How Much Would It Cost To Develop a Mobile App in 2021?

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Statista claims that come 2021, there would be 3.8 million mobile phone users worldwide. Moreover, App Annie data predicts that the user base will double from 3.5 billion of app users to 6.3 billion by 2021. Further per capita spend on mobile apps will reach $1,008 per user by 2021. With more than half the world population using mobile handsets, mobile apps provide a fine outreach resource to businesses looking to capture broader markets.


The most daunting thing about a business vying app development is the cost associated with it. Having a realistic cost estimate can help enterprises decide whether it is best to build an in-house app development team or to outsource mobile app development to a group of experts.


‘How Much Would It Cost To Develop a Mobile App in 2021’ is this the kind of question that haunts you as an enterprise owner time and again? Promatics is a renowned mobile app development company with years of experience of working with a diverse range of businesses. Our team of expert mobile app developers have got you answers.


How Much Would It Cost to Develop a Mobile App in 2021?

Honestly, mobile app development projects do not come with a fixed price tag. They are tentative estimates that can vary once the project is complete. This is because the actual cost of mobile app development fluctuates in response to a myriad of factors like app type, functionality, no of features, marketing and other factors involved.


An app development company which chooses to charge a fixed rate to its clients does so in case of small projects with strict timelines and scope of work. Businesses benefit from the clarity of app development costs. However, sometimes there are development firms who choose a flexible pricing approach. This approach is best suitable for big and inherently complex projects with unprecedented curves. In such cases, the time taken to develop the app is charged on an hourly basis.


A generic formula user to estimate mobile app development cost would be:


Total no. of development hour * Hourly rates


Factors that Affect the App Development Costs


I. Choice of App Development Platform

Enterprises can choose between iOS and Android platforms when it comes to app development. Over the years, we have observed that both Android and iOS development incur the same kind of expenses. Nevertheless, choosing either adds to the total cost of app development.


II. Type of Mobile App a Business Develops

To derive an estimate about the app development cost, it would be obligatory to understand the primary mobile app categories one can work with. The right kind of app category for your business would be the kind that fits within the budget and meets the business goals.


Firstly, native apps entail executable programs coded in the machine language of the hardware platform it is being run on. Each native app is built for a particular system. If a business decides to build native apps, the cost of development varies based on the number of platforms a company plans to target.


Hybrid apps, on the other hand, are deployed in a native container and feature a WebView object that displays web content thanks to the use of different web technologies like CSS, JavaScript, HTML and HTML5. Hybrid apps run seamlessly on various operating systems. If a business decides to build a hybrid app, they have to pay less, enjoy reduced development time and optimized efficiency.


However, it is believed that native apps often perform more brilliantly than their hybrid counterparts. After evaluating various aspects one can decide whether they have to build native or hybrid apps.


III. Mobile App Development Phase

The mobile app development is made up of several phases, each of which needs a dedicated budget. The total cost of app development also depends on how well is the funding allocated for each stage.


Any mobile app idea no matter how great needs validation, analysis and documentation. All these aspects can be decided after a thorough brainstorming session. This phase of business analysis is the right foundation for an app development project to begin. The budget for this phase can be optimized if a business can provide UML diagrams with the developers as it saves a lot of time.


IV. Mobile App Development: Project Execution

After the requirement document is planned, the UX design process begins. A clickable prototype makes all things more realistic. Businesses must provide references in the form of some screenshots from apps they like to communicate what they exactly want. Stock UI elements by Apple and Google also allow massive cost savings. Even app coding processes form a significant chunk of the total costs incurred.




V. The Choice of Mobile App Developers

The cost of hiring app developers directly adds up to the total cost of app development. Compromising on the app development team translates to inefficient execution of the ideas and values much more in the long run. When it comes to mobile app development, enterprises can either choose to hire an in-house team of expert app developers or outsource it to an experienced team of remote app developers.


While in-house app developers ensure clear communication, inspection and enhanced contribution to the app project, they may prove to be highly expensive for the business. Also, they may lack the necessary creativity due to their limited exposure to other development projects.


Outsourcing mobile app development may seem like an expensive recluse to businesses, but it guarantees a better end product at a slashed cost. It promises a larger talent pool of app developers who work at competitive pricing and offer flexible engagement options. Top app development companies allow businesses to retain control of the project and maintain continuous communication through virtual project management tools.


VI. App Development Timeline

As the number of features increases on the mobile app, so does the tentative time estimates. It can invariably contribute to the rise in the cost of app development. Time taken in app development depends on the kind of app being built and the kind of resources available.


UX and UI dominate the process of app development in today’s day and age. The more advanced the UI and UX on a mobile app, the higher would be the app development cost. Customizing interface design elements can further make the process complex, shooting the design cost up.


The backend of a mobile application is as important as the front end, if not more. However, investment in backend infrastructure solely depends on the needs of an enterprise. A sophisticated backend naturally escalates the time taken to launch an app to the market and thus, the development cost incurred.


VII. Hidden Mobile App Development Costs

Businesses must be mindful of hidden app development costs that associate themselves with successful app development and launch. For example, functional services help execute functions, features and third-party APIs on the mobile app. While app developers create mechanisms to enhance the various functionalities of an app, it’s essential to subscribe to these services to optimize the app UX. These services range from push notifications, email marketing, administrative services etc. and incur massive investments. Trained IT professionals to help businesses access and update data, study analytics and even add or remove APIs etc.


Moreover, businesses need an intuitive, robust and user-friendly administrative board. Because administrative services differ according to the needs of the companies, there is no fixed number one can pinpoint at. A healthy functioning executive dashboard fulfils the need for content management, features emulator, user profiles, infrastructure services and data segmentation.


Enterprise mobile apps also need a host, server and a full-fledged system to store, retrieve and access user data, which is where the role of infrastructural services surfaces. Hosting servers further require redundancies and load balancers, for maintaining backups, setting security firewalls, and more. Due to unanticipated fluctuations in demand, it’s essential to invest in revolutionary and scalable automation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation, which further escalate the app development costs. IT support caters regular updates, bug fixes, update submission and maintenance and also forms a chunk of hidden costs involved in app development.


In the End

As you may have gathered by now, mobile app development costs feature multiple fluctuating elements. We hope this article proves useful for businesses looking to calculate how much it would cost to develop an app in 2021.


We at Promatics, aspire to be the preferred app development partner of businesses across the globe. Multiple considerations matter when it comes to enterprise mobile app development even beyond complexities, technicalities, compatible platforms and overhead costs. Our team of expert mobile app developers help businesses evaluate the best app development options and help them stick to their predetermined budgets.


We specialize in optimizing our client’s app development budget and develop feature-rich apps with potential. Our team specializes in cross-platform app development which allows us to build iOS and Android versions of the app simultaneously. We begin with an MVP and test the app idea with real users first, before bringing a full-fledged app to life. All this and more helps us offer the best value proposition to our clients.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


Rahul Singh

Sr. App Developer

Rahul has been associated with the apps industry for more than 9 years now. He has seen the apps economy grow from its nascent days to a full fledged industry with its complete ecosystem as of today. His interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms. He is truly an app enthusiast. In his free time he loves playing console games and reading history.

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