If you want to start a digital startup the first question is the cost of app development.

Nowadays there is a lot of sense to launch an app startup, as the vast majority of the population utilize different mobile apps as part of their routine activities.

The following quotations for app development cost and timeline were provided by the most reliable mobile app industry studies:

  • The median app development cost is about $171,450 (at a rate of $150/hour), which represents 1,143 development hours. The total app price could even increase to $727,500 in the case of complex functionality implementation (Clutch Survey, 2015)
  • Average minimum app development project is between $5,000 to $10,000. The typical cost to create an app is likely to be far higher (Clutch Survey, 2017)
  • Enterprise mobile app development cost is an average of $140,000 (VDC Research, 2017)
  • Available app cost calculators state a price range from $267,000 to $360,000 for complex, multi-feature mobile apps
  • Concerning the app development timeline: over 80% of mobile apps take 3+ months to develop; 40% of apps are built in 6+ months (Outsystems Survey, 2018-19)

In general, the app development cost is influenced by your app idea with business and functional necessities.

Here are the most influential factors which determine the final cost to build an app:

  • Vendor type and location
  • Complexity and the number of app features
  • Back-end infrastructure and connected APIs
  • Complexity of UX/UI design
  • Inclusion of additional branded visual elements
  • Development approach (native, mobile web, hybrid, etc)
  • Number of platforms to be developed (iOS, Android, web, etc)

How is App Development Cost Estimated?

The app’s features are the main app cost driver.

So, what is a feature? It is a special activity or task according to which the software should operate and give the expected result. The cost to build an app directly depends on the number of features and complexity of their implementation.

The following formula calculates the app development cost:

Before the beginning of app development, a professional software development company usually provides you with a rough mobile app development cost estimate. The price is depended on your project description, business and technical requirements.

App development cost is usually estimated by using:

  • Concepts - present a sum of features to accomplish
  • Stories - list all the features necessary to make a concept
  • Story Points - show the app development pace and complexity

They are presented in the form of a product backlog.

A product backlog is a list of the features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes, or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.

Generally, clients are charged for app development services depending on the following options:

  • Fixed charge - a payment which implies the cost charged for a specific timeline. It is good for smaller projects with a clear and well-defined scope of work. The benefit of it is that the app development cost is affirmed with the client before development starts.
  • Time & material - a pricing structure that is estimated by the time and materials needed for a project and is calculated based on an hourly rate. This provides flexibility during the app development process and is better for complex and ongoing projects. It has both an initial project estimate and the ability to change the scope during the process, this helps to control the app budget and, with this flexibility, build a product people will love.

More details about the app development cost formation can be found here

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