List of Factors That Measure Up As the Cost to Build an App

21 Mar

Now the businesses have become complex and building the application requires the acknowledgment of several factors.

Therefore, building an app in 2020 is that easy as earlier, it takes a lot of time and money too for covering all aspect. Every business wants to have its own application but developing an application is getting costly with the introduction of new technology. No business wants an app that has outdated technology and features and new and advanced technology comes with a great cost. There are many factors that decide the budget that goes into developing a mobile application.

Companies need to know how much they can invest for the purpose of app development. If they leave the developer team or the mobile app development company free hand they might face issues with their budget. Mobile applications are necessary and every company should have one for them. Startups need to have an application too, it is very important to stay connected with the consumers and offer them what is trending.

Mobile app development cost is not fixed. It changes with the location, the skills of the developer, the language being used, and the scope of the application. Every enterprise wants custom mobile apps, no one wants an app that looks the same as its competitor’s app. The mobile application market is growing at a very rapid pace and there are no signs of it slowing down. This is the best time to build an application because of the innovations that are happening. Every few days there is some new advancement. Businesses can take advantage of mobile apps not just for offering their services via them but also to create a direct connection with their consumers.

Building an application is not easy and nowadays because of the high demand, it has become even more difficult. Every business wants to have an application with all the latest features and sometimes they want it in a low budget too. It is not possible to build a great application without investing a certain amount and that a certain amount is mostly high. Salaries of developers are high and the resources that are involved cost high too. To make it clear below is a guide that has all the measures on which the cost of building an application is decided.

The key factor of Mobile app development cost:

  • Demographics: The cost of development is highly affected by the demographic area.
  • Hourly Rates: The hourly rates of respondents with teams in the USA and Canada is between $25 and $49, whereas the teams in Asia and Europe keep the maximum rate of $100.
  • The survey from Goodfirms clears that 50 percent of the respondents consider function and features as the dominating factor for deciding the cost.

Below are some key factors that make up the cost of the App development:

1. Model of Enterprise

This is an era where every enterprise is having their own mobile application. It is important to have a model for business. Having a proper business model, it helps a lot in creating a good application. Before starting the app development it is important to estimate the cost that might go into the development process. The enterprises should know where the app that is being developed fits into their model.

Why is it important to have a business model?

A business model helps enterprises to know a lot of important things. They can know about their target audience and other points which need focus. It will help the enterprises to know what they want to include in their application and how can they provide maximum benefits to their users. A business model will also help in determining how can the application help them earn a profit. A business model is basically based on the customers, even if the enterprise is a startup, they can also grow better with a business model.

The main benefit of having a proper business model is, it tells the enterprise about the ways to build trust with their consumers.

If the enterprises create a business model that captures all the aspects, they can calculate the budget to develop an application. All the factors that are important for a business to grow are also important to grow an application. The businesses need to analyze the market and need to make a blueprint. This blueprint can translate into their application. So, the first thing that needs to be done before the process of application development starts is preparing a business model. Most of the enterprises wish for custom mobile application development and that takes more money than a basic templated application.

2. Type of Application

It is important to have a good idea that can connect with the users but along with that making it accessible is equally important. After preparing a good business model the enterprises need to know which technologies on which the application will stand. The type of application has an impact on the cost of its development. There are three categories in which applications are divided, the difference between all these is the complexity level:

  • Native: These kinds of applications are the largest. These application strikes a perfect balance between the user experience and application performance. They are developed using a language that is native to the Operating System of the device. These applications are either developed just for android, iOS or Windows.

Swift or Objective C are used to develop applications for iOS and Java or Kotlin are used to develop android applications. These types of applications are the most complex ones. The applications are built for a specific platform and that is why the performance of these applications is better than other types. Building this type of application costs the most among all the three types.

  • Hybrid/Cross-Platform: As the name suggests, cross-platform application development is a combination of native and web apps. This type of application can be used by a larger group of people. The reason why a large number of people can use it is that they can run on any device irrespective of the Operating System.

The cost of development and maintenance is not too much for these kinds of applications. The reason why they cost low and are not preferred if the enterprise wants an application that is highly complex is they have limited access to the hardware of the smartphone devices. Native applications perform better because they can access all the spheres of the smartphone’s hardware. Still, these kinds of applications can run smoothly on iOS and android platforms. The time is taken and the efforts put in by the developers is also less. Cross Platform App Development is one choice that is both time and cost-efficient.

  • Web App: This is not a mobile application, it is actually a web app that can run smoothly on mobile browsers. It is the mobile version of a website with an interface like an application. The interface of these web applications are mobile-friendly, they are very responsive as well. The main benefit of these is the users don’t have to install these applications on their mobile devices.


They can just access them by opening their browser and typing the URL. The only drawback of these kinds of applications is that they offer limited features. The performance is also a bit low as compared to native and hybrid applications. According to research, 85% of smartphone users wish to use a mobile application in comparison to a web application. These kinds of applications cost the least in all the three.

Businesses can decide which type of application they want to develop. They need to know the level of complexity of their application and the performance they wish for. Knowing which operating system is popular with the target-user group might help in decision making too. Developing a hybrid application may be a good option looking at its benefits. It is a real application and it costs way less than a native application. Native applications are good if the enterprise wants to build an application that is complex and can perform well.

3. Platform

It is better to move step by step while developing an application. One step at a time is better than many steps together. To create an application that is in budget and is great as well needs focus on each step. The enterprises need to be clear about the platform for which they want to develop their app. If they are developing a cross-platform app then this issue is already sorted.

While developing a native application it is important to know the preferences of the target user group. Developing an application for both iOS and Android might be a risky decision. The speedy trending Internet of Things solutions requires app development over different platforms. It is better if the enterprises already know which platform is more popular among their target group.

4. Share in Market

It is important to know which platform has the highest share of the market. Back in the year, 2012 iOS was the most popular platform, it had captured 61% of the world market at that time. The time changed and just after some years in 2018 the scenario was totally opposite, android owned the market, it had 75% of the market share. The market share of Android is 3.4 times more than iOS (22%) as of 2018.

This means that an android application has more possibility of being downloaded than an iOS application. The market changes very rapidly to the enterprises need to keep an eye on the market to understand which platform is performing better. Developing an application for the platform that has the highest share of the market is a reliable and smart decision.

5. Complexity Level

Fragmentation is one of the most vital issues that need attention while deciding on the platform. Apple has a limited number of devices that run on iOS and most of them are updated to its latest version that is iOS 11. On the contrary, android is a platform that is used by many companies with different devices with different screen sizes and aspect ratios. The application that is developed for android needs to be suitable for all the devices. One more problem with android is that no version of android is used by more than 50% of its users. IoT solutions and Artificial Intelligence Solutions will make the applications better and more useful but they will also add up to the total cost.


The efforts that iOS developers need to put into developing an application is way less than an android developer. Less effort means less time and less cost too.

6. Process of Making the App Live

Till now it is clear that it is easy to develop iOS applications and they can be developed in less budget too.

After completing the development process and testing the application for all kinds of errors and bugs the application has to go live on an app store. If the application has been developed for iOS then Apple App store otherwise the Google Play Store. The users will be able to download the application only after it has been published on one of the prominent app stores.

Read the blog- Cost And Features To Develop Social Networking App Like Snapchat

Google play store charges one time $25 for uploading an application, their process of approval is short and not too strict. On the other hand, Apple App Stores takes $100 per year and there is a long and strict approval process. Android wins the bet when it comes to publishing the applications. The process is easy and the application can stay there as long as the developers wish.

7. Development Time

After reading the above points it is evident that the iOS app development process is faster than Android. Android applications take 30%-40% more time as compared to iOS applications for being developed. The main reason behind this is fragmentation. That is why building an iOS application also costs less than building an Android application.

Applications are made to increase business and something like development time has very less effect on the decision of the enterprise while choosing the platform. The main factors that are responsible for the decision are different. The platform which is used more by the target audience and which can provide maximum functionality for the app is preferred more.

8. The functionality of the App

Estimating the cost of building an application is just like estimating the cost to build a house. The type of applications decides the base cost and that cost increases as you keep on adding new features. The application development has got advanced and there are so many features that attract the enterprises. The more features in the application the higher its cost will be. Adding up the latest and innovating features will increase the probability of it getting successful but it will also increase its cost. There is no limit to what new-age applications can do and with passing time this will become better.

The range of costs can be between a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Features, platform, functionality all factors add up to make up for the final cost of the application. Before adding up advanced features the developers need to add all the basic features and then decide which are the important and relevant advanced features that should be included. Going freehand on deciding features might be hard on the pocket. Striking the perfect balance of some basic and advanced features is very important to develop an application in the budget.

9. Design and Development

Other than the key factors that were discussed above, there is one more thing that affects the final cost. The employees or the company that has been hired for the development of an application. If the enterprise has a team of in-house developers the cost will be in terms of their salary and the salaries of developers is quite high. It is recommended to hire a third-party organization that takes care of the development process. The fee that is to be paid will be less than the aggregate salary of the in-house developers. Hiring another organization also takes off some responsibilities.

Read the blog- What are the latest trends in 2020 for enterprise application development?

Enterprises can also hire freelancers for the purpose of app development. Hiring freelancers is economical but risky at the same time. It is a good option for startups and small scale enterprises. The organizations that wish to develop a complex app should go for either an in-house developers team or should outsource to another app development company. A mobile app development company has all the relevant knowledge needed to build a great application.

Final Word:

Mobile app development cost is based on many factors and the enterprises need to have a solid plan to control it. Using the latest technologies will also increase the cost. The enterprises need to analyze the market and have to continuously keep a check on their plan to keep the budget balanced. 5 major factors that affect the cost of development of an app were discussed above.

Business Model, Type of Application, Functionality, Platform, and Development makes up for most of the cost. This cost will increase as the developers increase the scope and the complexity of the application. One more thing that is not actually added in the development cost is the maintenance charge. The cost incurred for the maintenance is in one way a part of development cost. With so much competition in the market, every enterprise wants to develop an application that can stand out. Knowing about the factors that decide the cost is also important.