The cost of an app

I was reading the other day some reviews for iOS apps where people are completely pissed off about the prices of some apps, for example $0.99 and the functionality, which in some cases yes, they just copy paste another app and released it, but in many other cases the apps were ok or were built by indie developers trying to get their apps to be known.

So for all those people complaining about that, I have some news which I will share for you so you finally understand what you are actually buying and why you shouldn’t cry about it if you don’t like it or is not to up to your expectations.

How much times does an indie developer need to create an app? let’s say it’s a basic game / app where it doesn’t need any backend work. A typical app could be around 6 weeks, and let’s say this developer only did it in his spare time, that would be an approximate of 25 hours a week, so we have a round number of 150 hours.

Now let’s pretend the app was in fact a game and it’s a not that bad game, so probably you will spend a maximum of an hour playing until you finished it or just give up on it and uninstall it, you spend $0.99 in an app that satisfied you (or at least entertained you) for an hour

You still with me ? Here’s the interesting thing…

Now you go to Starbucks and decide to buy a coffee, let’s say a Grande Latte (the medium size), which it costs in USA around $3.99 (if I’m not mistaken and if Google images showed right), how much time does the guys from Starbucks took to build it ? probably 5 min or less, for how much time will you enjoy that coffee? Probably 20 mins or so. So you will be really spending $11.97 per hour on that coffee.

Now let’s say you want to buy a brand new car, a cheap one, let’s go with the Fiesta S Sedan priced $14000 according to the internet. How much time do you think it takes to build it ? and Im only considering in the factory, not the transport to the retailer, etc. Well, to your surprise it can take up to 90 min to build one according to this article:

Amazing right? How much can a car be useful for you until you change it for a newer model ? Well, I’ve done some research and Americans will be switching their cars in an average of 7 years, that gives us a shockingly $4.38 per hour spent on the car.

So, next time you will write a bad review about an app not being up to your expectations, think on all the hard work and love a developer puts into it before screaming that it’s a shitty app or it doesn’t really work as you want it to work.

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