App Development

How much does it cost to make an app – The best guide

In today’s smartphone-enabled world, it is almost impossible to build a successful startup without a mobile application. Whether you are entering the enterprise space or B2C business, end users expect your company to offer a mobile application. Unless someone on your team knows how to write code, creating your own app is out of the question. Your only choice is to hire outside help. Then this question pops to your mind ‘How much does it cost to make an app?’

Where to start?

Understanding the costs involved and the necessary development requirements can help you create an app that not only serves your startup’s needs but engages users and reduces customer churn. An app that isn’t enjoyable to use is going to be downloaded once (if you’re lucky) but will never make it to a user’s home screen. Part of the process of developing an application is understanding not only use cases but consumer preferences as well. This is why it is absolutely critical you work with an experienced app development team. Any code monkey can create a usable minimum viable product; only a true expert will understand the crucial components of user experience design that will make your application a success.

You will repeatedly hear the phrase ‘it depends on’ when investigating app development costs. The type of app you want will impact costs. Your preferred application platforms will impact costs (iOS, Android, etc.). The complexity of user interaction capabilities can influence how much a development firm charges for app creation. If you want machine learning or augmented reality capabilities you are going to pay more for app creation than if you want a basic e-commerce app. A development firm is not being elusive if they fail to give you a firm price; the simple truth is there is no firm price they can give you.

The amount of information you give an app developer will impact the cost estimate they give you. If you are able to provide samples of existing applications you want to mimic, your estimate is likely to be less than if a developer needs to create from scratch. The same goes for app component creation; offer a developer details on the number of screens you want to be included and the capabilities of each screen to reduce your price estimate. If you can provide wireframes and flowcharts to speed the development process you are going to pay less than if you have no design elements in place.

Another factor that will influence the price you pay for app creation is your desire to make changes during the development process. If you are continually requesting design tweaks or product changes, your costs are going to rise. The adage ‘time is money’ is definitely true in app development; every change you request is going to influence your final app development price.

To understand the costs involved when you create an app, you need to be aware of the different types of mobile applications. If you want a simple MVP or your app, a developer could create your project for as little as $20,000. For a fully functional premium version, prices could rise to $150,000. Some development shops will charge $500,000 – $750,000 depending on the complexity of your app and the time frame allotted to bring your creation to market. Factors like API calls can influence price as can documentation requirements. If you want your mobile app to interact with smartphone components like the camera or microphone, your final app creation costs are going to rise. Think of app pricing in this manner: complexity = cost. The more your app needs to do, the higher your final price is going to be.

To answer the question ‘how much does it cost to create an app?’ you first have to clarify your requirements. If you are attempting to build a mobile app startup, the usefulness of your product will influence whether your company lives or dies. Everything from your monetization strategy to your customer acquisition plans will impact how you develop your application. Do you build a basic MVP and iterate later or do you launch your company with a high caliber app from the start?

If you need help assessing your startup’s requirements, connect with our team. We’ll happily review our design process with you to give you a clear picture on how quickly you can launch your mobile app startup.