Factors influencing the price of a mobile app
- Choice of platform
- Type of development company
- Features of the app and its robustness
- App design
- Application testing and maintenance
How much does a mobile app cost in 2023? There is no clear answer to this question since we cannot look at a mobile application as something that we put in the cart and pay for. Each mobile application is special in its own way, but we can look at the factors and processes that will approximate the final price of the application.
Choosing a platform
Android, iOS, or both? One of the first decisions you need to make is to choose which platform to develop your app for. This will determine which operating system the app will be compatible with.
Most mobile apps are mostly created for the latest iPhone models, as most users will upgrade to the latest version of iOS in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the well-functioning backward compatibility between devices and Apple’s strict policy allow to focus on current devices.
On the other hand, with Android there are many operating system versions, so it is necessary to choose the most suitable combination to ensure the functionality of the project without the problems of adding additional versions. The multitude of compatible versions can make the price of the application more expensive. However, these disadvantages are balanced by the larger user base.
It’s up to the customer to decide which platform to use, but if the goal is to reach as many customers as possible, the app should be compatible for both. Thus, in specific cases, it is possible to reach for so-called multi-platform development tools – where the codebase being created is used for multiple platforms. The risk is the increased upfront costs and if changes come during the development process, they will affect all the chosen platforms. On the other hand, when communicated properly, they lead to faster work and therefore lower overall costs.
When choosing a developer or in other words a software house, you need to be cautious and keep an eye on the quality of their work. Indicators of the right choice should be good references, portfolio of completed projects, turnover, positive customer feedback and quality documentation, or the possibility of further cooperation and development in the future.
When it comes to a larger project, it is a good idea to use a software house, which has a team of certified staff at its disposal, consisting of programmers, graphic designers, analysts, testers, and others who will take care of the entire project. They will guarantee quality output and the extensibility and development of the application features even in a long-term collaboration. However, these items will be reflected in the price.
Application features and robustness
The functions of an application form its core, what features the application will have has an impact on the entire production process. Whether it’s just simple buttons to log in and navigate between screens, or more sophisticated interfaces through payment gateways, or a chat function with an AI bot, the more features an app includes, the higher the overall cost and the longer the production process will be.
A list of the most used features:
- User registration/login
- Connection to databases, API- access to other applications or platforms
- Notifications, sharing content on social networks
- In-app purchases and payment gateways
- Use of device hardware components (compass, camera, GPS, fingerprinting)
- Use of cryptography in communication or records management
- Integration to other applications (e.g. ability to share data directly between applications)
- and many others
The design is what is supposed to catch the customer’s eye at first glance, so it’s a good idea to invest in the latest trends, an attractive design really pays off. You also need to focus on the target audience and tailor the design to them. An app for younger age groups requires more animations and elements compared to apps for older people, in that case there is no need to create complicated transitions and animations, just stick with pre-made templates. Less design means less cost, but is it worth it?
The role of marketing is to get the app out there to its chosen audience, because without proper marketing and promotion of the app on social networks and websites, users may have no way of finding out about it, despite it being excellently crafted.
Testing and maintenance
We certainly don’t want to release an app with bugs or users will find them, especially functionality errors and language typos. That’s why the app undergoes testing before it is released to the market, either manual testing on different devices or automated testing to verify all functionality.
As technology is always moving forward, it is necessary to keep the app up-to-date and updated, otherwise the user may not be able to run it. It is reported that application maintenance accounts for 15-25% of the original cost of the application.
Application price range
The price of an application can be divided into three groups according to the complexity of its processing, they are:
Basic user interface, several screens, navigation between them, no major integrations, contains only basic functions such as social login, notifications, calendar and is created in several language variations.
The medium app has a custom user interface, use of a payment gateway, more complex integrations, use of device hardware components, customization to other devices, an administration panel, includes professional graphic design, animations and is created in multiple language variations.
Demanding application solves a larger number of business processes, demanding integrations, in addition, compared to the medium-demanding application, it contains professional graphic design, animations. It is also created in multiple language variations, has real-time functions, integration of other applications and a complex backend.
Simple application 2 000 € – 10 000 €
Medium application 10 000 € – 100 000 €
Demanding application 100 000 € +