A Businessman’s Handbook To Calculate Mobile App Development Cost

Image by Ketan on Dribbble
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Smartphones are an essential part of human life. Initially, smartphones were only used for communication. Thanks to the recent advancement everything can be managed with few taps. Mobile apps are playing a huge role nowadays.

People are employing these innovative solutions to get their orders delivered. This includes eCommerce, food, daily essentials, etc. Therefore, numerous investors are planning for mobile app development. It is certainly a growing opportunity for business owners.

If you are new, then you must certainly not miss it.

Why? Let us understand this clearly by checking the quantitative data.

Here is the touch point to the data:

Number of Smartphone users worldwide
Source: Statista

Statista confirms there are over 3.8 billion users of smartphones all across the globe. This data is estimated for the timeframe of 2021. It is estimated that 90% of users spent time on various apps.

90% of users spent time on various apps

Let us first technically understand what mobile app development is about:

Mobile app development

The development of mobile apps is a combination of strategies and processes. Now, this combination includes writing software. It includes small devices for wireless computing.

Since this development encloses software development. These are totally based upon mobile devices. It will take the advantage of the exclusive features of devices.

Mobile app development process
Source: SemiDot Infotech

Cost to develop mobile apps in 2021

There are numerous factors that collectively impact the overall cost value. We have crafted the pointers based on the breakdown to develop mobile apps:

#1. Purpose and functionalities of the app

Now this section will include the efficiency of your mobile app. It will also include its role in the lives of mobile app users.

#2. Hardware and platforms support

This is the deciding phase. You have to take a call between native and hybrid apps.

Investment in native vs hybrid apps
Source: MLSDev

If you choose for natives then again for iOS and Android apps.

This stage will also cover the specific devices your app idea support. For example, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, etc.

#3. Locations for integration

It consists of integrating third-party mobile apps.

#4. Displaying the visual objects

The overall costing will be influenced directly by the complication of visuals.

#5. Using the features of hardware

It includes the features of smartphones and how they will be employed. Now this includes the technology of NFC and Augmented Reality, GPS navigation, etc.

#6. Strategic plan for maintenance

Once you are done with your project, you will require a team to support you technically. An experienced team will come with the best strategic plan. This can help your business to earn profits.

App Development Cost

Benchmarks Costs For Developing Mobile Apps

Earlier, there was a remarkable difference between developing mobile apps. Now, this is majorly between the two leading operating systems. It includes Android and iOS. Now, the cost purely depends upon the complication to develop mobile apps.

Below we have highlighted the costing enclosed with charges for developing a basic UI and features:

  • Complex: $120,000
  • Medium: $61,000
  • Simple: $40,000 to $60,000

Point To Remember:

These values are just the vicinity. These values will only give you an idea about your plan and budget. It does not include the charges applied for updates, maintenance, and marketing. You can screen and get quotes from 2-3 best mobile app development companies. Compare the pricing and choose the best vendor.

Note: The below mentioned illustrate the price range for building an app

Price range building App

Different stages of the app and their costing

#1. Stage of pre-research

As per the sources, 51% of agencies said it cost $5,000 in the initial concept. It is speculated that twenty percent rose above the threshold of $5k. Around 14% of investors confirmed that they spent between $10- $25k. This is one of the cheapest stages of development.

Discovery / Pre-research stage
Source: Clutch

#2. Stage of design

It is said that around 32% of investors spend less than $5000. The leading ventures almost 8% spend $50,000 on the app design.

UI design stage
Source: Clutch

#3. Development stage

This is the stage where actually coding happens. Check the image below to check how many investors are in various stages.

development stage
Source: Clutch

#4. Deployment and testing stage

There won’t be any project that will be calculated ignoring this stage. 32% claimed to invest $5,000. Around 31% invested between $5-$10k range.

Testing and deployment stage
Source: Clutch

Now the region plays a huge role from where you hire the developer/ development company. Check the image below to figure out how price varies in each region.

App development price in regions

Eight Categories Of Mobile App And Their Estimation

Types of Mobile Apps
Source: MLSDev

#1. The estimation to develop a basic mobile app

Cost of development: > ~$15,000
Timeframe: ~1 month
Examples of such mobile apps: Clock, Local games, etc.

These types of mobile apps are uncomplicated. It has no backend with six-seven screens. Nobody uses these apps nowadays. You should have a clear purpose to develop such apps.

#2. The estimation to develop a data-driven mobile app

Cost of development: ~$15,000+
Timeframe: ~1-1.5 months
Examples of such mobile apps: Maps, Calendar, Weather, etc.

These types of mobile apps are specifically designed to process as well as consume important information. TodayWeather app is an example of such an app. It utilizes the data from APIs from third-party.

Again, these types of apps are used nowadays. These apps are enclosed with added features and are a part of large products of software. Stocks apps or calendars are examples of such categories

It requires back-end working. And, therefore, the development rises.

#3. The estimation to develop authentication apps

Cost of development: starting from ~$60,000+
Timeframe: ~3-6 months
Examples of such mobile apps: Google Drive, Loyalty app of McDonald’s, etc.

These apps require a login for the full functionalities. The development cost increases because there are numerous subordinate features. The user is given a personal account. They can merge with the data. These can be integrated with various data. It also needs a comparable admin panel for user management and user.

It is recommended to go for registration using social networks. These include sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is a single-step process. It is quite easy to enforce.

#4. The estimation to develop social networking apps

Cost of development: ~$60,000 – $300,000+
Timeframe: ~3-6 months to up to 9+ months
Examples of such mobile apps: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

These apps are meant for social interaction, sharing of chats and data. Hence, you must plan the structure of the back-end with full resolution. Why? Well, it has to process plenty of data.

There are numerous subdued apps. These include apps to share the reviews of the customers, communities, blogs, dating apps, etc.

#5. The estimation to develop eCommerce apps

Cost of development: ~$60,000 – $300,000+
Timeframe: ~3-6 to up to 9+ months
Examples of such mobile apps: GoPuff, Alibaba, eBay, etc.

These types of apps include the following functionalities, includes:

  1. Features of social
  2. Registration of the users
  3. Account of the users

The mobile apps are enclosed with product catalogs and they are in a detailed format. There are separate pages for the product. It also includes the system for check out which is completed with payment transactions.

The infrastructure of such apps is totally complex. This requires a structural and well-structured back-end and admin panel. It is used to manage the user, inventory, pages of catalogs, etc.

#6. The estimation to develop on-demand apps

Cost of development: ~from $70,000 – 100,000+ (These prices are for basic and per platform)
Timeframe: ~5-7+ months
Examples of such mobile apps: Melabiz, Postmates, UberEats, etc.

All the A-lister brands are basically opting for these types of mobile apps. Uber is the most prominent example of such on-demand development apps. If you are taking a back step then you should certainly check the funding of Uber. You will certainly change your mind.

It has the functionalities such as login, calls, chats, etc.

It’s true that the development cost is pretty high in comparison to other categories. Even the timeline for the development is pretty high. But you can assuredly get help from a leading mobile app development company. They can guide you aptly.

#7. The estimation to develop marketplace apps

Cost of development: ~$300,000+ (They are generally web platform)
Timeframe: ~9+ months
Examples of such mobile apps: Booking.com and TripAdvisor

On-demand and e-Commerce apps are the extended versions of marketplace apps. These apps are enclosed with 2-parts of the economic supply and demand. You must be well-defined with the interaction as well as logic. It takes time to develop. So, the cost estimation is also higher.

For example, TripAdvisor provides airline tickets, hotels, etc. Contrary to this, Uber provides services for transportation.

#8. The estimation to develop Hardware and IoT apps

Cost of development: ~$60,000+
Timeframe: ~3-6 months
Examples of such mobile apps: WeMo, Beacons, etc.

These categories are mostly-sought nowadays. It is very much clear once IoT means smart working. These smart products can be the collar of pets, medical tools, etc.

These apps should have WiFi or Bluetooth technology to get connected to. It will help to receive data and send notifications.

For these types of apps, it is essential to employ ready-made hardware. It must be properly documented. The cost of development depends upon the documentation.

Tips to develop a profitable mobile app

It is totally a waste of money if you do not have any definite purposes for mobile app development. It should be developed with an aim. If you do not do it, then it can be a total failure.

The main reasons for the failure of mobile apps are as follows:

  1. Total disorientation
  2. Does not have any competence to engage the audience
  3. Did not find the right space

Now to make your app successful, you must fulfill the following categories above.

Note: If the app you are developing falls into at least one category then you can expect a positive Return on Investment.

There is a major benefit of developing mobile apps in spite of having a website. It will offer the ability to operate without any internet that too with full speed.

In a nutshell!!

Hope this blog would have given you an insight into mobile app development cost.

It is no big secret that mobile apps are the future of any business. These are the influential strategies that can help you earn the maximum profits. You can target your potential audience. They will introduce an agile approach that can help your business to sail smoothly.

About the Author!

Erma Winter is a mobile app developer, marketer, tech-savvy, app lover at MobileCoderz Technologies Pvt Ltd, the leading mobile app development company. She has over 10 years of experience. This has enabled her to offer digital solutions to enterprises, start-ups, and SMEs. In her free time, she loves to write articles and blogs on the latest development.

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