How much does it cost to develop an app? This is the most frequent question of our customers.
Determining the exact cost of app development is akin to unraveling a complex puzzle. Numerous factors come into play, including the app's complexity, desired features, platform compatibility, design, and development time. This blog post aims to demystify the cost considerations associated with app development, shedding light on the key factors that influence the price tag.
To give a clear answer to this question, we have prepared a detailed guide on the budget for app development. So let's find out how much it costs to develop a mobile application in 2024!
App Development Cost Statistics in 2024
The global count of smartphone users was forecast to reach 6.2 billion users in 2028 (+17.33% between 2023 and 2028) - Statista
The average American checks their phone 262 times per day! - Reviews.org
88% of mobile time is spent on apps - Insider Intelligence
The Apple App Store offers a whopping 1.96 million apps ready for download - Statista
Developing a mobile application can have widely varying costs, typically averaging between $37,913 and $171,450, depending on the complexity of the app - Clutch
Various Types of App Development Costs
The app development cost depends on the mobile application type, its complexity, and the required amount of work. First of all, you need to answer the following questions:
- What is the application structure?
- Do you require cross-platform or native development?
- What will be the controls?
- Are integrations needed, and if so, which ones?
- Is a server required?
- How will the data be stored?
- What will the animation be - complex or simple?
Each of these issues can affect the complexity of a mobile application and the budget for app development.
The scope of work refers to the time specialists spend on designing, developing, and implementing a mobile application. A simpler application will cost less and be done faster. A complex application will take longer and its average mobile app development cost is higher.
We distinguish three types of mobile applications and the average custom app development cost depending on the implementation complexity.
Let’s find out how the price varies for these kinds of apps.
Factors that Affect Application Costs
- Complexity of app building
Naturally, the mobile app development pricing depends on the amount of work that the team needs to do. It directly depends on the number of screens, controls, device type, screen orientation modes, security, the number of supported languages in the application, and much more. The more functionality the customer wants, the more time and money it will take to develop.
- Sophistication of the app design
The design of the user interface is crucial for the subsequent success of the app and its price consequently. This involves the schematic structure (which component is displayed where?) and the visual design (colors, style, and icons).
The costs are determined by the number and complexity of the individual app screens. The design of a simple app with about five simple screens takes on average 15 hours. Larger apps also quickly bring up 30-40 relevant, sometimes complex screens, so the design can take 70-80 hours and more. Unique designs also cost more than standard design components, such as Google's Material Design.
- The platform on which the app will run
Here it is worth distinguishing between native development (2 independent applications in Swift and Kotlin) and cross-platform development (common code base for iOS and Android using Flutter or React Native frameworks).
- Maintenance and Updates
After launching an app, ongoing maintenance and updates are necessary to address bugs, security issues, and compatibility with new device versions. Considering the long-term costs for maintenance and updates is essential to ensure the app remains functional and up to date.
Each method has its own characteristics, pros, and cons, as well as a particular mobile app development pricing. Accordingly, one of them is suitable for each specific project and each specific goal. For example, native development is more expensive than cross-platform one but is more profitable in the long run if you plan to develop more complex functionality in the future since the possibilities of cross-platform development may be limited.
Cost of App Development in Different Countries
It becomes clear that many factors determine the price of an app and that the exact costs of app programming cannot be given in a serious way. It takes a lot of experience to accurately estimate the cost. Basic things like design, operating system, requirements, and functions have to be clarified. Since apps are often developed in an agile manner, the total costs are often 10% below the initial price estimate.
The cost of creating a mobile application consists of the time of specialists who will work on the project. This is a manager, analysts, designers, developers, and testers. The client buys the production employees of the company who will create his product. Depending on the level and experience of its employees, the company forms a rate. Thus, a high app development cost does not always indicate a high-performance quality. It only shows that the rates of programmers in different countries are very different.
Let’s look at the average statistics from the Glassdoor portal to estimate the average mobile app custom software development costs.
From these rates, you can derive the average app development service pricing. For example, it takes about 2 months to create a simple application, that is, 300 hours.
It turns out that the minimum cost of an application from Eastern European developers is about $12000, and an app built by American developers will cost $36,000.
How Long Does it Take to Develop a Mobile App?
The time required to develop an app depends on the complexity mentioned above. Based on the application development stages, the idea implementation can be evaluated in different ways depending on the purpose.
Let’s consider the amount of work of specialists depending on the type of application:
The final cost of app development is defined as
What Factors Should You Consider When Selecting an App Development Company?
Decide on the requirements for your application
For your application to be popular and bring you income, you need to meet the needs of your audience. If an application does not solve any user problems, it will fail.
Therefore, you should form a clear business idea and research the market, as well as the needs of its potential users. If you do not have a specific vision or want to delegate market research, you can employ a full-cycle development company that also provides business analysis services and conducts a project discovery phase for the client. With proper business analysis, you can reduce project delivery costs by as much as 50%, achieve better quality due to decreasing out-of-cycle rework, and slash the time-to-market by as much as 20%.
Try to choose full-service companies
We recommend you avoid narrow-field outsourcing companies responsible for a separate project part, such as quality assurance or design. Usually, such attempts to save money result in extra costs for project management. On the other hand, choosing a full-service development team provides a tremendous benefit for organizational work: the same task, which involves several people, can be completed in entirely different terms and with various quality, depending on how the process was set up, how clearly the instructions were formulated and how often their implementation was checked.
Full-cycle development companies demonstrate a structured approach to the development process, as well as deep industry-specific expertise. That allows them to run your project with a high overview and deliver the product with predictable cost and time estimates.
Interview the developers personally
Discuss with the team all the project details and don’t hesitate to review the opportunities for cost reduction. The professional team can achieve this without sacrificing the quality of the project but through the elimination of superfluous app elements.
Learn about the company
It is all the more important to select a trustworthy and experienced software development company that has already created similar applications and is interested in a long-term partnership with you. Before starting work with the development teams, study the company's portfolio and expertise in particular fields and products, and choose an engagement model (collaboration framework).
For your app to stand out from the crowd of competitors, it's essential to make it technically sound and one that helps solve your customers' problems.
The cost of developing a mobile application depends not only on the planned functionality but also on many factors: whether you need help in preparing documentation, design, development of the server side, and technical support. Therefore, all the current estimates, like “how much does it cost to develop an app” are approximate.
Contact our technical specialists to get a detailed consultation to find out the custom app development cost specifically for your project.