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9 Hidden Costs of Mobile Application Development and How to Avoid Them

Hidden Costs of Mobile App Development

When developing a mobile app, you can face some potential hidden costs besides such obvious ones as the payment for services provided by developers, designers, and other specialists. If you clearly comprehend and know exactly what hidden costs can be involved, you can plan your product development more efficiently and avoid possible financial issues.

Mobile app development is quite a complicated process, and you can simply miss many things when looking at it from the sidelines. Due to this, many customers start their development without realizing the real work scope and its cost. I think the possible consequences of this situation are clear to anyone.

If you reveal the hidden costs of mobile app development in advance, you can avoid surprises in the future and find ways to save money without losing quality. So, let us dwell on this topic in more detail.

Costs of Functional Services

We are talking about some services you need to include to implement some important application functions. It does not make sense to develop all necessary features in the initial version of your solution since this approach can be unreasonably expensive, taking into account the developers’ hourly rates.

For instance:

  • popular libraries of off-the-shelf components;
  • push notifications to send important messages to users;
  • SMS notifications;
  • third-party APIs of various services, etc.

Functional Services for App Development

In many cases, it is a lot more profitable to pay for using a turnkey solution with the necessary function which you can adjust to suit your needs than to create the right component from scratch.

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Infrastructure Services

If your app collects any data on users or their personal data like photos, you will need a place to store it all. In most cases, you can use remote cloud storage, and you will have to pay a certain monthly fee for using it.

As a hosting service to deploy your app backend components, you can use the server provided by some of the cloud services (Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure). They differ from any regular VPS with a higher level of reliability and fast scalability.

Cloud Infrastructure for Mobile App

Not functions but the infrastructure necessary to ensure their performance is one of those expense items that can affect the development cost most significantly. Things that may seem to require small expenses at the start will skyrocket in value when you scale and increase the load.

Content Development

For some types of mobile apps, this expense item may be comparable in amount to the total cost allocated to pay for developers’ work. For instance, if you develop some kind of training app, you will have to create the appropriate content in advance, be it audio, video, or images.

Another example is a meditation music app. You have to either record the appropriate music yourself (hiring specialists) or pay a license to a third-party provider.

Supporting Different Platforms

For a company without any experience in mobile app development, this item may seem a discovery, but commonly, you have to develop a product for several platforms simultaneously. Moreover, the wider the niche, the greater the chance is that the target audience of this business equally uses either iOS or Android devices and not just one specific OS.

Mobile OS Market Share

Different programming languages and development tools are used for each of these platforms. Consequently, even when the functions are identical, the same app for each operating system is developed almost from scratch.

You can reduce costs resorting to cross-platform development technology, but in any case, it means additional costs. Read more on this topic in the following article: Mobile Cross-platform App vs Native App — What’s the Difference in Development and Which One is Better?

Cost of Mid-Project Changes

Developers estimate the project cost based on initial specifications. However, requirements may change as development proceeds because customer companies may alter their business processes requiring additional functions or some modifications to the existing options. Some customers may even decide to change the concept radically halfway to release.

If you consider this approach relevant for you too, it would be better for you to include such hidden costs as potential risks.

Application Security

Most companies and users consider the security issue to be one of the most important factors that must be taken into account when developing software products. It is especially true for apps operating with personal data or business-sensitive information.

If you consider this point at the start and include time for testing and security checks in advance, everything will be fine. If this is not the case, the costs will be higher and may be accompanied by financial and reputational losses.

Testing & Bug Fixes

The more complex the product you plan to develop, the longer it will take you to test it and fix errors inevitably arising during the development process. Quality Assurance is an important aspect for any type of app, be it a commercial product or an open-source solution.

Without proper testing, you risk getting a product that fails to meet your expectations, and user initial impressions will be spoiled. To verify that all functions of your product are operational and work seamlessly on target devices and operating systems, you have to pay due attention to testing and bug-fixing.

Updates & Maintenance

Any mobile app will require updates over time because the product itself will develop, the customer’s business needs will change, or OS developers will eventually release a major update limiting the compatibility.

Besides, various issues and errors may have remained undetected at the stage prior to the product release, and they may emerge over time. That is why your product will need maintenance taking annual 5% to 20% costs of the total app budget.

Want to start a project?

Our team is ready to implement your ideas. Contact us now to discuss your roadmap!


Marketing Costs

The product quality is an important condition for its success on the market. However, it is equally important to inform as many interested people as possible about this product. To do so, you have to think of a marketing strategy in advance to promote your product on the market and start preparing it even before the release stage.

Marketing Strategies for Mobile Application

In real practice, everything is rather complicated. According to statistic data, almost 70% of all apps in App Store and Google Play are no longer downloaded or installed by users a few days after the product was published there. No one would want to have such an experience.

Our blog includes an article in which you will find detailed instructions on how to solve this issue: 17 Efficient Ways to Promote a Mobile App that You Need to Know.

Let Us Summarize

At Lvivity, we believe that it is important to both develop a product that fully meets our customers’ business needs and help them avoid possible problems during the development process. When it comes to budgeting matters, hidden costs of mobile app development are on the list of the most common problems.

Thorough interviews with customers, appropriate questions, and a thoughtful project development process can bring down various surprises to a minimum. Consequently, one of the conditions necessary to achieve success is to select a reliable technology partner.

We have already helped dozens of customers in different niches to develop high-quality mobile apps designed to solve their business problems, and we will be happy to help you as well. Contact us and let us discuss the details!

Petro Kovalchuk
Petro Kovalchuk

CEO at Lvivity

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