This is a question we have been asked dozens of times and there is only one simple answer….
There are so many variables to consider whenever pricing any app development project. The most fundamental question is “what does your app need to do?”
Without a detailed description of the features and functions of a proposed app there is no way we can possibly price any software development project. The more information the better!
- Which devices and operating systems need to be supported?
- Is the app a standalone utility or does it integrate with other systems?
- Is it a commercial app or an enterprise app?
- How many users will be using it?
- How are you going to deploy the app?
- …and so on and so on.
Generally speaking with mobile application development as with any other software development the cost of the project is directly proportional to the amount of time and effort required. The amount of time and effort required is directly linked to the complexity and sophistication of an app. However, asking a developer to produce an app which is a clone of an app they have already developed is a much simpler task than completely reinventing an app from scratch. My advice is to seek out developers who have already worked on similar applications to what you have in mind. It may be they have already developed a framework that will allow for the rapid rebranding and deployment of an identical application in a much shorter timeframe and for a much cheaper cost. A really great idea with well thought out specifications, designs and branding might attract developers who are willing to share the cost in exchange for a share of any revenue. Don’t get too excited about this prospect though. Only a relatively small handful of apps ever make any kind of money. We focus on developing enterprise applications rather than making gambles on consumer targeted commercial apps for that very reason.
More complex, enterprise level applications only expose a small percentage of the total application solution to the end-user. Many mobile and tablet apps integrate with other business systems or require management applications behind them to distribute content and synchronise with other systems. The bulk of the cost can lie in the development and hosting of these systems. However the cost of these integration and management layers are not duplicated if you wish to use the same app on other platforms. Therefore if you build your app for iOS it isn’t necessarily double the cost to re-platform the app for Android as you will continue to use the same back end applications.
The perceived cost of a grand vision is often enough to frighten away many app investors, so try to think about phasing the roll out of features for your app. Start small! Try to think about how your idea might be marketable and useful in the smallest possible sense. Develop and release then iterate. There are very few overnight successes amongst the millions of mobile apps that are now available and it is a very crowded market. What makes your idea stand out? How will it help your business? Target your idea in the smallest possible way then think about how you can add features in future versions and scale that up.
So how much does it cost to develop an app? As an extremely rough guide here’s what you can expect to get for your money:
Less than £10,000
Not much! Less than £10,000 will only buy a limited standalone utility app. An app in this price bracket will possibly only support a single operating system or device. There will be limited design effort using standard operating system user interfaces.
£10,000 – £50,000
This will buy you a basic enterprise grade application. It may also be possible to buy an app with a pre-existing application frame work with simple content management or integration capability. Don’t expect to get multiple device or operating system support for this much. Consideration must be taken for the on-going support and hosting of any management layer that applications in this bracket rely on.
£100,000 – £250,000
This buys you a more complex bespoke application with potentially unique features developed especially for your requirements. Expect multiple device and operating system support or complex integration, distribution and management applications for this money. For applications of this level you should be also budgeting for software support, software assurance and other hosting and management fees.
I can’t guarantee that this kind of money will buy the next Angry Birds, but you are now in the realms of the most complex and sophisticated apps with cutting edge technology, bespoke design, multiple platform and device support and potentially mission critical and large enterprise level integration.Please contact us
if you would like further information on this subject. Alternatively please take a look at our iOS application development