How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App?

how much does it cost to develop an app

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get”- Warren Buffet

Now, let’s face the elephant in the room.

In this digital world, every business is fond of social networking and brand-building through apps, and websites. Being a traditional service provider, if you are having an app idea but are wondering about the app development cost. Herein, we along with our app developers and consultants have prepared a guide on the cost to develop an app. 

Just like every other thing in life, you get what you pay for. You can’t expect to build an amazing app, just for a few dollars. At the same time, using tons of it, will not make the app creation successful.

In a nutshell, the price of developing an app varies from $2000-$300000. There is a noticeable gap, isn’t it? Here we will analyze the real drivers of cost for mobile app development. 

Introduction

There are multiple factors that impact the cost to create an app. Different developer rates, project complexity, the time it takes to create an app, types of app, outsourced or local app development, app design, and other specific features & functionalities. 

Let’s understand all these factors one after the other to know how much does it cost to make an app? When you think of an app development idea, you must be wondering about the type of apps and their respective costs. Before heading towards the estimated cost to develop an app, let’s have a look at it.

Types of App By Technology

types of app by technology
1. Native Apps
These apps are specifically created for one platform or operating system. Native apps are the singular focus, with the advantage of faster and more reliable performance. They are built for just one platform. Such app developments are more efficient with the device’s resources than other types of mobile apps.

For instance, if you are developing Android platform for native apps, then it will use Java; if you are developing iOS platform it will use Objective C or Swift. 

To better understand the app development, let’s dive into its pros and cons.

Pros
  • Native apps are specifically made on one platform, thus they are faster and more refined. It provides high performance than other app types.
  • Users are able to navigate an intuitive interface as it integrates with the mobile operating system flawlessly.
  • Apps with better UX get featured more often on the App Store. Thus, native apps can be searched more easily by users, and it is easy for a business to reach its potential audience in a short span of time.
  • App accessibility is very high. Camera, microphone, GPS, motion sensor, and much more.
  • Native apps are programmatically more secured compared to hybrid apps. These apps are assured of complete safety and security as they have to get the approval of app stores.
native app cons

2. Hybrid Apps
These apps are a combination of native and web apps. Hybrid apps can be deployed in various operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows, and even can run in various browsers. They are cross-platform and are easily distributed between app stores without several versions.

Hybrid apps can also rely on platforms that offer platforms like JavaScript APIs if those functionalities are called within a WebView.   

Pros
  • Less time and money. These apps are typically much faster to build and deploy provided you are not trying a lot of custom features.
  • The development process is streamlined. The mobile app developers have no need to write unique code for each platform.
  • The hybrid framework allows developers to work with a single codebase to handle both iOS and Android platforms.
  • If you wish to approach a wider audience then the hybrid app development allows targeting users from both platforms at the same time.
Hybrid app cons

3. Web Apps
Today’s technological advancement allows developers to develop an app that runs in a web browser. Unlike native apps, languages such as C + are implemented easily in web apps. The app updates are easy to perform and are installed easily on the server. They are easy to maintain, sometimes web apps are made for cross-platform app development services. Users can utilize any application from any computer through internet connectivity. Thus, any desktop software solution can be a web-based application.

Pros
  • This is a cost-effective development. The users can access the system through a uniform environment which becomes a basic advantage for the business.
  • The web apps are flexible when it comes to accessibility. The apps can be operated from anywhere and anytime.
  • Such app development supports all the devices connected with the internet.
  • Web apps are more secure than simple websites, as they are deployed on dedicated servers.
web app cons

We have curated a scannable table for you with some basic parameters which will help you in the app’s decision-making and eventually cost to develop an app.

Particulars Native Hybrid Web
Performance Faster and more refined Slower than native apps slower than native apps
Cost & Time It is expensive and the development is time-consuming Less expensive and easy to develop the app Less expensive and is less time-consuming than Hybrid & Native
Platforms It is developed for a particular platform It is developed for both the platforms It can be built for Android/iOS/Web
App Maintenance The developers have to roll out new version with every update. Thus, high maintenance A hybrid app can easily bypass versions and make the app maintenance simple as updating a web page Web apps are easy to maintain as they are deployed easily on every platform
User Experience It provides the best user experience with apt features and functionalities It provides with poor user experience, as it is stuffed with complex features It provides better user experience than Hybrid apps
Cross-platform Technology It does not support cross-platform It supports cross platform as it is a combination of native and web app It supports cross-platform

After selecting the right app technology complimenting your app idea, you might be interested in knowing the app development cost worldwide. Let’s have a look at the worldwide cost to build an app with an approximate idea to calculate your own app development. 

What is the Cost to Create an App Worldwide?

Country iOS/Android
U.S.A 50-100
UK 30-70
Australia 40-110
India 30-70
Indonesia 10-20

How to Calculate App Development Cost?

Let’s assume that a leading mobile app development company like us charges $30 per hour and the development time it takes to make an ordinary app is 80-90 hours. Here’s the simple formula that you can use for calculating the cost of developing a mobile app for your business or startup: 

Development time x Cost per hour = Total app development cost

If you want to calculate the app development based on its complexity. Have a look at the bifurcation based on simple, moderate, and complex apps. (as per their feature & UI/UX) 

If we split the app category into three sections to understand the complexity and take the app development costs by regions, you might be able to calculate your estimated cost to develop an app.

  • Simple apps are ones that are made without adding any benefits. You will get some basic features and the needed UI options. 
  • Moderate apps are ones with some interesting things to offer such as integration with API, custom UI, and real-time messaging.
  • Complex apps provide high performance with advanced features such as media processing, real-time sync, custom animation, and more with this app.

app development cost by regions

After calculating these costs, we are sure you are thinking about how to reduce your mobile app development cost. Dive in tips to reduce your app development cost which will not only help your business but also helpful for developers to decrease the overall app cost.

  • In-detailed requirement- Jot down all your requirements which will help you in clear communication with the app developer that will save their time and efforts.
  • Clear & concise app purpose- Keep your app’s purpose clear & concise like if you want to develop a food ordering app, then it will only take orders from users and deliver it on estimated time.
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP)- This is a new development technique in which an application developed with only one region, sufficient features, and functionalities to suffice the early users’ needs.
  • Integrate Useful Features- If you have decided to develop an app, it is not mandatory to include a lot of features in your first version.

tips to reduce mobile app development

Now, there are many other influential elements that directly impact the cost to develop an app. Let’s have a look at some of these factors that potentially affect the app development cost. 

Which Factors Impact Cost to Develop an App?

1. Features and Functionalities

The features and functionalities are usually based on what type of app are you making a simple app or a complex one? 

The cost of app development depends on the type of functionalities and the number of features you need in your app. The complexity of features directly impacts the number of hours taken to develop it.  The number of screens, buttons, pathways, and the type of automation – all of it are cost drivers when it comes to mobile application development. 

For instance, you are planning to develop a “search” feature. 

Now, you might think that this feature integration is quite simple as it is present in almost every app. But this little, simple feature takes about 12-18 hours in development. Let’s assume that you are hiring app developer at a low rate of $50/hour, then the cost for developing a mobile app feature comes to $600-$900.

There are many other features like in-app purchases, geolocation, user-login, navigation, social media integration, and others whose costs differ for every app project. There are no fixed costs of app development as it all depends on the scale and complexity of the in-app feature set. 

Let’s take a simple example of in-app purchases.

When you plan to integrate such a feature, you will have to secure your user’s payment with payment gateway integration. Android Pay, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Stripe, PayPal, Intuit, Square, Braintree and many others are the options to select from. There are several factors that decide the hours and pricing while integrating such a feature.

  • How do you want the payment to get processed? (credit/debit cards, COD, mobile wallets)
  • Where to store the users payment data securely in the app?
  • How do you want to secure digital transactions?

We at Space-O Technologies have integrated over 1500 payment gateway integration feature in different apps from salon to delivery. Our Android and iOS app developers admit to us that it takes approximately 40-50 hours to develop or even more to integrate one payment system. Thus, this feature almost will cost you between a range of $1200-1500.

We have curated a set of features with their development complexities accompanied by approximate cost and hour estimation. Suppose the approximate cost as $30 per hour.

Features Complexity Approximate Hours Approximate Cost
Geolocation This is based on mobile’s GPS, geolocation accuracy, accurate location. 40-60 $1200-$1800
Chatbot Direct individual messaging or group chat, support file transfer, messaging and history or auto-delete them after a period of time, offline mode. 80-100 $2400-$3000
In-app purchases It depends on no of items or list of products/services, subscriptions, premium features. 20-40 $600-$1200
Multi-language support The major task is data management and UI adjustments, interface readjustments with different languages and directions. 15-40 $450-$1200
Streaming Real-time data sending to the server, supportive video-audio file formats, record-and-send option through a local file. Minimum 30 $900 and above

2. App Platform
On which platform have you planned to launch your app? iOS or Android? The targeted audience is your deciding factor. One of the major aspects of driving the mobile app development costs is the app deployment platform. 

According to Statista, Android captures 85% of the global market share when we compare mobile OS. However, Apple captures a large share of the American market by holding more than 40% of the U.S. audience.

Both the platforms have different offerings, and if you are someone to build an app considering both app stores, then you should develop native app for your product or service.

In case you decide to go for only one platform, we have curated some advantages for you.

Advantages of Android App Development 

  • It is an open source and has comparatively low entry barriers which allows startups and small businesses to develop apps easily.
  • There are more opportunities for businesses and developers to get the best out of UI. In Android apps it is easy to customize the UI as per the user-experience.
  • These apps are distributed through third-party marketplaces. Such multi-network distribution helps increase market penetration.
  • The Android apps are easily approved compared to iOS. 

Advantages of iOS App Development

  • iOS has more security than Android. 
  • Such an app platform provides you with a filtered audience. 
  • The users are assured beforehand about the smooth functioning of the app, resulting in better customer experience.
  • The strong brand value and better scalability is achieved through customized iPhone app development.

If you are planning to launch your app on both platforms, then you will need to choose between native or hybrid apps. Although hybrid apps might look like a money-saver, it could make you incur more costs over time. Since your hybrid app won’t use any native features, there could be some functionality issues in the later stages. Thus, the wise decision is to opt for native app development.

3. Local or Outsourced App Development

If you are hiring an employee, you don’t have to just pay for his salary. You will also need to pay for the device he will use, electricity, water, coffee, internet, the furniture, and any other facilities that your company offers. This increases the overhead costs as you add more employees. That’s the problem with inhouse development – it might end up costing you more overall.

With outsourcing, if you are careful about where you are investing your money, it will really work in your favour. With an efficient mobile app development company, you will get a strong technical backing, clean and efficiently coded apps. 

Have a look at this difference to have the apt idea between outsourcing and local app development.

Outsource App Development Local App Development
  • Outsourcing an app is much cheaper than working with a local app developers team.
  • Reduction of charges and other fees. A client does not have to invest time and resources in the organization of the workplace, of employees, and infrastructure.
  • There is no need to monitor the project or be bothered about the employee’s illness. Working with an outsourcing company automatically guarantees that the project will be fully completed.
  • Speed and quality of the outsourced app development companies have extensive experience. The client can return the pre-payment or services if he doesn’t like the end result of the job. A client does not have to look at employee retention or bare expenditure of his training.
  • To make an app locally is expensive as it comes with other app development services.
  • A client has to invest his time and resources in the organization and its employees.
  • The development process is bothered with the employees’ leave, illness, job time. As a client your mobile application will be impacted with such a development process glitch.
  • In this scenario, the client has to hire an app development team and have to take all the decisions from hiring to firing, to train and brief them about the development process. It consumes a lot of time, money, and energy, & still is unsure about the quality of work.

Moreover, you don’t have to look after any of the overhead costs or worry about the management of the employees. All you will need to do would be paying the billed amount to the outsourced company and relax. This would make things easier for you so you can focus on the core functions of your company and leave the development to the experts. Hence, outsourcing your app development would definitely reduce the overall app development costs.

Must Read: Want to Outsource Mobile App Development? Save Your Time and Money by Avoiding These 6 Silly Mistakes

4. The Company You Hire

The harsh reality is that there are fraudsters in every industry. But not everyone’s the same. There are many mobile app development companies that have been working with multiple clients for a number of years. Such companies offer multiple benefits to every client that works with them.

To hire the right company, you should ask for recommendations from people close to you. You can also talk to the clients of that company to check if the client faced any problems and how it was solved by the company.

As our clients like to say, with Space-O Technologies as your mobile app development company, you will get an all-in-one deal. We value your privacy and data security, which is why we sign a nondisclosure agreement with all our clients. Apart from this, we already have the experience of developing over 3,500 mobile apps, so you can expect professionalism and efficiency from us. 

Some of our popular apps include but are not limited to the Glovo delivery app which was covered by top news sites like TechCrunch, Bloomberg and has received total funding of €460.91M, and Bevy which has been estimated at £30 billion.

We offer several flexible hiring models which will work in your favor because you will get to hire mobile app developers as per your convenience. Working with us will ensure that you will get your money’s worth for your mobile app development.

5. The Country Where You Outsource Your Mobile App Development

The cost of living in the U.S. is rising steadily and was already averaging at $170 daily in 2018 according to data from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hence, the people living there need a higher amount of pay to survive. In turn, hourly wages will be higher in comparison. This situation is applicable to all the developed countries across the world such as the U.S., U.K, and Australia amongst others. Hence, if you opt for one of these countries, it is but natural that your cost to develop an app will rise up.

However, there are other developing countries with a good talent pool. Many multinational corporations outsource their software development projects to India and some other Asian countries. Since these nations are still in the category of developing countries, the per capita income is comparatively lower. This reduces your cost per hour and the overall app development cost as well, resulting in savings.

Fortunately, we have a development center in India and our talent pool is rather strong. By considering Space-O Technologies for your mobile app development, you will be able to stick to your app development budget and also get professional mobile app development services in return.

App Maintenance Cost

After looking at these costs to develop an app, now let’s talk about the app maintenance cost.

If you are thinking that once the app is deployed on your desired app platform, your job is done then you are thinking in the wrong direction.

Once the app is deployed there is a constant need of upgrading its features and functionalities to increase the user engagement on the platform. The app development companies like us have a dedicated team of developers who control the back-end of your project after it is deployed on the platform for a stipulated time period.

For your better understanding, we have curated an approximate hourly cost table of the intricate team members appointed on a basic app development project.

Team Members Duties Hourly Cost
Business Analyst To know the actual scope and app cost along with overall market profitability. They develop and monitor data quality metrics and ensure business data and reporting needs are met. $20+
P.M. The major task of a project manager is to meet deadlines and communicate with the team to avoid misconduct. Every detail of the client is briefly translated by the P.M. $30+
Developer Writes the code of an app, integrates the app features, fixes bugs, and upgrades advanced features. $30+
Backend Developer Ensures that the mobile application works correctly. The database and the server are functioning in a sink with each other in real-time. $20+
QA Test each part of the app, controls code and app design quality ensures the end-product meets project requirements. $20+
Graphic Designer Works on the UI/UX of the app. They solve the app interface and designing issues and optimize the tasks for smooth in-app navigation. $25+

The app costs fluctuate depending on the size of the project and the involvement of the developers. App maintenance is a must-have service even if you have no plans for upgrading or adding new features in the app.

Now, after calculating the costs to develop an app, if you are having an alike idea from the best app developments like Uber, Tinder, Instagram. We have studied different top app development costs in different categories.

Approximate App Development Costs for Top Apps In Different Categories

Here, we are with the total estimated cost to develop an app. We have compared various tops apps in different categories worldwide. These apps are popular in both iOS and Android, so we have mentioned the approximate app development cost for both platforms in the table. Feel free to bookmark this blog for the cost of building an app.

Sr. No. App Category Top App The approximate development cost for Android The approximate development cost for iOS Web Panel (Backend)
1 Maps & Navigation Uber 848.4hrs 695.8 hrs 511 hrs
2 Social Media Instagram 1910.16 hrs 1591.8 hrs 125 hrs
3 Shopping Amazon 2036.16 hrs 1696.8 hrs 250 hrs
4 Dating Tinder 450 hrs 400 hrs 200 hrs
5 Travel Airbnb 1554 hrs 1295 hrs 165 hrs

Frequently Asked Questions for Cost to Develop an App

1. How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

Giving a rough answer to how much does it cost to develop an app. Let’s assume an average rate of $30 per hour and an app costs with basic features, app design & development will be $2400-$2700. (this cost is calculated considering the approximate hours i.e. 80-90 hrs)
You can also apply a simple formula: Development time x Cost per hour = Total app development cost

2. How much money does an app make?

Apps are a billion dollar business. In 2018, global mobile app revenues amounted to over 365 billion U.S. dollars. It is projected to generate 935 billion U.S. dollars in 2023 via paid downloads and in-app advertising.
It is extremely hard to put a particular figure around how much revenue an app can generate because of the varied app genres and the disparity of money they produce. There are many monetization strategies and models that channelize the app revenues.
Number of mobile app downloads worldwide in 2019 is 204bn. With such impressive consumption numbers, it’s no wonder that startups and entrepreneurs alike are trying to get a piece of the modern-day gold mine.

3. Is it hard to create an app?

The creation of an app depends on the app idea and its complexity. It is the end product that you have in mind, which plays a major role in deciding the total cost to build an app too. You need to consult an experienced app development company like us who will define your app’s design and development goals. Thus, app development is hard or easy, depending on its features and functionalities.

Conclusion

So now you know how much does it cost to develop an app as it is calculated when you hire mobile app developers. But the estimates you saw were for other apps. We know what you really want is an estimate for your app idea. So what are you waiting for? 

At Space-O Technologies, we offer mobile app development for both Android and iOS platforms, depending on your needs. Fill up the contact us form in the footer to get an estimate for your app development needs today. Our sales representative will reach out to you and gather your requirements to calculate an estimated app development cost or answer your query on how much to build an app for your business.

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