How Much Does It Cost to Make an App for Your Business in 2019? | StickyStan

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How Much Does It Cost to Make an App for Your Business in 2019?

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So, you came to the conclusion that your business desperately needs a mobile application to compete with others or just stand out. Good for you! To carry out this decision and make no mistakes with budget planning, you should know an approximate price of app development.

Why approximate? Software development is a tricky thing and it is impossible to estimate an exact price and timeframe without the final list of requirements, features, and objectives. All these evolve into a very important document describing every detail of the project — specification. In turn, specification helps software engineers come up with the development strategy and estimate the time needed to build the project.

If you are here to quickly overview the price, then I must say it may vary from $5,000 to $250,000. A significant difference, isn’t it? Those who want to dive deeper into the mobile app cost estimation — you are welcome to read on.

The cost of mobile development services over the globe

It is not a secret that software engineering is a high paid occupation. Software development companies typically have a set hourly rate on their services which largely depends on their location. For instance, the software companies based in the USA charge up to $250 per hour, while in Eastern Europe this price does not exceed $50 per hour.

The price also depends on company size. Big and famous companies can afford themselves charge more than mid-sized and small agencies. Nevertheless, it is often the case that the quality of the end product is on the same level.

Underneath, I have listed an average hourly rate for Android and iOS development services in various popular outsourcing destinations.

Android app development service:

  • The US and Canada — $170/h
  • Australia — $110/h
  • The UK — $70/h
  • South America — $34/h
  • Eastern Europe — $50/h
  • India — $25/h
  • Indonesia — $15/h

iOS app development service:

  • The US and Canada — $150/h
  • Australia — $110/h
  • The UK — $70/h
  • South America — $43/h
  • Eastern Europe — $50/h
  • India — $30/h
  • Indonesia — $12/h

Correspondingly, the price can differ depending on a region in which you order software development services. Taking a $50/h rate as an example, you should be ready to pay around $25,000 for a simple app and between $40,000 and $70,000 for the app of middle complexity. For something more complex the price will exceed $70,000.

Since those prices can vary depending on a region, let’s better consider an average time required to build mobile applications of different complexity:

  • A basic mobile application — 500-700 hours of development.
  • A mobile application of medium complexity — 700-1000 hours of development.
  • A complex mobile application — 1000+ hours of development.

These figures can help you calculate an approximate cost of mobile app development in your region or the country where you want to hire software engineers.

Offshoring or local development: which one to choose?

Even tech giants offshore the product development (or its part) abroad. And there are two reasons for this: time and money. A company has to spend a decent amount of time to find a specialist matching with their requirements and employ them in-house. Meanwhile, if talking about North America, the cost of this specialist is much higher than it would be in Eastern Europe or India ($30-50 vs. $100-250).

The only considerable reason to hire a local company is the development of a specified software that requires constant face-to-face communication with software engineers and their deep involvement into the company’s business processes (e.g. factory, warehouse).

Otherwise, you can rely on modern technologies and project management approaches to establish a good communication with your overseas team.

Let’s sum it up. If you want to find an experienced software engineering team fast, do not want to overpay, and do not need developers to be physically present within your company headquarter to set up processes — offshore software development company is a good fit for you. In the other case — consider local software development company or form an in-house team on your own.

Outsourcing vs Local development

What exactly affects the cost of mobile application

As I have already mentioned, there are no fixed prices on mobile app development, only fixed rates per hour. Everything depends on the project duration. So before you get the bill, the team analyzes different factors influencing the total project duration. These factors are:

  • Functionality
  • UI/UX design
  • Number of platforms
  • Back-end architecture and admin panel
what influences the cost to create an app

1. Functionality

Features and their complexity are the two main factors influencing the mobile app development time and, respectively, cost. A number of screens, buttons, animations, the amount of back-end logic. All these affect the price.

Let’s break features into conditional categories:

  • User engagement. Authorization, networking, and push notifications belong to this category. User authorization can be complicated by adding password recovery function and social sign-in. The implementation of these features is likely to require the integration with third-party frameworks and libraries which take some time.
  • In-app payment. There are a variety of payment processing methods these days: PayPal, credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. Mobile app developers need time to build each of them into your application.
  • Native features. Camera, NFC module, Bluetooth, and others belong here. Normally, developers use platform-specific APIs to enable using the native features of a device.
average cost for app development

2. UI/UX design

The more complex your app is, the more time will be spent on creating the design. What’s more, you should consider that the app for iOS and Android will look different because they use separate design languages (flat design vs. material design). Correspondingly, you will have to ask designers to create a prototype for both of these OSes from scratch.

3. Platforms

Talking about mobile app development, there are two main platforms most of the apps are built for. They are iOS and Android. If you want to develop an app for each of them, you must be ready to allocate twice as many money for the development.

Why is that? The reason is iOS and Android run on different programming languages. While iOS uses Objective-C and Swift, Android leverages the power of Java and Kotlin. This way, your application is built from scratch for each platform (if talking about native app development).

So if you want to hire iOS developers and Android developers for your project, you should make sure they have a decent knowledge of one of the previously mentioned programming languages.

4. Back-end architecture and admin panel

Back-end typically takes a lot of project development time. It provides for data exchange between the app and databases to make it dynamic and deliver an up-to-date information to your users. Put simply, everything that requires communication between your app and database can be called the back-end. Back-end developer is a separate position in a software engineering team.

The next stop — admin panel. It is a must for almost every mobile application since there are no other ways to manage it, monitor its performance as well as track user data.

The total cost of developing a mobile application

Underneath, I have listed the five stages that are typically included into the full mobile app development lifecycle:

  • Planning
  • UI/UX design
  • App development
  • Quality assurance
  • Deployment

Note that after release, you may also need maintenance.

Stages of app development at Cleveroad

The number of specialists in your project team depends on its complexity and requirements. Here is how a typical team looks like:

  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • UI/UX designer
  • Android developer / iOS developer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Back-end developer

Once again, here is an average time needed to build mobile apps of different complexity:

  • A basic mobile application — 500-700 hours of development.
  • A mobile application of medium complexity — 700-1000 hours of development.
  • A complex mobile application — 1000+ hours of development.

Multiply them by a price on software development services in your region to get an approximate app development cost.

About the author:

Sergey Lypchenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It is a web and mobile app development company located in Eastern Europe. Our main goal is to develop first-rate and competitive software for our customers. My mission is to provide people with interesting material about innovations in the world of IT.

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