How Much? 5 steps to determine costs of Mobile App development


Which of us, thinking about developing a mobile application for our own business, did not postpone it or prone to extremes when it comes to the cost? These 5 simple steps will help you to get closer to understanding the cost of development.

Step 1. Consider software development cost formula

The first you should concern as a business owner who plans to develop his own application is how the calculation formula is formed and why it should be used. A good way to investigate this issue is to estimate the costs of developing the similar applications.

It is important to understand the changes in hourly rates before calculating the total cost of developing applications. This will depend on the country, the competition, and the complexity of development, we’ll talk about this below. For the most experienced developers, customers will compete with each other and these developers will set their own rates, no matter where they are located.
It would be a mistake to measure the value only in terms of the developer’s reward. Even if you guarantee the developer the desired skills and an acceptable level of payment – communication, culture, trust, working processes, and teamwork will become even more important for the timely provision of working software and budget.
If you are able to determine the development time, then you can guess the hourly rate by yourself.

North America – 50-200$ per hour
Western Europe – 40-150$ per hour
Eastern Europe – 20-60$ per hour
Middle East – 35-40$ per hour

You can compare your application with the top ones. For example, the development of such as WhatsApp in total will take somewhere around 1,157-1,484 hours. At a rate of $150/hour (North America), WhatsApp will cost $173,550 – $222,600. The total time required for developing the demand side of the platform like Uber is around 421-526 hours.

Step 2. Choose to start with iOS or Android

Even with all the achievements over the past few years, especially on the design side, Android applications are still harder to build. Oddly enough, the development of applications for Android takes 2-3 times longer than iOS applications. Therefore, many people immediately start with iOS, if the other does not required by the market for the target audience of the application. Otherwise, you will first need to conduct the research inside your niche, and then outsource the development of an application that is compatible with the devices and OS that your target audience uses.

If you want your application to be compatible with iOS and Android and work on different devices, you will have to pay more. This will be another point in your budget – synchronization on different devices depending on the platform. And you should be prepared for the fact that for this additional functionality you have to pay extra money.

Step 3. Consider the complexity factors

Many common features, such as third-party integration, administrator control panel and the use of hardware components such as Bluetooth, GPS, barometers, immediately increase the cost of your application. You will also need to answer a number of questions – are you developing a simple prototype that is likely to be rewritten later? Will this application be the foundation for your launch?

Even applications without any server or API component can be complicated. To get a high-quality application with any professional firm you still usually start from 25,000 dollars. The applications without web servers do not have remote data. Some common examples of spreadsheet applications include power schedulers, calendaring applications, and e-mail applications. The cost of developing of such applications ranges from $ 1,000 to $ 4,000.

Unlike the first category, applications that store their data on remote data servers often allow their users to search and enter data to obtain the desired results. Because of connecting the applications to remote web servers requires more complex programming and API, the costs for these applications are higher and can range from $ 8,000 to $ 50,000.

Step 4. Compare rates by regions – from $104,200 in Switzerland to $36,000 in Ukraine

If you plan to save your budget, then “abroad” is probably the first thing that comes to your mind. Obviously, American or UK developers are expensive – from $ 50 per hr to $ 250 per hr, which is much more expensive than some in foreign markets.

While developers in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland earn on a par with the US, the least expensive regions show that prices are down by 30-40%.

If you are looking for the cheapest options, the best will be India, Ukraine, and Pakistan, which have the lowest rates – less than $50 per hour. There are many talented developers abroad who have experience or are superior to American developers.

Despite all these general statements about the formation of prices, the total cost of development will still depend on the policy of the company. While one can set a price of 10$ per hour, and others in 50$, but in the end those who call the price more expensive will be cheaper. Some developers are very biased about their hours of work. There are companies who keep the customer in disguise about how many developers actually work on his project and justify the high number of hours of sky-high price development. Be vigilant and choose the developers with the real transparent estimates.

Step 5. Choose the right team

It is obvious that mobile development on outsourcing will be a bit cheaper than the creation of your own team. All the pros and cons of working with an outsourcing company, we’ve described in the article THE PITFALLS OF CHOOSING OUTSOURCING VS IN-HOUSE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT.

You can definitely consider hiring your own developers, designers and product managers to develop your application. In addition, you can also hire a developer who can play all three roles. But keep in mind that as the competition grows, hiring a high-skilled and universal developer can be extremely time-consuming.
If you plan to launch your application, you will most likely need to hire a few more developers (for example, iOS, Android, back-end, etc.). Whatever you choose and how it does not affect the total amount of development costs, you need to prioritize – deadlines, responsibilities, and teamwork.

Most business owners believe in the existence of cheap high-quality applications. And although we do not believe that quality can be cheap, we know exactly how to optimize the costs. Before you make an important decision to turn a business idea into an application, you need to understand that its value depends on many factors and the specifics of your business, since there is no universal price.

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