How to Cut Mobile App Development Cost?

The willingness to get the best mobile application at a minimum price is clear. Nevertheless, there is also a common belief that a low price is equal to weaker service and can lead to a defective final product. And here’s where the desire to save on development and doubts on quality of services can turn into a real headache.

In this blog post, we attempt to show that there is always a golden mean. And despite there is no single answer on how to cut the cost of mobile app development, the understanding of major factors that influence the price can help.

What Factors Impact the Cost of Mobile App Development?

It’s no secret that even when it comes to some particular provider, there is no universal answer on how much does it cost to develop a mobile app. It is so because mobile applications are not equal, and require a provider to build a development process that will take into account different factors, each influencing its final cost. The major impacts on the cost are related to:

  • Type of product
  • It’s complexity
  • After-release support
  • Talents involved in the development and support

But for sure, the cost also depends on the provider itself: on the company size, the region it operates in, and hourly rates. So before we start digging deeper into how product type, complexity, after-release support issues, and people involved in development can influence the final cost of a product, let’s first point out how mobile app development cost can change depending on a provider you choose.  

Things to Consider When Choosing a Mobile App Development Company

Mobile app development cost largely depends on the vendor you choose. In general, there are two factors to keep in mind: the difference in hourly rates by region, and the size of a company.

Hourly Rates by Region

Depending on a region where a mobile app development company is located, hourly rates generally vary from $10 to $250. The highest development rates are in such countries as the USA and Canada ($50 – $250), followed by countries located in Western Europe and the UK ($35 – $170). The lowest rates can be found in India ($10 – $80). And the golden mean is represented by two regions: Australia ($50 – $150) and Eastern Europe ($20 – $150).

In general, apps of medium complexity take about 400-500 hours to be developed. But this time can double or even triple depending on the complexity of your application. Furthermore, many other factors such as a number of talented involved in development will also play a significant role.

Company’s Size

It’s one more important factor that will influence the price, as generally, the larger is the company, the higher is the price. For sure, there are some exceptions, but in most cases, the situation is the following:

  • Large company: from $500,000 to $1,000,000
  • Mid-sized company: from $150,000 to $450,000
  • Small company: from $20,000 to $100,000

We have already pointed a general concern on low-price development, and now it is time dispel one more. Some customers wrongly believe that the larger is the company and the higher is the price  — the better is the quality. But the truth is that middle- and small-sized mobile app development companies are often known for providing excellent results. So the thing to pay attention to is your vendor’s expertise in the industry that your application targets.

So now let’s dive into the other factors and see how they impact the total cost of mobile app development.

How the Type of Product Affects the Price?

When it comes to price estimation, the rule is generally the following: the more devices/platforms your app supports — the higher is the price. If you want to build a native app for one particular platform, price estimation will depend on a platform you choose. 

The thing to understand is that quite often, Android app development becomes more expensive than development for iOS.

It is so because there are thousands of different Android devices, and the customer decides how many devices the app must support. The rule here is the following: the more devices need to be supported, the more time is spent on adapting the application. In contrast, the requirements for iOS app development are generally limited by compatibility with the latest and previous iPhone and iOS versions. Nevertheless, if a customer wants an Android app to support only the most popular devices, it becomes possible to cut the cost.

Product Complexity

The more difficult is the functionality of the app you want to develop, the higher is the price. It is so because the development process will require to engage more professionals and will generally take time.

Each of these types of apps also differs in terms of the time needed for development. In average, simple apps take from 300 to 600 development hours, apps of middle complexity — from 600 – 800 hours, complex apps — from 1000 – 1300 hours. 

When you decided on the provide and know what type of app you want to develop, it becomes possible to calculate an approximate estimation. All you have to do is to take a provider’s hourly rate and multiply it by the approximate number of hours. 

Mobile Application Development Team

Concerning the complexity of the planned project, a mobile app development team is comprised of specialists of different level of qualification. Also, complexity determines how many talents must be involved in development. Both of these criteria impact the price. There are two options: your mobile app development team could be basic or extended. 

A basic team is generally comprised of such specialists as PM, UX/UI designer, iOS or Android developers, QA, and sometimes back-end developer. 

An extended team is comprised of the same specialists but also can include DevOps, front-end developer, marketers, and other professionals adjusted to your project needs. 

As you understand, the more specialists are involved in the development, the higher is the price.

Why Pay Attention to After-Release Support?

As soon as after-release support is not included in the initial estimate, it often tends to be overlooked. Nevertheless, in most cases it becomes initial because it includes such important things as updates to the app, development of new features, backend servers maintenance, legal maintenance, and so on. That is why it is important to keep it in mind. 

The Bottom Line

Mobile app development cost depends on many factors. That is why it is hard to come up with so close-to-reality predictions. Nevertheless, when you know what can cut the cost or increase it, it becomes easier to plan your app development and budget. The best advice is to prepare your project description in detail, so it will be easier for you to understand how much it can cost, and it will be easier for your vendor to provide you with the detailed cost breakdown. In other words, the clearer is your mission statement, the more predictable is the price of your future app. 

If you are interested in your project estimate, contact us with any questions. Thank you for reading.

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