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How Much Does a Mobile App Really Cost?

Out of the total 7.6 billion people in the world, over 67% or 5.1 billion people have a mobile device. These devices have changed the way we interact, communicate, and perform daily tasks – some are apparent, while others are less so.

Today, more users are connecting to the Internet via their mobile phone than any other device. Out of the total global connections on all mobile devices, 57% of them are done through a smartphone. According to We Are Social, each smartphone has an average of 80 apps installed. Users are also 13 times more likely to use a native app versus their mobile web browser to access certain brands.

There are 3.8 million apps available on the Google Play Store, and over 2 million apps on Apple’s App Store. In  2017, there were over 175 million mobile apps downloaded worldwide.

In a world that has become increasingly dependent on mobile technology, more businesses are considering developing a mobile application. While apps offer convenience and ease to its users, it doesn’t come cheap. Even the most basic apps can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, how much does it cost to develop a mobile app? Here are some factors that can determine the cost of an app:

Who are the intended users?

Before investing in an app, get to know your target customers. What devices are they using? You can keep costs down by developing an app on only one platform – Android or iOS – if majority of your target users are only using a particular operating system. Developing apps for both platforms will entail more time and almost double the expense.

What is the main objective of the app?

Keep your app simple and focused. Once you get your app idea, chances are, you’re going to want to keep adding special (and sometimes unnecessary) functionalities, which could increase costs.

Want to build an app that keeps track of loyalty points? Check!

Has a catalog of rewards? Check!

Will allow you to order food? Wait, what?

Can turn your house lights on and off? Umm, just stop.

Some of the most popular apps today usually only focus on one main objective. If you want to have a successful app, start with your core focus and build additional features only when the need arises. Great apps generally only do one thing, but they do it well.

Does the app require big data collection, storage, and integration?

Mobile apps cannot store big chunks of information. The global average app size (not including games) is 23MB for iOS devices, and only 6MB for Android devices. Most apps need a separate database to house information that cannot be stored in the mobile app itself.

These include:

  • List of Inventory for eCommerce or Booking Apps
  • Shipment Database for Tracking Apps
  • Account Information for Loyalty/Rewards/Banking/Social Apps

If you don’t have an existing database to connect to the app, you will also need to invest in a separate web system to store and process heavy data, which can also drive costs up.

How often does the app need to be updated?

Given how quick mobile companies upgrade their products and OS, new versions of apps must also be created to keep them relevant and compatible with devices. It’s good to consider this factor prior to developing an app given that each update will require additional testing and debugging.

To summarize, an app is a big investment, but it can also provide profitable returns to your business if you analyze your requirements properly. It is also good to account for how much you’re willing to spend on marketing your app to get the desired results from your investment. Developing an app is the first step, but getting your intended users to download and use the app is another story.

There’s a lot to think about, plan, and do when creating an app, but that’s why we’re here. Here at iManila, we aim to improve the lives of people through technology, and one way to do that is to make it easier for our clients to turn their ideas in reality.

If you’ve got an app idea ready for developing, give us a call at (02) 490 0000 or contact us by clicking here.

 

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