How Much Does It Cost to Make an App and Should You Invest in One?
Last update: 27 April 2023 at 11:31 am
The market for mobile applications is huge: 188.9 billion dollars in 2020.
This figure shows the interest that professionals have for the creation of a mobile application.
Indeed, we can see that more and more companies are planning to develop a mobile application.
However, as for social networks or the creation of a website, the development of a mobile application is not free.
The question of development cost is all the more important as it depends on what a mobile application should be able to do.
Where a website is used to give visibility to an activity, the creation of a mobile application allows going much further in the functionalities offered to the users.
In this blog post, we present the different factors that influence the design and price of a mobile application.
What Criteria Influence the Price of a Mobile Application?
Let’s get to the heart of the matter (the price of creating a mobile app) and talk about the cost of developing a mobile application.
The cost of creating a mobile application is divided into two parts:
- The pre-production and development of a mobile application.
- The maintenance and updates of a mobile application.
These two parts do not require the same budget depending on your expectations and the features of your mobile application.
Also, before investing in the development of an application, think about the alternatives to mobile applications that exist:
- Do you really need an app?
- Doesn’t a website, web application, eCommerce, social networking, or other online platform already offer what you’re looking for, at a more affordable cost?
If you have the answers to these questions and you want to start creating a mobile application, several factors will influence its price, its creation and its development cost.
The Type of Application
This is the most important criterion, along with the features, to determine how much a mobile application costs.
Indeed, depending on the type of application and the features, the cost of creating an application can vary from several thousand dollars.
Developing a social network and creating a video game on mobile does not incur the same development costs. We will see the different types of applications and their prices later in this article.
The type of application also determines the technical level to set up for its creation. Again, from a purely technical development point of view, social networks are much easier to create than a video game.
It is logical that the development cost is not the same depending on the project you want to realize.
The Technologies Used
Depending on the type of application, the development implies the use of more or less advanced technologies. A game will need a graphic engine for example. This engine cannot be manipulated by just anyone and requires specific skills.
The same is true for some applications, which use the cloud to perform remote calculations.
If your application is complex, you will have to choose a service provider and hire developers capable of meeting your needs. For example, a project on ios or windows phone will not require the same skills, because your mobile application will not be used on the same operating system.
These specialists often have an additional level of expertise that justifies higher rates.
You can find your provider and the best mobile application development agencies on Sortlist’s website.
Conversely, for a simple app with few features, development costs should be lower.
Indeed, as mentioned above, making your app available on Android and/or iOS will have an impact on the final cost because we are not talking about the same operating systems and the same mobile support.
The Content to Be Hosted
What function do you want to make available to your users?
Videos, photos, text, something else? What medium do you offer?
All this content needs to be stored somewhere, especially if many users will want to access it simultaneously.
Storage is not a big cost factor as long as your users are few.
If you gain popularity, you will certainly have to consider larger hosting systems.
Even if many applications adopt similar codes, you always have the possibility to work on the graphic design of your application so that it sticks to your visual identity.
Colors, animations, fonts and icons are all ways to make your app unique.
If you already have these contents, you can integrate them in your application. If not, it will be an additional cost to plan with a graphic designer or an ergo-designer.
The User Experience
How will your users navigate in your application? For each feature, how will they be able to use it?
These issues of flow, presentation of information and fluidity of navigation are grouped in the category of user experience. This is an extremely important topic.
The two main players in the mobile market, Apple and Google, even offer their best practices guide that all mobile application developers should know.
Naturally, the more complex and innovative your application is, the less it will fit into the mobile ergonomics standards. It will therefore be necessary to plan a cost to work on this subject if necessary.
The Available Features
Last point, the functionalities. Put more simply, it comes down to asking yourself what your application is for:
- Does it allow you to communicate with other people?
- Is it a game?
- Does it have more than one main functionality?
The calculation is quite simple: the more features, the higher the cost. For each feature, the complexity also impacts the final cost. This is something to keep in mind when estimating the rates of the developers you will choose.
Let’s take the example of a social network.
Connecting with a friend and sending a message containing only text and emoji has a modest cost. Sending photos or videos via this messaging system will cost you more.
Prices According to the Type of Application
Let’s see now the prices and budgets according to the type of application you want to develop.
Of course, we give here an estimate according to the type of mobile application you want to create. In the end, the cost of a mobile application will also depend on the provider you choose.
We can suggest you the best mobile application development agencies.
Development of a Video Game
This is, by far, the most expensive product to produce. Technically advanced, video games require extremely varied and often expensive skills.
The technical part of the game, as well as its visual and audio aspects, must be planned. A standard mobile game costs between $40,000 and $80,000 in total.
Don’t compare your game project to that of a player like Supercell or Epic Games, the budgets, objectives and spending areas of these companies are very specific to their market.
How much does a mobile e-commerce app cost to sell your products?
You will need to budget between $20,000 and $35,000.
It all depends on the number of items sold and the logistics of managing the products offered as well as the customer orders.
An application of this kind can easily be replaced by a Progressive Web App. You should take a look at this technology that allows you to embed a website easily in a mobile application.
It could help you to decrease the price and the cost of your project.
Provision of Services (Marketplace)
Amazon, Airbnb, Alibaba are very good examples.
You can sell new or used products as an individual or a professional. Marketplaces are legion, especially on mobile.
Be careful not to duplicate a service that already exists by doing a market study beforehand.
Count on a budget between $15,000 and $25,000 to carry out your project.
Perhaps you need an application for a very short time. This app will allow you to accompany users during an event or to be the center of attention for a short period.
In any case, your budget will surely be between $3,000 and $10,000 to achieve a satisfactory project and features.
Development of a Social Network
Very fashionable too, social networks are constantly multiplying.
Creating your own is not difficult in itself, but you must be careful not to aggregate too many features to keep costs reasonable and control your expenses.
Count between $20,000 and $35,000 depending on the complexity of your social platform.
Internal Company Development
Do you have a specific need for your company?
An application could improve the productivity and quality of work of your teams.
In this case, the scope of the project is different and you will not make any profit on your application.
The benefits will be measured differently but the interest remains high if an application can alleviate some of the problems you encounter.
How much does it cost to develop an application in this situation?
This type of project usually costs between $15,000 and $30,000.
In this article, we wanted to answer the question of how much it costs to create and design an application.
The answer to creating an application is that any project can be realized if you have a sufficient budget and a good understanding of the factors that influence the design costs.
Take the time to study your needs, choose a project manager and simply state your expectations.
Once your project is clearly defined, don’t hesitate to make an appointment to work with a mobile application development agency to complete your project.