The Google Play Store powers more than 3.5 million mobile apps worldwide as of the second quarter of 2022, while the Apple App Store is close behind with 2.2 million mobile apps, according to a Statista report. Given their popularity today, it doesn't come as a surprise that every digital firm is investing in the development of mobile apps.
When talking about mobile app development, how much does it cost to develop a mobile app? This is one of the first questions that app brands and developers need to have the answers to. An app development cost estimate is the most fundamental yet vital part of every mobile app development project's budget.
This blog post intends to provide you with a thorough response to that question and in-depth insights into the contributing factors that affect app development costs, various monetization strategies, mobile app development process, and cost-cutting measures.
An Overview on Average Mobile App Development Costs
Briefly, the estimated cost to create a mobile app can range from $20,000 to $150,000, and it can go to $300,000 or up in the case of customized, complex apps. These are tentative figures since there are many variables that affect how much it will cost to design a custom mobile app, like its complexity, features, and functions.
Statistics on The Cost of Developing Apps
According to data from reliable platforms and organizations, having a mobile application in 2023 would be quite helpful. Here are some figures to back up this assertion:
- Between 2020 and 2022, app usage increased by 36% (Businessofapps).
- In just the third quarter of 2022, users spent $21.2 billion at Apple stores (Statista).
- According to Statista, the number of app downloads increased from 140 billion in 2016 to 230 billion in 2021.
- Over 100,000 new mobile apps are added to Google PlayStore each month, compared to over 30,000 new apps added to Apple Store (Statistsa)
- According to Statista, revenue from mobile apps is expected to rise from $318 billion in 2020 to over $600 billion in 2025.
The Most Popular Apps Around The World and Their Development Cost
Here are a few examples of well-known apps that are currently ruling the app market and have redefined and revolutionized the concept of customer experience. The average cost of developing these applications has been mentioned as well.
The most popular media streaming platform in the world Netflix, can stream TV episodes and films whenever it's convenient for them. An app like Netflix typically costs $25,000 to $200,000 to develop.
Coursera is an e-learning programme that has become extremely well-liked among students and educators as a result of the numerous benefits it provides. The price range for creating a mobile app similar to Coursera might be between $60,000 and $120,000.
Instagram is a social media app that allows users to share photos and videos with their followers. The development cost of an app like Instagram can be estimated to be around $500,000.
Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to send disappearing messages and photos. Developing an app like Snapchat will cost you around $400,000.
WhatsApp is a messaging app that enables users to make audio and video calls, send text messages, and send voice messages. The Mobile app development cost of WhatsApp is estimated to be around $250,000.
Top 9 Factors That Affect How Much It Costs to Develop a Mobile App
You must have a platform in mind when you choose to develop an application. Android or iOS? Or are there any other mobile operating systems that come to mind? Each platform has unique development challenges that demand different amount and type of work for various platforms.
Android platforms cost a little more than other platforms when it comes to development. On the other hand, iOS platforms are cheaper.
Applications created for iOS are accessible to users with strong finances. Consequently, compared to other platforms, this one might assist you in increasing your earnings.
The fact that Android has a larger market share should not be overlooked. Consequently, the platform you choose will depend on the objective of your application.
The most common platforms for developing apps are listed below for your consideration:
While Android apps are developed using Java and/or Kotlin, iOS apps are created using Swift and Objective C. Check out how much it costs to create an iOS app as well.
Web app platform:
Web apps are significantly more affordable than native apps, including Progressive Web Apps and other types of web apps. Web app development expenses are somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000 in terms of total cost.
It is the newest, most cost-effective trend with apps being created concurrently for iOS and Android. The platform offers a number of advantages, including the usage of a single code base and reduced development time. The cross-platform market is now dominated by Flutter and React Native.
Hybrid apps combine elements of native and web applications. It runs in a web view component even though it is installed as a native program.
Mobile App Complexity
A simple app typically costs $5,000 to $40,000 to develop. A simple app has a few standard user features including a login system, user profile feature, dashboard, and restricted administration.
A medium-complexity app will set you back $40,000 to $120,000. A plethora of options for user interaction and app monetization are incorporated in a medium-complex app. These apps include social media integrations, payment gateways, audio/video streaming, user privacy, and other capabilities in addition to the fundamental ones.
A complex application may cost between $100,000 and $300,000 and more. These apps incorporate the most recent technologies, such as AI, machine learning, and AR/VR. These apps also have capabilities like advanced data logic, multi-language support, and many other things.
Complex Animation/Visual Aids
You might have to pay a little bit more if the application includes interactive animations, regular sample videos, or graphic animations.
It might not cost you much to incorporate basic functionality in your app. Your application will be more appealing and engaging with visual help, which will result in an increase of downloaders.
Complex animation IS important to convey your app's real notion. So, make an effort to incorporate some cost-effective animations.
Mobile Application Category
The cost of creating an app varies significantly depending on the type of app. The amount of users, functionalities, safety standards, and other factors all change as we move from one category to another, which eventually results in varied app development prices.
Let's quickly review the most popular subcategories of mobile app development.
For instance, Applications for E-Commerce/Mobile-commerce—also known as m-commerce—are extremely popular right now. This is mostly due to the abundance of features that enable applications like Amazon and Wayfair to operate efficiently in real-time, support millions of concurrent users, and have strong security.
Features and Functionality
In a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or external context, developing an app is obviously more expensive than doing it for internal users, where you have control over which devices and platforms will be supported.
In the end, the mobile app development cost structure of your application will be determined by the features and functionalities you choose to include. The price will increase as the number of features and functionalities increases.
As a result, you must distinguish between the primary and auxiliary purposes of your application.
For an editing app, for instance, a geolocation service is not required. But without integrating location services, it is impossible to build a food ordering app.
As a result, you should think carefully about the features to include in your app.
Once the application is created, ordinary individuals will utilize it. Your application just won't draw enough attention if the user experience and user interface are subpar, regardless of how fantastic the back end is. As a result, your app needs to have a striking design.
Another aspect that should be taken into account is the backend. Would you like to support only phones? Or should it be a global app? Your ability to improve your backend will depend on how you respond to these questions.
Your front end's complexity will directly affect how complicated the back end is. You will require databases to store your data.
Managing databases is a responsible undertaking that makes up a sizable piece of your backend. Again, you'll also need to incorporate outside applications.
The foundation of your app is its backend. It is deterministic in regards to the app's price. Analyse your app's requirements in order to properly complete the backend process.
Undoubtedly, expenses continue even after the last stage of creating a mobile application. To stay up with shifting market trends and new device & OS versions, businesses will have to continually keep updating their apps, and that has a cost. What consumes your finances after app development?
App bug solutions:
A mobile app cannot be completely bug-free. Most often, defects aren't discovered until after the software has been released. It will be your responsibility to watch out for those problem fixes.
The one aspect of a mobile app that has a tendency to age and lose its allure for users is the design. If a company wants to keep its consumers interested, it is crucial that it doesn't let its app design to lapse.
UI/UX of the Application
Application User interface and user experience, or UI/UX, is an important element that has a big impact on how much it costs to design a mobile app. UI/UX refers to how the software appears to users, how they feel about it, and how simple it is to use. An app with poor UI/UX is unlikely to be used again by 83% of users. Here are some instances of how UI/UX might affect how much it costs to create a mobile app:
- User Testing:
The price of developing a mobile app may go up if significant user testing is needed to make sure the UI/UX is user-friendly and meets their needs. In order to obtain input and make the necessary modifications, user testing demands more time and resources.
- Iterative Design:
Multiple design concepts are created and tested as part of an iterative design process to see which ones work best for the app and its users. The cost of developing a mobile app may go up if the UI/UX needs to be improved through an iterative design process.
Location and Size of the Development Tea
The cost for developing a mobile app can be significantly influenced by the development team's location. Depending on where the development team is based, there are different development costs. In the United States, the typical hourly rate for app development is between $70 and $130, while it is between $30 and $50 in Ukraine and Poland, according to a Clutch poll. The following is one of the examples of how the cost may be impacted by the location:
The price of labor differs between regions and countries. A developer's hourly pay is generally higher in high-income nations like the United States or Australia than it is in low-income nations like India or the Philippines.
The technologies, programming languages, and tools utilised to create a mobile app can have a big impact on the price of development. Java, Swift, Python, and Kotlin were predicted to be the most widely used programming languages for creating mobile apps in 2022 by Statista. Since they are widely supported and have a large number of libraries and tools accessible, using these languages can lead to quicker development times and lower costs.
Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost
Let's talk about the most observed hidden costs associated with mobile app development. Recognizing these elements will help you cut risks and save time and money. So let's explore each of these aspects in more detail.
Costs associated with implementing an app's functionality are often referred to as functional costs. You may need to sign up for a service that offers a delivery avenue in order for a certain functionality to perform. Apps use a variety of services, at times the list is limitless. These services could could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month. A few examples of paid services are as follows:
- Push Notifications: It's difficult to think of an app that doesn't utilize this significant mobile feature. Push notifications encourage users to interact with your app more and prompt them to perform specific actions, like making a purchase.
- Social Media Integration:To foster social media voting and content sharing, you can leverage social media integration services. You'll probably need to sign up for various services if your application needs social interactions.
Without involving the IT department, administrative services can give you continuous access to data so you can manage users and alter the content of your app. The price of such administrative services is difficult to forecast and is mostly determined on the kind of mobile app you're developing. You'll have to continue paying these expenses as they accrue. Some examples of administrative services include: content management tools, analytics collectors, dynamic updates, etc.
Expenses for app hosting, data storage, and data transmission are considered infrastructure costs. Also, these services demand redundant servers and load balancers for backup and security servers. A project becomes more expensive and complex as a result of all of this. Examples of infrastructure costs include development tools, libraries, support, data storage, servers, etc.
App security is one of the major concerns for businesses. Users must feel comfortable providing their information to your app. You ought to have a suitable security strategy in place as a result. All will be OK if you take this into consideration at the beginning and allow time for testing and security checks. If not, costs will be higher and there could be monetary and reputational consequences as well.
Hosting and Servers
Once the application has been built, you must find a place to store and analyze its data. That adds to the price of developing an app. Typically, all information (including images, videos, locations, etc.) is kept on servers. In order to receive requests, process them, and provide responses, servers run software. A backend server is present in almost all mobile applications.
Today, many developers favor using cloud services for data storage. You can create your own cloud service, employ Amazon Web Services, or mobile backend as a service (mBaaS) options.
Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Guide to Get Started
1. Research the Product
You should carry out research and learn more about your target market prior to creating an app for your company. You'll have a clearer understanding of the market dynamics, customer behavior, top competitors, and more as a result. Further, you ought to read more thoroughly through customer reviews for popular apps. This will assist you in creating a better final result.
2. Build the Wireframe for Your App
Once you've finished compiling your list of ideas, use wireframes to give your ideas shape. A wireframe serves as your application's design blueprint. It will showcase the features and design of your app. It will also help you better understand how the application works and appears. Wireframes for apps essentially give the team a theory to work from. It acts as a guide or resource for developers.
3. Select the Right Platform
Both the iOS and Android platforms may support your application. However, you can only create an Android or iOS app if your budget is constrained. You can then improve your service so that it works well on another platform as well.
4. Hire an App Development Company
Hiring a trustworthy and reliable app development business will ensure that your app is completed within the necessary timeframes and has all the newest features and functionalities.
A mobile app development business is made up of UI/UX designers, project managers, app developers and industry experts who provide insightful recommendations and constantly take into account your vision. Furthermore, the business provides access to the newest technologies and industry knowledge.
5. Build MVP
Consider creating a minimum viable product (MVP) if you want to test your app idea without investing a bunch. Ask your app development company to identify essential features and major USPs before developing an app in order to create a successful MVP.
6. Testing Your App
When creating an app for your company, testing is yet another essential step to take into account. Test everything, including the app's functionality, user interface, and content. Proper testing helps find flaws, cut down on development time and costs, and significantly improves your credibility as a service provider.
7. Submit Apps to Stores
Once you're content with the testing of your app, you can submit it to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. If you intend to release an app on the App Store or Play Store, you must abide by Apple's and Google's developer policies. Further, you ought to align your monetization strategy with their needs.
8. Launching and Monitoring Performance
As soon as your app is accepted for distribution on app stores, make sure to keep track of it using the in-app analytics tools put in place during the development phase, provide updates to increase user engagement, and address customer requests and grievances.
How Do Apps Make Money?
While there are many ways to monetize an app, we cover few of the most common revenue streams so you can choose one or more of them to increase revenue and improve customer value.
In this model, a user must purchase a subscription plan in order to use the app's most popular features. This approach allows for a wide range of alternatives, including monthly, yearly, and per-day subscriptions. Users can manage their subscriptions through well-known platforms like Google and Apple.
One of the most popular methods of making money from an application is through advertising. With this monetization strategy, you market goods or services to third-party customers on your app in exchange for money.
The sponsorship system involves finding a sponsor with a connection to your niche and negotiating a pay plan. The app could feature the sponsor's brand, promote its goods, or direct users to its website in exchange for the monetary payment.
How Can You Lower Your Mobile App Development Costs?
Fortunately, company owners and entrepreneurs can lower the costs of creating mobile apps by adhering to some industry standards and using some practical techniques like:
Curate the App Features
The precise feature prioritization is essential while creating an app. Prioritizing your app's capabilities is a wise choice if you want it to start generating business value right away. The nice-to-have features can be saved for the later stages of development. Building a minimum viable product (MVP) first is therefore advised.
Early Involvement of Quality Assurance
You must address problems and errors as soon as you can because your program is prone to them. You can find significant issues and errors before the development process starts by involving quality assurance experts early on. As a result, you will save an enormous amount that could get extremely high during the course of your project.
Consider Cross-Platform Development
Every entrepreneur must decide whether to release an app for both Android and iOS or both while doing so. The expense of building native apps for both platforms is high. You can lose out on a significant portion of the user base on the other platform if you develop an app exclusive for that platform.
Making cross-platform apps that operate on both platforms is the best answer.
Outsource Your Development Process
Outsourcing will be an ideal choice if you're a non-technical individual wanting to develop your app while keeping the prices down. In addition, outsourcing will save you plenty of money and time if you are a tech person who wants to focus on other business aspects like marketing, sales, etc.
Find some top-notch software development firms with experience in related app development procedures.
How Can Iconflux Assist You With Cost Estimation for Mobile App Development?
You should be able to estimate the cost of making your creative app idea into a reality by taking into account all the influencing aspects. If you still think it will be difficult to determine the total cost of developing a mobile application, you may turn to a reliable app development firm like IConflux for exceptional mobile app development services.
The professionals here specialize in creating and releasing the most cutting-edge apps with innovative features and functions. IConflux has created and developed transformational apps for some of the most prominent international companies,
Get in touch with our experts if you want to build advanced mobile applications or if you want to get a ballpark estimate for developing an app for your company.
Frequently Asked Questions on Mobile App Development Costs
Q. What is the cost of creating an app?
A.Although it's impossible to estimate the exact cost of a custom mobile app, these are the costs roughly: Easy applications: $5,000–$40,000 $40,000 to $120,000 for medium-complexity app development A complex app will cost between $120,000 and $300,000 or more.
Q. How much does maintaining an app cost?
A.Your app maintenance expenses within the first year after launch could reach 50% of your app development expense. Your annual budget for app maintenance can eventually range from 15% to 20% of the initial price.
Q. How much time is required to create an app?
A.Depending on the complexity of the app and the organization of your project, app development often takes three to nine months or longer.
What factors affect the overall costs of developing an app?
A.Application platform, mobile app complexity, complex animation/visual Aids, Mobile Application Category, App Maintenance, Location and Size of the Development Team, and UI/UX of the Application among other things, all have a major effect on how much it costs to develop an app.