The one question that help you decide whether to develop an app or not is how much will it cost? It is the #1 question every business owner wants an answer to. Let’s be honest, everything comes at a price but the price tag for mobile app development is not definite. A time-proven saying that stands true here is “you get what you pay.”
The usual response would be “well it depends”, which is intriguing & raises more questions. So, now you need to find answers to questions like ‘How much does it cost?’ and ‘On what things the price depends?’
Tired of figuring out the answers yourself, you Google it on the web and come across articles promising to provide accurate estimates for mobile app development. They are nothing but self-promotion intended to attract you with your mobile app development requirement. And the estimate you receive won’t show you the real picture too. So, how do you know how much will it cost?
How Much Does Mobile App Development Cost for Your Business in 2021?
Depending on a bunch of factors, the price of the mobile app development can range from $10,000-$100,000 or even more. And in this article, we are going to stress down on what is the cost of mobile app development for your business in 2021. So, let’s delve deep into the factors affecting the cost of app development.
1. Features & Functionalities Required:
Knowing the features and functionalities required to build your app is essential to find out how much will it cost. The number of features and their complexity level is the two biggest cost drivers for mobile app development. The amount of logic, fields required, buttons, screens, etc. matter a lot when it comes to deciding the cost.
Let’s see some simple and complex level features along with time and cost for the development.
|Complexity||Features||Time for Development||Cost ($25/Hr)|
|· User Profile(creation & edit)
· Login (Social/Email)
· Chat Support
· File Upload
· Native Device Features
80 to 150Hrs
$2000 to 3750
|· User Engagement (Social/Email/SMS)
· One-Click Contacting
· Activity Feed
· Sync across Devices
· Payment Integration
· E-Commerce (Shopping Cart/Inventory/Ordering, etc.)
· Barcode/QR Scanner Integration
· Audio/Video Streaming
· User Privacy Settings
100 to 200+ Hrs
$2500 to 5000+
· Multi-Lingual Support
150 to 300+ Hrs
$3750 to 7500
All these are just a tip of the iceberg. Besides, you may require a change of feature at any stage of the development that may attract additional charges. You must take such changes into account & plan your budget accordingly.
What platform do you intend to target with your mobile app: Android, iOS, or Both? Creating native apps for both the OSs can be costlier than targeting only one platform. While deciding what platform to go for, app owners may consider the OS market share, their device fragmentation, and prevalence. When it comes to cost, there is no significant discrepancy in the costs of creating an Android or iOS app. This means the costs of creating a native Android app would nearly equal to creating a native iOS app. So, the total cost will accumulate to double the amount for developing for one platform.
However, there is an alternative if you plan to create an app for both the platform, which could save you a good amount of money. Instead of native apps, cross-platform or hybrid app development is a good choice. Top frameworks like Flutter, React Native, etc. solves the problem of almost double the app creation cost & hiring two separate teams.
3. Backend Infrastructure & App Administration:
In the mobile app, OS is generally the backend that helps developers with APIs for data exchange. It is armed with analytics to track user activity & assess how your app performs. The costs will vary depending on the parameters you want to track and how specific & detailed the tracking is needed to be.
The administration panel can come in handy for managing the app content, users, and statistics. Choosing the right template for your business is often a crucial decision. While there are lots of options available, finding the best-fit is a problem everyone has to go through. Thus, it’s practical to go for creating a custom panel that perfectly meets your requirements. The following table illustrates the time and cost of developing an app with simple, complex, and advanced features.
|Complexity||Features||Time for Development||Cost ($25/Hr)|
|· User Management
· Feedback System
· Ticketing System
· Push Notification
40 to 100Hrs
$1000 to 2500
|· Payment Management
· Data Collection & Analytics
· Order Management
· App Security
70 to 160+ Hrs
$1750 to 4000+
|· Machine Learning
· Conversational Bots
150 to 300+ Hrs
$3750 to 7500
4. Location for the App Development:
The most popular countries for app development are the USA, the UK, Canada, South America, Ukraine, India, Australia, etc. The charges per hour levied by these countries vary significantly. Thus, the location you choose to develop a mobile app for your business can greatly influence the overall cost of development.
So, one must consider the location for the app development wisely according to the available budget. One survey reveals that the USA, Canada, and Australia are among the costliest location to develop an app. And per-hour charges for a developer vary starting from $90 to $150.
Whereas countries like India, Ukraine, and other Southeast Asia countries are among the least costly locations. Starting from a mere $20 to $40 per hour, the developers from these locations offer the cheapest and reliable app development.
The thing here to note is, high prices are not the mark of high-quality work and low prices do not mean low quality. Generally, the high prices are for the name of the company that has become a brand while the same work from cheap locations wouldn’t put a strain on your pockets.
A simple app in the USA, Canada, and Australia would cost around $35,000 to $90,000, a complex app would cost around $50,000 to $120,000, and an advanced app would cost above $150,000. The cost for the same app in India, Ukraine, and other Asia locations would be around $8,000 to $25,000 for simple, $15,000 to $35,000 for complex, and $30,000 to $45,000 or less depending on the platform & OS you choose for the development.
5. App Designing:
How mobile app looks and how it works is all governed by how a mobile app is designed. And for the same, most app developers spend time & effort researching & designing the app user experience. Also, app development deals with designing the UI elements for the app’s presentation.
The UX designing costs include:
- User Research & Analysis
- App Navigation
- Information Architecture
UX designing can take 30 to 80 hours maximum of 300hours resulting in $750 to $2000 or a maximum of $7500 if we take a $25/hour charge.
App UI designing includes:
- Brand Styles: Logos, Icons, Colors, etc.
- Rendered Designs
- App Interface – Visuals, Content
- Final Design/Prototype
User interface designing takes around 40 to 100 hours or a maximum of 400 hours resulting in $1000 to $2500 or a maximum of $10,000.
6. App Infrastructure:
A mobile app demands technology, services, flexibility, scalability, and others, which are all facilitated by the app infrastructure. And developing the app infrastructure requires significant investment too. The following are the elements that govern the costs of developing the app infrastructure.
- Database Setup
- 3rd-party API integration
- Data Encryption & App Security
- Data Storage Solution
- App Scalability
Generally, setting up of such app infrastructure can take 100 to 200 hours depending on the skills & number of developers deployed. A $25/Hr rate would give us around $2500 to $5000 app development cost.
7. App Testing:
Testing a mobile app rigorously is essential as it ensures the quality and seamless app experience. The cost and time associated with testing depend upon the testing procedure, the quality required, its complexity, the purpose of the app, and the number of screens. This includes,
- Quality Assurance
- Functional Testing
- User Experience Testing
- Security Testing
- Performance Testing
- Device & Platform Testing
- And other Tests
Most companies take around 40 to 120 hours or a maximum of 450hrs. This results in $1000 to $3000 or a maximum of $11,250 with a $25/hour charge.
8. App Maintenance & Support:
App maintenance & support is often an overlooked activity that requires an ample amount of investment too. The following are a few support & maintenance activities,
- Infrastructure & 3rd-party API charges
- Code Optimization
- Emergency Maintenance
- Continuous bug fixing & app update
- App stability & performance
- Developing new features
- App scaling
- Updating for latest OS version
- And many others
Maintenance is a continuous process and most development companies charge around 20-25% of the overall app development cost per year. Suppose an app cost around $32,000, then the maintenance cost for the same will be around $6400 to $8000 per year.
In a nutshell, our experts have tried to provide the best value and insights on the time and cost of developing a mobile app for your business. The cost of the development generally varies depending on the features & functions required, platforms to develop for, development location, app design, testing, maintenance, support, etc.
While deciding about mobile app development, you often come across choices like outsourcing vs in-house development. Developing in-house requires extra investment and is mostly suitable for tech-savvy companies. Other companies must outsource to offshore development centers.
About Darshit Parmar
Darshit Parmar is expertise with Project Management and SEO Analyst, and shares his 10 years of experience with Ecommerce Business Owners in making their brands and business a place in their own field.Read More