Today, as the world is growing more and more digital, companies have started to shift their business towards mobile apps in order to diversify their customer engagement channels, increase revenue streams, and ease their customer care.
This takes us to the idea of developing a mobile app for your business.
Every enterprise may have its own reasons to acquire a mobile app. Some might want to enhance their customer base, generate more revenues, or simply establish an online presence. However, the one consideration that remains common in all the objectives is the app development cost.
Given the diverse nature of benefits that businesses extract at the hands of powerful mobile and web applications, apparently, there is a defined cost to function as intended.
How much does it cost to create an app?
Mobile app development is currently amongst the top contenders in the market in terms of business and revenue generation sources. Therefore, various industries are using mobile apps including food, lifestyle, transport, communication, gaming, and more.
Companies tend to have various kinds of mobile app ideas in mind for execution, at the same time, they also want to precisely determine the budget for development.
If you have a great app idea waiting to be transformed into a functional reality, then here are some major considerations to understand regarding costing and budget allocation.
Type of app your business requires
The entire app development cost depends on the type of application your business wants. Here are some major types of applications that businesses normally go for.
Easily, one of the most popular app categories in the global industry, about 24% of the total applications in the app stores are the gaming applications. Gaming apps are some really money-making opportunities for developers, however, the technical skillset required for mobile game development is different to that of a typical mobile app.
If you want to develop a highly interactive, engaging game, there needs to be some real work on the game plot and character development. In order to develop such high-caliber mobile games, any professional outsource development team can be hired from between $150 to $200 per hour.
The app development cost for a business app is directly related to your business model. The business model will further discuss the technological stack, design, functionality, and other app development minutiae.
Consider the example of a transport app like Uber. The tool will cost around $80,000 to $100,000.
On the other hand, a much simpler app with typical features will cost you lesser. Obviously, the more features you intend to add, the further the cost will pile up. If you want to create a top business app for genuine productivity and operational enhancement, these are the features you need to consider.
A normal login costs around $2,000, while wanting to login with social media accounts will incur the app around $3,000. Most businesses now aim to employ the login feature for system authentication.
The live chat feature will cost you some real money. Given the demand of live chats or prompt messaging for personalized conversations with the customer care representative, the feature costs around $14,000.
A feature that is non-negotiable to add, especially for travel and delivery businesses. A simple map will be integrated for around $3,000 to $3,500, while the amount will be up to $8,000 for the Geofencing feature. But the real-time tracking will incur you about $15,000.
If your business model requires you to incorporate a payment feature in the app like PayPal or Stripe, then it will be charged for $7,000.
Do keep in mind that the above mentioned costs aren’t definite, but could vary depending on the type of requirement you wish to cater from your online tool.
Entertainment apps is another top category that consumes much of our daily life both in home and office like Facebook, WhatsApp, Tinder, etc. Such tools mainly revolve around the sharing of media content, networking, and personal connectivity.
Understandably, entertainment apps too come with their own costs and development timelines depending on the type and complexity of the app. To better understand the development cost, let’s talk about Facebook.
Features of Facebook app
The most sought and used features include Auto Synch contact list; registration through mobile number; instant notifications regarding likes and comments received; instant sharing of media like images, videos, and texts; searching for other profiles; messenger for chatting; and easy access of different Facebook pages.
Amongst these, the most time-consuming features are feed, chat, and video calls taking 450 h, 190 h, and 300 h, respectively.
We can sum the entire Facebook app development timeline like:
- Backend—1440 to 1680 hours
- iOS app—1230 to 1350 hours
- iOS design—160 to 190 hours
- Android app—1230 to 1350 hours
- Android design—60 to 100 hours
This calls for a total estimated hours of 4120 to 4670.
Besides the above, there are some further factors that play a vital role in the app development cost.
The platform you choose for your business app greatly influences the total developmental cost. The best way to determine the right platform is finding the right target audience.
In other words, try to figure out on which platform your target audience is mostly active. For instance, if most of your users are Android faithful, obviously, it makes sense to opt for the Android OS.
In case you want to capture a wide audience base like established corporations, then multi-platform development would be an appropriate option.
An average cost of app development on both iOS and Android is around $5,000. While a cross-platform application may cost you almost $8,750.
The complexity of the app is another major influential factor in registering the total cost. Obviously, complex tools will call for more time, technologies, and level of expertise on board, hence, such apps will cost more.
For instance, applications that incorporate a strong backend infrastructure aren’t any typical apps for anyone to build. Although backend isn’t required for every tool, but apps that are rigorously data-based and exchange in nature need a backend infrastructure.
The backend infrastructure will function as an operating system providing APIs for data exchange between the database and the tool.
By now, we should understand that there is no defined cost of app development. Summing the above factors, the entire cost depends on the app complexity, platform, technical stack, features, time input, and the level of development expertise on board.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.