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5 Factors That Affect the Cost of Mobile App Development [2023]


Statista estimations in 2021 indicate that downloaded 27.6 billion apps from Google Play, while Apple's App Store will bring in 21.5 billion dollars in in-app sales. By 2025, mobile apps are expected to bring in $613 billion in revenue.

Some believe that the cost of developing a mobile app is directly proportional to the number of hours a developer devotes to coding. But, this is only part of the story. A lot would depend on which model you prefer for creating an app.

Ideally, an app development company would give you better output on time as compared to freelancers or hiring dedicated mobile app developers.

Creating a mobile app for your business is profitable today, but you also need to consider the cost factor. In this blog, we will help you identify key factors that can affect the cost of app development in 2023.

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What Factors Affect the Cost of Mobile App Development?

#1. Operating System of a Mobile Device: iOS vs Android

The custom mobile app development cost will vary depending on the platform for which you create an app —Android and iOS.

The differences in app development costs between Android and iOS can be traced back to the different programming languages employed in their creation.

For Android app development, you can hire Java or Kotlin-skilled developers. iOS app development, on the other hand, necessitates coding in Swift or Objective C.

Now, if we consider the cost, Swift and Objective C programmers and developers charge about 15% more than Java programmers and programmers.

Secondly, Android apps have much greater potential for device fragmentation than iOS apps.

Android is compatible with many mobile devices, all of which have varying screen sizes. iOS, on the other hand, has a maximum of 20 different device types and OS versions.

As a result, the cost of developing an Android app will be a little greater if you want comprehensive compatibility across multiple devices (smartphones and tablets).

But if you only make changes to your Android app for a few of the most popular devices, you can keep the costs of development and testing in check. Limiting your android app compatibility would ensure that the cost of Android or iOS will be about the same.

If you want to minimise the price of your app's development, consider the following advice: building apps for Android and iOS can be as simple as using a cross-platform framework like Flutter.

If you want your app to be available on Android and iOS devices, you can save 40% on app development costs by using Flutter.

#2. Type and Size of the App

The next factor you need to consider when developing an app is its size and type. The price of creating a mobile app small, medium, and large, are the three levels of complexity for mobile apps, with the latter being the most common.

Small apps are designed for a single platform, have a limited number of features, and use standard UI elements.

No API integration or back-end coding is required for these apps. For instance, consider WhatsApp's basic version or a weather app that comes pre-installed on most smartphones.

A medium-sized app is the one where user interface and payment methods are standard, even if they are built for a single platform.

Depending on the functionality it offers, you can also include multiple small-sized applications as a part of medium apps. Examples of medium-sized are Sotheby's for Apple TV or any travel booking apps.

The large and complex app will have many more features while offering multi-language support, ensuring third-party system integration, enabling professional design, offering custom animations, and much more.

Moreover, these apps require extensive back-end development to store and manage large databases. Examples of such apps include Uber, Postmates, or any eCommerce app like Amazon.

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#3. Core Features

A lot of the cost is associated with the features you include in the application. Here, we will check out some key elements affecting the mobile app development price.

Features and Functionalities

First, you must think of back-end infrastructure, third-party service integration, content management system selection and various technologies when creating an app. Depending on your choice, such factors can either increase or decrease the cost of mobile app development.

Apart from that, the price of your mobile app will skyrocket if you include more features. At its basic level, most the businesses would look forward to integrating the following features:

  • User login
  • Chat or messaging
  • Sign up through social media or email
  • Navigation
  • In-app purchases
  • Push notifications
  • Portrait or landscape view
  • Payment integration

The cost of integrating the features mentioned above would also need you to consider the platform and technology stack.

#4. Application Security Cost

Security is a top priority regardless of whether you create a mCommerce or corporate app. Therefore, when you consider the cost of mobile app development, include the security aspect as well.

Since you will store sensitive data, such as employee information, customer details, transaction records, and other payment details, ensuring top security is highly important.

Ensure that your app is secure enough to protect the data you collect from your users, thereby assigning a cost to such an approach.

Mobile app developers may propose the most effective security methods based on the size of your app, your intended audience reach, and how much interaction it needs from users.

Ideally, you would want to use multifactor authentication to secure user data. Furthermore, a strong cryptographic technique must be implemented if your app stores sensitive data such as passwords. The cost would also include data sanity checks and creating threat models. These are some key app security best practices that require your consideration and cost.

Most of your choice would boil down to the type of your application, platform (as iOS’s app store demands higher security protocols to follow), your app type and anticipated user engagement.

#5. UI/UX

User Interface and User Experience comprise your application’s face. Therefore, investment in hiring the top talent for the UI/UX can help drive the application's success. Also, this aspect helps refine your application’s usage, converting curious visitors to permanent users.

Here, a wide range of variables affects the cost of developing a mobile app’s UI/UX.

Consider the number of screens your app must offer for seamless interaction. Also, your wireframes must include a button design that is clearly defined, easy to identify, and the user flow from one page to another is smooth.

All these factors directly influence the time a designer has to create an app. The more time they need, the more will be your app development cost.

Another factor is whether your app will have a native user interface or one created specifically for it while building it. Native UI would cost more as it needs a great level of customisation compared to hybrid UI.

Wrapping Up

The above information suggests that the cost of creating a mobile application depends on multiple factors, often going beyond those mentioned above.

Moreover, you need to hire expert app developers who help you get started with mobile app development that fits your budget. Such an approach would help you identify the requirements that suit your business's needs without overspending.

Businesses often add more features than required, thereby increasing app development costs. It is, therefore, a good idea to speak to experts.

A competent app development company can help you keep your development expenses in control while delivering higher-quality mobile applications.

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Dhaval Sarvaiya

Hey there. I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the Founders of Intelivita. Intelivita is a mobile app development company that helps companies achieve the goal of Digital Transformation. I help Enterprises and Startups overcome their Digital Transformation and mobile app development challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.

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