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Estimating the Cost of New Mobile Application Development

Android App Development, Cross Platform App Development, iOS, iPhone app development

Let us start with a plain fact: If you have a business, you need a mobile applicatio. A business mobile app can act as your company’s online representative and enables you to serve your customers in a better way. We can classify the apps in three broad categories depending on the number and the complex interrelations between features: Basic, Moderate, and Complex. Talking about the cost, the basic app’s price starts from as low as $5000 and a highly complex app can cost you over $45000.

Read on to understand the key factors that determine a mobile app development cost.

Mobile application development cost depends upon various factors including feature integration, functionality and the platform on which it is being launched. Most mobile app development companies offer a package based on the hours spent in development. Some companies give a cost estimate based upon features and development platform.

Major elements that decide the total app development cost include:

  • Project time
  • Development team
  • Cost of app elements
  • Post-release expenses

The market for mobile application development is vast and evolving. Whether to hire a team of developers or outsource your app project- it’s your call. However, the points mentioned above will help you take a decision in line with your business requirements.

Here we discuss these four elements:

1) Project Time

Project time or duration plays a significant role in deciding the cost of your app. Now, the duration depends on the complexity of the app. The hourly-rate model is entirely based on the project duration. Many developers offer a milestone-based model, which also depends on the duration.

2) Development Team

Based on the project requirements, you can hire experienced and dedicated developers in form of either basic or extended team. The basic team should include a UI/UX designer, two programmers, and a Quality Assurance (QA) executive. If your app needs backend infrastructure to develop an API then a backend developer should also be a part of this team.

The extended team has a senior designer for developing an admin panel, and three to four developers for iOS and Android platforms in addition to the basic app development team.

The decision of hiring a basic or extended team is taken on the basis of app complexity. Integration of technical specs, animation, customization, and other technological advancements are major aspects to consider while hiring mobile app developers.

3) Integration of App Elements

Every app has some standard features relevant to its theme and objectives. Apart from these features, your app may require other features to meet the business requirements and offer a pleasant user experience to your customers. All these features determine the technical complexity of your app.

Here are a few noteworthy features that have a major influence on the development cost:

  • Third-party integration

It includes integrating third-party elements such as libraries, services and frameworks. Services include social media sharing capabilities with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram among others, geo-location tagging, etc. Even the in-app purchase feature is also technically complex because it requires a third-party payment gateway integration.

  • Admin Panel Development

Admin panel can handle the operation of apps, manage users and content, view statistics and perform other activities. The admin panel can be customized to match business needs and hence require expertise and experience.

  • Backend Development

This mainly comprises of creating an operating system that provides APIs for exchanging data between the application and a database. In brief, the backend implements the app’s business logic.

  • Using the device components

Features like clicking photos or making videos, location sharing, barcode scanner- all use device components such as NFC, Bluetooth, Camera, GPS, gyroscope, barometer, etc. These components vary among different types of device and manufacturers. Hence, it is imperative to adopt the right technique and testing to ensure the seamless functionality with different hardware components.

  • Devices and platforms

You can either opt for an ionic app development whereas a single app is designed to work on all major platforms, and finer aspects are adapted as per the platform’s requirement.

Whereas the native mobile operating system is focused on two major platforms, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Both these platforms are updated regularly and it is also important that the application functions seamlessly on the older versions of the platform as many users are still using older devices. This is particularly true for Android OS.

In fact, the percentage of people who adopt the latest version of the operating system, even by updating their device platform, is much smaller than those who are using an older version of the platform. Likewise, it is essential to update the application with every new platform update.

In case of iOS apps, besides the version compatibility, it is important to maintain device compatibility too. In the case of Android, the factors that influence the app design are –

– Market share of each Android device manufacturer
– Presence of the device in specific markets
– Client preference
– Android operating system version

The number of devices will determine the variety of screen sizes, resolutions, hardware and testing. It will be more cost-effective to develop only for the best-selling Android devices. This is one of the reasons why it is cheaper to create an iOS app than an Android app.


The user interface and user experience enhance the brand identity and they need to be homogenized with varieties of devices. There are standard UI design components that are cost-effective, but designing and adding custom animations can increase the development cost. But then, many mobile app development companies have stock animations which can save you money.

4) Post-release expenses

Once the app is tested and released in the market, the next challenge is to make its presence felt. Your efforts to achieve this objective include app promotion campaign, app analytics, and App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques.

Other post-release activities include app maintenance, updates, customer support, backend server maintenance, cloud hosting etc. Post-release costs are not part of the development cost and developers offer them as additional services. In brief, you need to keep the provision for maintenance and support cost to keep your application updated.

Also, at times, your app needs a special functionality, customized feature integration or any legal permissions. In such cases, the app development cost can be increased.

The global price game

These days, there are many mobile app development companies are available to make the selection of a right app development service provider a herculean task. So, how does one choose? Well, you can pick developers on the basis of expertise and previous work. They should be familiar with the market trend and user requirements.
When it comes to price, geography plays a big role in influencing prices. On an average, a US or Canada-based company will charge $150 to $250 and Australian, West European or UK-based company will charge between $80 to $170. Eastern European and Indian companies will charge around $25 to $180.

Figuring the mobile app development cost on the hourly rate basis

Let us take an example to understand how the hourly rate impacts on app development cost. Suppose a mobile app takes up to 600 hours. It can cost you around $20000 with a medium complexity. If the same app takes 600 to 800 hours, it will cost you around $35000. A highly complex app can take over 800 hours of development time and will cost over $45000.

You can get the exact quote on giving the app requirements. The company can give you the final price of a complete application development life-cycle after analyzing the project requirements.

At Solution Analysts, we follow the time-tested agile mobile app development process. Our experienced professionals can build the most customized app solutions as per your business needs. Just contact us with your app project requirements, and together, we will take your enterprise to the next level.

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