“How much will it cost to develop my mobile app?” is a question we hear from time to time, and by that we mean “several times a day.” The fact that this question doesn’t have a satisfactory answer is one of the more frustrating sides of the mobile app business, both for entrepreneurs and developers alike. There are far too many factors involved to quote a precise and accurate figure, so the best answer we can give – the best answer anyone can give – is “it depends.”
We realize that’s not terribly helpful, as far as answers go, but to get a better sense of the development cost for a given mobile app, it’s helpful to know on what that answer depends. Those of us in the mobile app industry love to break things down into categories, whether we believe there are two kinds of apps, or seven, or seven hundred. This isn’t always useful, particularly when those categories lead to a price range of anywhere from $1,000 to a quarter of a million dollars. The complexities of development cost can however be effectively distilled down to a fairly simple formula: the more sophisticated the app, the more it’s going to cost.
It’s certainly possible to develop a static, information-only mobile app for $1,000. Bear in mind that what we’re talking about here is an app with Pong-like levels of sophistication. Beyond that, every added feature will increase the total development cost, often significantly. Will the app be able to store all its necessary data on the platform on which it’s installed or will it require an external database? Is it a game that will require sophisticated pathing algorithms and 3D functionality? Will the app need to make use of the hardware on which it’s installed, the microphone, the camera, the accelerometer? Will the app’s look and feel require the participation of a professional graphic designer, in addition to the app developer? All of these factors contribute to the total development cost of any given mobile app.
We’ll discuss development budgeting in a later post, but in the meantime, if you’re considering developing a mobile app, let us hear your idea and we’ll set you up with three free quotes from experienced developers.