From the study of a new application specification to the completion of the application development, the prices are usually as follows:
- The requirements analysis and approximate cost structure definition can vary from $2K to $5K.
- A working prototype would generally cost from $10K to $20K.
- The cost of a complete app can vary between $30K and $2M.
Some of the factors affecting the final application cost are:
- Has the back end already been developed? Mobile apps are, by definition, only a visualization of some data. If the back end is already implemented, the cost of the app can drastically decrease.
- Type of data structure: How many pieces of information need to be stored? How are they linked to one another? Etc.
- Does the application need a lot of third-party component integration? For example, Facebook login, Paypal checkout, etc.
- How much storage is needed for the application to work properly?
- Do we need a basic design or is a high-engaging design required?
- How much bandwidth will be required? Etc.
How long does it take to develop a mobile app?
Based on my personal experience, it takes from 4 to 30 weeks to build version 1.0 of a mobile app, depending on its complexity. The main steps involved in developing mobile apps are:
- Data storage
This is the backbone of a mobile app (also called the back end).
Storing data locally speeds up load time.
This enables offline usage.
This is the blueprint for user interface and experience.
- UI design
Pixel-perfect mock-up of the user interface.
- UI development
Translating mock-ups into functioning user-interface code.
- UI polishing
The differentiation ‘last mile’, where an application truly shines.
- User management
Creating user accounts, managing authentication, security and access control.
- Server-side logic
Customizing the user experience.
- Data integration
Allowing users to access information from and publish data to third-party sources, including social networks.
Maintaining continuous engagement with users.
Making version 2.0 live without breaking version 1.0.