This is, surely, the main question on your mind now. After all, how can you even decide whether or not to proceed with the development if you can’t do a basic cost-benefit analysis? Here you go. Learn all about how much does it cost to develop an app with a simple and well-explained guide.
But if you open any development company’s website, you won’t find a price list there. It’s not because companies want you to reach out to them for a quote. They just can’t tell you right off the bat before they know your requirements.
Different apps require different amounts of time to build. For example, custom iOS app development doesn’t cost the same as hybrid or Android development. And it’s not just the target platform that matters: the set of features, the complexity of the design, and the hourly rates of your coders do, too.
This article won’t tell you whether your app will cost $50,000 or $200,000. Instead, it’ll break down all the factors that’ll impact your budget, thus enabling you to make a rough yet realistic estimate of your development costs.
Here’s the Basic Formula You’ll Use: How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App
It all comes down to the number of working hours required to complete your project. You multiply it by the hourly rates of various specialists who’ll be working on different aspects of your project. And voila, here’s your estimate!
Of course, it looks easy on paper. In reality, it’s not. There are a lot of variables you’ll have to take into account. Let’s break them down.
5 Stages of Software Development You’ll Have to Pay For
Let’s say you found an iOS app development services provider and signed off on working with them. WOndering still on how much does it cost to develop an app? What happens next? Here’s what:
Analysis and planning (2-4 weeks)
The project manager and business analyst go through your requirements, polish off the details of your vision, and create a project roadmap.
UI/UX design (2-4 weeks)
UI/UX designing is where designers create user stories and flows, wireframes, and mockups for your app.
Backend development (8-10 weeks)
Backend coders put into code your app’s server-side logic. It develops your interface and enables a more and better audiences to access it.
Front-end development (10-12 weeks)
Front-end coders bring to life everything that your users will see and interact with.
Quality assurance (3-4 weeks)
Testers and QA engineers make sure your app is free from bugs and works as intended.
4 Ways Your Requirements Impact the Costs
You’ve probably already thought about what you want your app to be like. You have your requirements ready. But how will they impact your budget? how much does it cost to develop an app? Know how.
This part is a bit technical, but it’s a major factor – and any respectable Android or iOS development center will ask you the following question. Do you want a native, cross-platform, or hybrid app?
Don’t know the answer to this question? Start with what operating systems you plan to launch your app on – and consult this table to understand the pros and cons of each approach:
OS-specific native user experience;
Full access to all of the device’s hardware and OS software (essential for implementing complex features).
|Code shareability reduces the development time and costs;
Average performance (better compared to hybrid);
Close-to-native user experience.
|Code shareability reduces the development time and costs.|
|Cons||No code sharing – two apps for Android and iOS will have to be written from scratch;
As a result, high costs.
|Challenging to add integrations to other native apps;
Challenging to gain access to the OS and hardware features.
|No integration with other native apps;
Challenging to gain access to the OS and hardware features (more so than with cross-platform apps);
The list of features and how long building each of them would take deserves its own long-read. The best way to go about it is to see whether your shortlisted Android or iPhone application development services vendors have a calculator on the website – or request a rough estimate. You should understand how much does it cost to develop an app enabling the following features.
Still, let’s take a quick look at the most basic features your app is likely to need:
- login – 28-42 hours;
- file uploading – 20-30 hours;
- user profile – 70-90 hours;
- search – 13-18 hours;
- messaging – 160-170 hours;
- push notifications – 25-32 hours;
- in-app payments – 60-78 hours;
- basic admin panel (user, push notification, and payment management) – 97-148 hours.
There are two design-related factors that’ll impact your bill, whether you hire a custom iOS app development service or an Android one:
- Template vs. custom design. Of course, using a template will cost you less – but your app won’t have that one-of-a-kind feel to it.
- The number of screens. The more screens your app has, the costlier the design will be.
Human Resources: How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App
It’s not only the coders’ work you should take into account when hiring Android or iOS application development services. Learn about how much does it cost to develop an app with these hourly rates. You’ll need graphic and UI/UX designers, project managers, QA engineers, and business analysts on the team, too.
Here’s a quick comparison of different professionals’ average hourly rates around the world (source: Accelerance):
|United States||Latin America||Eastern Europe||Asia|
How many people will you need on the team? Well, it all depends on the app’s complexity. If you hire iOS mobile app development services for a small-scale project, for example, your team will probably consist of:
- a project manager;
- a designer;
- a backend developer;
- a QA engineer;
- an iOS developer.
Why Location Matters
It’s true not only in the real estate business. Where your developers reside can inflate your expenses or reduce them threefold. How much does it cost to develop an app, we would say, you should take a look at the following.
That’s all because a specialist from Ukraine won’t charge the same hourly rate as someone from the United States or France. The reason? The cost of living varies from one country to another.
Here’s a comparison of average hourly rates for Android and iOS apps development services in different geographical regions:
- North America (the US and Canada): up to $150/hour;
- Western Europe: between $45/hour and $80/hour;
- Latin America: between $35/hour and $75/hour;
- Eastern Europe: between $30/hour and $65/hour;
- Asia: between $20/hour and $45/hour.
Don’t Forget About App Maintenance
The app’s launch isn’t the finish line. Your marathon is only half done by that point. After the deployment, you need to keep:
- Updating it to work smoothly with new OS or third-party apps versions;
- Fixing any bugs that slipped past the QA team;
- Improving the user experience based on user feedback.
In terms of the costs, it’s a good rule of thumb to estimate that maintenance will cost around 20% of your initial budget per year. Hope you understand how much does it cost to develop an app even better.
According to GoodFirms’ recent survey, you can expect to spend anywhere between $25,000 and $137,000 on Android and iOS development services (at the global hourly rate average of $65). This can be considered the most generalized answer if you are wondering how much does it cost to make an app. This just proves, once more, that there’s no easy answer to the question in the title of the article. The reality is, it depends.