In last few years, we have witnessed a huge upsurge in the development of mobile apps, given the runaway success of the smartphone. Mobile apps markets around the world have been witnessing unimaginable downloads and the usage of mobile apps has increased tremendously. Amidst all this, the smartphone industry has been raking in money by tons due to the mobile app craze amongst the global population.
The huge success of the Smartphone is partially due to the app monetization strategies in play. However, most of these apps are free of cost and the others out there are relatively inexpensive. At the same time, these apps make life easy for users besides entertaining them and help them connect with each other. Therefore, as an app development entrepreneur, you might want to know how much it costs to develop an app and whether an app development project is actually financially viable or not.
Scope and Process
Developing a mobile app is not as easy as it sounds. An entire process has to be followed for apps development regardless of the platform it is built for. The process needs to be methodical and systematic; else, it can happen that the app development costs can go beyond control.
- The process starts with the conception and app development idea. The app development in actuality begins here. Before it hits the floor, an app development idea is born in the mind as a concept. This concept gives rise to wire framing that lays the foundation for the remainder of the app development. The app development costs are roughly estimated right here and the revenues expected out of this app.
- Once a clear concept is formed, the next step in the app development process takes over. In the layout process, the app behavior and the relevant functionality is determined. This phase further adds to the development costs.
- This step is next followed by the design phase but only after the concept and the layout phase is successfully completed. The design phase, includes various aspects of app design such as icon design, screen page design, and other such aspects. The main intention is to make the app look classy and sophisticated.
Once the design and development phase is over, the process of distributing the mobile app in various app markets commences. If it is an iphone app, then you can upload it on the iTunes store while if it is an Android App, you can upload it on the Google Play store. However, this is subject of approval from iTunes or Google Play as the case may be.
The mobile app development cost factors can be enumerated as below:
- App platform: If you decide that you want to build for all platforms, it substantially increases the cost. This is because the each app platform uses a different language. While Windows uses C#, Android uses Java programming language and Apple iPhone uses Xcode IDE. It is quite obvious that the cost of development will be twice or thrice times the amount needed to build the app.
- Customization: The more customization you go in for, the more expensive your app will become. If you want to reduce the costs, then instead of going in for extensive customization, standard widgets should be used.
- Ecommerce apps: For Ecommerce apps that usually involve in-apps purchases, the developer needs to be extra careful with the security factor. This involves additional money and time, thus jacking up app development costs.
- Number and complexity of app screens: The number of app screens involved in the app proves to be a major cost of development. The same rule applies to screen complexity. The idea is to build cleaner as well less complicated screens to reduce the cost of app development.
- Third Party API integration: In case the app needs to communicate with other services, the developer needs to interface the app with 3rd party APIs. Such interface usually involves a learning curve, so the integration could involve higher app development costs.
In the initial stages, clients often ask for a rough estimate to develop an app. This is essential since they would like to decide on a budget or can approach financers so that they can raise money for the app project.
Thus, depending upon the app involved and the company size, the app costs can vary from $25,000 for small businesses to around $150,000 for large enterprises for native app development. Moreover, for hybrid app development, the estimate builds to $20,000 for small enterprises to around $100,000 for large businesses.
Apart from development expenses, the cost for maintenance can be estimated to around $700 – $1,500 for small businesses to around $10,000 to $25,000 every single month.