How Your Organization Can Benefit From Bespoke Applications

Sep 9, 2021 · 8 min read

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If you've come up with a brilliant idea for a mobile app but aren't familiar with the development process, chances are you're curious about the cost of putting it into reality.

There is no cut-and-dried answer for this question as there are plenty of factors at play that collectively shape the final mobile app development cost. It's not really as expensive as you might think, but there are also surprising hidden costs that may make it harder to adhere to your budget.

Average App Development Cost And Time By App Complexity

Simple Apps

A simple mobile app in this context means only essential UI elements are used, and the app provides only simple features (such as social login and email subscription) without backend or API integration.

These apps typically need 400 hours to build, and for an average cost of $50, they can cost up to $20,000.

Medium Apps

At this level, mobile apps start to have custom UI/UX elements, API integration, payment methods, backend, and other miscellaneous features like tablet version. You need to allocate somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 with up to 800 hours of development.

Complex Apps

You should expect to pay even more if you want to integrate more advanced features such as custom UI/UX design, custom animations, multi-language support, complex backend/API, etc., into your complex app. For an average hourly rate of $50, you may have to pay an average cost from $40,000 to $75,000 (from 800 to 1,500 development hours.)

How Much Is It for Mobile App Development?

App Development Cost In The UK

According to the market research firm Clutch, the most reputable professional mobile app development companies in the UK charge their clients from $150 to $199 per hour. This puts the UK among the most expensive places to get your app built.

App Development Cost In The US

The same statistics point out that $100-$149 per hour is the most common hourly rate you're expected to pay an American mobile app developer, with plenty of options below and above that range.

The huge pool of talents in the US, especially freelance app developers, makes sure that clients can always find a suitable developer team for their projects regardless of the app's type and purpose.

App Development Cost In Asia

One of the biggest advantages of hiring an Asian app developer is the competitive cost.

Countries like Vietnam have risen as one of the top talent hubs for world-class developers who can deliver quality products with an affordable app development price. There are numerous companies able to build mobile applications for a wide range of clients with an hourly rate between $25 and $49.

Key Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Costs

Type And Size Of The App

The first question every app development company will ask before giving you a quote is what kind of app you need to build. Your answer determines the most aspects of your app: what it's capable of, what value it can offer to your users, and how users can interact with it.

In terms of app functionality and purposes, most existing mobile apps fall into one of these categories:

App Features And Functionality

Even if your mobile app already belongs to a wider category, the actual app development cost also varies in the number of features you plan to offer. The more functionalities your mobile app has, the higher app development budget you need to allocate.

Think in detail about the user experience because even small features may require a large number of man-hours to implement and bring up the app development cost.

Do your users need to register and log in to use the app? Does your mobile app need content management? Are social media integrations necessary? Do you need to build a whole new database or connect to an existing one? Does your app feature live customer support?

When professional app developers like BigIn are fully aware of the feature set your mobile app has, we can give you a rough app development cost estimate almost immediately so you can have an idea of when your app is ready to deploy and how much money you need to pay.

UI/UX

Designing the visual aspect of a mobile app usually involves making icons, logos, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.

A complex app with several screens and a heavily customized UI calls for a longer timeline (and a higher app development budget) to build and tailor them. But on the bright side, they give your mobile app and your brand a distinguished identity and allow them to stand out in a crowded market

Meanwhile, a simple UI design that relies mostly on readily available templates and elements is faster to develop and lighter on your pocket. The choice here doesn't not only come down to how your users will navigate through the mobile app but also your business strategies.

Backend

On-demand and enterprise apps usually involve a complicated backend and app architecture to work, and this can raise the app development cost significantly.

The backend infrastructure is usually used for storage, request processing, data handling, push notifications, and content serving. Hardware and software on the server-side may also need to work with other applications belonging to your business, such as admin panels or data reporting and analysis.

The cost of developing and hosting this backend goes up with the number and complexity of your app's features and the number of your users.

An existing backend can be altered and reused, or you can ask the mobile app development company to build a brand new one according to your requirements. The latter will obviously result in a more expensive bill.

Application Testing

Thorough testing makes sure your mobile app functions properly before it goes live, and your users won't run into serious problems.

A top-class mobile app development company should carry out app testing at every possible stage of the mobile app development process - the reason testing can take up a large part of the total mobile app cost.

If you're willing to spend on these crucial steps, developers will have more resources to iron out glitches and fix bugs before users download and use your app. It's always recommended your mobile app has gone through rigorous testing before deployment.

Application Security

Security is one of the considerations of mobile app development that many overlook. It may not be noticeable at first glance, but a lack of robust security in crucial applications may be costlier in the long run.

This is especially true for service providers and enterprise customers. Simple, local apps may work fine with minimal security measurements in place. But when you have a large user base with important, sensitive data needed to keep secure and private, you should invest more in application security on both frontend and backend from a top app development team.

A bigger app development budget will allow developers to employ better measurements to protect your app from threats and mitigate common security risks.

A more secure mobile app doesn't just help avoid service disruption, prevent information theft and leaks, but also keeps your business away from revenue loss, legal liabilities, and most importantly, retains users' trust and confidence in your brand.

Integration Points

You can integrate a complex app into an existing enterprise system, allowing it to connect to your internal database. This approach can improve productivity and offer a streamlined workflow for people within your organization and your users alike.

But implementing mobile application integration requires early investments, which include the app development cost and increase with complexities of your internal systems.

Design, optimization, and testing of integration points can be time-intensive as well, so you should expect a further delivery time compared to simpler apps. But with the help of our experienced developers at BigIn, your organization can enjoy the long-term benefits from the seamless integration between mobile apps and your backend applications.

Complex Animation/Visual Aids

Your app's UX can be enhanced with animations like feedback animations, onboarding animations, navigation animations, splash, visual hints, and animated transitions. They help your users navigate, improve usability, convey your message, or simply make the users hooked into the app.

Your app's UX can be enhanced with animations like feedback animations, onboarding animations, navigation animations, splash, visual hints, and animated transitions. They help your users navigate, improve usability, convey your message, or simply make the users hooked into the app.

Support For Multiple Mobile Platforms

Right from the inception of your mobile app, you should already have in mind what platforms it should support. This critical choice includes the operation systems (iOS and Android) and the specific devices (iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy S21, or other older smartphones) you need your app to run on.

The number of supported platforms plays a huge role in the app development cost of your app. For example, if you plan to build native Android and iOS apps at the same time, little code can be reused due to the different programming languages and frameworks.

Your app can cover a wider range of devices (hence a greater number of potential users), and these native apps have better performance, but this approach can easily double the mobile app development cost compared to building for only one platform.

There are alternative solutions you can follow to bring down the cost. For instance, if Android is the dominant mobile operating system in your target market, you can tell your developers to start with the Android app development first and push the iOS app to a later time.

Hybrid apps using web-based frameworks are also a popular choice when cross-platform app development is a priority. Despite some technical limitations, they bring down both app development cost and time thanks to their code reusability.

Maintenance

Building a mobile app isn't as simple as pushing it to the app stores and being done with it. There are plenty of maintenance tasks involved if you need to polish your app and improve the experience for your users.

The relation between you and your app developers will continue depending on your maintenance plan. Do you need to add new features and fix bugs constantly? How do you plan to respond to the feedback of your users?

These later phases are just as important as the first build of your app. They require considerable time and effort, and as a result, bigger app maintenance costs.

You should talk with your developers in the very beginning about the maintenance plan and how it factors into the total development and maintenance cost.

Prototyping

Making a prototype application is usually optional, and developers may charge extra for this effort. But you should not skip this step if you want to have an early look at your app and avoid any misunderstanding of your requirements.

This demonstration can give both you and your developers a better description of your app architecture, concept, and its functionality, helping reduce potential errors in later app development stages.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain Apps?

A good estimate is about 15-20% of the original app development cost.

The actual app maintenance cost generally depends on the complexity of the app and technologies used, the update roadmap, and usage load. It can be broken down into several different smaller areas such as hosting, push notifications, hardware upgrade, payment, and so on.

App Development At BigIn

We have been helping global enterprises and start-ups in building successful custom mobile apps in different industries.

Our development team of talented UI/UX designers, business analysts, developers, testers, and project managers can make sure you have the best solutions and establish your brand with the most competitive mobile app development cost.

Please send us an email or fill out a quick form. We’ll be in touch and make your app idea happen. Our specialists will reach out to you for a complimentary consultation and provide you with an estimated mobile app cost and timeline as soon as possible.