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how much does it cost to make an app

The world revolves around mobile apps. According to Statista, the App Store has around 2.22 million applications in the first quarter of 2021. The Google Play Store, on the other hand, had roughly 3.48 million applications accessible in the same quarter, with 108 billion downloads. These figures indicate that the mobile app sector is seeing unparalleled growth and popularity.

Because of the growing popularity of apps, entrepreneurs and business executives are eager to build mobile applications for their businesses. Global mobile app revenues are estimated to reach $613 billion by the end of 2025.

When it comes to app creation, though, the most typical question that comes to mind is: how much does it cost to create an app?

In summary, the cost of developing a mobile app can range from $25,000 to $200,000 or more. Because the cost of bespoke mobile app creation is dependent on various aspects, including the app’s complexity, features and functions, and more, this is only an approximate estimate. We’ll go through each crucial element one by one in this essay.

But before that, let’s take a look at some popular applications and talk about how much it costs to design them based on their complexity.

Popular applications and their average costs

A few popular mobile applications that are redefining the user experience. That dominating the app industry are listed below. The typical cost of producing such apps has also been highlighted.

Create an app
Uber

Uber is a well-known ride-sharing service mobile app that connects drivers and passengers all over the world. Customers can book a car immediately or at a later time via the app. An Uber-like app may cost something between $25,000 and $150,000 to design.

Uber like app
Snapchat

Snapchat has been a game-changer in the world of social media apps, with over 300 million daily active users. Through filters and interactive lenses, this popular messaging application has been a pioneer in delivering augmented reality to its users. You may also send multimedia messages that will “self-destruct” in up to 10 seconds using the app. Building a Snapchat-like application can cost anything from $45,000 to $60,000.

snapchat like app
WhatsApp

It’s a real-time messaging app that lets users send and receive messages in real-time via the internet or over Wi-Fi. Users may also make quick video/audio calls and take and submit photos or status updates. A messaging application like WhatsApp would cost between $40,000 and $50,000 to develop.

Whatsapp like app
TikTok

This video-sharing application has become unavoidable in the entertainment industry. TikTok allows users to lip-sync sentences and recreate scenes from movies and music videos. The application also comes with many filters and effects to help you improve your videos and photos. The typical cost of building a TikTok-like app is between $80,000 and $100,000.

TikTok like app
Coursera

Coursera is an e-learning platform that has exploded in popularity among students and professors owing to its numerous advantages. The app provides a variety of distance learning programmes, ranging from skill development to university degrees, all around the world. The cost of developing a Coursera-style mobile app will range from $76,500 to $103,000.

coursera like app
Netflix

Netflix is the world’s most popular media streaming service. It allows people to watch TV and movies whenever they want. An app like Netflix may cost anything between $25,000 and $140,000 to design.

Netflix like app

The methodology for estimating app development costs

Calculating the number of hours it would take for each step of the development process and multiplying it by the billable hours of resources is the formula or answer to how much it costs to create an app.

Mobile app development cost

How much does it cost to make an app?

According to a Good firms survey, the average cost of producing a basic app ranges from $3,800 to $91,000. A simple app has a login system, user profile facility, dashboard, and limited management.

A medium-complexity software costs $55,000 to $131,000 to develop. An app of medium complexity possesses a series of features for user engagement and app monetization. These apps provide social media integrations, payment gateways, audio/video streaming, user privacy, and more, in addition to basic capabilities.

App development cost

While this was a survey’s basic app development price estimate, the real development cost would, of course, vary depending on what you want to achieve with the app.

The size and kind of the project are other important considerations in determining the cost of mobile application development. We’ll go over a few key aspects that influence the overall cost of developing a mobile app in the following section.

Factors that affect the cost of building an app

A number of important factors influence the cost of producing a mobile app.Understanding those elements will assist you in making the most cost-effective selections and provide the most return on your investment in growth. It will also assist you in sticking to your budget.

So, let’s have a look at the primary aspects that influence the entire cost of developing a mobile app.

Features and functionalities

The answer to how much it costs to design an app is highly dependent on the features and functions you provide. With the addition of additional capabilities, the base pricing for the sort of app you want to design continues rising. The more features and functions your app has, the more money you’ll have to spend on the development process.

As a result, in the first version of the app, it’s best to focus just on the most important functions. It will assist you in providing an excellent client experience at a reasonable price. The best solution is to hire someone to create an MVP. It is the first version of a product that has only the most basic functionality. MVP will save you time and money while also providing you with vital user feedback.

Let’s look at the estimated cost and development time for fundamental features before moving on to the more sophisticated ones.

Estimating the cost of core features
Estimating the cost of core features
Estimating the cost of complex features
Estimating the cost of complex features

Additionally, throughout the development phase, you may make some unanticipated adjustments. As a result, you must factor such charges into your budget and provide an additional expense line.

App category

How much does it cost to build an app? The answer varies tremendously depending on the category. When we move from one category to the next, many factors change, such as the number of users, functionality, security standards, and so on, resulting in varied app development expenses.

Stand-Alone Apps

These applications don’t require the use of a network and aren’t reliant on any device features. Low data and development costs characterize such apps, making them a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses. Clock and calendar are two examples.

Apps of this nature range in price from $5,000 to $15,000 and take between 600 and 900 hours to develop.

Social Networking Apps

What Facebook started is now being carried on by many other firms.

Integration with other applications and device functions such as media files and cameras, real-time messaging, usage of location-based services, real-time sync, and the newest trend of in-app sales are all frequent aspects of a social networking app.

The cost of developing a social media platform app is often costly since it must service millions of users at the same time in a safe and real-time ecosystem.

Tinder or WhatsApp, for example, might cost anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 or more.

On-Demand Apps

When a company creates an on-demand app, they are catering to three people: the customer, the person providing the service, and the company. Furthermore, the UI and app flow are completely distinct in each of them, thus increasing the development cost.

In addition, the category requires in-app payment, real-time sync, real-time tracking, chat assistance, rate and review support, and alerts, among other things.

Because a mobile app development business develops three applications through an on-demand app development cost increases dramatically.

On-demand applications like UberEats or Lyft take between 2,000 and 10,000 hours to build and cost between $50,000 and $100,000.

Enterprise Mobile Apps

Unlike other app categories, enterprise mobile apps require more precision. Because enterprise applications are intended to be used by employees as a supporting element in their processes, and because they must be created in such a manner that they grow with the company, development costs are substantially greater. The cost of enterprise mobile apps ranges from $50,000 to $175,000, depending on the size of the company.

App design & animation

The cost of app design is the next issue to consider when determining how much it costs to build an app. It takes a special emphasis on app design to ensure that your consumers devote their time to your app. We usually have two alternatives when it comes to app design: Custom and Standard UI. Customized user interfaces are far more complex to create and implement than standard user interfaces, hence they are more expensive.

Wireframing

Wireframing, which we create with tools like Balsamiq, Photoshop, and MARVEL, is used to organize the user experience map and features. To design a final app screen flow, the customer must approve each wireframe.

The cost of designing a wireframe is not included if the customer already has one.

UI design

We utilize Material Design to introduce the spirit of creativity and basic boldness in our mobile app designs for all of the Android applications that we produce here at TeamTweaks.

In terms of iOS app development, we make use of Flat Design’s clarity and depth.

Animation

Some app genres, such as gaming and social networking applications like Snapchat, rely heavily on animation. Animation design and coding are considered difficult procedures, which raises the app design cost.

The cost of app creation varies depending on the parameters stated above. It may be a basic one that takes roughly 150 hours to construct, or it could be a complex one that takes around 400 hours.

App platform

It’s critical to select a platform before beginning the mobile app development process. You may create an iOS, Android, web, or cross-platform application depending on your intended audience. If you’re a startup with a limited budget, it’s best to start with just one platform and then expand to numerous platforms.

Native apps (Android & iOS)

While there isn’t much of a cost difference between Android and iOS apps, Android app. The costs tend to rise when several devices with various OS versions are involved. Which is rarely the case with iOS. In terms of programming languages, iOS app development is written in Swift and Objective C, while Android app development is written in Java and/or Kotlin. Find out how much it costs to create an iOS app.

Cross-Platform apps

The current cost-effective trend is to have an app produced for both iOS and Android at the same time. The platform offers a list of advantages, including the usage of a single code base and reduced development time. Currently, the cross-platform industry is split between the Flutter and React Native platforms.

Flutter

Flutter is a new entrant in the market with its own set of benefits, including native experience. Thorough documentation, and a 60 FPS app running time. However, because the platform is still relatively new and Dart programmers are few, the cost of Flutter app creation is on the higher side.

The cost of Flutter app development ranges from $15,000 to $40,000.

React Native

Over time, React Native has grown to be associated with cross-platform app development. A lot of firms have chosen the framework to have a presence on both Android and iOS at the same time. React Native app development is substantially more cost-effective than native app development and Flutter app development.

The cost of developing a React Native app ranges from $15,000 to $50,000.

Hybrid apps

Hybrid applications combine the best features of both native and online apps. It’s installed as a native app, but it’s executed through a web view component.

PhoneGap, Ionic, and Sencha Touch are three frameworks that are commonly used for hybrid app development. Hybrid applications, on the other hand, have lost ground to cross-platform native app development, which is provided by React Native and Flutter.

However, while hybrid applications cost around half as much as native apps, there are still companies that want to build them.

App maintenance

Expenses do not stop at the completion of the mobile app development process, without a doubt. Businesses will have to continuously upgrade their applications in order to stay up with shifting market trends and new device and OS versions, which will cost money.

App bug fixes

There is no such thing as a mobile app that is bug-free. In most situations, issues are only discovered after the programme has been released. You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for such bug fixes.

Design changes

The one aspect of a mobile app that tends to become old and cease engaging consumers is the design. If a firm wants to keep its consumers engaged, its app design mustn’t become obsolete.

The cost of app maintenance is determined on an annual basis at a rate of 20% of the total cost of developing a mobile app.

Location of app developers

Another important aspect that influences overall app development expenses is the location of app developers. The cost of app development in North America, for example, differs from the cost of app development in other countries, such as Australia. This is because the level of services available throughout the world varies greatly in terms of both quality and cost.

A table showing the average cost of app development depending on different geographical regions can be seen below:

Code reuse

It’s one of the reasons that drive down the cost of mobile app development. When companies opt to borrow the code of an existing app in their app and only modify the branding aspects, the cost of developing a mobile app drops dramatically.

However, at TeamTweaks, we advise businesses to reuse just the most frequent parts, such as contact us, login, and so on, and to design the rest from scratch, since maintaining a unique brand identity would become impossible.

The cost of app development when existing codes are used is 20–30% cheaper than the cost of developing an app from scratch.

Team

The cost of producing a mobile application varies depending on who is developing it — a freelancer or a large-cap app development organization.

A freelancer or a small business with 5 to 10 workers that are just getting started would price less. To help them build their portfolio, but giant corporations with hundreds of employees and industry knowledge may charge considerably more for mobile app development and deployment.

Because of the varied team sizes, there is a significant cost variation. The rest is outsourced, save for freelancers and small shop firms. Which are made up of a developer and a tester. A development team like this makes up mid and big-size firms like ours.

how much does it cost to make an app

So, these are all the elements that go into determining how much an app costs. Now we’ll talk about the hidden costs of app development that are sometimes underestimated.

Hidden costs of mobile app development

The most typical hidden costs of mobile app development projects will be discussed in this section. Understanding these aspects will aid in risk reduction as well as time and money savings. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of them!

Quality assurance

You may also need to engage a quality assurance agent or a project manager, depending on the scale of your app. Business analysts may also be required to assist you. To keeping development costs low and within your app development budget.

Infrastructure costs

Expenses for data storage, data transport, and app hosting are all included in infrastructure costs. All of this adds to the project’s expense and complexity. Servers, data storage, and programming tools and libraries are all examples of infrastructure costs.

IT support costs

Without IT support services and ongoing technical help, it’s impossible to create a high-quality app. However, the expenses of support may rise with time. Updates for iOS and Android, bug fixes, and API maintenance are all examples of IT support services.

App publishing costs

When app developers create apps, they keep the app store standards in mind. It’s not a big deal when it comes to app store payments. A one-time cost of $25 is required when submitting your Android app to the Play Store. Apple, on the other hand, charges $99 for a year’s worth of service.

If you wish to distribute your app just within your company, you’ll need to join the Apple Developer Enterprise Program for $299 per year and submit your app to the App Store. The service is free on Google Play.

App security

The safety of apps is a serious problem. Users must have faith in your app with their personal information. As a result, you should have a solid security strategy in place. Everything will be OK if you consider this issue from the beginning and provide time for testing and security checks. If this is not the case, costs will be higher, and financial and reputational damages may result.

How to reduce app development costs?

Fortunately, by following a few industry best practices and employing some handy methods, company owners and entrepreneurs may cut the expenses of building mobile apps. In this part, we’ll look at some of the methods that businesses may take to cut down on total custom app development expenses.

Prioritize features early on

It’s critical to prioritize your app features effectively while developing an app. Prioritizing your app’s features is a sensible decision if you want to start creating business value as soon as feasible. The nice-to-have parts can be saved for later phases of development.

As a result, it’s best to start with a minimal viable product (MVP). It is the first version of a product that has only the most basic functionality. The MVP may assist identify whether or not a product has a chance of succeeding. It also allows entrepreneurs to engage their initial consumers and gain a better understanding of their target market’s demands.

Involve quality assurance early on

You must resolve problems and mistakes as soon as feasible because your programme is prone to them. You may uncover severe problems and errors before the development process begins by enlisting QA professionals from the start. As a consequence, you will save a significant sum of money that may otherwise become quite costly in the midst of your project.

Plan for the future

In the future, the app you create today can look very different. If you’re building an MVP, for example, you might wish to tweak certain features based on consumer input. Your target market might vary dramatically, requiring you to adapt your offering as well.

As a result, it’s important to consider both short- and long-term objectives while creating an app. In the long run, it will save you a lot of money.

In-house or outsource

The sort of mobile app development workforce structure you choose is a key part of the project planning process. Your ultimate choice will have an impact on budget expenses, workflow organization, and even the notion of product maintenance. So, the ultimate decision is whether to outsource or develop in-house.

Physical proximity to the development team is a fundamental benefit of in-house development, which enables faster development and easier collaboration. When it comes to in-house app development, you have the option of hiring a new team or using existing staff. This implies that the corporation must give the staff office space and enough infrastructure.

When you employ an already existing team for a development project, you are outsourcing. When the organization decides to outsource the app development process, it gains access to a pool of excellent talent from which to pick. It also helps you to save money on office expenses and equipment, as well as streamline internal processes.

You may hire teams from all around the world and benefit from their cost-effective services, which are frequently of great quality. Both techniques to growth have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. As a result, make an informed decision based on your demands and requirements.

If you’re still undecided about whether to create your app in-house or outsource it. Read our in-depth essay on the subject.

Consider cross-platform development

When it comes to releasing an app, every entrepreneur must decide whether to go with Android, iOS, or both. It is not cost-effective to develop native apps for both platforms. If you just create an app for one platform, you risk missing out on a substantial portion of the user base on the other.

Developing cross-platform apps that function on both platforms is the best answer. One of the greatest instances of a cross-platform mobile app is Twitter. Flutter, Unity 3D, and React Native are some of the most popular cross-platform app development tools.

App Development Process

To create a successful app for your business, you must go through the following stages:

Research the target market

You should perform research and learn more about your target market before designing an app for your company. This will assist you in gaining a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics, customer interactions with brands, key players, and more. You should also look at user reviews for the most popular apps on the market. This will assist you in creating a better product.

Choose the right platform

Your app may run on both the Android and iOS platforms. However, if you have a limited budget, you can only design an Android or iOS app. After that, you may improve your service so that it can run on several platforms.

Hire an app development company

Hiring a reputable and experienced app development firm will guarantee that your app has all of the newest features and functions at a reasonable price. An mobile app development business is made up of app developers. UI/UX designers, project managers, and industry experts that provide helpful advice and always keep your vision in mind. The company also provides access to industry experience and cutting-edge technology.

Build MVP

Consider creating a minimum viable product to verify your app concept without investing a bunch (MVP). Ask your app development business to identify must-have features and key USPs for a successful MVP, and then design an app appropriately.

Test your app

Another important step to consider when designing an app for your business is testing. So everything from the app’s functionality and user experience. The content should be thoroughly tested. Proper testing may help you cut development time and costs, find errors, and improve your service provider’s reputation.

Submit app to stores

You may submit your application to the Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Whenever you’re pleased with its testing. You must, however, follow Apple’s and Google’s developer standards when launching an app on the App Store or Play Store. In addition, you must match your monetization plan to their needs.

Launch and track performance

Once your app is live on the app store, be sure to monitor its performance using the in-app analytics tools you built during the development phase, release updates to boost user engagement and respond to user requests and concerns.

Now that we’ve learned how to construct an app and how much it costs to build an app, it’s time to consider the app’s business and income potential. 

How can TeamTweaks help you with app development cost estimation? 

So, how much does it cost to create an app? Well, it’s obvious that there isn’t a simple answer to this issue. Taking into account all of the contributing elements should help you come to a close estimate of how much it will cost to convert your creative app concept into a reality.

If you’re still having trouble figuring out the total cost of mobile app development, contact a professional Mobile app development company like TeamTweaks for top-notch mobile app development services. The specialists here specialize in creating and deploying cutting-edge apps with cutting-edge features and functionalities.

Contact us if you plan to develop such creative applications or if you’d want a rough quote for developing an app for your company.

Author

A well-versed experience in the field of IT with more than 13+ years of expertise in DevOps Consulting, Quality Assurance, Project Management & Outsourcing and predominantly focusing on customer relationships, negotiations, estimations, contact partners, market research and helping small business owners and young entrepreneurs to reach their next level.

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