- An Overview of Average Mobile App Development Process
- Top Factors That Impact Your Mobile App Development Cost
- 1. Mobile App Complexity
- 2. App Features and Functionalities
- 3. App Category
- 4. App Design & Animation
- 5. Size and Location of App Development Team
- Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost
- Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Process to Get Started
- How Do Apps Make Money?
- How Can You Reduce Your Mobile App Development Costs?
- How Can DesignersX Help You With Mobile App Development Cost Estimation?
Are you familiar with the phrase, “There’s an app for everything”? According to certain reports, it is noted that the Google Play Store has over 3.5 million mobile apps, which are used globally.
The average cost to develop an app in 2024, which is completely ready to generate revenue for the organization, and convert the users into loyal customers, is around $80,000. In this competitive market out there, the market has three different ranges in which the app development is divided.
These ranges include the basic range which ranges from $50,000 to $70,000, then we have the medium complexity range, which ranges from $70,000 to $100,000, and last but not the least are the complex apps which have a development cost of up to $100,000 and above.
An Overview of Average Mobile App Development Process
The average cost to make a mobile app can range from $25,000 to $150,000 and can also exceed up to $300,000 in case the mobile apps are more complex. Custom app development depends on several factors such as the app’s complexity, features, and functionalities, development approach, and more.
App development is a dynamic process that begins with ideation and evolves through strategic planning, design, development, testing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance. It all initiates with the inception of an idea, meticulously crafted through brainstorming and market analysis to address a specific need or problem. This ideation phase transitions into strategy and planning, where features, platforms, and monetization strategies are defined. Design and prototyping come next, shaping the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) to create a visually appealing and user-friendly app blueprint.
The development phase breathes life into the design, with developers coding both frontend and backend elements, integrating APIs and databases to ensure functionality. Rigorous testing and quality assurance follow, identifying and ironing out bugs before deployment. Finally, the app sees the light of day upon deployment, accompanied by launch strategies and marketing campaigns. Post-launch, the journey continues with regular updates, maintenance, and enhancements based on user feedback, ensuring the app remains relevant and competitive in the ever-evolving landscape of technology.
Top Factors That Impact Your Mobile App Development Cost
Mobile app development cost is dependent on various essential factors that are of the utmost significance. By understanding these cost-effective factors deeply, you can easily make the most cost-effective decisions, and in return, they will help you the best in the development phases. And more importantly, this helps in managing the budget more effectively.
So let’s have a quick understanding of all these essential 8 factors that impact the mobile app development cost.
1. Mobile App Complexity
The cost of developing an app can vary depending on its complexity and features. On average, a simple app with basic functionalities like a login system, user profile, dashboard, and limited administration may range from $5,000 to $50,000.
For a medium complex app that includes advanced features such as social media integrations, payment gateways, audio/video streaming, and enhanced user privacy, the cost can range from $50,000 to $120,000. DesignersX’s successful collaboration with Domino’s, resulting in a 23% increase in conversion rates, serves as an example of effective medium-scale development.
Complex apps, incorporating cutting-edge technologies like AR/VR, AI, and machine learning, can cost $100,000 to $300,000 and above. These apps often feature multi-language support, advanced data logic, and more. DesignersX’s projects, like developing a core banking blockchain solution for an Asian bank, and facilitating over 50,000 crypto transactions and 250,000 app downloads, showcase the capabilities and impact of complex app development.
Furthermore, DesignersX’s work on an innovative app for JobGet, securing $52 million in funding and becoming the top recruitment app for blue-collar workers with over 1 million successful job placements, exemplifies the success achievable with complex app projects.
Here’s an average app development cost breakdown based on its complexity:
|Level of Complexity
|MVP Functionality, Basic UI
|$5,000 – $50,000
|Medium Complex App
|Sophisticated features, Custom UI
|$50,000 – $120,000
|Highly Complex App
|High-level advanced features, Bespoke UI
|$100,000 – $300,000
2. App Features and Functionalities
The answer to how much it costs to create an app effectively depends on the features and functionalities you integrate into your application. Talking about the hierarchy of the mobile app development cost depends on the features and functionalities that your mobile application serves. The base mobile app will certainly have the lowest price as compared to others and then as the hierarchy keeps on increasing, the features in the mobile app also increase with it.
Therefore, one should only focus on the core features in the initial features of the mobile app, as this will help you to gain a great customer experience at a very reasonable and affordable price. The best option among all the different options available in the market is the MVP developed. MVP is very beneficial as it saves a lot of time and money, and helps to attain valuable feedback.
Let’s have a look at the basic app development cost, and the money and time which are required for these functionalities.
|Login with Social Media, Login with an E-Mail Address, Forgot Password Option, Logout Option
|Add Basic Info, Add Photos, Set Region
|$800 – $1200
|Online/Offline Status, Typing Status, Send Media Files and Document, Read/Sent Status
|$4,000 – $6,000
|Push Notification and Reminder for Users
|$1,000 – $1,200
|See List of Users, Delete/Block Users, Create User, Edit User
|$3,500 – $4,000
Now, here is the mobile app development cost breakdown based on advanced feature integration:
|Transaction history, Check Balance, Add debit/credit card, Add other payment gateways such as Paytm, Paypal, etc.
|Detect the user’s location, Set pickup, and destination point
|Audio calls, List of contacts, Video calls
3. App Category
The cost of developing a mobile app can vary significantly across different categories due to factors such as user base, functionalities, and security requirements.
Let’s explore key categories of mobile app development:
E-commerce/M-Commerce Apps- E-commerce applications, exemplified by giants like Amazon and Wayfair, are known for their robust real-time performance, capacity to handle large user volumes, and strong security features.
Social Networking Apps- Social media apps, with their third-party integrations and utilization of hardware functions like cameras and audio recorders, tend to be more complex and scalable to support millions of users simultaneously. Consequently, the development cost for social networking apps is generally higher compared to less intricate mobile apps.
These distinctions in development costs arise from the diverse requirements and functionalities inherent in each category, showcasing the need for tailored solutions that align with the specific demands of the target audience and industry standards.
On-Demand Apps- Even the most basic on-demand applications consist of three distinct versions catering to users, service providers, and businesses. A prime example is Acti Drive, an on-demand service application integrating IoT technology to streamline and simplify the driving experience for users. It encompasses dedicated interfaces for end-users, service providers, and business management.
Hardware-Dependent Apps- Applications reliant on IoT technology often have a strong dependence on hardware devices to execute specific actions, such as data extraction or command transmission. A noteworthy illustration is “Moo,” an eScooter application revolutionizing mobility. Moo represents the future of transportation management at a micro-level, making it exclusively hardware-based for efficient and precise control over mobility solutions.
Take a look at the estimated cost to develop an app based on its category:
|$60,000 – $160,000
|Social Media App
|$60,000 – $400,000
|$70,000 – $335,000
|$60,000 – $350,000
|$80,000 – $450,000
|More than 2,400
4. App Design & Animation
The cost of app development is significantly influenced by the chosen app design, a crucial factor in capturing user engagement and ensuring their time investment in the application.
In the realm of app design, two primary options are typically considered: Custom UI and Standard UI. Developing a Customized UI involves more intricate design and implementation processes than the Standard UI, leading to higher costs.
For instance, DesignersX undertook the design and development of a cutting-edge mobile app for Pizza Hut. The app not only facilitated food ordering and delivery automation but also featured unique and engaging design elements. The incorporation of these captivating designs and animations resulted in a substantial 30% increase in the app’s conversion rate, showcasing the impact of thoughtful and customized design on user interaction and satisfaction.
|Average Development Time
|Average Development Cost
|App Design Research
Market trend analysis
Selecting ideal solutions
|Based on the available resources
Low fidelity wireframes
High fidelity wireframes
|Simple 14-18 Hours
UI mockup samples
Final UI mockups
|Simple 20-25 Hours
|$15,000 – $45,000
|Creating brand identity
|Logo, Icons, and Social Media
|$6,000 – $25,000
|Animation & Illustration
|Visualizing user and on-screen content
User action visualization
|Based on the Level of Animations
5. Size and Location of App Development Team
The overall cost of mobile application development is significantly influenced by the choice of development resources, ranging from options like an accomplished app development company, a local team, or an in-house development team, to a freelance developer.
Opting for an experienced mobile app development company can prove to be highly advantageous for your business app, particularly in creating sophisticated applications with superior features and functionalities.
|Cost Factors and Requirements Apps
Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost
In this section, we will explore the prevalent hidden costs associated with mobile app development projects. Gaining insights into these factors is essential for minimizing risks, optimizing time, and managing project expenses effectively. Let’s delve into each aspect in detail:
1. Quality Assurance
Depending on the complexity and size of your app, hiring a quality assurance agent, project manager, or business analyst may become necessary. This ensures thorough testing and adherence to the development budget while maintaining high-quality standards.
2. Infrastructure Costs
Infrastructure costs encompass expenditures related to data storage, data delivery, and app hosting. This includes servers, data storage facilities, and development tools. These costs contribute to the overall complexity and budget of the project.
3. IT Support Costs
Building a high-quality app requires continuous technical support. IT support services are essential for tasks such as iOS and Android updates, bug fixing, and API maintenance. Over time, support costs may increase, and accounting for these is crucial for long-term app stability.
4. App Publishing Costs
Submitting apps to app stores incurs publishing costs. While Android’s Play Store charges a one-time fee of $25, Apple’s App Store charges $99 per year. For exclusive distribution within an organization through the Apple Developer Enterprise Program, a yearly fee of $299 is required.
5. App Security
Ensuring app security is imperative for gaining user trust with their sensitive information. Planning for security measures from the outset, including testing and security checks, is essential. Failing to address security concerns early may result in higher costs and potential financial and reputational losses.
With a comprehensive understanding of these factors influencing mobile app development costs, let’s now explore the standard app development process to guide you in getting started.
Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Process to Get Started
To build a successful app for your business, you need to go through the stages described below:
- Conduct Market Research
When embarking on app development for your business, thorough market research is essential. Understand your target market dynamics, consumer-brand interactions, key players, and user reviews for top apps. This knowledge provides valuable insights to enhance your product.
- Select the Right Platform
Consider the budget constraints when choosing between Android and iOS platforms. If the budget is limited, start with either Android or iOS and expand to the other platform later.
- Engage a Professional App Development Company
Entrust your app development to a reputable company for access to skilled app developers, UI/UX designers, project managers, and market specialists. A dedicated app development company ensures timely delivery and incorporates the latest features and functionalities.
- Develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
To validate your app idea economically, create an MVP with essential features and unique selling points. Collaborate with your app development company to identify crucial elements for a successful MVP.
- Thoroughly Test Your App
Testing is critical to app development. Ensure rigorous testing of performance, user experience, and content to reduce development time and costs, identify and rectify bugs, and enhance your service provider’s reputation.
- Submit to App Stores
Once satisfied with testing, submit your app to the Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Comply with respective guidelines and align your monetization model with their requirements.
- Launch and Monitor Performance
Post-launch, use in-app analytics to monitor performance. Introduce updates for increased user engagement and address user feedback. Track app performance to ensure its success in the competitive market.
This concludes the standard process for initiating app development. Now, let’s explore the revenue-generating aspects of your app business. Next, we will delve into various strategies for monetizing your app.
How Do Apps Make Money?
Exploring diverse revenue channels is crucial for maximizing profits and enhancing customer value in the app development landscape. Here, we delve into some popular monetization models that can be adopted individually or in combination to optimize revenue streams:
A widely employed monetization strategy involves promoting third-party services or products within your app, earning revenue in exchange for the promotional space. Advertising provides a consistent source of income.
Under the freemium model, users can access basic features for free. To unlock premium features, users are required to make a payment. This model also opens avenues for secondary revenue channels, such as integrating in-app advertising.
In the subscription model, users must purchase a subscription plan to access the app’s key features. Subscription options may include monthly, yearly, or per-day plans. Major platforms like Google and Apple facilitate subscription management through their services.
Engaging in sponsorship involves securing a sponsor aligned with your app’s niche and establishing a compensation structure. In exchange for financial support, the app may feature the sponsor’s brand, showcase its products, or direct users to its website.
While we’ve focused on mobile app development estimates and associated expenses, it’s essential to explore standard practices that can help mitigate overhead costs and optimize your budget. The following strategies can be instrumental in achieving cost efficiency:
1. Agile Development Methodology
Implement agile development methodologies to streamline the development process, enhance collaboration, and adapt to changing requirements efficiently.
Consider outsourcing non-core activities to specialized service providers, reducing the need for an extensive in-house team and associated overhead costs.
3. MVP Development
Start with developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to validate your app idea economically before investing in full-scale development, thereby minimizing initial expenses.
4. Continuous Testing
Prioritize continuous testing throughout the development cycle to identify and address issues early, reducing the need for extensive revisions and associated costs later.
5. Cloud Services
Leverage cloud services to minimize infrastructure costs, allowing scalability and flexibility without the need for extensive physical resources.
By adopting these standard practices, you can optimize your app development budget and navigate the landscape with greater cost efficiency.
How Can You Reduce Your Mobile App Development Costs?
Fortunately, business owners and entrepreneurs can implement various strategies to minimize custom app development costs. Here, we delve into steps that companies can take to reduce overall expenses associated with mobile app development:
1. Prioritize Features Early On
Efficiently manage costs by prioritizing essential app features early in the development process. Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) initially allows you to focus on core functionalities, driving business value quickly, and saving advanced features for later stages.
2. Involve Quality Assurance Early On
Identify and address bugs and errors early by involving Quality Assurance (QA) professionals from the project’s outset. This proactive approach helps in catching issues before they escalate, leading to significant cost savings compared to addressing problems in the later stages of development.
3. Plan for the Future
Anticipate future changes in your app’s features or user requirements. Being mindful of both short-term and long-term goals enables you to adapt to market shifts, customer feedback, and evolving industry trends, ultimately saving money in the long run.
4. In-House or Outsourcing
Carefully consider whether to opt for in-house development or outsourcing. This decision impacts budget costs, workflow structure, and product maintenance. Outsourcing offers access to a pool of skilled talent, reducing office and equipment expenses. Evaluate the pros and cons of each approach to make an informed decision.
5. Consider Cross-Platform Development
Choose cross-platform development to address the dilemma of whether to launch on Android, iOS, or both platforms. Creating native apps for both platforms can be costly, and developing for just one platform may limit your user base. Opting for cross-platform development using technologies like Flutter, Unity 3D, or React Native allows your app to work on both platforms, optimizing costs and expanding your reach.
Whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise seeking to enhance your digital presence, the DesignersX team can provide tailored solutions. Discover how our expertise can benefit your project and business objectives. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to us for a detailed discussion.
How Can DesignersX Help You With Mobile App Development Cost Estimation?
Determining the precise cost of creating an app is a multifaceted task, with various influencing factors at play. While there’s no straightforward answer, a comprehensive consideration of these factors can help arrive at a reasonably accurate estimate for bringing your innovative app idea to life.
If navigating the complexities of calculating mobile app development costs in regions like Dubai, the US, the UK, or Australia seems daunting, seeking guidance from a reputable app development company, such as designers, can be a prudent choice. DesignersX experts specialize in delivering top-notch mobile app development services and crafting innovative and scalable apps with cutting-edge features and functionalities. The company boasts a track record of designing transformational apps for globally recognized brands, including KFC, IKEA, Domino, and more.
Whether you’re planning to develop innovative mobile apps or seeking a preliminary estimate for your business app, consulting with DesignersX experts can set you on the right path. Contact our team to initiate the process and bring your app vision to fruition.