App Development Budgeting for 2023: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

Mobile App Development CostFor business enterprises, developing a mobile application is both exciting and also challenging work. Exciting as it helps the organization to expand its user base and increase revenue and challenging as it can become tough for the firm to keep pace with the changing demands of the mobile app business world.

One of the main concerns that enterprises face with mobile apps is to decide the cost of mobile app development. This is because the cost to develop a mobile app is not defined as it depends on various tech factors such as app complexity, features, mobile OS platforms, etc. Also, it depends on other business factors such as the business goal of the organization, requirement of the target audience, etc.

Therefore, in this blog, we will focus on the different parameters that impact how much the mobile app development will cost.

How to evaluate the app development cost?

The estimated cost of mobile app development is subjected to a myriad of different factors. According to research by Clutch, the average cost to develop an app ranges from $10,000 to more than $300,000. Some also opine that for startup enterprise high-end apps, the custom app development cost more than $50,000.

For the best cost estimations, organizations must have a clear focus on what are the requirements and share it with the best mobile app development company to hire. All the top companies have all the resources and great minds to analyze the cost according to the requirement.

Hiring dedicated app developers will help the business enterprises to develop superlative minimum viable products (MVPs) that will help in gauging the needs of the target audience. Also, the cost of MVP development ranges from $10,000 to $50,000.

Let’s calculate the cost to build your own app.

Important factors in Mobile App Development Cost Estimation

Important Factors In Mobile App Development Cost Estimation

After understanding the estimated cost range of developing the mobile apps, it is time to explore the important factors that play a major role in determining it.

Application type

Now, to calculate the average cost of app development, it is important to understand that the cost varies according to mobile app type. We will study that in detail:

Simple apps

These are single-purpose apps and are the cheapest to develop. Apps like clocks, calculators, etc. that don’t require any internet connection are included in this category.

Cost of developing a Simple App: $10,000-$30,000

Social network apps

As the names suggest, these apps fall in the category of giants such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social network apps are able to handle chats, videos and millions of simultaneous interactions and allow the users to share their information easily.

Cost of developing a Social Network App: $50,000-$300,000

Apps that require personalized data and authentication

Food delivery apps, digital payment apps are examples of mobile applications that require the user’s personal data. The app is sophisticated and uses user data and shares information across devices.

Cost of developing Apps that require personalized data and authentication: $40,000-$80,000

Ecommerce mobile application

To build an ecommerce app, the business organization would require features such as catalogs, social integrations, user registration, etc. Due to the extended feature list, the cost to develop an Ecommerce app would be higher than the simple mobile applications. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to check the final ecommerce app development cost with the providers to keep up your budget.

Cost of developing an eCommerce app: $60,000-$300,000

On-demand service mobile apps

These apps such as Swiggy, Uber, etc. have a single point agenda – to connect the service providers with end-users and fulfill their needs. The features in on-demand apps are a combination of ecommerce apps and social network apps. Moreover, due to the increase in the on-demand economy, the on-demand business model for startups is on the rise.

Cost of developing an on-demand service app: $70,000-$150,000

Marketplace mobile app

The marketplace applications have similar functionalities such as on-demand apps or ecommerce apps, but unlike the ecommerce apps, they render a plethora of different services. Along with the different types of services, they quickly render the service provider to the customer’s choice. Being an all-in-one application, the marketplace app development cost can be justified with its functionalities.

Cost of developing a Marketplace App: $80,000-$300,000

Platform and devices to cater

The average cost of mobile app development also depends on the number of platforms and devices. The cost of developing an app for only one platform will be comparatively lesser as compared to a scenario when you have your app users spread across both iOS and Android platforms.

iOS apps

The iOS apps are developed keeping Apple devices in mind. iOS mobile applications work on different iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, etc. Therefore, as the business organization is catering to a specific set of audiences, the cost of iOS app development will be different than the other OS platforms.

Android apps

Android apps are built for smartphones, tablets, and Android TVs powered by Android. Here the cost of android app development will be different based on a number of factors and a wide range of devices with varying screen sizes that the app needs to work efficiently on.

Cross platform mobile apps

Mobile apps that can run seamlessly on both Android and iOS mobile OS platforms are cross-platform apps. The horizon of cross platform app development is on the rise as it allows businesses to expand their business and they are highly cost-effective as well. React Native and Flutter are the most famous framework and SDKs used for developing cross platform apps.

Interested in developing your own application?

Type of App Developers

The cost of app development varies based on the type of mobile app developer opted for outsourcing the project. The different types of mobile app development service providers that business firms can opt for are:

Freelance developers

There could be freelance app developers or designers available who are capable of creating creative app solutions. But they might not have a strong hand as far as in-depth expertise and experience are concerned in managing the whole project. Thus when there is a complex situation during the app development process, the freelancers might have some issues. Although the app development budget through freelancers is the lowest.

Outsourcing app development companies

These remote service providers will guide the enterprise through the thick and thin of app development. These are the top mobile app development companies that comprise a team of dedicated app developers and designers. One should know and understand when to hire remote developers for their app development project requirements. Due to their experienced staff, the outsourcing app development service providers render much better results as compared to freelancers.

Demographic location of app developer for hire

Hourly Cost to Develop Mobile App

Along with the type, the demographic location of the mobile app development service provider too plays an important role in determining the mobile application development cost.

Average app development cost breakdown also depends on the cost of living, economic stature, and IT infrastructure of the concerned country. In addition to this, there is a difference between iPhone app development cost and Android app development cost according to the region.

Hiring models for mobile app developers

There are three main types of hiring models to hire mobile app developers for app development requirements. The knowledge about such hiring models is important as the eventual cost of app development will depend on that.

  • Hourly based hiring
  • Fixed pricing based hiring
  • Hiring Dedicated developers

Complexity of the application

If the business organization wants to build an app that renders seamless performance and a better user experience, it must add advanced technology, features and functionalities. This increases the complexity of the applications and in turn, increases the overall development cost.

Businesses can opt to integrate state-of-art technology as required to provide the users with better convenience and trust.  The functionality and features of the mobile app will depend on the nature (dynamic or static) of the app. For example, a mobile app like Kite (Zerodha) deals in real-time stock market analysis. Its functionality and the average cost of producing an app will be more than an app that is not reliant on a real-time online database.

Key features to add in a Mobile App

Mobile app UI/UX

It is straightforward to understand that User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are vital for any mobile app’s success. The new-age mobile apps should be customer-centric and high-quality in design. A user-centric app will be instrumental in holding the attention of the user. The app that governs the content flow, payment gateways, user-data backup, etc., is a crowd favorite. But to design an advanced and effective UI/UX for the mobile app, it would require the businesses to pay some extra money.

In UI/UX, the budget for app development will depend on features such as icons, graphic images, level of customization, etc. It is also necessary for the firm to go through a competent mobile app development guide to understand what good UI/UX can do for the app. Thus, mobile app design plays a vital role in determining the cost of getting an app developed.

Updates and Maintenance

According to the requirement of the genre and customer feedback, the mobile app will need periodic updates and app maintenance. Moreover, as there is an increase in the inclusion of advanced technologies, it has become easier for business enterprises to enhance their overall working process and redesign mobile app to suit the changing business needs.

Moreover, modern-day enterprise-level apps are required to maintain APIs regularly which will help in improving the overall user experience. Because of such heavy changes, the custom app development cost will vary as periodic maintenance and monitoring are continuous.

Mobile app security

As far as app security being a factor in Mobile app development service pricing is concerned, high-level protection requires more money. The app’s longevity must keep the data that is retrieved from the users safe. Therefore, it is wise for business organizations to invest in the security of the data as this can be a major make or break point for them in the long run. Mobile app security may increase your mobile app development price but it will provide real-time protection which ultimately saves money.

Mobile app testing

To ensure that the mobile app renders a hassle-free experience to the user, it is necessary to test the mobile app appropriately. Testing the mobile app features is even more essential in apps with a higher level of complexity. If the issues in complex mobile apps are not addressed on time, they could elevate in no time and could have a drastic effect.

Therefore, testing the features always becomes a defining factor whether it is to estimate iPhone app development cost or Android app development cost. Whether it is for speed, ease of use or app connectivity, mobile app testing will play a pivotal role in everything.

App testing is an integral phase of the app development process but in some hiring models, the mobile app testing process cost is to be opted for additionally. For example, in the dedicated developer hiring model, only the cost of mobile app developers is included, that is the cost is based on every resource hired. In such a situation, the business enterprise will have to pay the extra charges for mobile app testing or hire an additional resource for app testing.

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Understanding Cost of App Development Project

There are some concrete specifications that will help in estimating the price of mobile app development. Moreover, following these parameters while building an app also allow the business organization to be on the same page as mobile app development service providers.

List of necessary resources

To understand the cost of mobile app development, the business organization needs to break the entire project into smaller tasks. After that, they must assign each task to the hired team and estimate the duration of each task in the mobile app development process and the hourly rate of the team of developers and designers.

Moreover, it is also necessary for the enterprise to hire dedicated developers because they are more likely to deliver better results.

Approximate method for cost calculations of app development

To calculate the typical cost of mobile application development, there are three major processes:

Based on different parameters

This mobile app development cost estimation process is based on the previous data and the actual calculations as well. Although this method is a little tedious and time-consuming, it delivers more accurate results on how much the app development will cost.

Ballpark process

It is a rough quotation of the average mobile app development cost estimate that is based on previous experiences. Moreover, this process will not give a precise estimation of the application development cost but it might be able to provide an idea of how much does it cost to make an app?

Three-point method

In this process, the importance of market research will come in. The mobile app development service partner will provide three different cost estimations of the mobile app viz: optimistic, pessimistic, and realistic projections.

The pessimistic estimation would include risks and hidden costs of mobile app development, hence, providing the possible worst-case scenario. Whereas the optimistic cost estimation will provide the best-case scenario. Moreover, the realistic approach will be somewhere in the middle.

Calculate mobile app development cost according to features

While calculating the total cost to develop mobile app, it is inevitable to understand the cost of development with respect to each feature. Here are some common features along with the efforts that the developers need to put in to add more value to the mobile app

Registration: In this feature, the developer has to render different options of registering or logging in for the user. In addition, it is necessary to make the registration process hassle-free.

Search option: The search bar should be visible and should allow the user to enter their queries clearly. Also, the developers should render an option of voice typing in the search option to enhance the overall user experience.

Payment gateways: The payment gateways allow the customers to complete their shopping process easily. But, every payment option added to the cost of app development. So it is a smart decision to add only the most widely used mode of payment opted by the users in that location.

Offline mode: This mobile application feature will enable the app to work even when there is no internet connection.

Video/Audio streaming: This feature will require the developers to add certain features and functionalities that will allow the user to access the audio and video content in the Mobile app.

Google map integration: The developer will require to add the code to integrate Google Maps functionality. Integrating Google Map will help in real-time tracking and discovering newer places with accuracy.

Chat: The developer must keep in mind to keep the chat end-to-end encrypted so as to protect the data of the user.

Understanding the cost for different App Development Phases

Selecting the best from the list of the top mobile app developers will provide better satisfaction with the money spent on developing a mobile app for your business. Every professional app development service provider will provide you with a bifurcation of the cost across every app development phase.

Estimating the cost for different app development phases is important as it allows the app owners to ensure that the budget is kept under control. App development consists of the following 5 major phases.

  • Discovery
  • App Design
  • App Development
  • App Testing and deployment
  • App Maintenance and Support

Let’s have a look at an estimated cost range for each phase.

Discovery & Research Phase

The discovery stage is the pre-research stage in which the app development team conducts research regarding the various features and functionalities to be included in the app. This app development phase also includes research regarding the app’s viability. As a rule of thumb, you can budget around 10% of your total app development project cost into the discovery stage.

App Design phase

In the design stage, the overall look and feel of the app is decided. In technical terms, the design phase entails building the UI and UX of the application. In most projects of app development, the design stage consists of 20% of the total cost of developing the application. In some applications, the designing stage may be unnecessary.

App Development phase

The development stage is the stage where the actual coding process takes place. This is where skilled app developers build the various features of the app using various tools. While estimating the mobile app development cost breakdown, the development phase of the app development procedure is responsible for 60% of the cost of a mobile app.

App Testing and Deployment phase

The testing and deployment stage is where the testers test the app to ensure that the app performs according to expectations. Deployment is the final release of the app in the market. 10% of the total project’s cost can be budgeted for testing and deployment purposes.

App Maintenance and Support phase

Bugs will arise when the app is released in the market and the maintenance and support stage is the phase where these bugs are resolved. Apart from resolving bugs, the mobile app development team also releases updates to help keep the app competitive. The app maintenance and support stage usually takes up 15-20% of the total cost of the app development project.

Let’s talk about what we can build together.

Closing Thoughts

Determining the cost of app development is an art that can be improved with time and experience. The leading app developers are adept at this but in order to have a typical app development cost estimate that doesn’t deviate much from the pricing range provided it is important that the businesses have all their requirements clear and have a clear idea about the features and functionalities to integrate.

Based on the changing trends and technologies there will be changes and further integrations required which if focused on and informed to the app development partner in advance can have a better-calculated approach for app development. If you are looking to get cost estimation for a mobile app, that you need to develop for your business, send your app development requirements here and receive a more appropriate pricing range.

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