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How much does mobile app development cost in 2024

Mobile App
February 2, 2023
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The most challenging part when it comes to mobile app development is in the features and interface of the app that you want to make. Once you have visualized the application that you want to build, you might wonder “What is a reasonable mobile app development cost to design an app?”. Read on to get your answer about mobile app development costs.

Pay special attention to the term “reasonable” because not all providers have enough experience and ability to provide you with the best mobile app development solutions at a competitive price and good quality. These services should be able to answer some tough questions such as:

  • How to create your own UX design and attract users?
  • How to quickly publish an app to Google Play store or App store?
  • Which features are unnecessary and should be removed to save the cost to develop a mobile app?

That’s why choosing the right software development company is essential. Firstly, you need to understand mobile app development costs, including the entire progress and why each element is important.

mobile app development cost
Forecast number of mobile users worldwide from 2020-2025

1. A Step-by-Step Guide to Build Your First Mobile App

Any mobile app development project requires a detailed and straightforward process to ensure its quality. So, a great mobile app development process will include the following steps:

  1. Feature confirmation
  2. Consulting
  3. Quote
  4. Signing contracts and NDA
  5. Building App architechture
  6. UI/UX design
  7. Programming
  8. QA & Test
  9. UI Testing
  10. Beta trial version
  11. Releasing the official App
  12. Maintaining & upgrading the App
mobile app development cost
Mobile app development process 2023

Mobile app development prices will include the following costs:

  • Research specification
  • UI/UX design (if you already have a design, you can skip this)
  • Coding
  • QA & Testing and fixing bugs (if any)
  • Overhead costs (management and translation fees for documents)

In other words, the simple formula for calculating the cost of designing and maintaining an App is:

Cost = Feature x Time x Labor

Note: The feature is a description of the product’s functionality to provide specific value to users. The mobile app development cost will increase based on your app feature complexity.

2. How Much Does Mobile App Development Cost? 

The majority of mobile app development cost is focused on the UI/UX design and coding phases. According to The Manifest (a reputable technology news site for businesses), the average cost to develop an app ranges from $1000 to $21000. However, the actual costs are often higher.

The cost of developing an app depends on different stages. The cost of developing an app also depends on the platform – iOS, Android, iPad, or both. For instance, the cost of designing an iOS app will certainly differ from that of an Android app and vice versa.

To give you a clearer idea of the complexity involved in calculating mobile app development costs, I will divide them into 3 levels: simple, average, and complex.

A simple mobile app includes basic interface elements and common functions such as an email subscription, social media login, and a calendar. At this level, it usually takes around 400 hours to complete and costs between $1000 – $3500 (not included are API connections and backend systems).

A more complex app includes a custom-designed UX/UI interface, integrated payment gateways, API connections, server systems, and compatibility with both mobile and tablet devices. Apps at this level usually take 500 to 800 hours to complete and cost between $3500 – $8000.

A complex app (approximately over $8000) includes multilingual support, third-party integration, customizable animations, a complex server system, a customized UX/UI interface, and real-time functions linked to a database. Apps at this level usually take 800 to 1500 hours to complete and cost between $8000 – $21000.

The mobile app development cost also based on its type actually varies. In fact, in reality, no two projects are exactly the same. Each project will have different features based on specific business requirements. Therefore, the cost of developing an app based on each type of application will also vary depending on business requirements. Let’s explore the overall cost of each type of application.

3. Mobile App Development Cost based on Type of Application

The cost to develop a mobile app is based on the type of application you like. Plus, this also fluctuates depending on the business requirements. Let’s take a look at the average cost for each type of application.

Basic Applications

Apps with no back-end or network connection cost between $600 – $1200, with completion times of less than one month. Examples of such apps include camera apps, clock apps, SMS apps, and other simple apps.

Social Media Applications

The back-end structure of social media applications should be carefully planned before processing to meet the processing of massive data. The cost to develop social media applications ranges from $1700 – $21000 and takes up to 10 months to complete (depending on the required features). Some examples of social media apps are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

E-Commerce Applications

E-commerce applications typically have many features and a fairly complex structure, so these types of applications also need to be carefully planned to build the back end. The cost of e-commerce applications ranges from $1700 – $21000 (depending on the features). Some examples of E-Commerce applications are Amazon, Bay, and ASOS.

On-demand Applications

On-demand applications are simply understood as applications that meet specific and immediate customer needs. With fairly similar features to social media and e-commerce applications, on-demand applications cost between $2500 – $10000 and take 5-7 months to complete. Some examples of On-demand applications are User, Grab, Postmates, and Number.

IoT Applications

IoT applications are used to interact with physical technology devices. These applications need to connect to Bluetooth or WiFi to be used. The cost of developing an IoT application ranges from 60 million to 300 million or more (depending on the required functionality) and takes 3 to 5 months to complete. Some examples are Beacons, Amazon Dash Buttons, and WeMo.

4. What Factors Affect Mobile App Development Costs? 

As mentioned above, your mobile app development cost depends on many factors, so it is really difficult to accurately determine the cost of app development. The cost largely depends on the type of application, platform, design, number of pages, functionality, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at the important factors that affect the cost of app development.

Features & Functionality

Before you search for the answer “How much does mobile app development cost?”, you need to know the complexity of the application. This is because the features and functionality will determine the actual cost of your application.

Therefore, the average cost to develop your application will depend on the complexity of the features and functionality. The more complex the features, the higher the cost, and the longer the development time.

Platforms 

Do you want to develop an iOS or Android app? If so, you should consider the platform issue. Each platform requires different development times and of course, the cost will also differ. When developing an app that only runs on one platform, the cost will be much cheaper compared to another app (with the same function) running on two or more platforms.

When developing Android and iOS apps, you should use cross-platform frameworks such as React-Native, and Flutter… to reduce costs and development time.

UI/UX Design

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are critical components that make up a successful app. Creating a unique UX/UI design is a job that requires a lot of brainstorming, time, and project costs. Your app must have an impressive UX/UI design to attract and convince users.

Please note that to have a better UX/UI design for your app, the cost of designing the app will be higher compared to another app with the same function but without investing in UX/UI design.

Back-end

Infrastructure and Admin Page Backend provide APIs to exchange data between the app and the database. Programmers always use the backend to monitor and analyze user activity and the performance of the app.

The cost of developing the backend for the app will vary depending on the number of parameters and the purpose of use. In addition, the admin page is used to manage, and process app content, user information, and display statistics. There are many available templates on the market, but finding a suitable template for your needs is not easy. Therefore, it is important to still create your own admin page to meet your business needs.

Location & Team members

As previously mentioned, the geographic location of the app development team plays an important role in determining how much does it cost to develop a mobile app. The mobile app development cost in the US will be higher than in countries like Vietnam and China.

The team structure typically includes business analysts, UX/UI designers, mobile app developers, QA engineers, project managers, and other members who can contribute to the success of the app. Therefore, the hourly rate of experts may vary depending on each person’s level of expertise.

Mobile App Release

To distribute your app to users, you typically need to register with a third party (App Store and Google Play Store).

However, the cost of displaying your app on each store will vary. Apps release on the App Store always cost more than on the Google Play Store, and that’s how they generate revenue.

App Maintenance Costs

App maintenance costs are also an important factor that affects mobile app development cost. Many business owners have asked, “Why is app maintenance so important to my business?” What is the actual cost of it? To be precise, app maintenance costs will range from 15% to 20% per year.

App maintenance includes tasks such as bug fixing, adding new features, upgrading the OS version, etc. In addition, the cost of app maintenance also depends on the complexity of the features.

Conclusion

So how much does it cost to develop a mobile app? As mentioned earlier, there is no clear answer to this question because each mobile app has different requirements and features.

The mobile app development cost also depends on many factors such as complexity, type of app, technology, platform, design, and more.

This is some useful information about the cost to develop a mobile app. Depending on your purpose and budget, you can choose the best option for yourself!

Make Mobile App Development Easier with Newwave Solutions!

If you still find it difficult to implement a mobile app development on your own and don’t know where to start, we are ready to help you overcome the obstacles and help you with the project as soon as possible.

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To Quang Duy is the CEO of Newwave Solutions, a leading Vietnamese software company. He is recognized as a standout technology consultant. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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