An Overview on Average Mobile App Development Cost Estimate
In a nutshell, the tentative cost to make a mobile app can range somewhere from $30,000 to $50,000 and can also exceed $100,000 in case of customized complex apps. We used tentative because the custom mobile app development cost depends on several factors such as the app’s complexity, features and functionalities, development approach and more.
But don’t you worry, we have a detailed analysis of all the important factors contributing to the mobile app development cost.
Once you are familiar with these factors, you can estimate how much it costs to build an app using the standard calculation formula. The formula or the answer to how much does it cost to create an app lies in calculating the number of hours it would take for every single development process and multiplying it to the billable hours of resources.
So let’s begin by looking into some popular apps and their development cost.
The Most Popular Global Apps and Their Development Cost
Below are the examples of a few popular apps that have redefined and transformed the concept of customer experience and are currently leading the app market. We have also mentioned the average application development cost of these apps.
Uber is a popular ride-sharing app that connects drivers and riders around the globe. Using the app, customers can request a car instantly or on schedule. Those requests are received by drivers nearby. The average cost of developing an app like Uber can range between $30,000 – $100,000
With over 300 million daily active users, Snapchat has become a game-changer in the world of social media apps. This popular messaging app has been a pioneer in bringing augmented reality to its users through filters and interactive lenses. The app also allows you to share multimedia messages that will “self-destruct” in up to 10 seconds. The cost to build a Snapchat-like app can be somewhere around $45,000 to $100,000 for one platform and up to $200,000 for both the platforms.
Whatsapp is an instant messaging app that allows users to exchange messages along with instant video/audio calls, photo and video upload etc. The average cost to build a messaging app like WhatsApp would range from $30,000- $70,000.
This video-sharing app has become inescapable and a major revolution in the entertainment world. TikTok allows users to lip-sync dialogues and re-enact their favorite scenes from different movies and music videos.
The app also offers several filters and effects to enhance your videos and images. The average cost of developing an app like TikTok will be somewhere around $60,000 to $100,000 for one platform and up to $150,000 for hybrid development.
Coursera is an e-learning app that has gained amazing popularity among students and teachers due to the exceptional benefits it offers. The app offers a range of distance learning programs that include skill development courses to university degrees across the globe. The Coursera-like mobile app development cost might settle between $30,000-$100,000.
Netflix is the world’s leading media streaming platform. It allows users to stream shows and movies at their convenience. The average cost of developing an app like Netflix is around $ 50,000 to $200,000.
While these were the estimation costs of some of the leading mobile apps in the market, we also need to discuss essential development factors that affect the overall mobile app development cost.
Level of Complexity
Medium Complex App
Highly Complex App
Top 8 Factors That Impact Your Mobile App Development Cost
Mobile app complexity
The average cost of developing a simple app is $30,000 – $50,000. A simple app comes with a set of basic user features such as a login system, user profile facility, dashboard and limited administration.
Here’s an average app development cost breakdown based on its complexity:
App features and functionalities
The answer to how much does it cost to create an app greatly depends on the features and functionalities you integrate into your application. The base mobile app development price for the type of app you intend to build keeps on increasing with the addition of new features.
The answer to how much does it cost to make an app varies greatly from category to category. When we move from one category to another, a lot of things change like the number of users, functionalities, security criteria, etc. which ultimately leads to varying costs to develop an app.
For instance, Acti drive is an on-demand service application modeled on IoT technology that enables drivers to drive hassle-free.
Hardware-dependent apps- All the IoT-based applications tend to be highly dependent on hardware devices for performing actions like extracting data or sending commands for a particular action.
When getting started with the mobile app development process, it’s important to choose a platform. Depending on your target audience, you can choose to build an iOS, Android, web, or cross-platform application. If you are a startup with a minimal budget, it’s better to opt for one platform initially, later on, you can shift to multiple platforms.
Here are the most popular app development platform options you can choose from:
Native app platform (Android & iOS)- Language-wise, iOS app development happens on Swift and Objective C, while Android App Development is done on Java and/or Kotlin. $50,000 to $100,000
Cross platform – Getting an app developed for both iOS and Android simultaneously is the new cost-efficient trend. The platform comes with a series of benefits like single code use and less development effort. The cross-platform industry is presently divided between Flutter and React Native platforms. $30,000 to $60,000
Web app platform – Apps like Progressive Web Apps and other forms of web apps are much cost-efficient as compared to native apps. $30,000 to $50,000
Hybrid app platform – Hybrid Apps are a blend of both native and web apps. While it is installed like a native app, it runs in a webview component. $30,000 to $100,000
Undeniably, expenses do not come to an end at the last stage of the mobile application development process. Businesses will have to continue changing their apps to keep up with the varying market trends and new device & OS versions, which comes with a cost. What takes your budget post app development?
App bug fixes – There is no such thing as a bug-free mobile app. In most cases, there are bugs that are only highlighted once the app is published. You will have to keep a lookout for those bug fixes.
Design changes – App designs are the one element of a mobile app that tends to get old and stop enticing users. It is very important for a brand to not let their app design get outdated if they wish to keep their users hooked.
App maintenance cost is calculated yearly at the valuation of 20% of the whole mobile app development cost.
It’s one of the factors that bring the cost of mobile app development slashing down. When businesses decide to reuse the code of an existing app in their own app and just change the branding elements, the mobile application development cost becomes much less.
However, the experts at InnovativeDev suggest businesses to reuse only the common elements like contact us, login, etc. and develop the rest from scratch, otherwise, it would become impossible to maintain a separate brand identity.
The cost for app development when the existing codes are used is 10 – 30% less than the cost of an app that is coded from scratch.
Location of development team
Location of app developers is another crucial factor that decides the overall app development pricing. Below we have given a table with the average cost of app development based on different geographical locations:
Argentina: $30 - $60/hr
India: $40 - $70/hr
United States: $80 - $170/hr
Ukraine: $30 - $100/hr
Australia: $80 - $200/hr
Russia: $60 -$150/hr
So, these were all the factors that answer how much does it cost to build an app. Now, we will discuss the hidden costs that are often overlooked when developing an app.
Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost
In this section, we will be discussing the most common hidden costs of mobile app development projects. Understanding these factors will help reduce risks, as well as save time and money. So, without further ado, let’s dive into each of them in detail!
Depending on the size of your app, you may also need to hire a quality assurance agent or a project manager as well. You might also require business analysts to help you keep the development cost low and within your app development budget.
Infrastructure costs include expenses for data storage, data delivery and app hosting. All of this adds to both the cost and complexity of a project. Examples of infrastructure cost items include servers, data storage, and development tools and libraries.
IT support costs
You can’t make a high-quality app without IT support services and continuous technical support. However, the support costs may increase over time. Examples of IT support services include iOS and Android updates, bug fixing, and API maintenance.
App publishing costs
When developers build apps, they keep in mind the app store requirements. When it comes to app store fees, it’s not that significant. When submitting an Android App on Play Store, you will have to pay a one-time fee of $25. Apple, on the other hand, charges $99 per year.
In case you want to distribute your app exclusively within your organization, you will need to pay $299 a year to join the Apple Developer Enterprise Program and provide your app via the App Store. Google Play doesn’t charge the service.
App security is a major concern. Users need to trust your app with their information. For this reason, you should have a proper security plan in place. If you consider this point at the start and include time for testing and security checks in advance, everything will be fine. If this is not the case, the costs will be higher and may be accompanied by financial and reputational losses.
Now that we are fairly familiar with all the given factors affecting mobile applications development cost, it’s time to look at the standard app development process for you to get started.
How Can You Reduce Your Mobile App Development Costs?
Fortunately, business owners and entrepreneurs can reduce the costs of developing mobile apps by following a few industry practices and applying some useful tricks.
In this section, we will take a closer look at the steps that companies can use to reduce overall custom app development costs.
Prioritize features early on
When building an app, it’s crucial to prioritize your app features correctly. It’s a smart move to prioritize the functionalities of your app to start driving business value as quickly as possible. You can save the nice-to-have elements for the later stages of development. Hence, it’s advisable to build a minimum viable product (MVP) first.
Involve quality assurance early on
Since your application is prone to bugs and errors, you need to address them as soon as possible. By involving QA professionals right from the beginning, you can identify serious problems and bugs before the development phase begins.
As a result, you will save up a huge amount that might become very high in the middle of your project.
Plan for the future
The app built today might look completely different in the future. For example, if you build an MVP, you might want to change some features on the basis of customer feedback. Your target market might evolve in a completely new direction, forcing you to change your product as well.
That’s why it’s wise to be mindful of short-term and long-term goals when developing an application. It will save you plenty of money in the long run.
In-house or outsourcing
Choosing the type of mobile app development staffing structure is an important element of your project planning. Your final decision will influence budget costs, workflow structure, and even the product maintenance concept. So, the ultimate question is what to choose – outsourcing or in-house development.
Outsourcing is when you hire an already established team for the development project. In order to outsource the app development process, the company gets access to a pool of exceptional talent to choose from. It also allows you to cut down on office expenses and equipment costs and minimize internal workflow.
Consider cross-platform development
Every entrepreneur when launching an app faces a dilemma – whether to launch for just Android, iOS, or both platforms. Creating native apps for both platforms is not cost-effective. If you create an app for just one platform, you can potentially miss out on a large chunk of the user base on the other platform.
The best solution is to develop cross-platform apps that work on both platforms. Twitter is one of the best examples of a cross-platform mobile app. Popular technologies for developing cross-platform apps include Flutter, Unity 3D, React Native, amongst others.
Whether you are a small to medium sized brand or an established enterprise revitalizing your digital presence, the team at InnovativeDev can deliver a solution that works for you.
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FAQs on Mobile App Development Costs
Q. How much does it cost to make an app?
A. Though it’s impossible to predict an accurate custom mobile app costs, here are the approximate costs:
Simple apps: $30,000 - $50,000.
Medium complex app development: $50,000 - $100,000.
Complex app development: $100,000 and above.
Q. How much does it cost to maintain an app?
A. During the first year after launch, your costs of maintaining an app can be 50% of the initial cost for app development. Later on, your yearly budget for app maintenance can be somewhere between 10% to 25% of the initial cost.
Q. How long does it take to build an app?
A. On average, apps can take anywhere between three and nine months or more to develop, depending on the complexity of the app and structure of your project.
Q. What are the factors that affect the overall app development costs?
A. Some of the factors that affect the app development costs include features and functionalities, the complexity of the app, app design and animation, code reusability, size and location of your development team etc, along with other hidden app development factors.