This is what the cost structure looks like for a quality app development:
Phase 1 : Prototyping Cost ($5000 – $10,000)
Requirement Analysis, Planning, UI/UX, Front end apps and web portals
Phase 2 : App Development Cost (Varies as per complexity)
Android/iOS apps/Website development, Web Portal, Publishing, QA and stress testing
Phase 3 : Startup Cost (Varies as per the business plan)
Maintenance, Tech support, Business Planning, S/W Upgrade
What kind of functionality?
1) Simple Apps
Contains 4-10 screens, Performs Basic Function, doesn’t store any data about users or about previous uses of the App. Ex. Calculator, Alarm etc.
Cost: $3000-$8000 per platform
Time: 3-5 weeks
2) Database/API Apps
If you want to allow users to save lists, register and sign in, sync their data between multiple devices or you have a huge amount of content to utilize, your app falls in this category. Development gets more complex based on whether you want your data to be housed “native” or “dynamic” Ex. Magazine App, News App etc.
Cost: $8000-$25,000 per platform
Time: 2-5 months
3) Multi-Featured/Enterprise Apps
An App for your startups/business-ERPs
App that allows users to access information from any device or web browser, the app may offer several key features. Ex. Uber, Twitter etc.
Cost: $25,000 to $100,000 per platform
Time: 8 – 15 months
1) Getting UI / UX design at $250 for an individual screen
It is vital to have a well-designed app since the ones that aren’t pretty rarely sell and even if they do, they have to get a redesign soon after.
2) Email / SMS sign up to your app costs $800
This feature allows the end users to sign up to your app. The app would verify their information by sending them login codes either to their email or through SMS. This will also encompass integrating with external SMS APIs.
3) Login through social media for $1500
This includes logging into the app using Facebook, Twitter or Google. Users would have to give the app permission to handle something like this and in turn, it would use their social media profiles and their general network of the users to connect with their friends and connections.
4) General integration with social media at $1500
This feature allows the users to post their findings or content directly to their social media profiles. They can handle this through the app itself.
5) Rating system for $500
The user would receive a general pop-up asking them to rate the app and their experience using it.
6) User profiles for $1000
The app would store the user’s personal profile information. Profile photos and their data would be saved offline and added to the online app database.
7) In App purchases for $3000
This will include a feature that charges the user for a group of features or services and users would get only a select amount of features which they might not have to pay for. Some of the chargeable features are downloads or specific services of the app and the user would have to pay for these using the app itself.
8) GPS integration (Geo Location services) at $5000
The app would locate the user using the geo-location of their phone and collect this information accordingly.
9) Data sync across devices for $1500
If the app is being used across devices, for instance, the iPhone, iPad or Mac, the user can make sure they are seeing the same information across all their devices.
10) Support for their Native iPad at $800
Sometimes the screen size would define the layout of the app and changes would have to be made accordingly. We are specifically referring to the UI changes that need to be implemented to make sure the app functions well on all screen sizes.
Who should I employ?
1) How about a freelancer?
Companies can definitely hire freelancers or students, but you have to remember that students are a lot slower and less experienced so don’t be in for a surprise when you aren’t seeing immediate results. It would be ideal to find a team with a separate designer and developer, these are two completely different sets of skills and having the same person play both roles might not always work out. Designers tend to be more creative while developers have to be more analytical which puts both their tasks at two different ends of the spectrum.
If you are looking for (experienced) freelancers, you have to be prepared to pay a few more bucks.
Local freelancers will cost a little more. For instance, hiring a front-end developer and a back-end developer who would both be spending 40 hours a week, and a designer working 20 hours a week, all at the price of $50-100 per hour, is approximately $5000 – $10,000 in a week. On an average this might be a 10+ week project which comes to quite a bit of money.
A tech-savvy friend should be able to get the same kind of work done for a lot less.
Cost: $5,000 – $30,000
2) I might need a technical co-founder
If one of your developer friends decides to work with you in putting together your own startup, a giant round of applause are in order. You have just put together the best and most productive team possible, however, not having a similar team doesn’t mean the end of the world, it just means you have to put in some extra effort.
3) What if I want to work with a Dev shop?
A dev shop gives you the team you are looking for. They usually comprise of more than a handful of developers, they will definitely have the numbers to get your work done. Dev shops usually give you more than a just developer, they usually throw in a designer and even a product manager. If you are looking for a dev shop, don’t just look at the simple apps that most of them will have worked on, take a look at something good and a little complex.
Cost: $300,000 – $1,000,000
4) What about an offshore team?
If you are looking for a budget team to give you some classy work, you can definitely outsource to countries like India, South America or even Russia. In general, the prices for getting work done there are a lot less and with the internet and freelancer platforms, you can even hunt down the best and get good work done at amazing turnaround times.
It is definitely worth looking into since you have generally hit the jackpot when you have found that one team able to give you exactly what you are looking for. Make sure you go through their portfolio like you’re looking for water in the dessert. They should be able to tell good design when they see it and work on the MEAN stack architecture. It always helps to have someone on the ground with the team and the team should not abandon you after the product is done with since you would need support even after launching.
Cost: $100,000 – $300,000