Mobile app market continues to increase each day. You can enter it and obtain your share of this large, heavily branched structure. Before that, you need to understand how much you should pay for this enterprise. Still, the average cost of app development can be very different, so you can consult with an agency for free to evaluate it.
Here, let’s see how mobile apps became so popular, see their unified development process, and elucidate possible cost ranges based on it.
Mobile App Market
The transnational mobile app market shows tremendous numbers in 2023: more than $540 billion, and you can compare it with the situation in 2017 to see how it changed. Extrapolating the situation into the future, we can easily suppose that the peak will be larger and larger.
As you see, gaming and social networking are still the largest chunks. It is not a surprise, as they are the most interactive ones, capturing the attention of all people and often causing addiction. However, shares of other apps rise steadily, and you can notice that the green chunk of e-commerce and shopping is an especially prospective one.
Mobile App Usage
As more people use mobile devices to access information and services, businesses have recognized the need to develop mobile apps to fit with the growing demand. The popularity of mobile apps can be attributed to the benefits they offer, such as convenience, personalization, and engagement. The number of app downloads rises steadily by several percent per year, as you can see in the statistics below.
There are already hundreds of billions of downloads per year! Looks like a good prey, isn’t it?
It’s not a surprise. They make our lives easier, enabling quick communication, payments, analysis, gaming, and many more, usually for a very cheap price. The number of fields where mobile apps can be used is constantly growing.
At first, they were primarily used for communication and gaming, which are still the largest sectors, then for Internet activity in general. Now, mobile apps are used for various communication contexts, information exchange, payments, productivity increase, money management, health improvement, and entertainment. There is only a tiny fraction of endless combination of mobile app market segments, available for you.
Thus, it’s no wonder that app development is as active as ever before, and the activity is constantly rising. For more than 6 billion smartphone app users, 2 million new products were released in 2021.
Therefore, more and more people decide to become mobile developers and eat some industry pie segment. In developing countries, such as India, it is a great opportunity for people to break free from poverty and earn money using their programming and design skills. So, let’s see closely which problems mobile apps solve and how they make our world better, brighter, and wealthier.
Mobile app development is beneficial for you and your potential customers in case you’ll be able to determine the market demand.
- Convenience, as they usually spare from the necessity to visit physical locations or use a computer to access the services.
- Personalized experience is a great trend, based on the user preferences and usage history, retaining them and increasing their satisfaction.
- Speed of the decision made using mobile apps is a strong point that favors them, as they are designed to provide a seamless experience with fast load times.
- Accessibility of applications is usually large, and most of them can work even without the Internet or with small memory usage.
- Notifications make the app’s usage interactive and remind users about their intentions.
- Engagement, due to gamification and the interactive nature of mobile apps, is another important element. Businesses admire them, as the well-designed mobile lead to improved operational processes and communication with customers, generating tons of profit.
- Data processing using various modern technologies becomes an essential feature of more and more applications. They make decision-making easier and smarter and improve all other functions by making them intelligent.
All mobile apps, albeit very different, have a similar core structure: code, frameworks, user interface, and menus. Therefore, we can figure out a uniform app development process and evaluate it.
- Planning is working out the app’s mission and central idea, the target audience, and creating a full scheme of its features. Market research, understanding the industry, and competitor analysis are also included to substantiate each feature’s necessity.
- Wireframing includes a basic layout of the app’s interface and features. Also, consider the development of a minimum product, which you can test before expenses will become very large.
- Design includes branding, colors, graphics, typography, and interactivity..
- Development involves turning all frames into a functional app that will perform all features correctly. All databases, APIs, and servers are set up at this stage, and it is probably the most time-consuming one.
- Testing is necessary to ensure that the app performs its tasks and is free from bugs and UI flaws.
- Launch and maintenance include releasing it on the marketplaces and regular updates based on the changing world and user stories.
Finally, we can see the app development cost options.
Cost Evaluation: Complexity Concept
It is helpful at the initial stages of development, as it will be a robust pattern for figuring all the next stages and destinations. Depending on that, you can safely evaluate its price range and possible profits. So, to make the cost breakdown, let’s overview these categories
- Simple mobile apps have one or several basic features and the minimal, straightforward design. They are very focused and solve a single problem, so they should be very well-fit for that. Examples are flashlights, calculators, alarm clocks, or expense trackers. Such an app usually can charge you on about $15,000 or less.
- Average-complexity apps have a more complex user interface and provide multiple functions, such as content sharing, text processing, etc., which require the usage of various technologies. They include weather, note-taking, and wellness apps. Their price range is from $10,000 to $70,000, depending on the technologies used.
- Complex apps have a wide range of sophisticated features, solving not a simple problem, but rather facilitating a whole life segment of your customer. Consider most social media, games, EdTech, and eCommerce apps as examples, reminding yourself how many features and integrations they should have. The price for the development is at least $50,000, and taken the extensive research and feature implementation, the upper limit is about $400,000 – $500,000.
See a short and bright example of the cost breakdown below, depending of the app’s type.
Lastly, it’s important to note that these price ranges can vary depending on factors such as hourly rates and the economic situation in the world. Be sure to adjust them during the development.
There are several hidden costs that may arise during the app development process. Let’s review.
- Integration and API costs for payment gateways, social platforms, or cloud hosting services. They are usually paid, and your expenses will include the subscription, licensing, implementation, and maintenance.
- App store fees are present in App Store and Play Market, and you should make familiar with them, especially with those associated with updates.
- Server costs can be significant if your app will work with massive amounts of data of any type. They should be stored and processed somewhere, and you’ll pay for it.
- Testing and debugging are must-haves for the app development. They are unpredictable, as unexpected issues can arise in every moment. Each of them can be a challenge for your nerves and wallet, so be sure that you’ll hold them!
- Legal compliance is especially important if your app will work with money, laws, or users’ private data. Fintech, InsurTech, and some types of wellness and ecommerce apps are typical examples. Perhaps you’ll have to consider costs associated with regulatory compliance, which is present in the region where you plan to issue your app.
How can you reduce all these expenses?
- Use MVP and prototype before the final app development to check the idea’s viability and robustness in the market.
- Minimize hidden costs to ensure that no additional payments mentioned in the previous section will fall on you.
- Outsourcing is a smart decision that decreases expenses for specialists and team organization, as you can hire the whole team from any point of the world.
- Feedback analysis will ensure that your customers are satisfied and retain them.
- Use frameworks and templates to build an app from ready blocks, which are present in tremendous amounts on the Internet, are often free, and will save your time. Don’t overlook them!
As application building became more accessible, the industry is skyrocketing at a tremendous speed. To evaluate how much it will cost you, define the app’s complexity type and wireframe all its features. Then, figure out all possible hidden costs, from subscriptions to legal, and calculate their average probabilities and sums.
Use money-saving tips, such as MVP, outsourcing, and templates. Be sure that you see the whole development process in detail, and all its component is substantiated. It will be your best guarantee of success!