IDAP BLOG Development Cost

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Custom Application?

How much does it cost to create an app?

Let’s get to the chase—

The cost to develop an app could be anywhere between $10,000 and $300,000.

Why such a long range? Because the cost of making an app depends on many things, including features, technology, and labor cost.

If you need a more specific answer, keep reading. We’ll review all things defining the cost to make an app and give you budget tips.

We will cover:

  • How much does it cost to create an app?
  • What goes into the cost of an app

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Approximate App Development Cost

Over the past 10 years, IDAP Group has built over 200 apps for businesses of all sizes. We learned that a few important things make up the price: technology, functionality, labor cost, and others.

Together, these things can contribute to a mobile app price from $10,000 to $300,000. But the best way to find out a specific price is to give your software vendor more details.

I know what you’re thinking. 

For most businesses, the price of $300,000 is a bit much. But that is one of the top prices for super complex software products—the kind that small and mid-sized businesses rarely ever need.

Our experience with small and mid-size businesses shows that a budget between $10,000 and $50,000 is typically enough. For this budget, you still can get the app you need with the most required features.

Let me break down the cost of apps of different complexities based on the approximate price of the involved processes: project management, code development, UX design, and Quality Assurance.


Want to know what happens at each development process stage (project management, coding, UX design, and quality assurance)? 

Get details: Mobile App Development Process Stages


Cost of Creating an App: 5 Factors 

Now, let’s see what goes into the cost of app development.

1. Features, aka complexity

The more features an app has, the higher it costs.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop a good app with a limited budget. To keep your spending within appropriate limits, you can choose the most important features to be created.

Let’s see some examples of different functionality levels.

In the table above, you saw three of them: “basic features,” medium complexity,” and “complex.” Each of them has a different set of features.

The basic app will have these features:

  • Newsfeed
  • Geolocation
  • User profiles
  • Search option
  • Payment options
  • In-app notifications

Examples of such simple apps include note-taking apps, news, fitness trackers, book reading, podcasts, and others.

Moving to medium-level complexity apps—

They could have this functionality (in addition to the basic ones):

  • Social media integrations
  • Effective cybersecurity
  • Custom business features
  • In-app messaging
  • Location tracking
  • More complex payment portals

The functionality for a mid-level app is enough for many business goals. For example, you can make an app for food delivery, for your ecommerce store, or even a concert venue.

Next up—

Complex apps.

They can have these features:

  • Video chat
  • Live streaming
  • 3rd party integrations
  • Analytics and reports
  • Sync with existing software
  • Complex cybersecurity tools
  • Almost any business features
  • Native features

Basically, you can develop any kind of app with this functionality. 

How long does it take to make them?

A basic app can be developed within 300 work hours. An application of medium complexity usually takes from 500 to 800 hours. And complex applications take 800+ working hours to develop due to their diverse functionality.


Need a good app idea for your company? Take a look at these 30+ App Ideas for Startups we handpicked for you.


2. Operation system

Do you want your app to run on Android or iOS devices? 

Or maybe both?

The platform of choice also influences the final price. 

For example, in our experience, the cost of developing an app for Android is cheaper compared to iOS

Android is an open-source platform, which makes it easier to work with. Developing for Android is also faster—I’d say, Android app development projects can be completed up to 30% faster than iOS apps.

Also, Android dominates the mobile OS market.

But—

A lower cost of creating an app doesn’t mean you need to focus on Android devices.

If you’re building an ecommerce app for your business, then iOS should be your first choice. Evidence cited by Business Insider suggests that an average transaction on an iPhone is 26% higher than Android.

Besides making apps to run exclusively on Android or iOS, you have one more option: cross-platform apps.

A cross-platform program is a type of app that runs on both platforms. 

The cost of developing a hybrid app will be lower than making two native versions for both Android and iOS. Besides, this kind of app is easy to maintain and scale.

But—

Native apps outperform cross-platform apps in terms of performance, user experience, and functionality.

Drop us a message if you need our experts to explain more details and help you make the best choice for your app.

3. Development team size

A basic team needed an app development consists of one project manager, one software engineer, one UI/UX designer, and one QA engineer.

For more complex projects, it can be extended by hiring a project manager, several programmers, one back-end developer, a couple of UI/UX designers, QA engineer, and a system administrator.

Here are the duties of each.

Project manager 

Designs and applies app development standards, manages the production, develops the project scope analyzing all the risks and pitfalls. Acts as a liaison between the team and the client.

Learn more about this role: Project manager: importance for software development projects

Software Developer

Writes the code of an app, recommends future application upgrades, performs bug fixing, documents the development process for further work on the product.

Learn more: Software developers: who they are & what they do

Back-end developer

Plans and develops the server-side logic and architecture of an application. Integrates these parts with the user interface elements created by software engineers.

UI/UX Designer

Creates the layout for a future app and defines what an app is going to look like, as well as how users will interact with it.

More about this position: UI/UX designer: duties, responsibilities, roles

QA Engineer

Follows up every stage of the development process, tests the performance of an app and ensures its smooth and stable performance.

Learn more: QA engineers: roles, responsibilities, and importance


Interested in how a dedicated software development team works? This guide has details: Dedicated Software Development Team, Explained


4. In-house or offshore development

You have two options for app development—

Hiring an in-house team or outsourcing this task to a team overseas.

In many cases, choosing the second option is a way to reduce the cost of app development. By how much? 

Take a look at these hourly rates:

  • North America: $20-$250 hourly
  • Australia: from $35 to $150 per hour
  • The UK: from $35 to $175 per hour
  • South America: between $25 and $120 per hour
  • Eastern Europe: for $20-$110 per hour. The two leading destinations here are Ukraine and Poland with $34-$64 and $40-$77 hourly rates, respectively
  • India:$10 to $75 per hour of work. Meanwhile, Indonesian app developers charge $20 at max

Interested in knowing more about outsourcing?

Check out these guides:


5. Maintenance

This is the last point to consider when planning the cost to develop an app.

When an app is released, developers will need to make corrections and changes based on the feedback of users.

Regardless of the platform, team size, or functionality, your app will require:

  • Bug fixing
  • Developing new features
  • Stability improvements
  • Making updates to match new OS versions

Take bug fixing as an example. Regardless of how thoroughly QA engineers might have tested the app, it’s almost impossible to detect all of them without real users. To eliminate the risks, we recommend you release the beta (test) version of an app first. 

Summary

We hope this article helped you understand what goes into an app development price. The whole idea of an app project might seem extremely complicated, but trust us, it’s not. Things get much simpler if you pick a professional software vendor.

Let me recommend IDAP Group for you. We’ve completed hundreds of software projects for businesses and have a great rating on Clutch. Take a look at our portfolio and don’t hesitate to contact us to talk about your app project.

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