Brief Overview of Mobile Apps Market
Today having your own mobile app is a must for small and large businesses. Unable to compete with all of their rivals in the physical world, they are moving the battlefield to a virtual reality space. Another reason for this mobile obsession lies in its revenue-producing capacities. Around 70% of the overall revenue generated by eCommerce comes from mobile apps; as much as 50% of internet usage exists for mobile apps. By 2020, the revenue generated from app stores and in-app advertising is expected to reach $189 billion. In mid-2018, the total number of mobile apps available at Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store was 6.3 million apps, making these platforms the top app stores in the world. Their audience is an attractive target group for numerous traditional and online business ventures. Mobile development is gaining momentum today and promises prospective outcomes to both mobile developers and app owners.
The cost of developing a mobile app depends on many variables, including app complexity and multifunctionality, visual effects, targeted platform, and cost of contractors involved.
Currently, the averaged cost for different kinds of apps looks like this:
- $50,000 – simple basic apps with limited functionality, access, and design (the functionality similar to a calculator or clock)
- $50,000 to $100,000 – apps with integrated data input (the functionality similar to weather app)
- $300,000 – user identification apps build upon a frame of personal profiles enabling the app use
- $500,000 – SM or dating apps like Facebook, Instagram or Tinder
- $200,000 to $1 million – e-commerce apps
- $1.5 million and more – customized unique apps like Uber
However, there is no need to panic. The average numbers tend to change because the mobile market never stops evolving. Besides, there are other important things to consider before starting your math, and these influence the price greatly.
Development Party Options
The first thing you need to decide is who will do the job. The options are few: you can do the work yourself by using various app builders; you can hire an app developer or assign an in-house development team. Every option significantly alters the price.
Logically, developing an app on your own is the most cost-effective solution. The quality of such an app, though, would be much lower than those created by experienced developers. The self-made app could have limited functionality, poor or mediocre design, or weak technical characteristics. Do not take this personally or as discouragement from pursuing further professional development, but the chances of creating a smoothly running application from your first try are practically null. Besides, the learning process would take significant time, do you really have it?
In-house teams deliver the most costly products since you’ll need to cover all team-related expenses, like taxes, administrative fees, and accommodation-related costs. Depending on your country of residence, in-house teams could be very high-priced due to a higher socio-economic level compared to other countries.
If you consider an outsourced development team, you are choosing lower costs compared to an in-house team, and you will have the same level of quality. The rates are negotiable and involve no hidden costs. Established outsource companies usually have sufficient technical resources and considerable experience. Today, outsourcing teams are uplifting their standards by providing 24/7 technical support and competent project management. Nevertheless, working with an outsource team, especially from another country, requires effective communication channels and tracking solutions.
Freelance app developers represent the most cost-effective solution. Working at reasonable rates, they show excellent results when competing with, and sometimes outperforming, teamed colleagues. On the other hand, cooperation with freelancers requires more involvement from your side in terms of project management, time management and establishing reliable communication practices.
While thinking about the best team for your projects, you should carefully define the app you’d like to get as a result and the type of professionals you’d need to create it.
The complexity of the app determines the level of developers you’ll need to engage; for projects with low complexity, even basic level developers will do. For highly complex apps, you’d better consider engaging skilled experts able to deal with unique project requirements.
The time frame also needs to be considered when picking the perfect team. Inexperienced developers are likely to perform the job much slower than their skilled colleagues. If the schedule matters to you, think twice before hiring junior level programmers.
A remote geographical location might create some difficulties in the event of different time zones and lack of valid communication and tracking tools. Be ready to make necessary arrangements if you choose remote cooperation.
Finalizing a fixed budget is always good. Unfortunately, the calculations preceding this budget are often faulty. Make sure your budget is reasonable and that the calculations reflect actual market numbers. Customers tend to overlook important peculiarities affecting the final product cost. The overall funding of a project should cover overhead, server hosting, legal expenses, and subscription fees (like technical license fees, integrated marketing tools, push notifications, API integrations–if you do not plan on creating each piece of supporting functionality yourself). This is just the tip of the iceberg, though.
Clutch survey states that 70% of development companies require a research phase prior to generating a realistic budget. This stage discovers the business goals for the future app and its main features to come up with something similar to an app’s outline. For more than 50% of companies, the research stage costs less than $5,000, although in some cases, the costs can reach $15,000-$25,000.
The operating platform for your app defines the needed developers for the job. But be careful! There are catches here too. Speaking statistically, the development of iOS apps will cost about 30% less than Android apps. In addition, the average user acquisition rates for iOS users are lower than those for Android (around $4,12 and $5,77 respectively). However, the number of Android users in all age groups exceeds the users of the competing OS. This is something to think about before starting development.
Another option is using a progressive web app (PWA), significantly reducing your costs and speeding up the process of development. Another great advantage of hybrid apps is that they enable you to launch your apps on multiple platforms. The drawback is in poorer user experience and lower functionality of your app compared to native solutions. Nevertheless, your choice of operating system should be dictated by the potential target audience of your app and your marketing strategy.
Other budget-changing factors include app customization services, updates, maintenance, app revisions, multi-platform options, security features, redesign and many more.
When the majority of potential financial surprises are named, we can move forward in the search for your dream-team.
General Tips For Hiring a Developer
Luckily, today there is no shortage of developers with diverse skill sets and expertise. The price range also varies, depending on factors like experience, level of expertise, and country of residence. However, since there are always two sides to the coin, you must take precautions to ensure you’re making an informed decision about your future partners. The tips below will reveal the areas you should start working on.
- Conduct market research and define your target audience. These are the basics you should go through while getting ready for your app development. Find out which programming languages would be optimal for your app creation, which skill sets are most preferable, what the average rates are for the needed professionals, what your target audience looks like and what their interests are, and what design they would probably like.
- Check the experience of possible candidates. Try to avoid extremes. You do not need a freshman in your business, and you do not want to overpay for a reputation. Finding qualified developers working for a fair price is possible. Review the portfolio, ask for a code sample, check some past references, feedback, and ratings.
- Establishing effective communication channels is important to properly manage the project’s progression and ensure timely results. However, there is more to communication than merely checking on the status of tasks and resource allocations. By building strong and reliable relations with your developers (especially when dealing with freelance app developers), you’re likely to get better results and free professional advice, hugely advancing your app. When the owner and developer are on the same page, when they share the vision of the future app and its objectives, they can reach the most productive cooperation, eventually developing a long-term partnership.
This advice is built on logic and common sense. Of course, every case is different, but following these principles will help you avoid snap and poor decisions.
With all that said, it may seem like the perfect quality/price ratio could be reached by hiring a freelance developer with an extensive product portfolio and flawless code samples with impeccable client feedback at a little over the average rate. Needless to say, the developer must have a perfect command of the full skill set needed for your app. Nevertheless, this could be an overstatement. There are scenarios where the best solution would be to hire a programmer at the highest rate who is able to work alone or with your in-house team and your tight schedule. Sometimes the best solution would be to create a joint team, combining outsourced and in-house employees. It always depends. And since hiring the right staff makes 50% of your success, you’d better make your choice carefully.
Now that the theoretical part is over, let’s look at some practical questions, like how much does it cost to hire an app developer and where can you find one?
How Much and Where Questions
As previously mentioned, the matter of cost is a flexible one. However, there is statistical data on price ranges for Android and iOS developers for different kinds of apps.
|App Type||Hours of development iOS||Hours of development Android||Developer’s rates|
|Database centered apps||150-200||170-220||$50-$100|
As you can see, the total price primarily depends on app complexity and number of development hours. Keep in mind that the geographical locations of developers matter and hugely influence their rates. You can hire a programmer from North America with an hourly rate of $168 for a medium complexity app, or you can hire a developer from India ten times cheaper or deal with European developers who are considered providers of the optimal ratio of cost/quality. Yes, quality must prevail, but top price does not necessarily mean prime grade, and lower price does not always produce poor performance.
Thinking about how to find an app developer, many people start Googling. That works, of course. But why not try to find one from your social or professional circle first? This would eliminate doubts about the party’s reliability and competence and save you time for other important things. No deep background check is needed.
However, if you do not have the right person for the job, you are free to consider other search options. You can turn to specialized online directories like They Make Apps, job boards like Get Apps Done, StackOverflow, GitHub, or Indeed. If you’re looking for Android developers, specifically check Android Jobs, Android Forums or AndriodPit, for iOS go to iPhoneDevSDK forum. If you take the search job seriously, visit developer communities like SitePoint, Topcoder, DaniWeb, Experts-Exchange and many more. You won’t find a ‘developers for hire’ section, but you’ll be able to assess the activity of developers, spot the most qualified community members and contact them further on. If you’d rather avoid diving into the development world, you can use well-known professional platforms like LinkedIn, Upwork, HubStaff Talent, Fiverr, Freelancer, or Outsourcely. Clutch is good if you’re looking for a reliable and established software development company. You can also stop by YouTeam, a marketplace for hiring offshore developers, and appreciate their client-oriented approach. By offering a step-by-step search request configuration, you’ll be able to find developers within the required technology area, filter all options by seniority level, English level, and preferred time zone. On the displayed list of candidates, check the experience in each specified technology, hourly rates, clients’ ratings, completed projects, and detailed portfolio.
To conclude, finding developers today, is hardly a problem. Vigorous socialization of today’s society, overall mobile using and technologically savvy millennials bring unexpected benefits for all sorts of businesses. By embracing the world’s changes, you’ll be able to build new opportunities for your business development and harvest the results you could not dream of before.