Evaluating Your Budget: How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App?

10 August 2023 Writer: Lera Grechanik 3462 views

The foremost inquiry posed by all customers pertains to the price aspect. To narrow it down, the query often revolves around "how to estimate the cost of app 

Global Hourly Rates for App Development: A Comparative Insight

Within the realm of app development, the landscape teems with countless developers crafting exceptional applications. Yet, amid this multitude, how do they differentiate themselves? Is discerning the right fit a matter of chance? Let's delve into this matter.

When choosing a developer, prioritize those possessing experience relevant to your field, transcending mere programming proficiency. This principle holds true whether you're engaging freelancers or agencies. Such a choice expedites project completion. However, gauging a developer's suitability requires assessing their portfolio and client feedback, if available.

While partnering with a well-established company doesn't inherently guarantee returns or app success, analogous outcomes can be attained by collaborating with more budget-friendly programmers. Price isn't invariably synonymous with potential outcomes, as it's influenced by an array of factors. Surprisingly, the geographical location stands as a pivotal determinant.

To decipher the code of how to estimate mobile app development, cast your gaze upon the pricing map. This visual representation is grounded in developer hourly rates. Consider the following breakdown:

  • North American firms command rates ranging from $50 to $250 per hour.
  • In Australia, the scale is relatively lower, spanning $50 to $150 per hour.
  • Western Europe and the UK converge around rates of $50 to $170 per hour.
  • Eastern European companies offer their expertise at hourly rates from $30 to $150.
  • For Indian counterparts, the range spans $10 to $80 per hour.

Appraising these global rates unveils insightful hints for navigating the diverse landscape of mobile app development estimation.

Now that we have an approximate cost in mind let's proceed.

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How to Estimate App Development Cost?

Discussing price estimation, it's important to acknowledge that even the most professional agencies can't readily provide you with an exact project cost. The rationale behind this is straightforward—there's no fixed price list that enables us to estimate app development cost by merely tallying up functionalities. If you come across such claims online, it's best to bypass them, as they often constitute common marketing ploys. Generally, agencies operate with hourly rates that offer flexibility.

As previously mentioned, the cost of creating an app primarily hinges on the cumulative hours invested by the development team. Naturally, more intricate functionality and architecture entail more hours, given the extended time required for feature implementation. Apps typically fall into three categories: simple, intermediate, and complex. To gain a sense of potential costs for each category, let's use an average hourly rate of $50.

  • For simple apps, their functionalities are relatively straightforward, excluding third-party API integration and sometimes even a complex backend structure. This level of functionality typically encompasses standard UI modules, basic filters, map markers, and similar elements. Building such an app from the ground up takes approximately 1000 hours, translating to a starting cost of $30,000.
  • Moving to intermediate complexity, these apps incorporate custom UI features, real-time chat and payment functionalities, APIs, and a backend server. With moderate intricacy, these apps demand up to 1800 hours of development, resulting in a cost of around $50,000.
  • In the case of high complexity, advanced functionalities characterize these apps. These may encompass real-time synchronization, bespoke animations, third-party service integrations, intricate backends featuring multiple database relationships, and more. The development timeframe significantly expands here, starting from 2400 hours and carrying a minimum price tag of $80,000. Apps falling within this bracket include dating platforms, streaming applications, and social networks.

How Do We Estimate Cost to Build an App?

We never present a bill without a preliminary estimation in place. To be entirely transparent, let's outline our three-step framework that ensures a clear and accurate projection of the project's value.

Initially, the customer completes a contact form, initiating the process. Our engagement manager then arranges a conversation, delving into the specifics to confirm details, clarify business objectives, outline technical requirements, assess app scalability, and explore potential user stories.
Once these foundational prerequisites are gathered, we embark on preliminary business analysis. This step ensures that we propose a tailored solution that precisely aligns with the business goals and client's needs. With these insights in hand, the estimation phase commences.
Subsequently, our solution architect takes over. They compile a comprehensive report containing feedback, recommendations for app structure, use cases, and preliminary technical implementation ideas.
Following this, a subsequent meeting is scheduled. During this session, our team presents the feedback, discusses intricacies, refines requirements, and addresses potential challenges. This meeting is also instrumental in finalizing the scope—a defined set of features that will address the project's business challenges.
Only after this meticulous process do we start preparing a comprehensive project offer. This offer, presented during the final pre-planning meeting, includes the projected number of hours, technology stack details, application architecture approach, and the specific set of features within the scope.
In the final phase, the offer is subject to negotiation as we strive to pinpoint the optimal solution that aligns with the client's needs and aspirations. This comprehensive approach ensures that the estimation and planning stages are thorough and collaborative, leading to the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Upon approval of the initial rough estimate, our team proceeds to craft a comprehensive, detailed estimate. This involves identifying the specific requirements for each scope or segment of the project and preparing thorough documentation. To provide the client with a tangible glimpse of their app's appearance, we also create wireframes for visualization.

As a holistic service provider, we specialize in full-cycle development services encompassing both mobile and web applications. Put simply, our estimations include all the services we offer, including project management.

Requirements Analysis + Design + Development + Testing & Verification

Our process spans Requirements Analysis, Design, Development, and Testing & Verification. With each iteration, we progressively enhance your project until it reaches a successful state. However, it's important to note that the app launch is merely the initial stride in the journey, not the culmination. Ensuring that the app functions optimally and proves profitable necessitates sustained collaboration with our development team.

If you're interested in delving further, our recently published article on the TikTok business model offers insights into optimizing your application's profitability.

Areas of responsibility - brand and growth marketing. Strongly believes that software development is an art and marketing is not just about sales but about sharing your passion. Her educational background in the field of business and marketing allows her to create expert content and help others to grow and expand knowledge.

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How to estimate mobile app development for iOS?
Head of Sales

There’s no one algorithm that would help you to do a cost estimate, as a great deal of factors to be considered like app complexity, features, functionalities, design, etc. The best and the quickest way to estimate the mobile app project is to contact us. After clarifying all the nitty-gritty details, we’ll provide you with app solutions rates.

What influences the cost to make an app?

To estimate mobile projects, we give thought to plenty of factors related to the work to be done. The main factor influencing the cost is the development team and hours amount. Hours amount in their turn are affected by different development nuances, that are:

  • Backend development
  • Technical complexity
  • Design and animation 
  • In-app purchases
  • Supported devices, OS, browsers
  • Niche third-party integrations
  • Hardware components
  • Post-release expenses

It gets hard to predict the cost of development, so you can reach out to our team for cost estimation.

Is Android app development is less expensive than iOS?
Project Manager

When gauging the expenses, iOS app development closely aligns with the costs associated with developing an Android app. Consequently, if your goal is to have an app operational on both platforms, the costs will essentially double. The distinct programming languages utilized for app development on each operating system underscore this distinction. Additionally, it's important to acknowledge that creating an app for both iOS and Android entails effectively developing two separate apps, consequently necessitating two distinct development teams. This inherent dual nature is what contributes to the escalated costs in crafting applications for both operating systems.


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