Mar 27, 2020

Why mobile app development is so expensive

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The mobile application market continues to break already impressive records. Undoubtedly, almost every business needs a mobile app to increase customer loyalty and promote services. Having decided to create their own apps, many customers are surprised at the high development cost. A finished project has much more to do than just code and visuals. Let’s understand why applications are so expensive.

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How much does an app cost on average

No one can give you exact numbers, because the cost of the application depends on its complexity. However, it is possible to give averages based on analytics. A recent GoodFirms study shows that the average cost of a simple application with minimal viable features ranges from $24,830 to $59,150. The average cost of an application with popular features ranges from $36,107 to $85,150. A complex application can cost from $59,507 to $137,150 or more.

Also, the cost of an hour of developers work depends on where your company or employee is located:

  • North America (the USA and Canada). This region is considered the most expensive. The development cost for Android/iOS is from $20 to $250 per hour.
  • Australian developers get from $35 to $150 per hour.
  • Tariffs for application development services in South America range from $25 to $120 per hour.
  • British developers usually charge from $35 to $175 per hour.
  • The work of the artist in Eastern Europe starts from $20 to $110 per hour.
  • Developers in India are quite happy with payments ranging from $10 to $75, while in Indonesia, the highest cost of application development is $20 per hour.
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Why so expensive

High demand for developers

First, you need to find really good developers, whom you can entrust your idea. Mobile development is in high demand, while the number of experienced personnel who have the necessary skills is not so high. This increases the cost of an hourly rate of talented developers. Based on the goals and scope of your project, you will need to choose the most convenient way of cooperation: with a freelancer or with a company. You can find out how to find a good developer for your project in our article.

You need a whole team to create an app

It’s clear with the developers, but the creation of a mobile app involves a whole team of specialists in different fields.

It all starts with analytics. The analyst will draw up documents describing the project, examine competitors and the target audience of the application. If you don’t know exactly what the structure of the future app will be, what problems it can solve, and how to monetize it, don’t spare money for pre-project analytics.

The first thing a user sees when installing an app on a smartphone or tablet is its design. Therefore, you can not make a good app without a qualified UI/UX designer. If the buttons are in the wrong place and the app navigation is confusing, the user will simply delete it. The work of the designer involves the creation of schematic layouts of the screen, or wireframes, and the creation of a design concept that will give the customer a clear vision and understanding of the future product.

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Don’t forget about the project manager, who will direct the team in the right direction, meet the deadlines and organize work.

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Work on the app takes a lot of time

The cost of creating an app can be calculated using a simple formula: multiply the number of development hours by the cost of an hour of specialist work. Even the simplest application, which is developed for only one platform and doesn’t imply a complex structure, is unlikely to be created faster than in 300 hours.

In addition, quite a lot of time is spent on testing and debugging. All minor malfunctions in the work must be eliminated. When something doesn’t work, it is not so simple to find the problem and fix it in one moment.

Multi-platform support

At the I/O 2019 developer conference, Google announced that there were 2.5 billion active Android devices in the world. Apple CEO Tim Cook also said that in the third quarter of 2019, the active user base of iOS devices exceeded 1.4 billion. These numbers mean that it is impossible to ignore any of these platforms. Therefore, applications need to be developed for both iOS and Android.

Since the app should work equally well not only on Android and iOS but also on different versions of the same platform, this also takes time, including for testing. To do this, there are cross-platform frameworks that can reduce development time and cost.

The release is not the end of work

After the release and publication of the app in stores, a lot of work remains: you need to do promotion and technical support. Such things, as a rule, aren’t included in the price for development, therefore, a separate budget must be provided for them. In addition, you need to maintain the project’s performance: the developers update the libraries used in the project, monitor the hosting and server.

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How to reduce the development budget

If you are not ready to immediately invest in a complex application in terms of functions and architecture, you can try to reduce development costs.

  1. Start with MVP. Don’t do something large-scale, after the start, unexpected turns more often occur. Define the minimum functions and then modify the app as necessary.
  2. Focus on the goal. Spend a week to describe all the possible functionality and remove the extra points. If you are not sure about the usefulness of some functions, calmly remove them from the project. This will save money.
  3. Cross-platform development. This is suitable for creating MVP and almost halves the budget for the implementation and testing of the product for iOS and Android.

Let’s make a conclusion

Developing an application for a business is not cheap. And there are many weighty reasons for this that we have considered. The main thing, to begin with, is to determine the functions that will help determine the complexity and duration of development, and therefore the cost.

A mobile application is a great investment in a business that sets you apart from your competitors and helps you establish communication with your customers. Therefore, often, the rejection of a good app costs a business much more than developing it.