App Development Cost = Development Time x Hourly Rate
A good way to investigate how much an app might cost is to start by looking at some of the most popular mobile apps in the world. Even though there’s no public data on the actual costs of developing these apps, it is possible to estimate the costs of developing similar apps. A common and straightforward way to estimate the cost is: (features x time) x hourly rate = cost.
It is important to understand the variations in hourly rates prior to calculating the total app development cost.
The median cost per hour of developing iOS apps (Android apps will be discussed later) in different regions is summarized in the graph below:
This graph suggests that the median cost of developing iOS apps in North America is around $150/hour while the cost in Indonesia is around $11/hour.
Now that you have an idea of how much a top 10 apps cost to build, here are some other budget factors you need to consider when getting your app built:
One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to answer the question, “how much does it cost to make an app”, is because there are so many different kinds of apps. Though it is virtually impossible to describe all the existing apps on the market, there are three broad categories that outline apps’ complexity:
Some other common features that increase technical complexities and drive up the cost of your app include: third-party integrations, admin dashboard, and use of hardware components such as Bluetooth, GPS, barometers etc. Having a clear idea of your scope would get you a more accurate cost estimation.
When creating the MVP for your app, you’ll also need to keep your long-term goals in mind. Are you developing a simple prototype that will most likely be rewritten later? Will this app be the backbone of your startup? These are all factors to consider before diving into cost estimation.
Is it more expensive to develop iOS or Android apps? This is a highly debated issue that many disagree on.
For instance, Ken Yarmosh, the founder and CEO of Savvy Apps, a mobile design and development company in Washington D.C., believes that building Android apps are more expensive — he termed the extra cost for developing Android apps as “the Android Tax.” However, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Airbnb, and Uber spent less money on developing their Android MVP apps. Do these statistics contradict Yarmosh’s claim? How can the discrepancy in the data be explained?
The truth is, the cost per hour for developing iOS and Android apps are pretty much the same.
However, because there is a wider variety of Android devices and sizes of screen, both the design and the development sides are more complex compared to iOS. What this means is that the time it takes to develop Android apps may be 2 to 3 times longer than that of iOS apps. If we multiply the hourly rate by the time that it takes to develop respective apps, we can conclude that it is indeed more expensive to create Android apps. This is why many companies, including the top 10, choose to develop iOS apps before tackling Android apps.
To recap – there are 4 aspects you should consider when you’re determining the cost to build your app:
There are also other factors that we haven’t discussed that lie beyond the scope of the initial creation of your app. If you’re serious about bringing an app to the market or using it to build a startup, you should also evaluate the cost of support (i.e. hosting), marketing and advertising, human resources, and much more.
Information from: codementor.io