With nearly 197  billion mobile application downloads in 2017,  we can expect three times as many downloads by the year 2022. Now, this number is certainly not so surprising if you consider the number of smartphones and tablets people around the globe are using in their day to day lives. We spend on an average 3 to 4 hours a day on our smartphones and nearly 80% of that time is on mobile applications. So no matter how hard you think, the numbers are clear — The smartphone revolution is already on its way and if you really want to take your digital marketing campaign to a whole new level then consider building a mobile application.

So how much will it cost for a small business to develop a mobile application?

How nice would it have been had there a simple number? Well, the truth is that the costs depend on a various number of factors such as which platform you choose to launch your application (iOS or Android), what kind of features and functionalities you would like to integrate into your app, etc. In this post, with our expertise as a customsoftware development company, Vironit, have listed some of the factors that will decide the cost of your mobile application development.

  1. Business Model

Before you start calculating the cost of your mobile app development, you first need to understand where your mobile app will fit into your overall business plan. Can your mobile application bring value to your current business model? Can it directly generate new revenue via sales? How will your mobile application provide utility to your users while distinguishing yourself from your competitors?  The different requirements of your business model will make the mobile application you want to develop, the scope of your development project,  and tools and technologies you have to bring will decide the cost of your mobile application development.

  1. Application Type

The type of technology on which you want to build your mobile app have so much to do with the cost of the development of the application.

Web application

Technically it is not considered as a mobile application rather a mobile-friendly web application which utilizes responsive design to make sure it provides a clean and smooth user experience across devices. Out of all, this will be the cheapest option for all small businesses.

Native application

A mobile application is considered native if it is developed with the language native to the operating system of the given platform or device. In simple terms,  developers use Swift or objective C for iOS and Kotlin for Android. The major benefit of these native applications is an improved performance. This is all if you want to build an application specific to that particular platform users but if you want your mobile application to work across devices and platform then probably you have to build application exclusively for each operating system because deduplication of this work will certainly lead to higher development expenses.

Hybrid application

Usually hybrid applications are a combination of compromise between performance and programmer productivity and hence the result in lower development costs. The hybrid application will speed up the complete development process by letting you develop your application with three basic web technologies and those are JavaScript, HTML,  and CSS utilizing frameworks such as Ionic and Cordova.

Cross-platform application

Cross-platform application development frameworks such as PhoneGap and Xamarin will let you develop your application using a single language. When compared to a native application, cross-platform applications run a bit slow.

  1. Platform

No matter what business you are into or what kind of application you are developing. There are 2 big platforms on which you can launch your app. One is Apple’s App Store and the other is Google’s Play Store. Both platforms provide access to a very large market of potential users. Based on the platform your majority of users use, it is up to you where you want to launch your product either iOS or Android or perhaps both. There is absolutely nothing wrong with beginning with the platform that most of your users utilize and later expanding your customer base after making a good return on your initial investment.

  1. Features and functionalities

Estimating the cost of the development of the mobile application is very much similar to buying a car. There will be a base price for the kind of application you want to develop and that price increases on the type of features and functionalities are you want to integrate into the app. For a better understanding, the below is a brief of the types of features that will make up a typical mobile application:

Login/sign up accounts

From the basic username/ password login two convenient social media networking platforms login and secure two-factor authentication systems, every mobile application will have some sort of login.

Chat/ messaging

Important for social media networking applications, the capability for customers to communicate and interact with each other will be considered to be vital.

Monetization

In-app purchases, shopping cart, and payment integration are all individual features with their own development expenses.

Search

The ability to search a particular product, image, or video Is expected by many users.

Push notifications

If you want to keep your customers up to date about your products and services can increase the customer retention.

  1. Design and development

This is where the cost actually gets increased. The total cost of developing a mobile application will depend on the mobile development and design team ’s hourly rates and development time. You can either outsource the app development to an outside team or get it done by the in-house team. This will greatly vary based on things like administration planning, infrastructure, marketing, and deployment.

Based on our own data from freelancer costs, assuming a 6-month development time with 40 hour work weeks for a solid, full-featured v.1.0 app

Typeof Mobile Developer Avg Hourly Rates 6 Months, 40 hours/week
Native Apps

iOS or Android App Developer

$34-150+ $32,600 – 145,000
Cross Platform Apps Xamarin/PhoneGap Developer $17-55+ $14,360 – 52,700
React Native Developer $20-145+ $19,100 – 145,000