• # Gohar Aslam
  • # App Development
  • # 19 October, 2023

How to Evaluate Mobile App Development Costs?

The mobile app industry is witnessing tremendous growth, with the Apple App Store currently boasting over 1.96 million apps, while the Google Play Store features over 2.87 million apps available for download. There is no end to the growth of apps, as countless apps are developed daily, and entrepreneurs continue to invest in their development. App development is a multistage process where each parameter is carefully considered. Likewise, developing an app can be enthralling and demanding simultaneously. If you are an entrepreneur planning to develop an app for your business, the first question you might be mulling over is how much it costs to make an app. As far as the question about the app development cost is concerned, several steps are involved when evaluating the mobile app development costs.

Moreover, you must provide the development team with factual information, such as your target audience, desired app features, and budget, to receive a precise estimate. The cost to develop a mobile app depends on various factors such as the development process, app complexity, region, and team expertise. This article sheds light on the critical determinants of mobile app development costs

What are the main types of apps?

types of apps

Before assessing the mobile app development costs, it is crucial to understand the three main types of apps. There are three main types of apps: hybrid, native, and mobile.

1. Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are a combination of both native and web application elements. They take advantage of some vital native platform features, offering perks of native apps to other platforms. These apps are powered by web technologies such as HTML, CSS, Ionic, React, Kotlin, Python, Cordova, and JavaScript. Significantly, it grants hybrid apps access to native device features, such as camera, GPS, and contacts, while still functioning across several platforms. It also ensures access to native APIs and plugins. Similarly, Hybrid apps can be created simultaneously and deployed across various iOS and Android platforms. Some famous examples of hybrid apps are Gmail, Twitter, and Evernote.

The primary benefit of hybrid apps is that they can be updated instantly and require less maintenance than native apps. This feature immensely benefits businesses that implement quick changes to their apps. Hybrid apps can also load faster, convenient for users with slower internet speeds. They can also be cost-effective, as they are built simultaneously and require fewer resources, helping developers save time and money. In addition, they require less maintenance, as developers need to update a single codebase instead of several codebases for multiple platforms. 

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to hybrid apps. In terms of performance, they may not be as efficient as native apps because they run inside a native wrapper, which prevents them from maximizing the advantage of a device’s hardware. Moreover, some features of native apps may not be available in hybrid apps.

Hybrid Apps - Mobile app development cost
native apps

2. Native Apps

Native apps are mobile applications built specifically for a platform or operating system – iOS and Android, and their programming language is specific to that platform. These apps use particular features of a platform’s native API and customize the capabilities of a specific operating system, enabling them to offer excellent user experience. They are typically developed using the platform’s native programming language, such as Swift or Objective-C for iOS, Java, or Kotlin for Android. Popular native apps include WhatsApp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.

The primary advantages of native apps include their capability to maximize the benefits of hardware and software features of their devices, such as using the native device UI, resulting in an incredible performance, better efficiency, and a rewarding user experience. Likewise, these apps are also more secure, created using the platform’s security elements and guidelines. 

However, there are also some drawbacks of native apps. Building native apps can be costly and demanding, as developers must create a segregated version for each platform. It can lead to extended development stages and more complicated maintenance. Another potential disadvantage is that the code created for one platform cannot be used on another.

3. Web Apps

Web apps can run on a web browser instead of being downloaded or installed on a user’s device. They are created using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and their internet-friendly platform allows them to be accessed through a URL or a bookmark on the user’s browser.

One of the main advantages of web apps is that they are web-based, eliminating the need to customize them for a platform or OS. They can be accessed from any device with a web browser, regardless of the operating system or hardware, which can make them more accessible and require less maintenance. Compared to native apps, web apps can also be economical and less time-consuming for development. The developers can write code once and run it across multiple platforms without app store approval, saving time and resources.

Nevertheless, there are also some drawbacks to web apps. Web apps depend entirely on browsers and cannot work offline wholly. Likewise, web apps also need reliable internet connectivity. Additionally, they may not be able to leverage a device’s hardware and software features fully and may be slower or less responsive than native apps. Security is also a matter of concern when it comes to web apps, as they can be less secure than other types of apps, and they are accessible through a URL and are exposed to security threats.

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Key Determinants of Mobile App Development Pricing

Mobile app development cost

The cost of app development can fluctuate depending on numerous factors, and the following are some of the critical determinants of mobile app development cost

1. Platform

The selection of a platform is also crucial in determining the app development cost. Developing an app for iOS may cost more than developing the same app for Android due to the difference in programming languages and development tools.

2. Complexity

The complexity of the app is another determinant of cost. The more advanced the app, the more time and resources it will take to develop, and the higher the price will be.

3. Features and Functionality

The features and functionality of an app will also influence the development cost. If you want your app to have cutting-edge features like push notifications, location tracking, or social media integration, expect the development cost to rise.

4. Design

The design of your app is another factor that can influence the development cost. A more modernized and aesthetically appealing design will require more resources, expertise, and time to develop, possibly more exorbitant.

5. Development Team

The location and size of the development team can also impact the cost of app development. Development teams based in high-income wealthy countries can charge more for their services than developers based in developing countries with a lower cost of living.

6. Testing and Deployment

The testing and deployment phase of an app is also a crucial part of the development process and can raise the cost. If the testing phase is highly exhaustive, then expect a higher price.

7. Maintenance and Updates

Finally, the cost of maintaining and updating your app should also be considered, as it can influence mobile app development costs. It includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and ensuring the app is compatible with new devices and operating systems.

Breakdown of Mobile App Development Cost:

Generally, the cost to develop a mobile app can range from $50,000 to $300,000. Now, let us mention the price of apps according to their level of complexity. An essential app development costs between $50,000 to $60,000, while a more complex app could cost between $60,000. Finally, developing a highly complex app can cost from $300,000 and go upwards. It is only a general estimate, and the actual costs can differ from these estimates. Considering the budget before embarking on an app development project is vital.

Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown by Type:

The following is a cost breakdown of app development by type, including the iOS and Android development costs. These are among the most popular types of apps available in the market.

App Type Cost:

  • iOS App: $60,000-$300,000
  • Android App: $55,000-$300,000
  • Web App: $65,000-$300,000
  • Game App: $65,000-$300,000
  • Taxi App :$55,000-$400,000
  • Retail App: $55,000-$155,000
  • E-Commerce App: $65,000-250,000
  • Social Media App: $55,000-$300,00
  • Dating App: $55,000-$350,000
  • Shopify App: $35,000-$190,000
  • Healthcare App: $55,000-$300,000

Three Techniques of Project Cost Estimation: 

Another crucial part of cost evaluation entails the cost estimation process, which involves segmenting your entire project into standalone tasks, assigning them to teams, and estimating each team’s task duration and hourly rate. The following are the three standard techniques for evaluating mobile app development costs.

1. Ballpark

The ballpark method is a simple average cost of app development based on prior experience and hypothesis. This estimation is ideal for giving you an idea of the overall total cost for app development. However, this cost estimation differs from the exact and specific cost estimation.

2. Parameter-based

In contrast to the ballpark, the parameter estimation method includes historical data and actual calculations. This method requires you to take the earlier calculated duration of each task and figure it by the team member’s hourly rate. However, this method is more onerous but gives reasonably accurate results.

3. Three-point

The three-point method involves your development team providing you with three average mobile app development costs: optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic analysis. The pessimistic analysis considers all the risks and uncertainties and provides the worst-case scenario. The promising study offers the best-case strategy, and the pragmatic analysis takes an intermediate position between the two methods.

Factors to choose best mobile application development team:

Choosing a development team for a mobile app is crucial to the success of a mobile app and can significantly influence mobile app development costs. Consider the following critical factors when selecting a development team for your app project.

1. Market Reputation

Look for a highly-reputed app development team with top-level performance. Check out the team’s portfolio and scrutinize the apps they have built before. It will give you a sense of their development expertise, design capabilities, and ability to deliver quality app projects.

2. Technical Expertise

It is imperative to check that the team has the technical expertise to develop your app. It includes knowledge of programming languages, frameworks, and UI/UX tools relevant to your project. 

3. Clear Communication

Communication is essential when working with an app development team. You should ensure that the team offers you seamless communication and is responsive toward you. Anyone would want an honest development team that is honest and transparent with you throughout the development cycle.

4. Privacy and Data Security

When choosing an app development, ensure a robust privacy and data security policy. Discussing your mobile application’s security and privacy in advance is best. A development team should sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement with you to ensure your data is safe. 

5. Project Management

The app development team should have a robust project management process in place. It includes defining project milestones, creating a timeline, and providing regular updates on progress. Also, check that the team understands your project requirements and can deliver the project before the deadlines.

6. Pricing

Carefully peruse and comprehend the pricing model and what is included or not included in the cost. Mobile app development costs can vary drastically depending on the project’s complexity and the development team’s experience. Ask for a detailed breakdown if you need clarification about any part of the pricing model.

7. Customer Service

Customer service is vital because it directly links you and the development team. Always look for a company that provides superb customer service, can address your queries and concerns, and offers quick support while responding to feedback.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cost of developing an iOS app?

 Generally, simple iOS apps with basic functionality can cost between $2,000 to $10,000; basic utility iOS apps can cost between $10,000 to $50,000; more complex iOS apps can cost between $50,000 to $250,000; and high-end iOS apps can cost upwards of $300,000.

What is the cost of developing an Android mobile app?

Generally, simple Android apps can cost between $3,000 to $8,000; more advanced Android apps can cost between $8,000 to $45,000; and highly complex Android apps can cost over $250,000.

Which programming languages are suitable for mobile app development?

There are several programming languages used for mobile app development. The use of a programming language depends on the platform and precise requirements of an app. The most commonplace are Java, Swift, Kotlin, Objective-C, C++, and JavaScript. 

Which is the leading software for mobile app development?

Several leading software tools and platforms are available for mobile app development. These are some of the most popular software tools used for app development: Android Studio, Xcode, Visual Studio, React Native, Flutter, and PhoneGap.

How much money does an app make on average?

The amount of money an app makes can fluctuate greatly depending on various factors such as the type of app, its popularity, monetization strategy, region, target audience, and more. However, despite the variation, the average revenue per app is $0.60 to $1.20. 

Senior Content Writer
Gohar Aslam
Coding Pixel

Gohar is a seasoned IT writer specializing in leading technologies. He holds a Diploma and Bachelor's degree from the University of London, with professional experience spanning over five years in the IT sector. His expertise involves a keen focus on mobile applications, web apps, blockchain, content management systems, e-commerce, and fintech. Beyond the professional field, Gohar is an avid reader and reads extensively about emerging and innovative technologies.