The cost of mobile app development starts from several thousand dollars, and the budgets of some projects may exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. This sum may be insignificant for corporations but a great deal of money for small businesses or startups.
Any customer wants to comprehend well what they pay for. Therefore, many people may ask a logical question: why is app development so expensive?
The matter is that although all apps may seem quite similar, it goes not only about separate software components but also about the way they interact with each other, what resources a product needs to operate, and other factors. Any software is primarily a business tool used to bring profit that justifies investments.
In this article, we will explain to you why building a mobile app is expensive and why such prices are reasonable.
Complex and Lengthy Process
To develop a mobile app, you should do at least the following things:
- draw up and approve a list of requirements;
- plan sprints, discuss details;
- design the future product’s architecture;
- create prototype, design UI/UX;
- develop the client and server parts;
- test and fix bugs;
- publish the product in the App Store/Google Play.
Depending on your app’s complexity and the number of time-consuming tasks, we may supplement this list with some more steps to take. Consequently, you can hardly create even a relatively simple app in less than 200 or 300 hours.
Besides, you can test many ideas for their viability only in practical use. Moreover, the results are sometimes far from what you expect, and that fact also reschedules the deadline for a much later time.
Involve a Team in the Work
Depending on complexity and goals, the app may need a small team of three people or dozens or even hundreds of specialists of different profiles to be built.
- A business analyst studies customer needs and designs the application logic based on the results found.
- A designer creates the product interface.
- Software engineers work to implement the necessary functionality.
- QA specialists check product correct operation.
- A project manager coordinates the work of all team members and is responsible for meeting deadlines.
The list may become even longer. In most cases, it is simply impossible to receive good results while involving just one person.
Variety of Platforms and Technologies
To maximally reach a potential audience, it is necessary to create an app for both major platforms like iOS and Android at once in most cases. Two different versions for different platforms require additional development and testing time even when you use cross-platform frameworks like Xamarin to develop them.
Moreover, you may often need a specific programming language or a specific technology to implement certain functionality. As a result, you will have to employ additional developers, each with specific expertise to work on the project.
Competition and User Expectations
Users already know that they can find more than one application to solve almost any task. Consequently, people can install and try several alternative products, leaving only one of them on their devices in the end.
In some cases, users choose in favor of the app with the widest functionality, and in other situations, they choose the option with the most attractive and user-friendly interface.
This competitive environment sets a high-quality bar at the market entry, especially in popular niches and when targeting TIER-1 markets. It is necessary to work a lot more on the product before its release, and that increases its development cost.
High Demand for Software Developers
The demand for mobile app development is now growing more rapidly than the number of available specialists in the market. The situation is even worse if you want to find experienced developers with expertise in a specific domain. All these facts affect the market value of services provided by software engineers.
As a result, everything comes down to a simple formula:
App cost = hourly rate x development time.
It is only about the time spent by developers without taking into account other involved specialists required when working on complex projects.
The good news is that you can still save your budget without sacrificing your product’s quality if you outsource development to a remote team. For instance, hourly rates of developers from the USA can be several times higher than those of Eastern European software engineers.
Read more about outsourced development in our article on “Offshore software developer rates by country” and “9 Reasons Why to Outsource your App Development to Ukraine.”
Running Business with No App May Prove Costly
It does not really matter whether your competitors have mobile apps or not. If you own a business, the benefits that a mobile app can bring cannot be ignored.
It may seem to be an expensive project to develop a corporate mobile app. However, it provides you with an opportunity to get closer to your customers, retain existing audiences, as well as attract new ones, get an efficient marketing tool, and take your business to a whole new level.
If you comprehend well enough the importance of investment in mobile app development but want to cut costs at least a bit, there are proven ways to make mobile app development cheaper. If you understand clearly what exactly you want to receive and if you cooperate with an experienced team, you may use your resources as efficiently as possible.
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