How Much Does It Cost To Make An App In 2021?


“You are asking too much, XYZ develops an app for $XXXX” “I have budget limits, so I am looking for your best price to design my app.”

Who makes requests like these for negotiating mobile app development costs? It’s 2021 and companies, and developers are equally aware of mobile app development’s importance. When it comes to investing in app development, many clients lack an understanding of the cost structure.

The blankness about app development cost causes the loss of their time and budget both. In the worst-case scenario, their project remains unfinished and the app unreleased. You don’t want to miss the cost structure and fall short to meet your business goals, do you?

the cost to Outsource Mobile Application Development.

You don’t. Unless you won’t be on this blog. Besides, your presence implies that you have an app idea, or finally, you are building an app for your business. App developed with the right technology and feature set definitely pays off; we have seen it within our organization. Now that you are going to invest in your first-ever mobile app development, take this blog as a guide.

By the end of this post, you could make a concoction with the right amount of time, effort, and bucks you should spend.

Breakdown of app development cost

First of all, know that mobile app development cost differs drastically depending on you in-house, freelance, or outsource your project. That said, in-house app development is the costlier affair as you hire, maintain, and nurture an entire development team.

Freelancing projects has always been a risk, specifically if you start from scratch. You need to find developers, designers, testers and manage the whole project. This could be way more hectic. Outsourcing projects from off-shore or near-shore is considered a flexible solution for brand new and existing projects.

Outsourcing mobile app development companies generally have a full-fledged development team, including developers, designers, testers, and a project manager. Plus, they use collaborative software to ensure transparency throughout the app development. You can learn more about the cost to Outsource Mobile Application Development.

Good-to-know: Unless you develop an app in-house, the development cost is calculated hourly, whether you outsource or freelance. Some companies also offer a fixed development fee, but for that, you need to contact them personally.

Coming to our head topic.

Let us check out how the fancy features you desire to build in your app influence your pocket.

Feature Set Impacting The Cost To Develop An App

Since development cost is calculated hourly, the more hours a feature takes to be built, the costlier it is.

FeatureDescriptionApprox time code & design
User loginLog in with email & social media Forgot password option & Log out28 – 42 hours
File uploadingUpload photo & video Video playback Photo view20 – 30 hours
Profile InformationAdd location, address, contact number23 – 29 hours
Profile editingsEdit profile Change password Change email47 – 62 hours
Search barBasic search with suggestions13 – 18 hours
In-app messagingConversation details Online/offline status Typing status Read/sent status Send media files and documents160 – 170 hours
Push notificationsUsers can receive push notifications about real-time update25 – 32 hours
Admin panel: for User managementSee new users coming Delete/block user Manage their activity66 – 90 hours
Payment managementExamine payments Send payment receipt Refund payments23 – 44 hours
GeolocationTo offer location-based services20 – 24 hours

The features list can be prolonged to UI optimization features like support to different mobile devices, landscape & portrait mode, offline mode, multi-language support, and so on. It is advised to draft your unique project requirements document prior you start development.

Besides the features set, the cost to build, design, test, and a mobile app depends on the below elements:

  • Third-party APIs for payment gateways, GPS, and live support
  • Development method: Native or Hybrid/Cross-platform
  • Platforms to target: Android, iOS, Windows
  • Technology stack for platform-specific app development and other in-app functionalities
  • The complexity level of app design
  • Testing and deployment plus post-development service charges
  • The location of developers or the development company

Mobile App Development Cost By Complexity

Here is the thing, the more complex your app, the higher the cost. What do we mean by complexity? Find below with average hours to build one.

Simple app that includes,

  • No API integration
  • No back-end
  • Only basic UI components
  • Simple features (email subscription, social login, calendar, etc.)

400+ hours

Moderate App includes,

  • A few custom UI/UX features
  • Build-in payment gateway
  • Some API integrations
  • Back-end server

500-800+ hours

Sophisticated App includes,

  • Multi-language support
  • 3rd-party integrations
  • Custom animations & transitions
  • Complicated back-end
  • Custom UI/UX design
  • Real-time features intertwined with database integration

 800-1500+ hours

There are many hidden development costs you must know, so we have bundled up here.

Now the most important factor,

How the location of developers affect the cost to make an app?

You know development cost calculates hourly, and so we put average hours besides potential app features. By now, you must be annoyed at what rate you should calculate these hours to get the estimation. So the thing is, it totally depends on the location of where you hire developers or a development company from.

Giving you a glimpse of the standard hourly development rate in different regions.

  • U.S. developers charge $50-$250/hour
  • Europe developers charge $30-$150/hour
  • South Asia based developers charge $20-$80/hour

How to trim and optimize app development cost?

Cross-platform app development

Platforms play a significant role in mobile app development as your audience can be on Android, iOS, or both. When you need to target both prominent platforms under a stipulated budget, go with Flutter cross-platform app development. Google produces Flutter to build beautiful native-like apps for iOS and Android from a single codebase.

Build a Minimum Viable Product first

Building MVP with features required to function the app and launch it in the market can save you from costly mistakes. The fun fact, it can be developed super fast, and you can gather initial feedback from early adopters. Such feedback will help you plan an optimal budget to build a full-fledged app version.

Use The Moscow Method To Prioritize App Features

MoSCoW– Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have. Analyzing your app features and categorizing them under these segments leads to a clear idea of your core app functionality, segregating your app’s features into those four categories.

App Designing Strategy

Follow the strategic method to save on paying your UI designer extra for revamping your app design. Start with wireframes, create prototypes, and then finalize the app design. Doing so helps you iterate your design quickly and effectively.

Last but not least

  • Outsourced the project from a reliable and cost-effective software development company

Outsourcing the project from a prominent custom mobile app development company from Asia can save you tons of money. You can also hire mobile app developers and augment your team. Developers from Asia, to be specific India, possess adequate skill and hands-on experience in software development.

Thus, you can rest assured about the app’s quality. Plus, you can save on maintenance costs as they offer post-development services at the same price.

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