How much does it cost to make an app?
More than 80% of all startups are app-oriented (in a varying degree). According to statistics (statista.com), the number of downloads of mobile applications has reached $ 44.4 billion in the first two quarters of 2017. In comparison, over the past year, users have launched about $75.7 billion apps for Android and iOS. You cannot ignore such dynamics, for it means that this market is growing rapidly.
If you want to get a slice of this "cake", you should create an app that really solves the problems of your potential users. But, of course, you'll be faced with difficulties during this process... For example, you'll be interested in answers to the following questions: how much does it cost to make an app? And how to choose the team of skilled app developers? Let's discuss this issue in detail, step by step!
- Popular types of mobile apps
- Mobile app types
- Ways to monetize your app
- What does the cost of application development depend on?
- A development firm
- The level of app complexity
- What kind of specialists do you need?
- App design
- How can you reduce costs during the process of building an app?
- Cost for developing top mobile applications
- How much does it cost to make an app?
- Stages of the app development process
- Mobile app development cost estimate
Today, more and more people prefer to take advantage of applications. In a rapidly developing environment, it has become much more convenient to receive information using mobile devices: no matter whether we are standing in a queue, drinking coffee in a cafe, or doing business.
As you can see, the game is worth the candle, but what is the average cost of such a game?
However, before moving on to this issue, let's look at what types of applications there are and how you can make a profit with their help.
#1. Native applications
This is the most common app type. Such mobile applications are written in programming languages approved by software developers for each specific platform, so they can be organically integrated into the operating systems. These apps meet all the requirements of App Store or Google Play.
Native applications can work fully or partially even if there is no Internet, so users are less dependent on the quality of the wi-fi connection.
Of course, the process of making an app requires the developer to have special knowledge and skills to work in a particular development environment. In fact, he has to create a separate product for each platform. As a consequence, the app cost is much higher.
#2. Web applications and mobile version of the site
These apps are based on the web technology so that they can work seamlessly on a mobile device. The main and undoubted advantage, in this case, is cross-platform property. It means one can create an app just once, and it will operate on different platforms.
However, there are also drawbacks. For example, such apps do not allow you to use a camera or geolocation features of your smartphone, and you cannot download this mobile program from the application stores.
#3. Hybrid applications
A hybrid (or cross-platform) app is similar to a native one. It is something between a native application and a web one. Such programs can be installed through official stores, they have limited access to the hardware of smartphones and tablets, and allow you to configure push notifications (as opposed to web applications). Also, they are usually cheaper than native applications, so development costs can be greatly reduced.
The quality and capabilities of hybrid applications depend on the framework used by the app developer.
Choose the type of a mobile application based on your main goals. We believe that you don't want your clients to get negative impressions and delete the program shortly after installation. Agree, it'd be difficult for you to persuade them to download your mobile app again, even if you have significantly improved it.
In addition to the question of how much it costs to make an app, you are probably interested in possible ways to monetize your mobile service. We offer a few simple but effective options:
- Paid applications. This is the most obvious way to earn on apps, but not the most effective one. Only very promoted mobile services can use this monetization option in their favor.
- Light and Pro versions. You create two versions of the application: a simple and a complex one (Pro version should have extended functionality). Users can pay a subscription to access additional app features. And your task is to persuade them to take this step.
- In-app purchases. Another way to make money on mobile applications is to offer users built-in purchases: some special features, special vivid stickers and more.
- Advertisers. This is a great monetization way that satisfies everyone: users are happy to have a free mobile service, advertisers are promoting their products, you're getting money… The only problem is a necessity to force potential sponsors to choose your program as an advertising platform.
It's up to you to decide which monetization method to opt. Of course, this is an important factor that should be considered when developing a mobile application. So take your time and think the matter over.
And in the meantime, we will proceed to the next important issue, namely…
What affects the cost when building an app? What experts do you need to successfully work on the project? Is it possible to save during the app development process? What factors should you consider choosing development agencies? Surely, these questions are very interesting to you, so let's try to answer them.
So, the cost of developing an app for iOS, Android or Windows Phone is determined by the following criteria:
- The executor, that is, a development company. For example, if you live in the US and order an application from local app development companies, the total cost will be 2-3 times higher than if you had employed specialists from Eastern Europe.
- The level of app complexity. The more features the app has, the more expensive this service is.
- Design of the application. Further, in the article, we will explain to you why this factor is so important.
- The choice of operating systems for mobile applications. We advise that you cover all platforms when building the app. This option is more expensive, but it is also more profitable (taking into account future earnings).
- App promotion. In addition to the cost of building an application, there are also costs for its promotion.
Let's take a look at some of these points in more detail.
A high price does not always indicate a high quality if it concerns the mobile application development. This becomes obvious if you compare the rates of development agencies from around the world.
Rates of app developers of the same qualification for 1 hour of working time:
- USA ($ 100-150 and more). The cost of a simple application: from $10 000 - 20 000.
- Great Britain (£ 100-180). The cost of a simple application: from $18 000 - 20 000.
- Western Europe (80 -150 €). The cost of a simple application: from $18 000 -19 000.
- Eastern Europe ($ 20-70). The cost of a simple application: from $5 000 - 8 000.
- Ukraine (about 30-50 $). The cost of a simple application: from $ 5,000 and more.
- India ($ 10-30). The cost of a simple application: from $ 5,000. The price is rather low, but the code quality is quite depressing
Analyzing these data, we can conclude that the best ratio of quality and price is offered by app developers from Ukraine.
The actual costs of developing an app depend on the amount of work that the team does. Here are the parameters that affect this factor and, accordingly, the mobile development budget:
- Number of screens;
- Custom controls;
- Types of devices;
- Screen orientation modes;
- Supported OS versions;
- A number of languages supported.
Of course, this is just a brief overview. The more complex your application becomes (the more app features you want to add), the more time and money the development agency will need.
By the way, what experts should you hire in order to build an app?
On average, about 7-15 people should work on developing a mobile application: project managers, marketing specialist, UX/UI designers, developers (iOS, Android, Backend), QA engineers, art and technical directors.
Why do you need them? Let’s see!
Marketers with designers under the guidance of the art director are elaborating the app logic and searching for a suitable graphics solution.
Programmers led by a technical director are implementing the app idea.
Finally, the application is being tested and sent to the client (with whom the experienced project manager cooperates during the development time).
This simple scheme clearly demonstrates why you must have so many people hired to create a competitive application. Obviously, you will not be able to cope with the task at a high level on your own.
The design of the mobile application is another extremely important part of the app development process. Its main task is to make your mobile service clear and pleasant for visual perception.
A competent design is an intuitive instruction for solving a user problem. The cost to build the custom design also depends on the number of screens and the orientation of the image.
We have told what affects the cost of developing an app and now would like to discuss the ways to reduce it.
And by the way, is it possible at all?
So, what should be envisaged in the development process and how can you save? We'll figure it out point by point!
Allow for all possibilities!
In order to avoid overpaying, you must allow for all possibilities when making an app, namely:
- Analysis. A preliminary market research will help you avoid a lot of risks, for example, you won't release an application that nobody wants to use. The analysis will help you find out the needs and values of future customers.
- Prototype. It's better to create an app prototype to make sure that your mobile service meets all your expectations. Having a quality, well-designed prototype gives you a clear understanding of the final product and speeds up the work at all other stages.
- Technical design brief. The most important document is the technical design brief which allows you to define all your requirements for the application being developed and indicate deadlines.
What can you save on?
What are the options for reducing mobile application development costs? We propose to consider the following ways to save:
- Minimal functionality. Start by creating an MVP model. Remove all secondary app features and leave only the most significant ones. Later, you can diversify the functionality of your mobile product - if you find it necessary, of course.
- The location of the development firm. This factor we have already mentioned and described how you could use it in your favor.
- The size of the development company. This is also an important way to save. The larger the company, the higher the cost of its services.
- Small development agencies (about 2-3 persons): you’ll need about $30,000 - $150,000 to develop an app;
- Medium-sized companies. Your cost for app development will be from $200,000 to $500,000.
- Giants of mobile development. App costs can be more than $500,000.
If you want to reduce your cost of application development, do not be guided by the size of the company. When choosing an agency, focus on the quality of pieces you can see in its portfolio.
You may be wondering about the cost of the already built apps - services that have proven their usefulness and high demand. We can unravel a mystery and tell you about the costs of developing an app of the Uber model. Believe us, the scheme used for the Uber app can come in handy not only for a taxi service but also for product delivery, medical online consultations, choosing clothes, etc.
The creation of the Uber-like application will take about 400-700 hours. The back-end development will take another 300-400 hours. Of course, you still need to consider the time required to build the admin panel (about 50-80 hours). As a result, we have 750-1180 hours for the entire development process.
Taking into account the average hourly rates of application development, we can calculate the approximate costs to make an app in different regions:
- US: $ 50,000 - $ 250,000;
- Canada: $ 50,000 - $ 250,000;
- Australia: $ 45,000 - $ 150,000;
- Western Europe: $ 50,000 - $ 180,000;
- Eastern Europe: $ 30,000- $ 150,000;
- India: $ 10,000- $ 75,000.
Estimating the cost of projects is a creative process, for each of them is unique in its own way, and there are always a few ways to implement the functionality you need. But our experts are experienced enough and can make an approximate appraisal of the budget of the project.
For a better understanding and simplification of the mobile app development cost estimate, the project should be divided into stages, such as:
- Analysis and specification of requirements and tasks;
- Estimation of the cost of…
- developing prototypes;
- design development;
- project development;
- Risk assessment.
Taking advantage of our experience and expertise, we always use the project development budget more effectively in order to help you reduce your costs.
However, to give you a more accurate answer about future expenses, let's see what stages the app development process includes.
The process of making an app for iOS, Android, and other platforms consists of several consecutive stages. Terms at each stage of development may vary depending on the complexity of the task.
- Free cost estimate
- Detailed study of the problem, market exploration, analysis of the competitors
- Prototyping. Writing a technical project
- Application design
- Coding process
Now that we understand the way of building an app, we can get a better idea of our future costs.
We’d like to provide you with a kind of an app cost calculator. It’ll come in handy for planning your development budget.
- Simple applications - about 250-400 hours of work.
- Applications of medium complexity - about 500-700 hours of work.
- Complex apps - more than 700 hours.
Having this data and knowing the rates of agencies around the world, you’ll get your final answer. Of course, we suggest that you focus on the cost of developing an app in Eastern Europe. This option is affordable in price and impressive in quality.
- To be popular, your future mobile application must meet the needs of your target audience. If your customers do not get a solution to their problem, the app is unlikely to bring you any benefits (even if the app code has been perfectly written and custom design is just excellent). Therefore, the customer's wishes come first.
- Be responsible when hiring the outsourcing team of app developers. Evaluate the price offers in the selected location, pay attention to projects from the portfolio of chosen development agencies. Try to find the best combination of price and experience.
- Discuss in detail the future project with your development company: business logic and functionality, the region in which you plan to launch the product, a monetization system, analytics.
- Decide on your preferences regarding the design of your mobile application.
- When all the above points have been resolved and approved, move forward to success!
If you have an idea to create an app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone - feel free to contact Agilie!
We guarantee you a full cycle of good development of the application including analysis of the competitive environment, building app functionality, design creation, competent testing and subsequent product support.
Contact us in a way that seems convenient for you.