App development is a laborious and tedious process. The development process goes through numerous highs and lows to reach the app market, which could take years in some cases. The global app market itself was recorded at $365 billion in 2018; these numbers are expected to rise to $935 billion by 2023.
There are, however, varying costs that even go into the development of such apps. A number of factors influence these costs- such as whom you hire for the job, what are the specifications of the app, and the technology itself. Talking to the experts in the market, we have brought together a list of critical factors that determine the cost of app development;
“The cost of developing an app can vary by a number of factors, but primarily, the level of experience, the technology stack, developer location, and the type of agreement are the most important. To start, working with established, senior developers is typically going to cost more. Freelancers are a bit trickier to say whether they’ll be cheap or expensive, but they’re rarely in between; fresh graduates and new developers can be extremely cheap, while a seasoned pro could cost a small fortune.” (Ryan Vice)
“Working with onshore developers is almost always costlier than offshore; however, nearshore and hybrid teams tend to sit somewhere in the middle of the pricing range (and if you find the right ones, they can bring the best of both).” (Ryan Vice)
“Then, of course, there is the agreement. If you plan on developing multiple apps or updates, it’s often less expensive to sign a longer contract; the development company will likely offer some savings in return for consistent work. That being said, be wary of companies that make an estimate early on. It’s difficult to determine how much an app will cost without an in-depth analysis, and a low estimate early in the game likely means you’ll be paying additional fees throughout the process. And last, a huge contributor to the cost will be the technology itself, as tech that's in high demand or highly specialized tends to cost more.
“All of that being said, there’s no one way to determine how much an app will cost without first assessing the capabilities you want and the developers you choose; sometimes, you can’t even determine the cost of developing an app until you’ve begun.”
Ryan Vice, Co-founder and CEO of Vice Software
“The function for which the app is built determines its overall budget. For instance, if you are developing an app to support sales for a global workforce, it will cost more than an app intended to serve a specific department. It is good to determine whether the public will use the app. Such an app will be more expensive to develop than an app meant for internal use only.” (Harriet Chan)
“The platform and device that will support the app directly affect the cost of developing it. If you are developing an app for use on multiple platforms, It costs more than an app to be used on a single platform. Also, the cost of making the app will vary depending on whether it is for use on Android, iOS, or any other device.”
Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder
“The platform selected to build the app directly affects the development cost. For instance, if you want an iOS app for your high-end project, you'll have to pay 8-250 $/hour, while an Android app will cost somewhere around 5-200 $/hour. And so, for maximum optimization of time and money, first, you need to figure out whether you want it developed as a native, cross-platform, or hybrid app.
“Each of these options has its own development complexities. Also, they utilize different development tools, programming languages, and APIs and have different market shares. A native app would convert all the potential requirements into functionalities with 100% hardware support. On the other hand, cross-platform works best for having a uniform look and feel.” (Nathan Sebastian)
“The geographical location of an app development company can either bring you a fantastic opportunity to save money or charge you higher than expected! The USA, Canada, South America, Southeast Asia, India, the UK, Ukraine, and Australia are the most popular countries for mobile app development.
“There's a significant difference when you compare the app development charges for each region. For instance, an average American app developer would charge you around 100-150 $/hour, which is the highest. And so, for developing a simple app in the USA, you have to pay around $38,200 to $91,000. Contrarily, you have to pay approximately $7,640 to $18,200 for app development in India, as most developers charge around $20 - $35 per hour there.
“However, there are thousands of companies everywhere, each claiming to have extensive experience regarding IT solution deliverables. Proper research can help you know about the service they provide, design and development factors, maintenance, and of course, rate per hour charges. Ultimately, knowing the quality to price ratio always gets you on a proper path!”
Nathan Sebastian is a Tech Researcher and Content Marketer with GoodFirms
Vinod Ravisankar, Editor Vionix Studio