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The usage of smartphones is growing. Almost every consumer business has its mobile app now and should have one. And if the businesses decide to go mobile-first then they need to be thorough about it.

Mobile App development services are complex and require a considerable expenditure of time, budget, and effort. But when the business is mobile app-based, the cost and time of application development become the make-or-break point of success.

Mobile app development

How much does app development cost to build worldwide? : A Survey

In a recent survey, Goodfirms questioned the participating companies about two different decision-making data sets: cost and time.  

 The results were:

Cost to develop an app:

Calculating the time taken with average hourly charges ($65) resulted from the survey, the estimated app development cost would be:

  • A simple app costs about $24,830 to $59,150, with minimum viable features.
  • A complex app costs from $36,107.5 to $85,150, with popular consumer features.
  • An advanced app costs about $59,507.5 to $137,150, with cutting-edge features.

Time to develop an app:

Each stage in the development process requires a different span of time. The survey figures reveal the estimated app development time could be:

  • Making a simple app takes about 4.5 to 11 weeks or approximately one to three months with minimum viable features.
  • Making a complex app takes 7 to 16 weeks or approximately two to four months with popular consumer features.
  • Making an advanced app takes 11.5 to 26 weeks or approximately three to seven months with cutting-edge features.

The average app development cost also varies depending on the geographical location. so let’s have a brief look at the table:

RegionIOS $/hr  Android $/hr
India 2526
UK7171
North America 150150
Australia9292

Know about the Mobile app development cost based on app types and features  

Every project is unique because no two users or clients have the same requirements, context, technology, or people involved in the process. Still, the apps are categorized with estimated prices to provide a common understanding. Note that apps of various types can have similar functionality. 

1. The Basic app costs:

Basic apps have 5-6 screens and no back-end or necessity for a network connection. There is a clear purpose behind the development of this type of app.

  • App Cost: > ~$15,000
  • Timeline: ~1 month
  • Examples: Calculator, Camera, Clock, Local games, SMS apps, Local audio/ video players

2. Data-driven app cost: 

These types of apps can consume and process only specific information. They can either be the extension of a larger software product or include additional features. The cost to build a mobile app increases because it may need some back-end work.  

  • App Cost: ~$15,000+
  • Timeline: ~1-1.5 months
  • Examples: Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Maps

3. The Authentication app cost: 

This kind of app needs a user to log in to provide full app functionality. The mobile app development cost increases due to many subordinate features. In this app, the user has a personal account and interacts with the data, which is synchronized among devices. It also requires a corresponding admin panel for content and user management.  

  • App Cost: starting from ~$60,000+
  • Timeline: ~3-6 months
  • Examples: McDonald’s Loyalty App, Google Drive

4. Social-networking app cost: 

Social networking apps mean social interactions, chats, and information sharing. It has a planned back-end infrastructure with the intent to process lots of data.  

  • App Cost: ~$60,000 – $230,000+
  • Timeline: ~3-6 to up to 9+ months for ongoing project
  • Examples: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yummi

5. On-demand app price: 

On-demand apps work as their name. The goal is to satisfy specific needs or wants. These apps can have functionality similar to that of social apps, such as a login or communication component – chats, calls, and more. Also, like eCommerce apps, it can have ordering, delivery, and payment features to purchase goods and services.

On-demand apps usually consist of two apps with totally different experiences. As a result, the mobile app development cost rises and so does the development time. It is critical to developing two separate applications with their logic, UX/UI design, and functionality. 

  • App Cost: ~ from $70,000 – 80,000+ (per platform)
  • Timeline: ~5-7+ months
  • Examples: Uber, UberEATS, Postmates, Nimber, Melabiz

6. eCommerce app cost: 

These apps include the functionalities like user registration, user account, social features, and many more. They are also equipped with detailed product catalogs, separate product pages, and a user check-out system completed via payment transaction. The eCommerce app infrastructure is a complex one because it requires a well-planned back-end and admin panel to manage users, orders, catalog pages, payments, inventory, etc.

  • App Cost: ~$60,000 – $230,000+
  • Timeline: ~3-6 to up to 9+ months for ongoing project
  • Examples: Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, ASOS, GoPuff

7. Market-place app cost: 

It includes features from both eCommerce and on-demand services, as an extensive version of those apps. The marketplace app concept has two sides of the economy – demand and supply. The logic and interaction in the user-experience should be clearly defined. This type of mobile app development can be a time-consuming process. Therefore the development cost of apps would be higher.

  • App Cost: ~$230,000+ (web platform)
  • Timeline: ~9+ months
  • Examples: TripAdvisor, Booking.com

8. IoT and Hardware app costs: 

The task of Internet-of-Things apps is to interconnect physical objects or equipment with technology. Applied technology makes these items smart. These ‘smart’ items could be anything like medical tools, pet collars, devices for home assistance, and so on.

The IoT apps connect with a device either via Bluetooth or WiFi technology. This helps to send requests and receive data. It is necessary to have a ready-made device and comprehensive documentation to create this kind of app. 

  • App Cost: starting at ~$60,000+
  • Timeline: from ~3-6 months
  • Examples: Beacons, Amazon Dash Buttons, WeMo, BELI Printing Service, Jo

Factors influencing the app development cost 

During a mobile app development project, the first thing required would be to analyze your initial requirements. Even the outsourcing development company would need to estimate the hours required to implement your specific needs before you were sent a quote from their mobile app development services.

The app development doesn’t hinge on two factors like cost and time only. It also depends on various factors like: 

1. The App development team location and structure 

As we discussed earlier, the location of the development company or team influences the cost. The cost structure will vary across the region.

2. Technical complexity/ features and complexity/ feature and functionality 

On average, the period of app development is 3-6 months but as the features and technical complexities increase, the app development time also increases. Typical features like sign-in, push notifications, primary navigation, etc. won’t take much time to build. But the complex features like credit card payment, online streaming, offline mode, and more can consume a lot of time and that can directly affect the app development cost.

3. The Back-end infrastructure and application administration 

The back-end is an operating system in the mobile application that allows data exchange between an app and a database through APIs. It is also equipped with analytics that allows the user to track user activity and assess the performance of the app. The app development costs vary depending upon the tracking parameters. An adequate administration panel is also built to fulfill your business requirements. 

4. Nice third party integration 

Third-party integrations are to boost your app development speed. But third-party integrations, particularly niche ones provide complicated and inconsistent documentation. And then you need to figure out how to integrate them into the app. In short, you have to pay a fee to use nice third-party integration services.

5. Customization of visual design

Creating a unique user interface design is a complicated and expensive task. The volume of screens is a decisive part. 

Apart from them, other factors affecting mobile app development cost include In-app purchases, Hardware components, Supported browsers, devices, Operating systems platform, Post-release expenses, and Maintenance of the app. 

App development cost of each phase 

Generally, mobile app development services consist of six stages. It is necessary to know the needs and cost of each stage. 

1.The Business Analysis 

Every idea or concept needs to run through market analysis, the app needs verification as well as functional and non-functional documentation. An app development team has to ask innumerable questions to get a precise quote on costs.

  • The business analysis stage could cost between $1,200 to $11,000 with a timeline of 2-4 weeks.
  • Experienced developers allocate around 10% of the whole app development budget to the business analysis phase.

2. Application Prototyping and UI/UX Design

As we already talked about the first impressions, enhanced UI/UX design is very important. A flawless UI/UX design will create that exceptional first impression. It should be used to hook the customers. And a clickable prototype is a great idea to put your app requirements specifications in place.

You can get your click-through prototype with tools like Adobe XD, Marvel, InVision, and Proto.io. This stage of app development cost from $2,500 to $10,000.

3.The App Coding 

The cost of programming and coding will be more than all other app development costs. The mobile app architecture and functionality development cost between $2,000 to $60,000.

4. Project Management

Project management is another critical stage of the mobile app development process. A project manager controls the entire process from start to end. And it takes up to 10-15% of the total app budget which would be estimated at around $1,200 to $12,000.

5. App Testing and Deployment

Testing is the most important stage in the mobile application development process as it upholds the quality of your product. You will need to incorporate precise testing protocols throughout the process.  

An in-depth testing phase makes sure that your users will face minimal issues while using the product. The estimated app development cost can be less than $5,000.

6. Mobile app Maintenance 

Developing and releasing your app on Google Play Store and App Store doesn’t mean your work and expenses are over. If you want your app to be available for users to download and use as many times as they want then you also need to consider the cost of maintaining your mobile application in the overall mobile app development cost. 

Even if you aren’t planning to add any features soon, you should have a maintenance plan and budget to keep your app up to date. 

The mobile app maintenance services include the following : 

  • Fixing bugs
  • Updating your app to the latest OS versions
  • Upgrading app to make it compatible with new technologies
  • Code optimization
  • Improving app stability
  • Scale up the server infrastructure as the number of users grows
  • Mobile app development is an ongoing process, and you should keep upgrading your app to reap the benefits of advanced technologies.

The mobile app maintenance cost will be approximately 10-20% of the development cost.

Final Words: A short guide to mobile app development within your budget!

I hope by now, you have got an idea of average app development costs. But you can never be too careful. Therefore, I have found a method that will enable you to complete a project within your budget irrespective of whether you opt for in-house development or outsourcing. 

  1. Have specific app requirements and conduct your market research regarding every aspect of your application development project.
  2. Choose a suitable team of mobile app developers. Make sure they have experience working with brands similar to yours and have a thorough look at their portfolio. You will get to know more about their work and methods. If you have an in-house team, then make sure they are well-trained and talented in the work they are going to undertake.
  1. Use the right set of technologies and development tools to achieve relevant results.
  2. Adopt the best industry practices and smart solutions for functionality, utilize effective project management processes and tools inside the company to save time and costs of the operation.
  3. Make sure to apply only proven and working libraries as well as third-party services. And document every task, every step of the mobile app development project. 
  4. If you opt for outsourcing, have a look at the hourly development rates with an overall price-quality ratio.
  5. Beginning with the development of the first version of the app is a good way to start growing your project. And use a simple design for the first version of the app.
  6. As a Product Owner, get involved in the app development process. Your feedback is important to the team. You achieve greater results through combined efforts only.
  7. Never underestimate the stage of app discovery because it is worth the initial investment. Planning is the key to success and planning will be great once you gain clarity about your goals.
  8. Create a detailed project estimate. You should get the core project materials right after the discovery stage and straighten out the rough app estimate.
  9. Just stick to the app scope otherwise a situation may arise that could demand you to pay extra or reorganize the work. 

I think this much is enough to successfully get you through your mobile app development project. However, if you have any specific queries, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

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