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App Development Cost

The process of creating a new app can be overwhelming. A lot of time and resources are needed to achieve the goal of seeing your idea realized. Part of that means understanding the cost of developing the app. We will break down the cost of the development process for you so you know what to expect and can set a proper budget for your project.

Transparency is critical in this process. The more you know about what goes into the cost of the development of your app, the better you will feel about the money you are investing in your idea.

What are the main factors involved in the cost of developing an app?

Understandably, many things go into determining how much an app will cost to develop. Consider the following factors:

  • Supporting Platforms and Devices – Is the app intended for Android, iOS, or both? Will it be accessible from a desktop as well? The number of platforms the app is available on requires additional development which factors into the cost of the project.

If your app is intended for a single platform then it can be developed as ‘Native’. However, if the app needs to be available with multiple platforms, then it would be considered ‘Cross-Platform’. When deciding to develop your app, it will be important to decide how to make it available to the intended users.

  • Functionality – What features are to be included in the app? How do plan to engage with the users? Will there be device features such as NFC, Location-Based Services, Bluetooth, etc.? The features you plan to have in the app will affect the development time as well as the cost.
  • Complexity – This can range from a simple design of a few screens to a complex setup of dozens of screens. More complex will require more time to develop and will affect the cost. Your app may require a complex build, and it’s important to know what is required to make the app function as you intend. Apps that require a heavy amount of backend development or complex user interfaces tend to cost more.
  • Team Setup – Who you plan to build your app will significantly affect the cost of the app. If you plan to hire a major development agency, you can expect to pay top dollar. Or if you hire a freelance worker, you can save a considerable amount.
    You can also consider outsourcing the work to a development agency, which will change the cost depending on the location of the team. This is a great benefit to use an experienced and skilled team outsourced at a fraction of the cost of a top agency that can offer name recognition.
  • App Maintenance Cost – You need to include the cost to update, fix, and maintain the app after it is completed. This is something that should be discussed with the agency when agreeing to the work that will be done on the app.

Basic Cost Breakdown:

Our clients know that today’s market has an increased demand to digitize; and as such, the need to invest in the most cost-effective way is crucial to stay competitive. The cost of developing your app will mainly depend on the complexity of the project, below is a breakdown of the estimated cost to develop an app:

A basic mobile app for 1 platform can cost below $10,000

  • A basic mobile app for 1 platform can cost below $10,000
  • A medium-complexity app for 1 platform may cost around 10,000–$30,000
  • A complex app for 1 platform costs more than $30,000

If you are looking for an estimate for your project, contact us HERE and we can quickly get in touch with you and let you know what we can offer.

What level of complexity do you need? Below is a breakdown of what goes into the development of an app requiring different levels of attention.

Basic mobile app for 1 platform costs ~ $10,000

  • The expected work time from the development team is about 325-650 hours
    • No API integration
    • Little or no back-end
    • Simple UI components
    • Basic features (email subscription, social login, calendar, etc.)

Medium-complexity app for 1 platform costs ~  $10,000$30,00010,0000,000

  • The expected work time from the development team is about 650-1100 hours
    • Custom UI/UX features
    • Built-in payment gateway
    • API Integration
    • Back-end server
    • 6-15 screens

Complex app for 1 platform costs $30,000+

  • The expected work time from the development team is more than 1100 hours
    • Multiple languages supported
    • Custom UI/UX design
    • Database integration
    • 3rd-party integrations
    •  Meets high-security demands

These are of course just examples of the estimates of the costs for different complexities of an app. You can look at this as a starting point to better understand the cost of developing an app.

Real-World Examples

Did you know that the average price for a basic startup app in the United States is estimated between 140,000 to $210,000? That is the cost expected to launch version 1.0 of the app. Of course, that price could be lower or high depending on the complexity of the app and who develops it (freelance or big agency). Here are some examples of how much some popular apps had to invest in their app development:

  • Uber raised $200 million to develop their idea
  • Tinder raised $485,000 in 2012
  • Instagram received $500,000 to further develop its app

So, how much will it cost to develop an app?

This is a difficult question that doesn’t have a cover-all answer. Every app is different; they have different purposes, goals, complexity, targeted users, etc. The cost of developing these apps increases with the complexity desired. On top of that, who develops the app will greatly influence the cost, which is why it’s a great idea to consider outsourcing the project.

To make it easier to estimate the cost of the app that you desire you can do the following before contacting the development agencies:

  • Know the number of platforms needed
  • Create a list of app functions
  • Prioritize the app features

With those things prepared you will be well on your way to get an estimate on how much it will cost to develop your app and to get it out into the world!

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