The number of mobile users is expected to reach 7.1 billion by 2021. This presents an opportunity for businesses and app developers to shift their focus to the market that is growing by leaps and bounds.
It also stands to reason to develop an app these days since they have become part of our daily activities. Research by eMarketer shows that 90 percent of the users’ time on a smartphone is spent on apps.
Consumers also love to spend money on mobile apps. According to insights by App Annie, the global consumer spending in app stores will reach a staggering $157 billion by 2022.
This shows an increase of 92 percent between 2017 and 2022. It is evident that mobile app development is a valuable investment to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
As much as you may want to build an app, there are some questions that you need to address before you begin the developing process.
One question that is most often asked is about the app development cost. In this blog, we will provide a detailed overview of how much does it cost to develop a mobile app in 2021.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App in 2021?
It is hard to answer the question ‘how much it will cost to build an app’ in 2021. No one can give you a precise estimate of the costs without understanding the nature of your app.
There is no fixed price because it depends on a host of factors like app features, design, app development team location, and more.
Think of it as buying a car or a bike. You cannot come up with an accurate price unless you know the make, model, engine capacity, and other features of the vehicle.
Similarly, there are different factors, considerations, and price tiers when developing an app. Below is a breakdown of the factors that determine the app development cost.
1. The type of app
The first factor that affects the development cost is the type of app that you are building. There are various app types, and each of them requires a different set of features that determine its development cost.
Some of the popular app types include ecommerce apps, social networking apps, on-demand apps, data-driven apps, and functionality apps. Some of these app types may have similar features, but they all take different approaches to build.
Additionally, your app may fall into a distinct category like gaming, music, business, health, travel, education, etc. The cost of your app will change with the app category. Accordingly to Statista survey of June 2021, Games were the most popular iOS app category, accounting for a total of 21.49 percent of active iOS apps and business apps were the 2nd most popular category in the App Store.
2. The platform used to build an app
There are two frameworks that you can use to develop your app. They are:
- Native app development
- Hybrid or cross-platform app development
You can choose the native mobile app development to create an app for a specific platform like Android or iOS.
The native framework uses programming languages and tools that are native to a particular platform. You can also choose the cross-platform framework and develop a hybrid app that will run on multiple operating systems without much code change.
The app development cost will vary depending on the mobile platform for which the app is built. Since native applications are built for a specific platform, they can easily access programs and services within the device for optimal performance.
The downside is that they cannot operate on devices other than those for which they are developed. You’ll have to build separate apps for users who are using different mobile platforms. This significantly increases the app development costs and time.
Hybrid apps, on the other hand, use the same codebase across different platforms, which makes them compatible with several devices.
With the cross-platform framework, you will need to build a single app and launch it on android and iOS at the same. Hence, you reach a wider audience in a lot lesser time and a lot cheaper.
The problem with using the same code on multiple mobile platforms is that the graphical elements at times may not entirely transform to match the framework, hence resulting in design defects.
Hybrid apps have also received flak for performance issues and app crashes, which is why the majority of developers recommend the native approach.
3. The location of the developer
The app development cost also depends on who is building the app and where they live. The average cost per hour for app development in N. America can reach up to $150.
In Eastern Europe and the Indian subcontinent, it is around $30, while in Indonesia, it is as low as $11 per hour.
So, if you are on a budget, you may want to outsource your work to an app development company operating in India or any other country with a lower median cost per hour.
4. The complexity of the app
App development costs rise with the complexity of the app. There are many different types of apps, but in terms of complexity, they can be categorized into three broad categories.
- Basic apps: These are apps that do not require remote data servers. Examples of such apps include calendar apps, diet planners, and their development costs can be anywhere between $1,000 to $4,000.
- Apps with web servers: These are apps that save data on remote servers and require more sophisticated programming. The development costs for such apps range between $8,000 to $50,000.
- Gaming apps: It is hard to put a price tag on these apps because they include apps with simple features up to those that make use of complex virtual reality. However, a broad estimate about the cost would be anywhere between $6,000 to $250,000 or even higher.
5. App features
The number of features and their complexity also impact the final development cost. Clutch.co surveyed firms about the cost of various elements and found 70 percent of the firms spent less than $5,000 on push notifications.
Detailed findings of the survey are produced below:
Since features do not have a fixed price tag, you cannot expect their price to remain the same in every project.
The number of features, along with the process and complexity associated with each feature determine the development cost of the application.
Stages of Mobile App Development Process
Every app passes through four different stages during the development process. These stages and their potential costs are:
- Pre-research stage: The pre-research stage involves market research, project timeline, and probably a prototype of the app. At the end of the research, the app developer provides a price quote and starts the development process when both the parties agree. The pre-research stage for a meaningful app will cost less than $5,000.
- App development stage: In this stage, the app developer starts developing the app. A survey of 102 app developing firms found that this stage costs less than $5,000.
- App testing: After developing an app, it is tested to see if it is ready for launch. The potential costs here can be between $5,000 and $10,000.
- App maintenance: Every app needs maintenance and updates to function correctly. A survey suggests that proper support will cost around $5,000-$10,000 after one year of the launch. Here’s is a detail guide on how much does it cost to maintain an app.
Additionally, apps also require a marketing budget to ensure that they acquire some users. The budget, however, will depend upon the strategy you adopt.
These are some of the factors that can help you determine the development cost of your app. We hope this resource helps you in allocating the right budget, but before that, it is essential to do your homework and choose the right team to minimize your costs.
FAQs About Mobile App Development Cost
The cost of mobile app development in 2021 depends on several factors like the type of app, development platforms, the location of the developer, the complexity of a mobile app, app features, etc. On average, it cost you between $5,000 to $1,00,000.
There is no straightforward answer to this question as the time required for mobile app development depends on the type of functionality and the level of developer. It may take between 200 to 5000 hours on an estimate.
There are four stages of the mobile app development process pre-research stage, app development stage, app testing, and app maintenance stage.