How Much Does It Cost to Build an App in 2020?

Concerned about app development costs? Here’s all you need to know!

There will be more people with access to smartphones in 2021 than with access to running water! Well, then there’s no questioning the fact that app development has become the need of the hour to capture the huge rapidly growing market. Investing in app development is valuable to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. As much as you would like to build an app, you might have many queries. One most pertinent question is: How much does it cost to create an app? This will be answered in detail in this blog. 

How much does it cost to create an app?

Some people think that creating an app requires a gigantic investment and that the cost of app development is an expensive affair. The truth is, not all types of apps require a princely budget. There is a lot of thought and work that goes into building an app from scratch, so the cost may vary. But looking into what is involved will help us make a fair estimate.

It is important to understand that the cost to build an app depends on various factors like the type of app, the platform you choose, the design, and the number of pages required. For instance, an app that doesn’t require back-end features like an email subscription, calendar, or social login, and API integration will not need a huge budget. On the other hand, multi-lingual support, custom features, and real-time updates will need resources in terms of the development budget. Each app is unique and the cost of making an app is based on the time and effort required to build an app. 

HackerNoon rates Fingent in the Top 20 when it comes to Mobile App Development Services. Our mobile team has years of experience working with a range of cost-effective mobile application projects. We’ve helped some of the world’s biggest companies create applications to enhance user experience and integrate new-age technologies. 

What Are Some Major Factors That Affect the Cost to Build an App?

Let’s look at some of the specifics that we need to consider, that may affect the cost of building an app. 

1. Functionalities, Scope, And Features of the App

The cost of building an app is going to depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Determining that will give a measure of clarity to the scope of the project. If the business is looking forward to a broader scope and returns from the app, it will have to be extensively developed with many functionalities. However, if the purpose of an app is to just establish a mobile presence and develop another channel to connect with end-users, then a limited feature app would suffice. When the goal and overall business purpose is clear to the development team, they will be able to accurately estimate the cost of developing an app.

Read more: Mobile App Development: 4 Tips To Consider

2. Number of In-App Pages

Another vital factor that determines the cost of building an app is the number of screens in the app. The more the number of screens, the more extensive the work required from the designers and UX experts. More screens would also mean higher interlinking of pages through the app, which requires adjustment of conditions so that users can easily access any particular in-app page. Such complex apps demand more time and effort from app designers and developers.

3. Platforms and Devices

The complete cost of developing a native app for a specific platform is different from developing a hybrid app that runs on multiple platforms and devices. Further, the app development cost also depends on the type of device the app is developed for. 

Making an app for devices running on Android, iOS, Windows, or Blackberry needs different sets of integration for each type of device. Additionally, supporting different generations of the same device can be another factor that increases the cost of building an app. iOS apps will need to be built to support the latest as well as previous iOS versions. The complexity of the Android market adds to the difficulty in determining a single standard cost of developing an Android app.

Read more: White Paper- Choosing The Right Mobile App Development Approach For Your Business

4. Type of App Development Team

Based on the complexity of the project, the app development team may comprise a project manager, designer(s), developer(s), and quality assurance engineer(s). You also have the choice of opting for a basic team with a backend developer, admin panel designer, Android or iOS developer.

5. Elements of App features

  • Third-party integrations: Mobile apps require third-party libraries, frameworks, and services. 
  • Backend development: Backend implements the app’s business logic enabling the exchange of data between the mobile and database.
  • Hardware components: Identifying the right approach for communication between hardware and software components will make a difference in the cost of building an app

6. Database

Apps that allow end-users to upload videos, photos, and submit comments or reviews take more time in development. This would increase the complexity of an app because the user’s information must be stored and made available for future use. Obviously then, the app development cost and time for database-driven apps would be more.

7. Post-launch Expenses

The total cost of creating an app includes the money spent on actual programming as well as post-launch maintenance and updates like cloud hosting, backend server maintenance, and app marketing.

8. App Type

Choosing the right type of application for the project will have a massive impact on the overall cost to create an app. Apps can be categorized as:

  • Web Apps: Web apps use a responsive design for smooth user experience across various screen sizes and operating systems.
  • Native Apps: Native apps could be more expensive because they are optimized for high performance on a specific platform.
  • Hybrid/Cross-platform Apps: This approach is best suited for the needs of a large audience across different platforms. The development and maintenance costs of this approach are lower when compared to the other approaches.

Read more: Hybrid Mobile App Development: When and Why To Choose For Your Business?

9. License and Legalities

Businesses that want to protect app features that could be knocked off by competitors may want to obtain a Patent, Copyright, or Trademark which increases the cost of building an app.

10. Support and Maintenance

Adding new features and refining existing features of the app will cost you. This is unavoidable because technology is constantly changing, and new updates will have to be made for your app to function seamlessly. 

Are you ready?

As of August 2020, there are 3.50 billion smartphone users in the world. As mentioned in the outset, Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast says that there will be more people with access to smartphones in 2021 than with access to running water. Additionally, App Annie forecasts that consumers will be willing to spend a staggering $157 billion on mobile apps by 2022, an increase of 92% from 2017. Now, these numbers should leave you with no doubt that you must make full advantage of this trend by building an app for your business. 

However, having a great idea for an app is one thing but making it available to end-users is another. This guide detailed the cost of making an app, with varying features, technologies, platforms, and more for you to make an informed decision, but if you have any questions or you want to get started on building that app, give us a call


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    About the Author

    Tony Joseph

    Tony believes in building technology around processes, rather than building processes around technology. He specializes in custom software development, especially in analyzing processes, refining it and then building technology around it.He works with clients on a daily basis to understand and analyze their operational structure, discover (and not invent) key improvement areas and come up with technology solutions to deliver an efficient process.

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