What is the cost of developing an app? This is probably the first question that arises in our mind when we have an idea for which we want to develop an app, but no one has a concise answer for it. And actually, there are many factors on which the cost of developing an app depends.
Henceforth, in this article we would be discussing all those factors which influence the app development cost whether it is a type of apps, developing team location, or post-release services. We would be also taking examples of some popular apps and estimating them as per their features.
Cost of Developing an App
As per the VDC report, the average cost for developing an app is nearly $140,000. The app development cost starts from $2,000 and can go up to $250,000. The cost will increase with the complexity of the app. As per complexity, the average app cost by GoodFirms research is:
- $40,000 – $60,000 for a simple app (Comes with basic UI Design, and essential features)
- $60,000 – $70,000 for a medium complex app (Comes with advanced features, and custom UI)
- $70,000 – $100,000 for a highly complex app (Time-consuming features, complex design, and maintenance)
If you want to create a basic app then it can cost nearly $25,000. Apps with advanced features cost $40,000 – $70,000. While a complex app can cost more than $70,000.
These rates are when we have considered the per hour rate is $50/hr. As you can observe, there are huge variations in the price of developing an app. Because developing an app depends on several factors such as features, platform (iOS or Android), developer’s experience, location, and many others. This is the reason you can’t get the exact cost just by googling.
Average Cost of App Development
In 2018, there was a survey conducted by GoodFirms to evaluate the app development cost for apps like Tinder, Uber, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc, and get these approx. outcomes.
- Developing an app with complex features such as Instagram or Uber can cost nearly 70-100 thousand dollars. The average development time is nearly 15-25 weeks.
- Developing a medium complex app such as QuizUp or Whatsapp can cost between 60 – 70 thousand dollars. The average development time is nearly 12 to 15 weeks.
- Mobile app development with simple features such as Tinder or Periscope costs nearly 40 – 60 thousand dollars. The development time is 15 weeks.
You can go through these articles for app development costs such as Uber, Instagram, Tinder, Postmates, and Snapchat.
Factors Affecting App Development Cost:
Here are the major factors that are taken into account while deciding the cost of your app:
- 1. App Type: Hybrid, Native, or Flutter
- 2. App Platform: Android or iOS
- 3. Features complexity
- 4. UI/UX Design: Custom or Native features
- 5. Developers Experience & their location
We would be discussing each of these factors.
App Type: Hybrid, Native, or Flutter
If your app suits a particular OS then it is a Native app. So you will require two different apps for iOS and Android. Hybrid or Cross-platform mobile applications can work on multiple OS i.e. the app development costs get less. The maintenance cost also gets reduced when the same code can work on all platforms. But hybrid apps are not as such optimized and are limited to give the feel of native apps.
Flutter is quite different from a native or hybrid app. In the flutter, mobile application developers have to code for the app only once and they can use the same code to work on both iOS and Android platforms. If you opt for flutter app development, you can reduce the costing by 60%.
App Platform: Android or iOS
Do you want to develop an iOS app? Or your audience prefer Android smartphones? Or you have to develop an app for both platforms? Before deciding the platform of your app, you have to focus on your target and find the share of iOS & Android devices among them.
Developing a mobile application on iOS and Android differs a lot. There are different programming languages involved, in iOS, it is Swift and Objective – C while in Android it is Java & Kotlin. They come with different SDK along with different tools.
We can’t say that there is a huge price difference for developing on iOS or Android (if you are aiming app development) on a single platform. However, if you want to develop the app for both platforms, then you should be ready with a big budget for mobile app development services. If you have a limited budget, then you can go for hybrid app development. Because if it is necessary to be an app developed on both platforms then there would be a double cost for native in comparison to hybrid.
The number of features & functionalities and the complexity of those features is the most important factor while deciding the app development cost. The number of screens, buttons, fields, forms, logics, all are equally important. And there are third-party APIs ( such as social media logins, payment methods, shipping methods, etc).
In contrast to a complex app, simple solutions require fewer features. It takes 13-18 hours to implement a basic search or push notifications in a basic admin panel.
Time and Cost breakdown by features:
|Map||– User location |
– Searching location on the map
– Setting pickup point on the map
|75-110 hrs||$1,875 – $2,750|
|Payments||– Amount balance|
– Transactions History
– Adding Cards
|60-80 hrs||$1,500 – $2,000|
|Streaming||– Start/stop broadcast|
– View broadcast
– Switch between broadcasts
|90-140 hrs||$2,250 – $3,500|
|Calls||– Audio Calls|
– Video Calls
– Contacts List
|257-365 hrs||$6,400 – $9,000|
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UI/UX Design: Custom or Native features
If you want to implement a captivating user interface and interactive user experience then it can take 20- 200 hours. And will add 500-5000 dollars in cost. The cheapest option here is using OS-supplied items and creating screens of standard elements.
Developers location and their experience
The demographic region from which you are hiring a mobile app development team can greatly impact its cost. Also, the developers with a vast experience of 5+ years will definitely cost more in comparison to the novice. Here are some regions with their per hour costs:
- Canada: $50-250
- USA: $50-300
- Latin America: $30-50
- UK: $50-170
- Western Europe: $35-170
- Eastern Europe: $20-250
- India: $18-80
- Australia: $50-150
The highest development costs are in the USA, Europe, Canada, and Australia. But a high price doesn’t ensure quality. It also doesn’t matter from which country the developers are. What matters is their experience and previous projects completed?
How to find out the development cost of your app?
If you want to figure out the development cost of your app, then you need to introspect what would be the essential features of the app, how many screens would be, is it require any 3rd party integration?
As we have told you, features decide the cost of the app. If you want to develop an MVP with only essential features such as login, cart, products list, and others or a complex app like Uber or Netflix.
Suppose you want to create an e-shop MVP then implementing a catalog can take nearly 20 hours which will cost $500. What we did is multiply the number of hours by our cost i.e. $25 per hour. Hence, the formula is:
No. of Hours x Hourly rate = Cost of developing the app
App Development Cost By Stages
Developing a mobile application is not just about coding but is divided into different stages. These stages are:
- Business Analysis
- UI/UX Design
- QA Testing
- Project Management
We will discuss each stage in more detail.
If you have an idea and start consulting with a mobile app development company. Then they will not immediately start developing your app but will first do business analysis. They will come up with all the tech and business requirements of your application, before giving you a quote of the application development. What will they do?
- Collecting the requirements
- Laying out technical and business problems
- Analyze the competitors
- Define project value
- Creating project specification
Planning is the key to success. Business Analysis team research would be crucial for the project and their work will also cost some amount of money. Generally, the business analysis gets complete within 2 weeks. Their costs may be lesser than the actual development costs.
A Business analyst costs in different regions are $110-125 per hour in the US; $45-55 per hour in Latin America; $40- 63 in Europe, and $30 – 42 in Asia.
If your app doesn’t look good you can’t attract users on it. Captivating UI/UX is definitely a need for an app. While UI/UX designing the designers will analyze similar mobile apps, check out the user preferences, wireframing, and the final design.
A UI/UX designer costs in different regions are $80-160 per hour in the US, $40-50 per hour in Latin America, $30-50 per hour in Europe, and $20-35 per hour in Asia.
Also, the UI/UX design of iOS takes more time than Android. Mostly, the design is done for one platform (iOS) and it is then adapted to the other platform (Android).
This is the most crucial stage of app development where most of the things are done. Depending upon the platform you want to develop the app, you will hire either iOS app developers or Android app developers. If you have planned for both, then it would be great if you hire a mobile app development company. The development team would be responsible for implementing all of the features & functionalities, 3rd party integration, modules, backend development, etc. of your app.
The developers can be junior developers, senior developers, mid-level developers or lead developers. Their hourly cost can vary from $100-200 in the US, $35-60 in Latin America, $25-70 in Europe, $20-40 in Asia.
After the development work, it is the responsibility of the QA team to identify the potential bugs and issues in the app and report them to the development team. They check the complete UI of the app, and each & every functionality.
Testing starts simultaneously with development. And you can’t just avoid QA for saving money as without it even your invested money can go in vain.
The QA analysts can be junior level, mid-level, or senior level. Their hourly costs can vary from $70-140 in the US, $30-50 in Latin America, $25-60 in Europe, $15-35 in Asia.
Above were all stages regarding the development of your application. However, to whom you will coordinate while all those stages occur? The developers, designers, or any other entity don’t have time to communicate with you. This is the work of project managers. A project manager would be there for your right from the beginning and will resolve your queries even after the delivery. His roles & responsibilities are:
- Keep an eye on requirements and giving a quote to you
- Make sure the team doesn’t have any queries and is working on the right track
- Solve internal as well as external communication issues
- Report to your queries.
And it seems easy but time-consuming activity. It depends on the company whether they charge you for project coordination or not.
Apart from designing and development, an app also needs updates, testing, maintenance, and hosting. These add some additional expenses.
Launching App fees
- Google Play Store charges one-time fees of $25 to put your app on it
- Apple App Store charges $99 per year.
After putting your app on the app store, there may be cases when users will face problems in the app or find some other issues. In this case, a maintenance team would be there for you to manage things. A maintenance team will help you in:
- Fixing bugs or issues
- Optimize speed and app performance
- Optimize code
- Support for latest OS
- Implementing new features
Generally, the app maintenance costs are decided over a period such as $1000 for 3 months.
Hosting, APIs, and Libraries
If your app requires a server to store data such as payment history, invoices, etc. then you have to pay a bit extra. Hosting servers such as AWS cost depends on the number of users. For e.g., if it is an MVP with 100 users then it will cost $100. While basic AWS architecture supporting a few thousands of users will cost around $250–$400. Also if you want to integrate 3rd party integrations, then you need to pay them too.
If you have done great research and your idea has good future potential then app development costs are a one-time investment before doing great business. All the development costs can return by profits in a few months after the app launch. At Amplework Software, the best mobile application development company, our hourly rate ($25/hr) is quite reasonable as per our services and experience.