data about the region of your interest.

As to the timing, it can be one of the crucial factors. There is an inconsiderable price difference between the two platforms but Android-based one will take a lot longer to create. It is due to the wide variety of devices and their specific characteristics.

Factor #4: Additional costs

Some of the entrepreneurs forget about the next stage of making an app. You might have to spend up to $4,000 per month for your development for it to stay alive. The necessary updates and alterations should also be present in your business plan. Marketing and advertising is something you will have to pay for if you want people to find out about your invention.

What Next?

As soon as you know exactly what features your app needs to have, you can start planning your budget. If you've never done anything like it before, you might want to find an agency or independent expert to make the process easier. There are many steps to take ahead of you so be patient.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations , Project & Service Management and Mobility Community

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