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Everything You Need To Know About Costing Of Mobile App Now that you know the exact layout what your app should be like, how much is it going to cost? Is it subtle?

By Pratik Kanada

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"Currently a billion dollar industry, the mobile app industry is the way to the future."

Now that you know the exact layout what your app should be like, how much is it going to cost? Is it subtle? Yes, there are different calculators to estimate the cost of mobile apps but it's simply robotic and doesn't differentiate it with the customized app. Brilliant mobile apps require a serious attention to a conceptual foundation, best planning, top-notch talent in the design and development phases.

Many people have a misconception that just because many mobile apps are free to get it from various stores, a good app can be built in a day or two for the price of dinner. The first and important step in creating a great app is research of your app concept that is identical to any of the already existed in the market. In addition, only a high-quality mobile app will survive in the market today so it's essential to be guided by the idea that you get what you pay for. So, how much does it cost to develop an app?

Let me tell you frankly. There's no easy answer for that. There are lot of hidden costs of building a mobile app. Lots and lots of factors are considered, taken care of and executed in order to estimate the final cost. Don't worry, we have made it a little easy by bifurcating the cost into various factors.

First of all, let's peek into the different options available and measure the relative cost involved to build a mobile app. For users to easily understand the concept of "Relative Cost Analysis', I have arrived at an empirical formula, after thorough analysis from many authority sources like Savvy apps, Blue Cloud Solutions, and Code with Chris.

  • Partnering with a developer to build your app and split the profit- The Cheapest option would cost $X
  • Using an online app maker (paid or free), study mobile app development and make your own app- $0.5X
  • Buying an app template and learn to code. The DIY way- $1.5X.
  • Hire a freelancer for A-Z app making- $2.5X
  • Buying a starter kit and then pay freelancer - $3X
  • Pay a mobile app development company to build your app - $5X

In a nutshell, prices can vary from $1k-$250k. Quite a significant gap, isn't it?

It depends on whether the company is well-established or recently founded, high-priced or cheap, local or foreign, large or small, experienced or ambitious. The above-varied options can absolutely make your way easy. Also, it should be noted that the reliability, functionality, and quality will gradually reduce as you go down the path i.e. Paying 5 times the original amount will definitely be paid off in future after the app is developed.

Before going in depth analysis, you should know why business is in need of a mobile application. Certainly, it is evident that looking at the current scenario the future of eCommerce depends on Mobile apps. It is one of the biggest industries, today. That means, everything sums up to a mobile application development. This will not only tell you why you want to go for it but will also aware you about the future expectations from the app.

Do you know why your Business Need a Mobile App?

  • It is accessible to customers all the times.
  • It engages and provides value to customers.
  • It increases brand recognition.
  • It becomes another sales channel.

You can't even buy a Fiat for less than $15,000, when you go shopping for a new ride, you know that's your starting price range. This isn't like "If you build it, they will come" but is more like, "If you build it, you better spend at least 1.5-2X time and money." Would you rather spend $100k bluntly or $10k on research and validation? If you feel that your idea can fly, you could save your money throughout the development process.

Checklist to evaluate various scope of your app:

  • What type of app are you building?
  • Do people have to log in?
  • Do you want to connect the app with your website?
  • Do users need to create personal profiles?
  • Who you want to use your app?
  • Does it need any social features?
  • What are your security requirements?
  • How scalable does it need to be?
  • How feature-rich does your mobile application need to be?
  • What is your budget ?
  • What you want the app to do?

Building an Instant Messaging App like Whatsapp for Android and iOS would require Offline Connectivity, Screen Sharing Option, Creating Groups, Image, and Video Sharing, etc. Similarly, every application will have its own specific features and so the cost involved will be different. As per TNW, the cost of building world's hottest startups are

The Important factors to consider before calculating Mobile App development cost are listed here:

1. Decide the Platform & the Content that Will Go into Your App

Now that, you have finalized the platform : Android, Windows or Apple. Obviously, the cost involved on an hourly basis will vary for both since Apple developer will charge you more. The same goes with the content part; unique and exclusive scoop will cost higher.

2.QA & Support Requirement in the Project

Without Quality Analysis, there is no application execution, but even it is classified too, depending on the extent how much the mobile app will be evaluated and analyzed by the support team of the project.

3.Consider Building Companion Websites for the App

Websites-Dynamic or Static, customized or personalized. It totally depends on the companion websites' compatibility whether the app will go full-featured or simple. The monetary value will fluctuate counting on that aspect.

4. Know About the App Deployment Procedures

App Deployment provides the Physical View of the Application Layer and are modeled as packaged-up collections of Software Components from the high-level software architecture of an Application Provider. Believe it or not, it has a significant effect on the final development costs of the application as there will be different types of model for it.

5. Different Layout for Different Screen Sizes

So, you want to provide a variety of layout for different screens, but you should know it will be expensive. You can absolutely choose the same layout as it won't cost much. The choice always varies and weighs more when the mobile screen sizes are dissimilar.

6.App development team

Some mobile application development team comprises of 7 people while other might even need 17. Uber, Zomato, and Whatsapp wasn't built in a day. Paying as per the quantity and quality matters in the final development cost of the app.

7.Custom design components

Customization of app not only increases the cost of the app but makes it more appealing and engaging. In the design point of view, customization of the components is not a must but oftentimes proves the best.

8.App marketing and promotion

Are you planning to reach millions of people? If yes, then it is certain that you will have to spend billions. Again, it depends on how much marketing (traffic) do you wish to do for the target market of your mobile app as per its genre.

9.Ensure Data Security

The more the security walls, the more will be the cost involvement. The security extensions, added into the mobile app, will not only safeguard the privacy of users but also secures the data.

10. Backend maintenance

Backend maintenance is always considered the secondary but vital concern because even after the app's availability in App store, there is always some "Extra-Charged' Backend cost.

11. Animation and Custom Controls

Apps, classified in different categories, might have minimal or maximum animations in it. It surely makes an impact on the app cost, overall.

Number of hours / months varies as per the difficulty to develop the mobile applications (on any platform) but generally, the variations are:

  1. A basic app – 300-600 hours
  2. A medium app- 600 to 800 hours
  3. A complex app- exceeds 1200 hours

From Appendex and Mobiversal, below charges can be confirmed

North America (US and Canada) are considered to be the most expensive, charges from $20 to $250 per hour. Indian and Indonesian developers in India are affordable with $10-75 and $20-40 per hour respectively. Thus, you can easily predict the cost of your mobile app by multiplying the number of hours and the corresponding developers you choose.

Pratik Kanada

CEO, 360 Degree Technosoft

CEO of 360 Degree Technosoft, a mobile app development company. Writes about Leadership, Start-up Quests, Social Media, Latest Tech Trends and Mobile Applications.


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