In this post we shall try to break down as much as possible what your potential app development could cost you.
This is a question we get hundreds of times from businesses that approach us to develop their mobile application. They looked to pitch their investors or pitch their management to get the application process approved.
It’s the same question from entrepreneurs, to co-founders to executives looking to build a mobile app, but the truth is that it varies massively depending on the size of the application, the features involved.
It’s akin to walking to a construction company and asking them how much it costs to build a house! Although you are very sincere, and your intentions are genuine, it is hard for them to give you a price without knowing whether the house is going to be a flat or a bungalow? How many rooms will the house have? What building materials would you want to use? Etcetera.
I will try and break down what those factors could be but you can check out the article we wrote on how long it takes to develop a mobile app. This article goes into detail of each feature that could be involved.
Project Scope (Roughly determine size of the project, resources allocated and time taken to build):
But let’s first try to establish the size of the project you are looking to build, as this determines the time it could take and number of resources (I hate the word, but it means employees) that will be allocated to the project and that way we are able to gauge a rough idea of the cost.
For the sake of the argument; we are going to classify the project into small, medium and large respectively depending on the features of the application.
|Login and Sign up with Social or email. establish the size||YES||YES||YES|
|Newsfeed with activities||YES||YES||YES|
|Uses the phone camera, upload pictures to gallery, etc.||YES||YES||YES|
|Follow/Following Other Users||YES||YES||YES|
|Share Photo Facebook||YES||YES||YES|
|Search Users, View User Profiles, Edit Profile||YES||YES||YES|
|Connect to Facebook Friends, Invite Facebook Friends||YES||YES||YES|
|Like & Comment||YES||YES||YES|
|Login/Signup with Phone No, Phonebook Access, Invite phone contacts to the app.||YES||YES|
|Share to Followers or Direct||YES||YES|
|Send Photo Directly to Specific Users||YES||YES|
|Add Story in the app|
|Add Emoticons with Photo and Video||YES||YES|
|Capture Video, Add/Upload video in the post. Video Playing.||YES||YES|
|Add Locations, Tag People in Photo/Video||YES||YES|
|Share on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr||YES||YES|
|Apply Filters & Photo Editing||YES|
|See Following Activity||YES|
|Advanced Upload Settings||YES|
|Suggestions by App for users and content||YES|
Small Project app
1-An app with one screen, one platform and no back end
Medium Size App
2-Platforms | 1 Platform
3-5 Functions/Features | 5+ Functions/Features
3-5 User Flows | 5+ User Flow
Large size app
Multiple screens and user flows
That table of development features needs to be edited
Typically, every mobile app requires three major components in the team to pull it off.
That will develop the code of the application; if you need a large application that needs a back end interface, will probably require a few other engineers as compared to a native or hybrid application
It a hybrid application then it cost less to develop the same code used for multiple devices.
User Interface designers.
The designers will design the wireframes and sketches of the mobile application as well as design the actual mobile application.
If the application has more screens, the longer they can take and therefore the higher the cost of developing the application
Project Manager/Team Leader
You will liaise with the project manager on the progress of the application as well sending and receiving updates on how the application is progressing.
It is not that the project manager will work full time on your application but you will still have to take in account the time he takes working on the application.
The testers thoroughly test the application for any bugs or mistakes that involved before finally deploying it and if there any errors they report it back to the development team for fixing.
Therefore if we roughly estimated that based on the size of the applications that it would take roughly:
Small application (2-4 weeks) – 1 designer, 1 tester, 1 project manager, 2 developers
Price of cloning whatsapp, uber, airbnb etc.
Explain the features involved in each, categorizing the size of the application
Now since we determined the size of the application and how long it potentially take to develop we now a brief idea of the size of the team that allocated to get the application built.
Prices based on the location of the developers:
Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing to offshore countries does not necessarily mean less quality, and neither does it mean “cheap”, it rather means affordable.
There is a huge competition for IT talent globally which results in increased cost for hiring great talent regardless of where they are in the world.
Take a stroll down Bangalore (India’s silicon valley) and you will find all the huge companies from Google, American Express, Intuit, Adobe, Cisco etc. the reason they have built massive development centres over there is obviously because of the vast pool of talent, as good, and even better than they could fight for in North America.
To hire the best people in any place, they have to be well paid, and well treated, which is why you sometimes have to be more worried about the cheaper on-shore firm than scared of the reputable offshore firm since they simply can’t deliver quality at the price they are quoting you i.e the developers are probably inexperienced juniors that will be allocated to your project.
Therefore a company like Tata Consultancy Services (billions in revenue), Wipro etc. The largest consultancy firms in india still charge upwards of $500000 to get a mobile app developed. Also it not come as a shocker and the largest companies entrusted their entire IT operations to them for years.
With that said, the table below will show you prices within different locations, based on the cost of hiring extremely high quality talent in those countries.
These are the ranges of the teams based on the location of the country:
“Show table of prices based on the size of the project and the country”
What to avoid when evaluating price quotes for your mobile application?
“Prices based on the agency’s brand value. (Clients they’ve worked with)
Now certain agencies will make you pay prices simply because of their own brand value (true story) which is why they will emphasize the clients they have worked with to justify why they charge exorbitant prices for sometimes relatively simple applications.
And truly this should not be of benefit for you. Since their brand reputation should not be a factor in determining the price of building your project.
Which most of the time causes very huge fluctuations in different quotes from different mobile app development companies.
We’ve worked with some large brands, where all we did for them were a few integrations here and there. I can talk on our behalf, that does not come into play when evaluating your own situation.
Agencies charging you based on your ability to pay (Sliding Scale Pricing)
Sometimes some agencies can quote a price based on your ability to pay for it. Shocking I know!
If your company did a few hundred million the last year, or is floating on the exchange. And also you are looking for a simple mobile application that displays a few pdfs in an app. That your new staff can download and access training information.
You would discover agencies that would try to take advantage of the fact that you are able to pay; and submit the £100000 quotation too.
At TechTIQ Solutions, we always provide our clients with a project breakdown of how long the application is going to be developed, what resources are allocated to it, and how they can keep track of each of the steps in the development process.
You always look for this level of transparency to prevent taken advantage of.
Just because you have allocated a budget of £100000, does not mean you should receive quotations of £99500.
Cost of developing an application like Uber
Developing an application like Whatsapp
Cost of developing an application like AirBnb
Costs depending on the location of the agency
Costs depending on the agency itself. (THe type of agency)
Chris Peter Kimera is the co-founder of TechTIQ Solutions, a software development agency in London. Chris is very passionate about building highly effective outsourced product development teams that build game-changing solutions