Has the saying “there’s an app for everything” ever occurred to you? Yes, that is accurate. As of 2022’s second quarter, over 3.5 million mobile apps are available worldwide through the Google Play Store, while the Apple App Store is close behind with 2.2 million. This information comes from a Statista report.
In addition, the Statista Digital Market Outlook projects that by 2025, revenue from mobile apps across a range of categories will grow to approximately $613 billion.
Given their widespread use, it comes as no surprise that every online company is investing in the creation of mobile apps. But the most frequent query that comes up when discussing investments in mobile app development is: How much does mobile app development cost?
This guide seeks to provide you with a thorough response to that question as well as in-depth information on the related aspects that affect app development costs, different app monetization strategies, the process of developing mobile apps, and ways to reduce app development costs.
It should come as no surprise that every online business is investing in the development of mobile apps given their widespread usage. However, when talking about investments in mobile app development, the most common question is: How much does mobile app development cost?
This guide aims to give you a comprehensive answer to that query along with detailed information on the associated factors that impact app development costs, various app monetization techniques, the mobile app development process, and methods for lowering app development costs.
- An Overview of the Typical Cost Estimate for Mobile App Development
- The Most Downloaded Apps Worldwide and How Much They Cost to Develop
- The Top 8 Variables That Affect the Price of Developing a Mobile App
- Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost
- How to Start a Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Process
- How Do Apps Make Money?
- How Can You Lower The Cost of Developing a Mobile App?
An Overview of the Typical Cost Estimate for Mobile App Development
To put it briefly, the approximate cost to create a mobile app can be anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000, and for highly customized and complex apps, it can even exceed $300,000. We used the word “tentative” since the price of developing a custom mobile app varies depending on a number of variables, including the app’s complexity, features and functionalities, development methodology, and more.
But don’t worry, we’ve done a thorough analysis of every significant factor influencing the price of developing a mobile app.
Once you are aware of these variables, you can use the standard calculation formula to get an estimate of the cost of developing an app. The formula or answer to the question of how much does it cost to create an app is found by multiplying the number of hours required for each process of development by the number of billable hours of resources.
The Most Downloaded Apps Worldwide and How Much They Cost to Develop
Here are some examples of well-known apps that are currently dominating the app store and have completely redefined and transformed the idea of customer experience. The typical application development cost for these apps has also been mentioned.
Uber is a well-known ride-sharing application that links drivers and passengers worldwide. Customers can request a car instantly or on a scheduled basis by using the app. Drivers in the area receive those requests. Creating an app similar to Uber can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 on average.
In the realm of social media apps, Snapchat has changed the game with over 300 million daily active users. With its interactive lenses and filters, this well-known messaging app has led the way in introducing augmented reality to its users. You can also send multimedia messages with the app, and they will “self-destruct” after up to ten seconds. Approximately $45,000 to $100,000 for one platform and up to $200,000 for both can be spent on developing an app that resembles Snapchat.
Whatsapp is an instant messaging app that lets users send and receive messages, make audio and video calls instantly, upload photos and videos, and more. A messaging app similar to WhatsApp would typically cost between $30,000 and $70,000 to develop.
This video-sharing app has taken over the entertainment industry and is now unavoidable. Users of TikTok can lip-synch conversations and act out their favorite sequences from various films and music videos.
To improve your photos and videos, the app also provides a number of filters and effects. Creating an app similar to TikTok will typically cost between $60,000 and $100,000 for single platform development and up to $150,000 for hybrid development.
Because of its many advantages, Coursera is an e-learning app that has become incredibly popular with both teachers and students. The app provides access to a variety of distance learning programs, from university degrees to skill development courses, all over the world. The price range for developing a mobile app akin to Coursera could be between $60,000 and $120,000.
Netflix is the most widely used media streaming service globally. Users can watch movies and TV series whenever it’s convenient for them. Developing an app similar to Netflix typically costs between $25,000 and $200,000.
The Top 8 Variables That Affect the Price of Developing a Mobile App
The price of developing a mobile app depends on a number of important factors. You can make the most economical decisions and get the best return on your development if you are aware of these cost-affecting factors. Additionally, it will assist you in sticking to your spending plan.
Complexity of mobile apps
A basic app’s development typically costs between $5,000 and $50,000. Basic user features like a dashboard, user profile functionality, login system, and restricted administration are included in a simple app.
A medium-complex application can cost between $50,000 and $120,000. Numerous features are included in a medium-complex app to increase user engagement and revenue. Standard features like payment gateways, social media integration, audio/video streaming, user privacy, etc., are included with these apps.
A sophisticated application may run you anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 and more. The newest technologies, including AI, machine learning, AR/VR, and more, are integrated into these apps. High-end data logic, multilingual support, and many other features are also included in these apps.
The average cost of developing an app, broken down by complexity, is as follows:
Features and functionalities of the app
The features and functionalities you incorporate into your application will determine a lot of the cost associated with creating one. The basic cost of developing a mobile app for the kind of app you want to create keeps going up as more features are added.
As such, it’s best to focus solely on the essential functions of the app when it’s first released. It will allow you to offer top-notch customer service at fair costs. Developing an MVP is the best course of action. It is a product’s initial iteration with a minimal feature set. MVP will help obtain insightful user feedback while saving time and money.
The breakdown of mobile app development costs based on advanced feature integration is as follows:
From category to category, the cost of creating an app varies significantly. Many factors change as we go from one category to another, including the number of users, features, security requirements, etc., which eventually results in different app development costs.
Let’s quickly review the most popular areas for developing mobile apps.
- E-commerce/M-commerce apps: Due to their abundance of features, which allow them to function well in real-time, manage millions of users simultaneously, and have strong security, e-commerce apps like Wayfair and Amazon are at the pinnacle of popularity.
- Social networking apps: Social media apps can access hardware features like cameras and audio recorders and are created with third-party integrations in mind. Due to the fact that they must support millions of users simultaneously, they are also extremely scalable.
- Applications that run on demand There are three versions of even the most basic on-demand application: one for users, one for service providers, and one for businesses.
- Acti Drive, for example, is an on-demand service application that makes driving hassle-free and is based on Internet of Things technology.
- Apps that rely heavily on hardware: Every IoT application has a tendency to rely heavily on hardware in order to carry out certain tasks, such as gathering data or issuing commands.
- The popular eScooter app “Moo” is an example of an IoT-based hardware-dependent app. Because Moo is the mobility of the future, it operates at the micro level and is entirely hardware based.
Animation & Design for Apps
App design is the next component that raises the question of how much it costs to create an app. A concentrated effort must be made on app design if you want to guarantee that users spend time using your app.
There are usually two options available to us when choosing an app design: Custom and Standard UI. Because it requires more work to design and implement than Standard UI, Customized UI is more costly.
The wireframe and animation are additional elements of mobile app design;
Developers utilize wireframing to produce user experience features and maps that are effective. Photoshop, Balsamiq, Marvel, and other specialized tools are used.
Animation: Adding animation to certain parts of an application has become a common way to make them engaging and user-friendly. Animations are used extensively in social media and gaming applications most of the time.
platform for apps
Selecting a platform is crucial when beginning the process of developing a mobile app. You can choose to develop an iOS, Android, web, or cross-platform application based on who your target user base is. It is best to start with just one platform if you are a startup with a small budget; you can switch to more platforms later on.
The following are the most well-liked options for app development platforms:
Native app platforms for iOS and Android When it comes to programming languages, Android app development uses Java and/or Kotlin, while iOS app development uses Swift and Objective C.
See also: How much does it cost to develop an iOS app?
- Web app platform: Compared to native apps, web apps, such as Progressive Web Apps, are far more affordable. Web app development can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 in terms of development expenses.
- Cross-platform development: Developing an app concurrently for iOS and Android is the newest, most economical trend. Many advantages come with the platform, such as reduced development effort and the use of only one code. React Native and Flutter are currently the two main platforms in the cross-platform market.
- Platform for hybrid apps: Hybrid apps combine elements of web and native applications. It operates in a webview component even though it is installed like a native application.
Expenses undoubtedly continue after the development of mobile applications reaches its conclusion. Companies will incur additional costs as a result of having to constantly update their apps to accommodate shifting consumer preferences and new operating systems and device releases. What happens to your budget after developing an app?
App bug fixes: A mobile app can never be completely bug-free. Most of the time, bugs aren’t made public until the app is released. It is your responsibility to stay alert for those bug fixes.
Modifications to the design – The one aspect of a mobile app that is prone to aging and losing its appeal is the design. If a brand wants to maintain their user base, it is critical that they keep their app design current.
The annual cost of app maintenance is estimated at 20% of the total cost of developing a mobile application.
It’s one of the things that drives down the price of developing mobile apps. The cost of developing a mobile application is significantly reduced when companies choose to incorporate the code of an already-existing app into their own, simply altering the branding components.
When pre-existing codes are utilized, app development costs are 20–30% lower than when new codes are written.
The development team’s size and location
The person you hire to develop the app will have a significant impact on the overall cost of developing a mobile application. A skilled app development company, a local team, an internal development team, or a freelance developer are your options.
For your business app, however, a skilled mobile app development company can do wonders when it comes to creating high-end apps with excellent features and functionalities.
This is a ballpark figure for the cost of developing an app for a mobile device, including an external development team.
Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost
We will talk about the most typical hidden expenses associated with developing mobile apps in this section. It will save time and money, as well as help lower risks, to understand these factors. So let’s get right into each of them by going over them in detail!
Assurance of quality
You might also need to hire a project manager or a quality assurance agent, depending on the size of your app. Business analysts may also be necessary to assist you in staying within your app development budget and minimizing development costs.
Costs of infrastructure
Expenses for app hosting, data delivery, and storage are included in infrastructure costs. All of this increases a project’s cost and complexity. Development tools and libraries, servers, and data storage are a few examples of infrastructure cost items.
Costs of IT support
Without ongoing technical support and IT support services, it is impossible to create an app of the highest caliber. On the other hand, the cost of support might go up eventually. Bug fixes, API maintenance, and updates for iOS and Android are a few examples of IT support services.
The price of publishing an app
App developers consider the requirements of the app store when creating apps. Regarding app store fees, it’s not a huge deal. You must pay a one-time $25 fee in order to submit an Android app on the Play Store. In contrast, Apple charges $99 annually.
To distribute your app only within your company, you will have to pay $299 annually to become a member of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program and make your app available through the App Store. Google Play does not impose any fees on users.
A big worry is app security. When it comes to their personal data, users must trust your app. You ought to have a suitable security plan in place as a result. Everything will work out if you take this into account from the beginning and budget time for testing and security checks beforehand. If this isn’t the case, there may be financial and reputational losses in addition to higher costs.
Now that we are reasonably informed about every aspect influencing the price of developing mobile applications, it’s time to take a look at the typical app development procedure so that you can get going.
How to Start a Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Process
In order to create an app that works for your business, you must go through the steps listed below:
Examine the intended market.
You should learn more about your target market and conduct research before creating an app for your company. This will assist you in gaining an understanding of the market dynamics, customer behavior toward brands, dominant players, and other related topics. Additionally, you ought to read through user reviews for the most popular apps available. This will assist you in creating a superior product.
Select the appropriate platform.
You can make your application work on both iOS and Android. However, if money is tight, you can only create an iOS or Android app. Subsequently, you can optimize your service to run on an additional platform.
Employ a company that develops apps
Hiring a reputable and trustworthy app development company will guarantee that your app will be completed by the desired deadlines with all the newest features and functionalities.
A mobile app development company is made up of market experts, project managers, UI/UX designers, and app developers who always take your vision into consideration and provide insightful recommendations. The business also provides access to the newest technologies and industry knowledge.
Construct an MVP
If you’re looking to test your app idea without going over budget, you should think about creating a minimum viable product (MVP). Ask your app development company to determine the essential features and USPs for a successful MVP, and then build the app accordingly.
Try out your app.
When creating an app for your company, testing is yet another important step to take into account. Test every aspect of the app, including the user interface, performance, and content. Effective testing finds bugs, cuts down on development time and expense, and enhances your reputation as a service provider significantly.
Send the app to retailers.
You can submit your app to the Apple App Store or Play Store after you’re happy with the testing process. However, you must abide by Google’s and Apple’s developer guidelines when submitting an app to the App Store or Play Store. It’s also necessary to match their requirements with your monetization model.
Start and monitor results
After your app is released into app stores, be sure to monitor its performance using the in-app analytics tools that were put in place during the development stage, release updates to boost user engagement, and respond to requests and issues raised by users.
The typical procedure to begin developing an app was as follows. It’s time to examine the app’s business and revenue aspects now. Let’s now examine how an app generates revenue.
How Do Apps Make Money?
Although there are many ways to monetize an app, we’ll go over some of the most well-liked ones in this section. You can use these one or more of the channels to increase revenue and improve customer value.
It is among the most widely used methods for monetizing an app. You advertise goods or services for clients who are not affiliated with you on your app in exchange for payment under this monetization model.
Under this model of monetization, users can use the basic features for free. There is a fee that they must pay in order to access premium features. Additionally, freemium gives you the opportunity to add extra revenue streams like in-app purchases.
Under this model, access to the features that make the app popular will require purchasing a subscription plan. This model allows for a wide range of options, including daily, yearly, and monthly subscriptions. Users can manage their subscriptions through major platforms such as Google and Apple.
Finding a sponsor who fits your niche and working out a compensation plan are both part of the sponsorship model. The sponsor may request that the app display its brand, promote its goods, or direct users to its website in exchange for the financial payment.
We have only discussed the mobile app development estimate and related costs, so now is the appropriate moment to introduce you to the standard procedures that can help you reduce your budget by a portion.
How Can You Lower The Cost of Developing a Mobile App?
Fortunately, by implementing some helpful tips and adhering to a few industry standards, business owners and entrepreneurs can lower the expenses associated with developing mobile apps.
We’ll look more closely at the strategies businesses can employ to lower their overall custom app development costs in this section.
Set early priorities for features.
It’s critical to appropriately prioritize your app’s features when developing one. Setting your app’s functionalities as your top priority will help you start generating business value as soon as possible. The nice-to-have components can wait until later in the development process. Therefore, developing a minimum viable product (MVP) initially is advised.
Include quality control from the start.
You must fix bugs and errors in your application as soon as possible because they are a common occurrence. Before the development phase starts, you can find major issues and bugs by involving QA specialists early on.
You will thus accumulate a substantial amount of savings, which may rise dramatically as your project progresses.
Make future plans.
In the future, the app that was developed today might appear entirely different. If you develop an MVP, for instance, you might wish to modify certain features in response to user feedback. It’s possible that your target market will change entirely, requiring you to alter your product as well.
Because of this, it makes sense to consider both short- and long-term objectives when creating an application. Over time, it will save you a tonne of money.
Internally or externally
Selecting the kind of staffing structure for mobile app development is a crucial part of organizing your project. Your ultimate choice will impact the concept of product maintenance as well as budget expenses and workflow organization. So, the crucial decision is whether to go with internal development or outsourcing.
Hiring an established team for a development project is known as outsourcing. By outsourcing the app development process, the business has access to a talent pool of outstanding individuals. It also enables you to reduce internal workflow and save costs associated with equipment and office expenses.
Read our comprehensive article on in-house vs. outsourcing for app development if you’re still unsure about your options.
Think about developing for multiple platforms.
When releasing an app, every entrepreneur must decide whether to release it for iOS only, Android only, or both. The cost of developing native apps for both platforms is high. You may lose out on a sizable portion of the user base on the other platform if you develop an app only for that platform.
Creating cross-platform applications that function on both platforms is the best course of action. One of the best mobile cross-platform apps is Twitter. Among the most widely used technologies for creating cross-platform applications are Flutter, Unity 3D, and React Native.
Comprehending the app development cost dynamics in 2024 is imperative for efficacious project planning. Our 15-minute guide offers crucial perspectives and tactics to assist you in navigating the changing environment and making wise decisions while developing your app idea.
Moreover, if you are looking for a fuel delivery app development company that can help you with the development, then you should check out Appic Softwares. We have an experienced team of developers that can use all the latest technology and can develop an app.
So, what are you waiting for?