How much does it cost to make an app? A very common question! Most mobile app development companies get this question on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is a tough question to answer. The cost actually depends on what you want and what are you willing to put into it. Not a single professional development company can give you the accurate project cost right away. The online price calculators that are found on the net are nothing more than marketing bait. Today’s mobile app development companies have teams of developers, designers and project managers who are all experts in their own skills and can make amazing apps. The really polished and robust apps that frequent the top charts of the App stores are usually built by one of these mobile app development companies.
The app market value is increasing from year to year. The Gartner research statics show that in
2009 a worldwide mobile app downloads amount was at the mark of 2.52 billion, and in
2017 it is expected to be 268.69 billion.
So how much does it all cost?
According to a report by Kinvey, organizations spend an average of around $270k to develop an app. In another opinion, after surveying 12 leading mobile app development companies, the estimated cost of building an iOS app is between $38,000 for low functionalities to $171,000 for a high spec app. Because there are so many different variables according to some mobile app development companies, the price for a mobile app could range anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000; however, the price range can typically be between $100,000 and $300,000, with the entire development process taking 12-20 weeks. It is obviously a hefty investment, both in time and money. These figures show that if you are looking to develop a mobile app for your business, you typically have to be prepared to spend some serious cash on development.
You can reduce your app development costs if you are clear about what you need. Being unsure about your needs can actually shoot up the cost. Talk to the app developers and try to have a proper estimate of the costs involved. There are several reasons that can lead to the increase in the development costs – like mobile app development companies charge more for making regular updates, handling user problems and managing the reviews about the application.
What influences the cost of the app development?
The app development cost estimate does not hinge on hourly rates and development time. The cost depends on a number of factors that are needed to successfully implement an idea, and include the needed talent and the complexity of the product. Here are 7 factors to consider when determining the appropriate mobile app development budget.
- Technical Complexity: There are millions of features that add to the technical complexity to a project. Some of the most common examples include third-party integration. Some functionality in mobile apps requires integration with third-party libraries, frameworks, and services which could add to the app cost.
- A number of devices and OS: When it comes to an iOS app, it should ideally be compatible with the latest and the previous versions of iPhone. But for Android apps, the world looks much more diverse and hence development has to be based on which Android device to support. Given the fragmentation of the Android market, an Android app development cost may exceed the cost of creating an iOS app.
- Custom design and animations: Custom user interfaces are rather complex to implement, so the cost would be higher than the price of developing an app with standard components. Developing progressive custom user interface is time-consuming and costly as opposed to building it from the standard elements.
- Post-release expenses: Besides the actual programming activities, a significant portion of the total cost of creating an app is made for a post-production maintenance. Just like any business, and app requires regular updates, customer support, backend server maintenance, and cloud hosting, not to mention application marketing and promotion that make a huge impact on the product success.
- In-house vs Outsourced Solution Costs: In most cases, we know that doing things in-house can be better, but it is always more expensive. This is the reason why may companies turn to mobile app development companies. Once you get the overall price, try breaking it into stages of development – to get to the bottom of how much, making an app will cost. Planning, designing, developing features, testing and launching – what are the cost of these stages of the app development process?
- Waterfall vs Agile: Waterfalls and agile development are two most prominent methods followed by mobile app development companies. Waterfall model demands a clear documentation prepared before the development process begins. This method tends to be more time and cost intensive. While in agile development there is hardly any documentation and developers work in a 1-2 week sprint cycle and figure out the code as they keep going. Apps created with the agile strategy, use a less of planning. The costs can vary as developers are moving at very fast pace.
- Fixed app cost vs Hourly Development cost: The type of pay system is based on the development approach. A waterfall development is a fixed price fee project because everything is planned ahead of time. Whereas agile structures always follow an hourly rate that is based on the amount of effort required to produce the app. A good mobile app development company will have tracking software in place, to closely monitor your project.
So the next question that surfaces to my mind is how can I curb the price and save?
- Removing features: Prioritize the features that you wish to include in the app. Maybe in phase 2 more features can be added. Reducing the number of features can greatly impact the budget needed to create your app. If you realize few features are “nice to have” and decide to do them for a future version, you could probably reduce the cost of your app by 50%.
- Reducing the depth of each feature: Every feature you want to develop requires a certain level of depth. Hence the time and cost to build these features vary depending on the depth you opt for – and thus the cost. Prioritize what is most important for your potential customers and your business. Mobile app development companies can lower the overall cost by reducing the requirements of each feature.
- The Level of Design: Designing an app actually means the part of the application customers will see and interact with. Designers and developers from mobile app development companies are experts in creating different pages in your app. Depending on the level of design you aim for, your budget could vary greatly.
It is not easy to answer the question of how much it costs to make an app because there is a big range depending on your unique requirements. Getting a mobile app development company to build your app, can cost from few thousand dollars to as good as $60,000 for a small to medium sized app. The range will depend on the complexity of the app and the number of screens. The above cost breakdown should give you at least some idea as to what to expect when trying to determine the cost of app development. One should undoubtedly do your own research and get quotes from multiple mobile app development companies so that you can get the best information about your individual app needs. To launch an app is not to complete the mission. It is just the beginning. Be ready for a long-term collaboration with your mobile app development company. So how much does it cost to make an app for your business? A lot more than you think, but also a lot less, if you use the correct tools.
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