How much does it cost to develop an app? In the last two years of our journey as a mobile app development company in Dubai, there’s hardly a single day when our experts haven’t encountered with this question. And every time, our answer is – It depends on the type of mobile app you want.
We understand that this reply is not satisfactory for someone who is fascinated by the drastically growing mobile market and is eager to launch a mobile application. But, there are billions of mobile applications on the app stores. While some serve different purposes, some have different sizes and features, and so on. In such a scenario, it is not easy to tell an average app development cost without considering your app needs, features you want in your application, and other such factors.
So, without making an ado, let’s take a look at the factors influencing the cost of building a mobile application from scratch. Hope this would give you an insight of how much fund you need to enter the app market.
Factors Affecting Cost of Developing an App
- Platform and Device Specification
Do you want an app for Android, iOS or both devices? The decision plays a crucial role in determining the cost of your app development process since some platforms are expensive than the others. For example, if you are building an Android app, it would cost you high as Android platform is more fragmented than iOS. Likewise, if you plan to build native apps for both Android and iOS platforms, it would be more expensive than developing a cross-platform application with frameworks like React Native.
Besides selecting a platform, defining the device type you want your mobile application to run on will also influence your app development cost. Higher the number of devices you want your app to support, higher will be the price.
Now as you have decided the app platform and devices compatible with your mobile application, it’s time to dive into the features and functionality you prefer.There is a wide array of features you can have in your mobile application, for example:
- User registration
- Social Login
- In-app purchases
- Payment integration
- Social features (such as comment, like and share.)
- Customization of Content
- Chat/messaging option
- Push notification
- Ratings and Review system
- Integration with Wearable devices
- Involvement of top technologies like Artificial Intelligence
- Loyalty programs
The more features you want in your mobile application, more complex and time-consuming its development would be and thus, more costly the app will be. Besides, not all the features demand the same budget. A feature offering a particular functionality can be as simple and cost-effective as providing a clickable button to integrating something as complicated and expensive as Machine Learning.
- Number of App Screens
The number of screens your app offers also drive the app development cost. This is so because the more screens you add to your mobile application, the more design and user experience you want. Moreover, the type of design you want (standard or custom) also have an impact on app development timeline and thus, cost. Besides, the wider range of app screens means multiple ways of app navigation, and thus, more complex the app process.Even if we simply categorize apps as simple, moderate and complex apps to find the true price of starting from scratch, the cost rate would be:
- Location and Agency Preferred
Just like the cost of products vary from place to place, the costing of application development also differs from location to location and agency to agency. You might get an app at lower cost in Dubai than getting the same developed from the United States. Likewise, a freelancer would build an app a nearly half of the cost asked by a reputed app development company in Dubai or outside (though not of the same quality).When talking about app development, you can get your app build in primarily two ways, namely In-house mobile app development and Outsourcing app development.In-house app development, as can be depicted from the name, refers to building a mobile application at your own end. If you are not into development industry, you would have to set a new development team, buy all the licenses and tools, provide infrastructure and other things, and so on. This will increase your app development cost exponentially.However, if you outsource your app development needs to app development companies in UAE or around (which often companies do), you have to pay only for app development a fixed-rate or on an hourly basis – you will get an escape from investment required to be put in the hiring process, licensing and software purchase, and other concerned requirements.From the market research, we have found the following hourly-charges demanded by developers/development team as September 2017:
As you can see in the above table, the hourly rates vary across the globe, despite the quality they will offer. So, it can be taken into account that higher price is not always related to higher quality – You can get exclusive mobile app development and maintenance services in an area within your budget if you have a clear vision and a plan.
- Backend Integration and Server Cost
Will your app provide chat/messaging feature? Will users be able to make bookings? If you are going to provide any such facility, your app will require a server. That means server cost for mobile app performance will also be added to your mobile app development budget.Apart from server facility, the process of background integration also influences the app cost. Various people rely on third-party services (APIs) for providing a certain functionality. However, if there is no proper documentation available for the API you want to integrate into the backend, the process can be complex and time-consuming. The developers might have to find different means to understand and implement the concept into your application, which will increase the app cost. In addition to this, pushing new content and managing the whole process is also complicated, which means higher cost again.
- App SecurityDoes your mobile application need encryption? What kind of encryption do you want to implement in your app?Since the users keep their sensitive data stored in apps, it is necessary to invest in app security for preventing data breaches. However, securing an app requires various tools to find vulnerabilities and act upon them, which add to the app development price. Moreover, the encryption level also has an impact on the costing of your app. Higher the encryption level you want, higher will be the pricing.
- Testing and Deployment
Testing is another key factor to consider for evaluating app development cost since it is imperative to launch a bug-free app to gain higher app success. At many times, multiple testings are required to be conducted for ensuring the quality of the app, which adds to the cost of building the app. On the top of it, the alpha and beta testing tools used also influences the app cost.As per our experience, it takes 30-150 hours on an average for testing an application extensively, which is nearly 20-30% of the total time required for the whole app development process.Besides development and testing phase, you also need to put some investment in the launching process, which comprises of creating an account, buying a license, following the guidelines regarding app page optimization, submitting the app, etc. This process is time-consuming; the hired company might charge you for 2-3 hours. Besides, you require to pay $99/year for enrolling in Apple developer program and $299/year for registering in Apple Developer Enterprise Program. Whereas, Google asks for one-time $25 fee to register as a developer and launch your app on Google Play Store. In addition to this, you are supposed to provide 30% of the revenue obtained in case of a paid app.
- App Maintenance
The process of mobile app development cost breakdown does not end here! App launch is not the end of the journey to the mobile app market, it is just the happy ending of one phase.To make it certain that your app journey continues to more and more app users – crowned as a top-grossing app for years, you need to do market research, follow up with the feedback and come up with an app maintenance and update plan. According to our experts, the minimum app maintenance cost is 20% of the development cost annually.
With the advent of newer technologies, app development trends and other related concepts, the app development cost continues to vary in the marketplace. So, you should have a sound knowledge of market before you hire any mobile application development agency or think of building an app on your own.
Wish to get an quote for your app? Contact us and share your app idea today!