App Development Cost: How Much Do You Need to Launch an App?

August 22, 2022

App Development Cost How Much Do You Need to Launch an App

So, you want to build a mobile app? That’s great! But one of the first questions you’ll probably have is, “How much does an app development cost?”

Well, the answer to that question isn’t a simple one. The cost of developing an app can vary greatly depending on many factors—which we will cover in this blog.

But if you’re curious about the numbers, here’s the scoop: based on various surveys, the average cost of building a mobile app falls somewhere between $100,000 and $500,000, and sometimes even more!

One survey by Clutch reported that agencies estimated that the average app development cost is approximately $171,450.

However, these price quotes don’t provide all the information. So, how can you determine where your app development costs fall in that range?

You have two options: use a free cost calculator app online or get an accurate estimate from a mobile app development company.

An online app development cost calculator is a crowd’s favorite since it already gives you a quick estimation of your dream app. The latter, however, can give you a specific cost breakdown based on the specifics of your app.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about these cost apps!

Benefits of Using an App Calculators to Get Mobile App Development Costs

Developing mobile applications is a complex process, as so many variables can be considered before you get a price. But luckily, we have app cost calculators to give us an estimate.

Here are three benefits of using one of these apps for your next project:

1. Get a FREE quick estimation

Trying to estimate the mobile app development cost on your own can be very time-consuming. With different factors, it can be tough to know where to start. You can avoid those headaches (and consultation prices) with cost calculator apps. All you need to do is input some basic features about your project, and you’ll get an estimate in just a few minutes!

2. Use it to compare estimates 

If you’re unsure which app development company to use for your project, a rough estimate from cost calculators can be very helpful in making your decision. You can use them to get an estimate from different companies and compare them side-by-side. This way, you can see which company offers the best value for your project!

3. Negotiate with proof 

Once you’ve got an estimate from app development cost calculators, you can use it as leverage in negotiations with app development companies. If one company tries to charge you more than the calculator says your project should cost, you can use the estimate to negotiate a lower price.

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7 Factors that Affect Mobile App Development Cost

A mobile app development project is definitely an exciting process, but there are a few things you’ll need to take into account if you want to know about its cost.

If you’re not yet ready to tackle the cost and technicalities of your app design yet, no problem! We’ll ease you into the app development process:

1. Your App Idea

Every app begins with an idea, and yours is no different.

As with every mobile app development process, this idea should always be validated first. So, how do you do it? Follow these tips:

Research, research, research

Researching will help determine how your app will work, how competitive it will be, and what makes it stand out. You can begin by listing keywords that describe it to see the competition. Also, noting user reviews and suggestions for similar apps will help you improve yours.

Build a Prototype

Like all apps, it should have a base form first. Not only will this help you how to market your mobile app to potential partners or developers, but it will also help you get feedback from other users who might be interested in using it.

Create a Development Plan

A solid development plan may help you understand the final cost and time required to bring your app to life. It should include a clear strategy for developing, marketing, and maintaining it.

2. App Features You Want to Include

Many people only think about their mobile app design, but it’s more important to have a clear idea of which features you want first.

Some typical features are:

GPS or location-based services

One of the most popular features in mobile apps today is GPS services. They are helpful for various purposes, such as tracking user location, providing directions, or finding nearby businesses.

Push notifications

Push notifications are a great way to keep users updated on your app’s latest news and happenings. They can also drive traffic to specific parts of your app, such as promoting products or services.

User login and two-factor authentication

Having a user login and authentication feature in your app ensures clients that you adhere to privacy policies and store data safely. It’s also helpful if you integrate QR codes for easy log-ins or if you want to keep track of what people are doing on your app to improve the user experience further.

Social media integration

Aside from having security measures in place, integrating social media into your app could increase your brand’s visibility and make it easier for customers to find and interact with you. It also helps improve customer loyalty by providing an activity feed for customers to keep up with your brand’s latest news and promotions.

Payment gateways

Gaming apps that offer products or e-commerce apps must have payment gateways in place. This feature should enable a secure and convenient way for customers to pay for products or services within the app. Options like PayPal, Stripe, or Apple Pay are popular choices.

Tip: Add multi-language support to cater to your international users.

3. The Type of Your App

There are three main types of mobile apps: native, web, and hybrid.

Each type impacts your mobile app development budget and project timeline, so it’s essential to understand each one before getting started.

web application quote

Here is what you need to know:

Native App

A native app is a smartphone application developed specifically for a particular platform, such as the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. These are written in the native language of the platform they’re being built for, which allows them to take advantage of all the device’s features.

Progressive Web App (PWA)

Contrary to popular belief, a web application is not an actual application. Instead, they are web applications that resemble native applications in some ways but are not implemented as such. A browser will run the progressive web apps, typically coded in HTML5.

Also, such apps are popular because they are less expensive and time-consuming to develop than native apps.

Hybrid App

Hybrid apps can run on any platform. They are a mixture of both native and web apps’ features, making them faster to develop than native apps. Like a web application, it is developed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then wrapped in a hybrid framework container.

The advantage of hybrid app development is that it’s a cost-effective way to develop an app with a flexible user interface because it can be used on multiple devices.

4. The App Platform it Supports

Another important consideration when planning your app development cost is the platform you want it to support. The most dominant platforms for mobile apps are iOS and Android. Here’s the difference between the two:

Apple iOS

Being the operating system that powers iPhones and iPads, iOS is a popular platform for app development because it offers many benefits for users and businesses. An iOS app, for example, is of higher quality than its Android counterpart. This is because Apple has more stringent App Store standards that developers must follow to have their apps on the platform.

iOS app development also has the advantage of using Apple’s latest technologies and features, such as ARKit and Face ID. With the Apple Vision Pro in 2024, developers may also implement high-quality image recognition technology in their apps.

Android

With over 3.9 billion active users, Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world that powers various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and wearables. If your business wants to reach as many people as possible, consider developing your app for Android. The cost breakdown of developing an Android app is also typically lower than for iOS apps.

Choosing Android app development offers various customization options and features unavailable on other platforms. This allows businesses to create an app design that truly stands out from the competition. Additionally, there are more Android users than any other type of smartphone user, so your app has a larger potential audience.

5. The App Development Company You’ll Hire

An app development cost calculator also estimates the cost of hiring developers to make your app. Usually, partnering with an agency will ensure your vision is successfully executed.

However, a top-of-the-line mobile app development firm may have you spending at least $500,000 on the project or high hourly rates.

Whether you want to build an Android or iOS app, here are some options you can do:

Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

Believe it or not, you can DIY your dream apps! Template designs for mobile apps are cookie-cutter design frameworks requiring minimal IT and development skills. You can build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) app with this type of template without spending too much money or time.

While building an app by yourself can be cost-effective, you must sacrifice premium features and security levels. DIY apps often have bugs and glitches because they’re not developed in encrypted containers.

Offshore

There are many benefits to outsourcing mobile app development. Perhaps the most obvious benefits are cost savings and access to the global pool of talented developers. By working with a reputable outsourcing company in a region where labor costs are lower, you can save significant money on development.

The cost of hiring a mobile app developer in 2024 can vary depending on the region you are located in. In North America, Western Europe, and Australia, hourly rates can cost up to $250. In Eastern Europe, expect a $22-65 hourly rate. The cheapest rates are in South Asia, East Asia, and Africa, costing around $21-65 per hour.

StarTechUP is a mobile app development company based in the Philippines that offers affordable rates without compromising quality. Check out our services here.

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Nearshore

Nearshore teams often have more experience developing mobile apps, leading to faster turnaround times and better results. It’s also not hard to negotiate a low app development cost breakdown. They are often more cost-effective partly because they typically charge less for their services but also due to lower living costs in countries like India and Ukraine.

Many businesses find it challenging to find and hire an in-house app project manager, unlike when you have a nearshore team. They are experienced professionals who can start your app development project without breaking the bank.

Local Developer

When you work with a local developer, you’re getting someone who understands the unique challenges and opportunities of app development in your area. You can take advantage of their local network and get insights into the community that can inform your app development process.

They offer tailored app features to meet the specific needs of your local users at a low hourly rate! Plus, they’re more likely to be up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in app development, so you can be sure your app will be as cutting-edge as possible.

First-grade Agency

There are pros and cons to working with a first-grade agency. On the plus side, these agencies have a lot of experience and expertise in mobile applications, so they can meet your desired level of quality. They also have a wealth of resources and connections, which can help get your app off the ground.

project’s specific needs

The downside, however, is the cost. These agencies typically charge more than smaller or less experienced firms. Additionally, their timelines can be longer than what you might be used to, so it’s essential to factor that in when making your decision.

6. App Project Development Team

Designing and developing a successful app requires a team of highly skilled individuals with wide expertise. The exact composition of the team will depend on the project’s specific needs, but certain roles are essential for any app development team.

Here are the typical roles that you need to fill in:

Project Manager – your contact person

The project manager is responsible for assembling the team, setting deadlines, and keeping everyone on track. They are the ones who oversee the entire project and ensure that it is completed on time and within your app development budget.

UI/UX Designer

App design can be a tricky process. Many mobile application development teams make the mistake of rushing into implementation without carefully planning out all of the screens, interfaces, and interactions users will have on their app.

Front-end Developer

Along with getting a UI/UX designer, hiring a front-end developer ensures that your app design is functional. The visual component of the application must be programmed, and it’s preferable if your front-end developer has a good understanding of UX and UI design fundamentals.

Back-end Developer

The backend of an app is where the server, application, and database development are created. It’s a development process of organizing and storing data and ensuring that all content on the client side of the app runs smoothly.

Quality Assurance Engineer

App testing is another factor that affects a mobile app development cost. Conducted by QA engineers, this process ensures that your app is free of bugs and glitches before its launch. They also verify if the app meets the design specifications, performs well under different conditions, and complies with security standards.

Monitoring and maintenance support

As mobile devices become increasingly prevalent, ensure app maintenance is in place. This means that a support team tracks data points such as crash reporting, freezes, and errors and promptly addresses the issues.

7. Project Timeline

app pre-development stage quote

Aside from costs, using an app cost calculator can also estimate the timeline of your app project. In any case, it is crucial to consider this when deciding how to develop an app.

Here are the stages of app development that you can expect in your timeline:

1. Pre-development

Developing a clear idea, assembling the right team, and creating a detailed plan are critical steps in app pre-development. These factors determine the success of the finished product. Consider them upfront for a strong start to your app development project.

2. Ideation and design

At this stage of the timeline, you start designing the look and functionality of your app. It’s an exciting phase as you visualize and shape your app for the first time. However, it’s crucial to be realistic in your designs and consider all the necessary elements.

3. Development

During the development stage, the app is coded to create a functional and user-friendly product. The duration can vary based on the app’s complexity and team size, typically taking several months to complete.

4. Testing and bug fixing

After the coding and design phases are complete, it’s time for testing and bug fixing. It’s when the app is run on various devices and operating systems to ensure everything is working. Any bugs or glitches are fixed before the app is ready for launch.

5. Launch

The launch stage is an exciting time for the development team as their hard work finally pays off. However, it also brings intense scrutiny from users, who will quickly identify any bugs or deficiencies. With proper planning and preparation, you can ensure a smooth app launch.

A Quick Review of the Top App Development Cost Calculators

App cost calculators are a dime a dozen these days, especially when creating a budget and project timeline. However, not all app cost calculators are created equal—some are more accurate than others, and some offer basic features only.

To give you an overview, here’s a list of popular calculator apps that we find helpful in getting the cost of your complex app project:

1. Buildfire – Step-by-step calculator

Buildfire is an interactive web app cost calculator that can provide a rough estimate in six steps! For tech entrepreneurs and start-up business owners, this tool is your pal when you’re thinking about building a new software product.

What makes Buildfire our favorite app cost calculator is that it will give you an estimated budget for setting up your app, developing it, and its monthly app maintenance!

2. Estimate My App – Simple and easy to use

The Estimate My App calculator lets you focus on the features you want to include in your app. This includes user-generated content, dates and location, social and engagement, among others. It’s a simple app cost calculator that gives you an estimate in just 10 steps.

So, if you want an accurate estimation for your complex apps, we recommend this app calculator!

3. How Much To Make An App – Quick and short

Get an estimated mobile app development cost in under a minute with the How Much To Make An App! Built by experienced mobile app developers, this app cost calculator will provide you with a ballpark budget by asking you eight questions.

4. Groovyweb.co – Get industry-specific pricing

Groovyweb.co tells how much does it cost to have an app in your industry. This includes pricing for healthcare, education, and e-commerce apps. It’s an excellent tool if you want a more specific estimation for your app project.

5. Digitalya – Know your spending limit

Aside from providing estimated development costs, you will also know what price to negotiate with your prospective development team when you use Digitalya. Its 5-step cost estimation will give you the best- and the worst-case scenario of costs and hours of work in developing your app.

happy app development team

Develop Your App with Us!

So, how much does it cost to develop your app? We can give you a clear answer once we know your project requirements better.

Our team at StarTechUP can help you build your app from ideation to launch. We’ve partnered with healthcare, finance, education, and e-commerce companies before to create high-performing apps. You can check out our portfolio for reference.

Contact us today to get started on your app development project! We’ll walk you through the process and provide a competitive pricing package based on your specific needs.

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin

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