In 2020 alone, around 32% of e-commerce purchases were made using mobile devices, according to a Business Insider report. Considering this mobile-first commerce trend, mobile applications are more important than ever for businesses of all sizes. Talking about costs, the mobile application development cost is somewhere around $20,000 — $500,000 depending on the functionality of your mobile app.
Well, there are several determinants to mobile application development cost such as the number of features, development complexity, and the skills required, among others. In this post, we will dive deep into factors affecting app development costs. By the end of this article, you will have a clear estimation of how much it will cost you to build a mobile app.
Let’s Calculate Your Mobile Application Development Cost
Mobile application development cost depends on several factors — Type of application, team, development platform, and the number of functions.
To calculate the mobile application development cost, you need to answer the following questions-
1. Which Type of Mobile Application Do You Wish to Build?
Firstly, you need to decide the type of application. For instance, do you want a gaming app, a social networking app, e-commerce store app, delivery service app, or any other?
Each application has different complexity and requires different features. Long story short, the more complex and feature-loaded the app the more is the development cost.
2. Which Platform to Choose — Android, iOS, or Hybrid?
There are mainly two types of mobile applications — Native and Hybrid.
Native applications as the name suggests, are built for a specific platform, say only for Android, or only for iOS users. It costs anywhere between $10,000 (basic app) to upwards of $250,000 (advanced app).
Native apps are most complex as they are optimized for a single platform. As a result, they are expensive. Also, the cost differs based on which platform you use. The cost of building an app is less than that of Android. This is because Android apps take around 30%-40% more time to develop.
Cross-platform (Hybrid) applications run smoothly on all operating systems be it Android or iOS. Hybrid apps cost around $10,000 — $200,000 depending on the complexity of the app. These apps are comparatively cheaper than native apps as they make use of in-built libraries and third-party software libraries. Plus, such apps have low maintenance costs.
As for which approach to use, hybrid apps are best suited for startups that do not have high-performance application requirements. However, if you wish to scale your business with a high-performance mobile app, native applications should be your go-to.
3. Which Features You Want in Your Mobile App?
As mentioned, the more complex features you wish to include in your app, the higher your mobile application development cost.
Let’s say, a developer charges $50 — $100 for each development hour. Considering this, here are the costs of some features –
4. Whom Do You Hire?
To build your mobile application you can either hire freelancers or a dedicated app development company.
Hiring freelancers is a more economical option. Experienced freelancers bring the same expertise as a big development company. However, make sure to hire carefully, read reviews, ask for a portfolio, and then make your hiring decision.
On the other hand, companies charge a hefty amount for building apps. No doubt, such companies have one of the best talents and good industry exposure.
Deciding who to hire completely depends on — a) with whom you are comfortable working — a freelancer or a company and b) your budget.
The Bottom Line
The most important factor you need to consider before developing a mobile app is your business idea. If you wish to test the waters, you can choose to build a Minimum Viable Project (MVP).
Simply put an MVP, in this case, will be a basic app just to test the potential of your business idea. Once you get good responses from your customers, you can scale your MVP to a full-fledged mobile application. If not, you can still adapt to customer feedback, and then launch your app.
Please contact us if you want to pilot the mobile application development project.