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Native Vs. Hybrid Mobile App Development Cost Factors- A Breakdown!

With the explosion of mobile devices and the apps that can run on them, mobile app development has become a hot topic among entrepreneurs of all stripes, from startups to Fortune 500 CEOs.

While both native and hybrid apps can be written for iOS or Android devices, there are many considerations to decide which route to take.

This article breaks down the primary cost factors involved (Native Vs. Hybrid Mobile App Development Cost Factors) in developing either type of app. This will also help you decide if native or hybrid development is best suited to your needs and budget.

Besides, did you know? Since the early years, the number of mobile app downloads has been steadily increasing, with the total expected to exceed 218 billion by 2020.

Image Source: Statista

Native Apps-What Are They?

Image Source: OS-system

When you hear people talk about native apps, they’re referring to software applications built for a specific operating system: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Blackberry (depending on your audience) and written in the respective language for that system — Objective-C, Swift or Java.

Native apps are generally thought to provide a better user experience due to their tight integration with the underlying operating system and its features.

This means that native apps can access more device capabilities, such as the camera, contacts, and location data, than hybrid apps.

Native app development cost: $100,000 — $300,000

Hybrid Apps- What Are They?

Image Source: OS-system

When you hear people talk about hybrid apps, they refer to apps written using web technologies, such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

Hybrid apps are typically cross-platform, meaning they can be written once and run on multiple operating systems.

This is considered an advantage because you only have to develop one version of the app, cutting down development costs and time.

However, since hybrid apps aren’t built for each specific operating system, they are often less reliable than native ones.

Hybrid app development cost: $50,000 — $150,000

Native vs. Hybrid App Development Cost Factors

1. Native vs. Hybrid: Number of Platforms

Your app’s first consideration should be how many platforms it should run on.

If you want an app that will run on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, for example, you’ll need to develop three separate versions, one for each platform.

This will add to the cost of development. However, you may be able to get away with developing a single version of your app that will run on most devices by using cross-platform development frameworks.

In short, Native app development is more expensive but provides a better experience for users on the devices they’re using. Cross-platform development can be less expensive but may not offer the same level of functionality and performance.

2. Native vs. Hybrid: Development Time

How much time you spend developing your app also impacts the cost.

If you want an app with high-quality graphics and custom animations, your development time will need to be longer than it would for a simple utility that displays information. This additional development time means higher costs for building your native app.

iOS apps can be built more quickly than Android apps. When compared to Android, iOS development is approximately 40% faster. And the reason for this is, once again, fragmentation. As a result, the average cost of developing an iOS app is lower than developing an Android app.

Image Source: Net solutions

However, since hybrid apps are web-based, they don’t require as much time to develop, making them a cheaper option. Furthermore, keep in mind that the longer it takes to develop an app, the more expensive it will be.

3. Native vs. Hybrid: Complexity

While using modules for simple apps can dramatically reduce development time, the more complicated your app becomes, the more modules you’ll need to buy or write yourself.

Since native apps are written in a programming language specific to a single platform, they require more modules and libraries than hybrid apps.

This is because web developers can use the same code for multiple platforms, while native apps need code written specifically for each operating system.

But did you know which type of apps is more famous in the App Store?

Here are the most popular apps available on the App Store, according to Statista.

Image Source: Statista

4. Native vs. Hybrid: Design/UX Requirements

What design and user experience (UX) requirements does your app have?

Apps with a complex design and multiple features, such as chat functions or GPS mapping, require more development. This increases the mobile app development cost.

If you’re on a budget, consider using wireframes from template sources or hiring an in-house designer rather than engaging a freelancer or app agency who will charge more for their services. If you’re an agency or freelancer, consider offering fixed-price packages to your clients.

Moreover, a well-executed design is key to a successful app. Make sure your team has the experience and skills necessary to create an app that looks great and functions smoothly.

For example, if you want an app that uses custom animations or has a very specific design, those features will need to be coded explicitly into the app, which will add to the cost.

On the other hand, hybrid apps can often get away with basic designs and simpler animations since they rely on web technologies.

5. Native vs. Hybrid: Third-Party Services

Certain features can be added to your app with third-party services, making them available at an additional cost.

For example, if you want push notifications, geolocation data, or in-app purchases in your app, you’ll have to pay for them in addition to the development charge.

If you are only considering a hybrid app, these features will be much cheaper to add on.

Native apps better integrate with device features and provide a better user experience. However, they are more expensive to develop and require more time and effort.

Hybrid apps are cheaper to develop and can be used on multiple platforms, but they often have poorer usability and functionality.

6. Native vs. Hybrid: Maintenance and Updates

Once your app is completed, you’ll need to budget for regular maintenance and updates.

These are necessary to ensure that your app runs smoothly on all platforms and keeps up with the latest changes in technology. Native apps require more time and effort to maintain than hybrid apps, making them more expensive in the long run. Besides, you can hire app developers for better app development processes.

7. Native vs. Hybrid: App Functionality

Native apps can do more than hybrid apps.

For example, native apps often allow users to take advantage of device features such as the camera and geolocation data, while hybrid apps don’t.

They also offer greater customization that allows developers to build precisely what their clients need for their app.

However, since native apps need to be explicitly created for each platform, the code cannot be reused.

This means they can only ever run on the devices they’ve been developed for, limiting their functionality and putting them at a disadvantage compared to hybrid apps.

8. Native vs. Hybrid: ROI

What is your Return on Investment (ROI)?

If you’re seeking a mobile app to help you grow your business, a native app might be able to help.

Native apps provide better analytics, giving developers more insight into how users interact with their apps. This means they can tweak and improve the app accordingly to meet users’ needs.

On the other hand, hybrid apps can offer a good ROI, but only if they are used for the right purpose. They are perfect for developing and deploying quickly, making them ideal for small businesses or startups that need an app but don’t have a big budget.

Native Vs. Hybrid Mobile App Development: Comparison Table

Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown

Now that we’ve looked at the cost of developing a mobile app let’s look at where that money goes. As we mentioned earlier, most of the cost comes from design and development work. But what does that actually entail?

Here is your standard Mobile App Development Cost breakdown:

  • Design — 30% of total app development cost
  • Development — 70% of total app development cost
  • In-App Purchases — 20–50% of total app development cost.

Every mobile application is different, and a good design team will find a way to create something unique with your brand that sets your app apart from the rest. Moreover, here is the image that depicts the app development cost by region:

Image Source: GoodFirms

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that both native and hybrid apps have advantages and disadvantages, and the decision on which to use ultimately depends on the specific needs of your project. If you’re not sure which is best for you, talk to top mobile app development companies in India, and they can help you make the right decision.



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Ajay Kapoor

Ajay Kapoor


Hey, I’m Ajay, a tech blogger working with PixelCrayons who loves to share his extensive tech-related knowledge with like-minded people.