Alpha Software Blog



Average App Development Costs: How Much Should It Cost to Build an App?

Data on what it costs to build a mobile appKnow the average cost for developing business apps, what it will cost to build your app, the difference between iOS and android app prices, and how design or type of app can affect development expenses.

If your business has never developed an app before – or even if it has – it can be tough to know how much it will cost to get one built by outside developers. Estimating costs can be extremely difficult because expenses vary according to the type of app, its complexity, how quickly you need it built, and more.

The article, "How Much Does It Cost to Make an App in 2021" offers some excellent advice.

For a start, the article says that, on average, apps can cost between $10,000 and $500,000 or more to build a decent mobile app. That’s obviously a tremendously big price range. So one way to start narrowing it down, the article says, is by the type of app and what kind of company you plan to contract with to build it. 

 

The Cost of Outsourcing App Development

Contracting with an offshore company is your least expensive option. Prices range from $5,000 for a simple offline app to $60,000 for an enterprise app. An agency with U.S.-based management and a distributed team costs more: $15,000 for a simple offline app to $85,000 for an enterprise app.

The most expense option is to contract an agency based solely in the U.S. The cost of development ranges from $50,000 for a simple  app to $500,000 for a high quality, complex app and $1.35 million for an IOT app.

Keep in mind all those costs are for a single iOS or Android app. So if you plan to have apps built for each platform, your costs will increase. You may want to use low code software to build cross-platform apps, in order to minimize mobile app development costs.

Read why developing android apps typically cost 30% more than iOS apps.

App Building Costs

Costs associated with building an appEach phase of the development project carries different costs. So, the article notes, “A good rule of thumb is to allocate at least 10% of the whole app development budget to the business analysis phase.”

 

How Design Affects Price

App design and user interface typically takes up between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total budget. The article recommends: “Make sure you get a clickable prototype as a part of the deal.”

Learn how to design your app to keep costs down.

The article warns, “The app coding costs more than all other app development phases.” You won’t be paying just for developers. App development requires an entire team. The article advises: “App development is a collaborative process: even a small app will need two or three team members.”

Read: 4 Ways to Cut App Development Costs

The final cost to consider is paying a project manager to track and control the entire project. This will insure that requirements are gathered properly, project deadlines are met, and that budets are adhered to. That takes up between 10 percent to 15 percent of the entire project cost.

The article offers great advice on reducing expenses during the development phase. Most important, it says, is to use a cross-platform app development solution. Cross platform app development produces code that runs on both  iOS and Android.  By developing for multiple operating systems at once versus developing for one at a time, you  can save up to 30 percent of the entire cost of the budget.

Learn how the type of app you build affects the cost.

Understand the cost of PowerApps.

The Real Costs of Marketing Your Mobile App

If your apps is customer-facing, then building your mobile app is only one part of the cost. You'll also need to include the costs of marketing the app, because like it or not, apps don’t sell themselves. They need lots of awareness and promotion, and that means marketing.

The article, The Cost To Market an App: A Complete Super Cheesy Guide offer plenty of good advice on marketing your app and the expected costs.

Costs of app store optimization

According to the article, marketing expenses start with the pre-launch phase. That begins with market research, to get a handle on who you need to reach and how to reach them. Expect to pay between $5,000 and $15,000 for this phase.

Also for pre-launch, you need to take care of app store optimization (ASO). This, the article notes, “ensures that an app will draw the attention of its potential users by tuning title, keywords, description, icon, screenshots, etc. of the mobile app and motivate them to download the app and actually use it afterward.” Expected cost per month: anywhere between $25 and $1,500, depending on the complexity of what you’re doing.

Paying for Public Relations to Promote Your App

In this phase you’ll also need to take into account public relations outreach. The article says that PR, “boosts the chances of an app to be displayed on certain publications through a press release or direct communication.” For that you’ll pay between $100 to $300 an hour.

You can also pay an “influencer” to tout your app, but it won’t come cheap. You’ll have to pay a marketing agency to manage that, which could cost as much as $10,000 to $18,000 per month.

Social Media Marketing Expenses

Understand the cost of marketing your app on social mediaTo make sure your app gets the most traction, you’ll need an online presence on social media services and YouTube. Check with marketing and public relations agencies for costs.

After launch, you’ll need to market the apps as well. In this phase, the article notes, “The most crucial type of app marketing cost is CPI – Cost-Per-Install and CPA – Cost-Per-Action.”

Cost Per Install and Cost Per Action

It describes them this way: “Cost-Per-Install is a crucial aspect of app marketing as it covers specific and first action that app marketers hope mobile users to execute. Cost-Per-Action is yet another important aspect that considers getting an app user to install, to register, to place a reservation, to make an in-app purchase, to buy a physical product or service, to subscribe to a service in a repeated manner.”

Here are the cost breakdowns, according to the article:

“App install is the lowest-priced action, registration costs around $4.4 for iOS and $2.9 for Android, an in-app purchase, which is the most trendy monetization tool, costs approx $132 on iOS and $145 on Android.

“Subscription is the most high-priced action by the mobile app user that costs $129 and $187 for iOS app and Android apps, respectively, to be paid by action brands and indie developers.”

Finally, be prepared to pay for push notifications, which lets you directly get in touch with your customers and make sure they stay loyal and don’t switch to the competition. These services can cost between $30 and $250 per month.

Keep in mind that you might not need to do all this marketing. It will depend upon your specific app and your goals for it.

How to Cut Your App Development Costs

Alpha Software offers free and cost-effective low-code app development software to build apps quickly. The Company offers free low-code software that allows everyone to build as many apps as they need at their own pace, and only pay when they're ready to deploy their apps to the cloud. Alpha Anyhere produces cross-platform apps that run on any device and has built-in offline apps, one of the most expensive features in app development.

Remove the cost risks from mobile app development when you develop apps for free with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition.

The app development company also offers a free step-by-step guide on how to build your first mobile application.Cut app costs with Alpha Anywhere

How to Build The SwiftUI 'Landmarks App' for Cross-Platform Use
How Low-Code Tools Will Create the Jobs of the Future

About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

Related Posts
What is a Citizen Developer?
What is a Citizen Developer?
Why the Low-Code/No-Code Movement Is Unstoppable
Why the Low-Code/No-Code Movement Is Unstoppable
Low-Code And No-Code: We’ve Reached The Tipping Point
Low-Code And No-Code: We’ve Reached The Tipping Point

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

Comment