A Comprehensive Guide to Mobile App Development Costs

May 22, 2019

While many projects may work on a fixed costs basis, managers need to understand the different models available to understand mobile app development costs better.

There may be new features and functionalities that need to be added, along with additional paperwork that needs to be processed. This makes the more profound understanding of app projection and forecasting that much more essential.

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)”

However, what is the cost to implement a mobile application these days?

Understanding Mobile App Development Costs: 

1. Starting from the planning stage

The Development teams need to be accounted for, owing to the rise in skill variety. Different levels of enterprise mobility solutions are thus required.

You need a DevOps team, QC team, a full-stack developer and many for design and development. This makes the planning stage crucial when understanding the app development cost.

Much of the costs associated with the final development fees comes from the planning stage itself.

Working on the planning stage also requires you to focus on the end goals of the mobile app. When you start working backward, you can see the level of complexity required to complete the task on mobile app development.

You can also begin developing features lists and technical requirements from the app when you compile the data together. While the planning stage may be time-consuming, it’s critical to perform as variable costs can become increasingly out of hand when not controlled well.

“Regarding 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)”

2. Features list and technology

From a feature perspective, it’s important to list out all the requirements. You can have an extensive feature list and take insights from the planning stage.

This should help you define your mobile app from a holistic to a specific level. You can even plan for platforms such as AI and Blockchain when thinking about databases and big data and analytics solutions.

From a UI perspective, you need to think about the design costs as well. Hiring a quality designer and developer will add up to the cost line.

Also, the design of the app shouldn’t be copy-paste from another template. It should reflect the overall goals of the app and the brand that is making it. An app is only as powerful as the design of the UI.

3. Hiring remote workers & freelancer

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages that we can associate with either format of talent acquisition.

When making direct hires, you need to think about how it will affect your overall costs. In such scenario, most firms consider outsourcing to India, through which they get the quality mobile app development solutions and that too at affordable costs.

This helps them save cost and maintains a steady influx of communication and design progress. There is a control present, and the processes are transparent.

Other companies may prefer to work with a remote hiring model, which involves working with developers across the world. While one developer may be an expert on a specific domain, it’s best to take advantage of increased innovation.

Freelancers are good options as well, especially when defining more specific features within the app. They’re great for adding a finish to the code or adjust last-minute changes in the app.

Mobile App Development Cost - Guide List

4. Pricing strategies and vendor preferences

A top mobile app development company USA may even share some estimates based on the features list shared. They may come down to a fixed cost depending on the features necessary to get the job done well. Most mobile application development companies in India focus on a fixed cost version for app development.

They then have a variable component based on extensions and service required. Mobile app development India- wide has also shifted to a more hourly based rate as well for the international client. They estimate the number of hours within a range and then produce a large-cap within that.

From a vendor perspective, the cost will differ as they provide a different layer of quality as well.

As a manager, you need to factor in your cost-to-quality ratio as well. You can review past portfolios and get an estimate from the vendor to get a basic idea of your mobile app development costs.

Whether you choose the Android app development or the iPhone app development in India, this is the best way to start a relationship with a vendor.

5. Customer acquisition (Marketing and Sales)

A mobile app development agency may even offer digital marketing services and sales packages to enhance your app downloads. This cost is essential to take in as it can affect your bandwidth and server utility. If the cost of acquisition is 2X of your per-user-server costs, then you need to work that into your variable cost.

Marketing also comes into play when thinking about how rapidly you’re going to make a return on investment. Most apps work on an advertising model or a direct sales option (paid apps).

This means that there needs to be a steady momentum going into the app launch process. It is imperative to account for marketing costs for a successful launch.

Mobile App CTA

6. Maintenance and feature addition

Finally, there is also the element of maintenance and feature addition. Once the app is ready, there will be regular maintenance checks and necessary debugging.

If you want to be comprehensive about your app development costs, then you need to add maintenance fees as well. This is because you may have to outsource QC or maintenance to a team that can have a fixed cost attached to that.

Related Post: Is Your Budget Realistic for Mobile App Development?

Feature addition is essential as well. You may have to add in new functionalities or design elements that make the UX more streamlined for the user.

While there are challenges with constantly updating a mobile app, the ROI is significant when the user feels comfortable. Retention should be your primary goal, and to have new updates helps the user come back after dormancy.

7. App Cost depending on the App type 

The app development approach greatly influences the cost of app. An application that meets the guidelines of a particular OS is considered to be a native. Thus, a native app is built for every operating system separately.

This way, the app development price increases with the number of platforms that you want to target.While, a hybrid or cross-platform app can work on multiple OS, which means you can save a lot of capital by developing only one app for all required platforms. However, native apps have technical superiority and performance. 

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

While customer research and A/B testing will give you the right insights, preparing for new features is critical as well. We should always add this to the overall costs. 

Premier app developers will tell you that bug fixes and code error will add up significantly over time. That’s why accounting for them early on will help you figure out a more robust sales strategy.

Priyanka Mehra

Priyanka Mehra

Sr. Digital Marketing Specialist at Signity Solutions
Being an online marketer, she loves to learn, explore and implement new marketing strategies.She is insightful when it comes to marketing challenges, trends, and growth hacking.
Priyanka Mehra

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