According to an estimate, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 6.378 billion by the end of 2021. The rise in the number of smartphone users will be coupled with a rise in the number of mobile apps. It presents an excellent opportunity for mobile app developers.
With apps like Amazon, Facebook, Shopify and Uber earning revenues in billions of dollars, many new-age entrepreneurs are thinking about launching their apps to take advantage of the app economy.
Being a top mobile app development company, we know that a common question that plagues the minds of these new-age entrepreneurs is how much will be the cost of building a mobile app.
In this article, we shall try and shed some light on this critical question.
App Development Budget per Phase
There are distinct stages in the app development process. Let us have a look at each of these stages and the costs associated with each one.
This stage involves conducting market research, finalizing the project timeline and building a prototype of the app. Once this stage is complete, the mobile app developers then provide the client with a quotation after finalizing the details of the work to be done.
The pre-research stage cost typically starts from $1000.Moreover, it depends on the complexity of the features that the client is thinking to include in the app.
App development stage
It is the stage where the actual work starts. The app developers start developing the app. The cost of this stage begins from $5000. The maximum range of the app development stage will depend on the type of from project and its requirements.
The work is not finished once the app is launched into the market. All apps require regular maintenance and updates to function correctly. This phase typically costs around 15-20% of the total app development cost.
While preparing the budget of your app, you will need to take into consideration the costs associated with every single stage. Also, you will need to count the cost of marketing the app. The marketing costs will depend a lot on the marketing channels and strategies adopted by you.
Cost according to location
It’s an open secret that when you go to developing nations like India and the Philippines, the app development cost will be cost effective as compared to US and UK.
But how much is the actual difference? Here we have compiled average rates of mobile app development per hour for various countries.
North America (U.S. and Canada)
It is the most expensive region for app development, with rates ranging from $20-$250 per hour.
The developers down under, i.e. in Australia, will build an app for you at rates ranging from $40-$175 per hour.
In the U.K., the app development rates are from $50 to $200 per hour.
In Eastern Europe, the rate is from $30 to $125.
While in India, you can get your mobile app developed at $20-$80 per hour.
Outsourcing or Local Development: What to Choose
When you decide to build a mobile app, one of the most important decisions that you need to make is whether to give your mobile app development to a local firm or go with outsourcing.
When you go for the outsourcing option, you essentially make your options limitless as the whole world is open for you. Your company will benefit from access to a large talent pool as it is tough to find high-quality developers all at a single geographical location.
Also, if you are in North America or some other developed nation, then you will find that the outsourcing option turns out to be the more cost-effective one. As we have seen earlier, the cost per hour of developing a mobile app is much lower in Asian nations than in North America or Western Europe.
The type of apps
Another factor that has an overbearing effect on the cost of a mobile app is the type of app that you choose to develop. Let us have a brief look at the significant app types.
Native apps are called so because they are native to a particular operating system. It means that an app built for Android will function only on Android devices, while the one built for iOS will function only on the iOS operating system.
The Native apps utilize the full functionality of the device by using various APIs, and they usually provide a much better user experience as compared to a Hybrid app.
On the cost front building a Native app is can be a bit expensive than building a hybrid app. Why? Because while a hybrid app can run on multiple operating systems, the native one can’t. Hence you will have to shell out extra cash to build a separate native app for each operating system, increasing the costs by many folds.
Also known as cross-platform apps, these kinds of apps are platform-independent, meaning that an app built once can be run on all platforms. These apps help you to widen your reach.
As the developers need to code only once, the costs associated with developing a hybrid app is much less as compared to that of building a native app.
The drawback of the hybrid apps is that the performance level of these apps slightly inferior as compared to the native apps. The lack of API access and lower optimization levels of hybrid apps are the other drawbacks of the hybrid apps.
Basic functionality apps
These kinds of apps have very less number of features. Mostly built as an MVP (minimum viable product) or for internal use of a company, the cost of essential apps is the least.
These apps are more complicated as compared to the essential apps and rely heavily on a database which is either stored directly in the device memory or on a cloud server.
Mobile dictionaries and encyclopedias are prime examples of such apps.
Apps that rely on the device firmware/hardware
These types of apps require access to hardware features of the smartphone-like camera, sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope. The camera apps, flashlight, alarm clock apps are examples of such apps.
The database apps and the apps relying on the hardware of the smartphone are more costly as compared to the essential apps.
The cost of any mobile application increases as the complexity rises. But how do we categorize complexity in a mobile app?
Let us see
More is the number of features in an app; more is its complexity.
The following factors contribute to app complexity.
Your app will need to interact with other apps to provide the best user experience to your user. Social media login, payment gateways are some of the reasons why your app needs to integrate with third-party applications. The more is the number of third-party integrated apps, the higher will be the cost.
In-app purchases are the new in-thing in the mobile app industry. Whether it is an e-commerce app or a gaming app, all have integrated in-app purchases into their apps to ensure that the customer does not leave the app for purchasing his/her favorite things. If you want to integrate in-app purchase into your mobile app, then the budget of the app will increase.
Thus, we can break down the type of apps into the following three types based on their complexity level.
These apps come with basic features; the developers need to integrate standard U.I. components into them and they have a simple backend. The cost of building a basic app will start from $10,000
These are the apps with custom U.I., have features like real-time messaging and a simple backend structure. The cost of building a medium complexity app will Start from $40,000
If you want to integrate pretty complex functionalities like A.R., V.R., a complex database and backend, real-time synchronization and media processing, then the cost will be more. The cost of building a complex app will majorly depend on the overall requirement of the project
Cost of App Release
Once you have developed a mobile app, and then come the part where you release your app to the world. The first cost that is associated with app release is the cost of submission of the app to an app store.
The following is the app store fees for popular app stores.
- Google Play app store fee is $25, paid once
- Apple Developer Program annual fee is 99 USD and the Apple Developer Enterprise Program annual fee is 299 USD.
- The web hosting charges will depend on the hosting service provider platform
Another thing worth noticing is that if you want to release your app internally, means only to the employees of your organization, then. At the same time, Apple will charge you $299 per year for doing so; Google won’t change anything for that.
If you want your app development company to handle the process of app release for you, then you will have to discuss this with them upfront. While many mobile app developers include the cost of app release in their quotation, some do not, and it is wise to clear the air before you award the project.
App maintenance costs
It becomes essential for the client to understand clearly about the app maintenance costs after the app is released. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that maintenance is not that important as they are not adding any new features to their app. . This flawed thinking process can cost the business organization dearly in the long run.
App maintenance includes the following things.
Updating your app according to the latest O.S. versions of Android / iOS
Making your app compatible with the third-party services
Fixing various bugs
Improving the stability of the app
Scaling up the applications
Many factors affect the cost of app maintenance. It would help if you discussed with your app development company regarding the maintenance plan that they are going to offer to you. Usually, the app developers offer the following plans.
Building a mobile app is a tedious process. It takes years of experience and specialized skills to build a successful mobile app. While we have discussed almost all the costs associated with building a mobile app, the highest cost is the cost of having a half-baked product in the end. This cost surmounts all the costs mentioned above. If you want to avoid this cost, then you should consider going with a trusted mobile app development company.
At Prismetric, we have been delivering state-of-the-art mobile apps for more than a decade now. We have helped countless companies in achieving their dreams by building robust mobile apps for them. Let us discuss your mobile app idea and see how we can make it more cost-effective.
Ashish Parmar is the CEO of Prismetric, one of the reliable IT Outsourcing Company empowering businesses with technology solutions. He is an enthusiastic entrepreneur who is interested in discussing new app ideas and rich gadget tricks and trends. He admires and readily embraces signature tech business styles. He enjoys learning modern app crafting methods and exploring smart technologies and is passionate about writing his thoughts, too. Inventions related to mobile and software technology inspire Ashish and he likes to inspire the like-minded community through the finesse of his work.