Posted in Development
The usage of mobile applications has increased dramatically in the recent years. Instead of merely being tools for checking emails or getting updates on weather forecast, they have become must-have software to enhance productivity in business, as well as to ensure easy and speedy communication in myriad spheres: education, health, entertainment, etc. With the rising demand of applications, the question “how much does it cost to develop a mobile app?” becomes more and more frequent. The shortest answer to this question is: it depends. Lots of factors are involved in defining app development cost, that’s why you are unlikely to come across an exact price list. On the other hand, most companies will provide you with a rough estimate of the project rate. Rough estimate, being a useful tool, enables a company to break down a certain project into small tasks and to identify required hours for each of them. Based on total number of hours, the overall price of the project will be calculated. Usually, some 20% of hours is meant for unseen circumstances. Complexity of the product, timeframe of the project, team’s experience, and geography play decisive roles in defining prices of app development.
Complexity of the app
Being an essential component in pricing, complexity of the product is determined mainly by what the mobile app does and how it does it. Ask yourself the following questions and have clear answers to them. What are the technical characteristics of the app (its features, functionality, and the data it contains)? How many devices and operational systems do you want the app to operate on? Surely, the more are the devices, the higher are the prices (extra fees are required to adjust screen sizes, resolutions, and to consider hardware specifications). Will you use customized design and animation? Would you include any third-party integrations: payment methods, links to social media pages, real-time chats, etc? If you have a clear idea of your final product, it will be easy to come up with informed answers to the above-mentioned questions and request prices accordingly.
Time is another major factor to affect your expenses. The average turnaround for an app is from 5 months to over a year. Obviously, if you want your app to be ready in a shorter timeframe, you will have to pay more. The only caveat of prompt deadlines is to make sure the developer will not let you down with procrastination. Plan with some additional time in your mind; unpredicted circumstances accompany nearly every project.
Mobile applications are developed both at fixed prices and on hourly rates. However, most companies will charge you based on the number of hours the project takes. This is when geography will have a huge influence on your budget: prices per hour vary dramatically from continent to continent, from country to country. You will find the highest rates among Canadian and American developers ($50 to $250 per hour). Western European specialists will work for $35 to $170 per hour, whereas eastern ones will charge a little bit less: up to $150. In Asian, especially Indian and Bangladeshi markets, you will probably find the lowest rates: from $10 to $80 per hour. With a rough estimate of your project’s hours, you will be able to come up with an average rate. Simple apps will usually take approximately 600 hours to complete, the more complex ones will require from under 700 to over 800 hours. Thus, an app development can cost from $5.000 to over $700.000 on average. The span is huge, so are the quality and functionality of mobile apps.
The team of developers
Type of the team and its level of expertise are also aspects not to be ignored. Large companies will surely set higher prices than relatively small ones, and freelance teams will most likely charge you the least. Though many clients decide to turn to freelance services in search for lower prices, you should be careful when starting partnership with freelance teams. Of course, among freelancers there are professionals who will meet your expectations at a desirable cost, but before starting a contract, make sure you have requested their portfolio, contacted their previous clients for references, and defined a certain way of communication throughout the project (these steps can be helpful in any kind of partnership, though).
Don’t ignore one last but significant component when creating your app. Mobile application development is a cycle that includes not only estimation of the project and development of the product, but also post-release activities. Moreover, launching an app is only the start! You will have to consider follow-up updates, customer support, and server costs, not to mention promotional and marketing expenses. You can create an original and useful app, but if your users don’t get further support, and no bugs are fixed in the course of time, you will end up with wasted resources and efforts.
The staggering success of apps is evident on hundreds of markets, but the challenge to address the app cost question still remains. In the words of Warren Buffett, an American investor and businessman, “price is what you pay; value is what you get”. Are you willing to make an investment today to create a valuable tool for the future of your company? If yes, consider minimum and maximum budgets you can dedicate to your app, and get down to creating one of the driving engines of your business!
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