How Much Does Development Cost?

“How much does app development cost?” is the number one question Metova is asked. To answer it, we have created a blog series that splits the issue up into bite-sized easy to digest morsels.

This simple question has no simple answer. It is similar to asking how much dinner will cost. The answer can vary greatly depending on the quality, amount, and labor needed to create it. You can pay a couple of bucks for a frozen dinner you make yourself or spend a paycheck to get a five-course meal cooked by Gordon Ramsay.

It turns out your burning question should not be “How much does app development cost?” but rather “How much will it cost to develop my application?”

How hungry are you? Much like dinner, the more you order, the higher the cost. Do you want audio, video and use of the device’s camera? Will the app include push notifications? Do you want to have three or 30 screens? How much interaction with the phone do you want to be built into the app?

The labor to create a feature can vary greatly depending on its intricacy. Common features like log in and profile creation are normally on the simpler side whereas interacting with hardware or managing large quantities of data can be more time consuming and labor-intensive.

The quality and experience of your development shop is an important factor in cost. A shop with more experience is likely going to bid higher than a shop with less. Companies with a good deal of experience can offer consulting and feedback on your application during the process. This can save money if the developer knows a quicker way to implement a feature or can suggest a more budget-friendly yet equally effective one. An experienced shop should also create quality code. If the code is sloppily written, it becomes difficult to maintain, could cause performance issues, and be expensive to update or fix.

While there are no generic costs, and most app development shops estimate each and every project independently, it is possible to get a rough outline of the costs that go into developing a mobile app. For U.S. developers, development rates can range from $50-$250 per hour, with the average being $150. Costs are also added in for management and planning time, as well as code review.

A very small native application with minimal design would cost at least $10,000. Metova uses this as a benchmark, only taking on new projects that hit this value and above. If you receive a quote for much less, you may need to worry about timeframe and quality.  Metova’s average project is $100,000 per platform, with some hitting the million dollar plus mark for the first phase of many. For the most significant mobile app venture appetite, there is no upper limit. It is not uncommon for apps with a significant portion of the market to have millions invested in development and ongoing maintenance.

You can expect a no-frills, simple app to run roughly $40,000 and a sophisticated app with much more complex functionality to cost $150,000 or higher. If your project includes backend development, content management systems, design, etc., you have to factor those variables into the overall cost as well.

So, how much will my application cost? Contact us and we’ll have a rough ballpark to you in just a few hours!

Jennifer Pike
Jennifer Pike