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How Much Does An App Cost to Build?

By AbuBakar Butt Category News Posted Date February 29, 2016

Ever since smartphones came into existence, app industry started growing and now for the past few years we have witnessed some drastic changes and explosions in the industry. It has come a long way! Mobile usage grows every year as more and more smartphones are added to the ecosystem. And with the rise in the number of devices there is an evident increase in app downloads, on average a US mobile phone user downloads 9 apps a month (both Android and iOS counts).

The apps market has now become a multi-billion dollar industry and has seen some serious investments made in the past few years. Now for a very good reason, every business requires to have an app because this can definitely be a game changing marketing tool to drive more traffic and generate more revenue.

Getting your app made, putting it on the app store and getting downloads was not much difficult when there wasn’t this much competition around. We have witnessed some simple game apps like Angry Birds reaching to sky-heights and generating billion dollars of revenue! And then there are apps which may have the brilliant idea behind but are not even seen in the top ranks of app stores.

People might be under the impression that since the successful apps are making millions and billions of dollars, creating such apps would now cost a lot as well. Moreover, little they have idea of where to even start.

But first let’s talk about the types of apps that one could develop.

For in-depth study of how much an app could cost, you may need to have a look at some of the surveys conducted by various agencies.

What Do You Want To Build?

Before you begin to look for code writers and app developers or you even begin estimating the cost of the app, you need to figure out what type of an you want to build after all. Once you have the content finalized you will have an idea of what genre the app will fall into but most importantly you need to set up the app’s architecture, the whole framework upon which it will function.

Another important thing during the app development stage is to consider the various types of devices that your app could be used on. Since the competition is tough and the smarphones are evolving every year, you need to test your app for all the potential devices and ensure the app is compatible to every version of that device.

Besides, if you want to keep your app specific to a certain operating system you would need to follow the guidelines of that platform such as Apple is very strict when it comes to enforcing quality control measures on the apps therefore you need to be clear what type of app you would be creating and how would it function over a number of devices. Make sure you do not approach anyone for help until you are clear in your head with the app’s idea, content and how you would like it go run.

Table-Based Apps

Without any heavy graphics or fancy animations, these are some of the simplest types of apps out there. These basically work by providing the users with a series of options, clicking on one option takes the user to another option and so on. The interface of these apps can be kept simple, clean yet elegant and if you know your way around graphic designing a bit, you will save a lot of bucks on the total cost of the app. However, adding more options, graphics and icons will definitely raise the price.

Database-Driven Apps

The next expensive type of apps would be the database-driven apps. An app which involves managing a lot of data, content, images, videos and audios requires a framework that not only looks organized but it has to convey the logic behind putting that data together. Depending on the amount of content you wish to include in the app, the price of the app would vary.

Games

These are probably the most expensive of all apps. A game app made with low quality graphics and animations is possible, why not, but that app will probably never do any business. Since good and popular game apps are the ones which are rich in graphics, colours, animations and characters, creating one would definitely cost a lot. Improving the games’ graphics, making them close to reality, even the simplest of games out there have complex codes written behind and that costs cash.

App Development Costs for Startups According to VCs

A great blog post written by Jason Calacanis tell you how and how much you, being a start-up, should raise in your first round of funding for the app that you want to build. He suggests a start-up should raise around $750k in their first round of funding which however would be double for hardware start-up because they need extra bucks to do crowdfunding campaign and production run for their product. The $750,000 raise he suggests is enough for the first 18 months and is broken down as: $120,000 for legal operations, accounting and other spending while the remaining $630,000 is broken down into a $35,000 per month for a team of four members, which he suggests is enough for them to work on an app while having a reasonable salary.

Since a start-up is just the beginning of a team, everyone needs to be there for multiple numbers of jobs. The team of four people may comprise of two developers, one product manager and a business head, this is understandable if the duties are broken down as: the developers besides handling the coding and processing handle the ops and customer care as well, product manager would do the interface, design, testing and customer care as well while the head would handle the legal stuff, fundraising, sales, all the front-desk activities and customer care.

As Jason Calacanis clearly mentions in his article, spending that $750k should be wise because not everyone is lucky enough to raise that amount of money. Make sure 90% of that money goes into the product making and do not spend on things like fancy office furniture, laptops or even the conferences that wouldn’t result in a sale. Save your money and spend it on the product, this is the right spending and will allow you to finish the job within the 18 months span. Once you are on a role, you can approach bigger companies, lay down your terms, make them agree to your conditions and get the job done. However, funders need results and they will shy away from spending into your start-up if you fail to change your fate with that $750k and those 18 months.

Hire A Mobile App Development Company

One of the most expensive ideas, but you are sure to have the app made running successfully if you choose to approach an app development company. Mobile App development companies have teams of professional developers, code writers, graphics designers working together. They are all experts at their own skills and work with the client to create the app from scratch. Most of the apps that top the App Store charts are mostly made by any of the professional companies but there is not any hard and fast rule but a generalized concept.

Some of the biggest companies do not accept projects whose budgets are not at least ,000. To get your work done by them you ought to have an app budget anywhere from ,000 to ,000,000. Then there are agencies like Incubasys who are not very expensive and would cater to the project whose budget may range in ,000 - ,000. There are yet smaller companies with immense talent and abilities to pull off any app project with the efficiency, enthusiasm and skills of a bigger company and yet would do the job within a lower budget. They may cost around ,000 or even low.

Conclusion

One cannot definitely tell how much an app would cost but the purpose of this article was to give you a general idea. You may even calculate how much an app would cost by using an app calculator but then again, that would only give you an estimated idea and not a concrete figure.

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