8 Key Factors That Affect Mobile App Development Cost

Fireart Studio
Jan 9 · 5 min read

Smart budgeting is critical for business success. Providing mobile app development for startups and big companies, we are often asked questions like, “How much does it cost to make an app?” and “What does the price depend on?”

We understand the clients’ concerns regarding smart investing. To help you get a clearer understanding of the budget needed to develop a robust mobile app, we have prepared a full cost breakdown. In this article, we are going to explore all the key factors that influence the mobile app development cost in 2020.

What Does Influence Mobile App Development Cost?

The price does not only depend on the app development time and hourly rates. It includes plenty of not so obvious influences, like product complexity and post-launch maintenance expenses.

A mobile app development team

Depending on the business goals and project complexity, teams may vary from the extended to smaller ones. The more people are involved in a process, the higher is the price. Usually, a standard development team includes a business analyst, UI/UX designer, project manager, solution architect, QA engineers, and developers.

However, if a digital product or platform is expected to be complicated, it may require an additional skill set, for instance, the assistance of a mobile app marketer, translator, or a few more developers.

Features and functionality

The app functionality defines the cost too. The more interesting yet complex are the product features, the more time and effort will be spent on development. Usually, we consider three types of apps by the complexity: MVPs, apps of medium complexity, and complex apps. The MVP with a basic set of features usually takes 3–5 months to be created, a medium app is more time-consuming (approximately 6–7 months needed), and a complex application may take more than 9 months.

Customization of UI/UX design

The high-quality design has its price tag. Timely investing in the app usability and continuous user testing , you will save even more if you’d spent if an app appeared to work incorrectly being already on the market.

To succeed, an app needs to be timely injected by a dose of required changes. It means that you should pay particular attention to user experience research and continually customize UI/UX design.

“Socrates said, “Know thyself.” I say, “Know thy users.” And guess what? They don’t think like you do.” — Joshua Brewer

The mobile application development cost may be impacted by the choice of a platform, iOS or Android, you make. Whether it is better to develop an app for iOS or Android, depends on the audience you aim to reach. The in-depth market and audience research provided by a mobile app development company will help you choose what group of devices it is better to target.

Walking through any large city center, you might notice that most of the people are holding Apples in their hands. Surprisingly, statistics of the global mobile operating system market share shows that Android considerably leads over iOS.

According to Statcounter , over the January 2018 to January 2019 period, Android made up a massive 74.45% of the sector, with iOS dropped down to 22.85%. The remaining 2% was comprised of 1.1% for KaiOS (a web-based OS used to enhance feature phones), 0.3% Windows, and 0.28% Samsung.

How much does it cost to make an app for iOS or Android? If you build an app for one of them, then the price will be nearly the same. Although, if you want to cover both target audiences, it is better to make your application run on both iOS and Android platforms. Obviously, it will increase the development budget.

Another option is to make native apps developed specifically for iOS or Android. They are thought to perform much better than cross-platform ones, however, they are usually more expensive.

Assembling backend infrastructure

The backend infrastructure is commonly based on an operating system that allows developers to access APIs and provide data exchange between an application and a database. To monitor app performance and keep track of the user activity, a mobile app is usually equipped with analytics. The number and specifics of mobile app metrics you would like to measure affect the development cost too.

In-app purchase support and location-based apps

An application with geolocation or mobile payment features, such as PayPal and Google Wallet, always demands much more time for its implementation.

If your dream app must be based on location data, get ready for a more time-consuming process and higher cost since developers will likely apply the emerging technology of iBeacon and geofencing. They significantly amplify mobile app opportunities but take more time to be incorporated.

Third-party integration

Mobile apps that utilize data from third-party services cost more. Integration with social networks or other platforms accessible on the web means new obligatory requirements, such as API development and building enhanced data security for your app .

App maintenance costs

The last point is the cost of the post-launch app maintenance. It is the key factor for mobile app success that should not be ignored, no matter if your application has a rich set of features or a simple plan. Its role for good UX shouldn’t be underestimated.

App support costs include upgrading to the latest OS versions, updating to the latest versions of third-party services, fixing bugs, code optimization, controlling app stability, and performance of servers.

There are usually two app maintenance options: on-demand services and ongoing support. The price for the last one will be higher since a development team spends time and effort to take control of your mobile app health.

[Bonus] Mobile App Development Budgets Spent By Famous Startups

To make it easier to understand the mobile app development prices, we have prepared a collection of facts about famous brands that received funding in a seed round to continue building their mobile apps.

  • Uber. The company got $200K in seed funding.
  • Instagram. This app received $500K for further development.
  • Tinder. This romantic app got $485K in the seed round in 2012.
  • Postmates. The brand raised $750K to implement its ideas.
  • Snapchat. This social media giant got $485K in 2012, which fees not so much if to compare the total funding of $3B.

A powerful mobile application can become a competitive advantage for a business and can generate a high return on your investment. If you have a great mobile app development idea, do not hesitate to drop us a note. Fireart software developers will assist you and estimate the cost of your idea implementation.

Originally published at https://fireart.studio on January 9, 2020.

Fireart Studio

Written by

Boutique Design and Software Development Company. We build elegant digital products for startups and global brands.

Fireart Studio

Fireart Studio is a boutique design and software development company. With 50+ experienced designers and JS developers on board, we build custom digital products for forward-thinking enterprises and startups. You can learn more about us on our website fireart.studio

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