Mobile App Development Cost in 2019

app development cost

If you want to start a digital startup the first question is the cost of app development. Nowadays there is a lot of sense to launch an app startup, as the vast majority of the population utilize different mobile apps as part of their routine activities.

The following quotations for app development cost and timeline were provided by the most reliable mobile app industry studies:

  • The median app development cost is about $171,450 (at a rate of $150/hour), which represents 1,143 development hours. The total app price could even increase to $727,500 in the case of complex functionality implementation (Clutch Survey, 2015)

  • Average minimum app development project is between $5,000 to $10,000. The typical cost to create an app is likely to be far higher (Clutch Survey, 2017)

  • Enterprise mobile app development cost is an average of $140,000 (VDC Research, 2017)

  • Available app cost calculators state a price range from $267,000 to $360,000 for complex, multi-feature mobile apps

  • Concerning the app development timeline: over 80% of mobile apps take 3+ months to develop; 40% of apps are built in 6+ months (Outsystems Survey, 2018-19)

In general, the app development cost is influenced by your app idea with business and functional necessities.

Here are the most influential factors which determine the final cost to build an app:

  • Vendor type and location
  • Complexity and the number of app features
  • Back-end infrastructure and connected APIs
  • Complexity of UX/UI design
  • Inclusion of additional branded visual elements
  • Development approach (native, mobile web, hybrid, etc)
  • Number of platforms to be developed (iOS, Android, web, etc)

Cost to Develop an App: Understanding the Basics

These elements will help you to understand the app development cost, and you will be able to influence the price range and set your project’s budget.

- Native vs. hybrid app

A native app suits the guidelines of a specific operating system. In such a way, you can only build a native app for each system separately. Of course, the app development price increases in proportion to the number of platforms you want to target.

On the other hand, a hybrid or cross-platform app works with multiple operating systems, so you can save money by building only one application for all required platforms.

Although, because of the technical superiority and performance of native apps, the vast majority of app development companies advise this approach.

- Android vs. iOS app

There is no difference in app development cost based on the platform.

At present, the timeline of app development for Android and iOS apps is almost the same. Your applications can be built simultaneously if you target both platforms. It allows the apps to be launched at the same time.

- Misconceptions about the mobile app development process

The most common mistakes within app development are:

  1. You expect your app business to become another “Uber”

Many digital startuppers expect good outcomes at once.

Advice: Don't copy someone’s success, because it is important to concentrate on bringing something new to the market. Nowadays you need to build habit-forming app products.

  1. You can succeed without proper market research

It is vital to evaluate the market and finish the pre-planning stage for your app concept. The market should be studied to find its problems that your app idea can solve.

- Reasons behind expensive app development

Uber development app cost differs significantly from the cost of an app like Today Weather, which simply uses third-party API.

The following three factors explain a tendency to devalue software:

  • Apps are intangible - unlike hardware, all the hard work in software products is done in the background. Hardware remains more noticeable, while software is out of sight and that is why unappreciated.

  • Immeasurable intellectual capital value - it is hard to measure the creativity and thoughtfulness involved at the project’s start. As a rule, a cross-disciplinary team is involved to ensure all the app details and processes are covered.

  • Non-obvious benefits - some customers use elegant, simple, and intuitive products, while others look for more power and speed in their apps. This can be compared to Mac users and those who have never understood the benefits provided by Apple’s devices.

How is App Development Cost Estimated?

The app’s features are the main app cost driver.

So, what is a feature? It is a special activity or task according to which the software should operate and give the expected result. The cost to build an app directly depends on the number of features and complexity of their implementation.

The following formula calculates the app development cost:

app development cost

Before the beginning of app development, a professional software development company usually provides you with a rough mobile app development cost estimate. The price is depended on your project description, business and technical requirements.

App development cost is usually estimated by using:

  • Concepts - present a sum of features to accomplish
  • Stories - list all the features necessary to make a concept
  • Story Points - show the app development pace and complexity

They are presented in the form of a product backlog.

A product backlog is a list of the features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes, or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.

Generally, clients are charged for app development services depending on the following options:

  • Fixed charge - a payment which implies the cost charged for a specific timeline. It is good for smaller projects with a clear and well-defined scope of work. The benefit of it is that the app development cost is affirmed with the client before development starts.

  • Time & material - a pricing structure that is estimated by the time and materials needed for a project and is calculated based on an hourly rate. This provides flexibility during the app development process and is better for complex and ongoing projects. It has both an initial project estimate and the ability to change the scope during the process, this helps to control the app budget and, with this flexibility, build a product people will love.

More details can be found here. In this article you will read about how to manage your app development budget effectively, reduce app costs, and understand the app development cost formation.