Why Mobile App Development Turns Out To Be Expensive?


Why does the cost of developing an app for modern smartphones seem to be so high? Is it indeed reasonable? Maybe for a corporation, 30-50 thousand dollars per application is a small amount, but this is a serious blow to the startup’s budget. Is it worth paying dozens or even hundreds of thousands of US dollars for an app and what will come of it?

To clarify the picture and dot the I’s, we have collected five reasons for the high cost of developing diverse mobile apps.

A large number of specialists

The development team includes not only programmers, this is a job for a group of diverse specialists. The analyst studies the client’s business processes and builds the application logic and algorithms. The designer works out the look and feel and makes it user-friendly. A layout designer assembles a web part design. The tester checks the correctness of work, looks for errors. The project manager talks to the client’s representatives, as well as coordinates the work of their team and keeps track of the deadlines. And this is just a command for a “more or less” simple scope of development work.

For each front of work, hours are laid. They should be paid. And the more experienced and cooler is the team, the more expensive is the time of their work.

More developers on more platforms

Developing an app for both mobile platforms – i.e. iOS and Android – forces you to actually build two different apps that are very similar visually. Building them requires applying different technologies, using miscellaneous programming languages, preparing distinguishable requirements. And also there different consumer expectations in terms of design. Double more apps mean you double the price tag.

Then, there’s already Android 11, while millions are still using smartphones with Android versions 6 to 9.  You’ll probably want your apps flawlessly on as many devices as possible. And if you plan to take a shortcut and convert iOS app to Android one, it’ll still take weeks of work for developers. Experts devote time to each version of the platform, test, and fix bugs. More versions mean more labor hours and that means higher cost.

Also, usually, an application needs a server side. This is the third developer. And sometimes it’s a full-fledged web cabinet with its own functionality. In this case, more work on the design and layout of the web part needs to be added.

Application competition

How do users choose which taxi ordering, English learning, or business scheduling app to install, uninstall, or keep? If the application performs worse than others or is not as attractive and convenient, users will install something else. The same is with functionality. The more features and benefits the application has, the more likely it is that the user will choose it.

For example, in your application, you can only view the product catalog, while from a competitor you can view, add to favorites, and order online. The user’s choice is obvious.

In a competitive environment, manufacturers improve their products. An application is the same product that needs to be improved. Additional work on it increases the development cost.

You can release an application with standard functionality and abandon improving it any further. But would it make sense to release it at all?

Lack of experienced software engineers

The demand for the services of app development is increasing faster than the number of experienced developers. Yes, you will find thousands of specialists via freelance recruiting services, but not all of them are knowledgeable enough. Anyone can learn how to create mobile applications, even without leaving home.

Dry knowledge of programming without practice and experience does not guarantee a high-quality application at the end. A background with sophisticated, unique tasks and continuous professional development are important.

Mobile development is a complex process that solves certain business problems. Without detailed analytics and marketing strategy, you will end up with an application for the sake of an application. Not every freelancer is ready to fully learn the business processes and marketing of a company.

Not having an app is even more expensive

The mobile application increases the number of user interactions with the product or service of yours. That’s how you increase the number of orders in turn. This is how the application affects the revenue, and without it, the revenue remains the same. We can say that the company is losing its profits.

When everything is done correctly, the price and effort for delivering a mobile application pays itself off multiple times after its launch. It’s just a matter of readiness to invest into it.