What is the average cost to develop a mobile app? It’s a question most CXO’s and project owners think about. Alongside how much would it cost to build a mobile app by hiring professionals versus the cost of trying to build one in-house. We’ll get into the pros and cons of the different team approaches next week, but for now let’s tackle how much budget you should be looking to set aside to build a successful mobile app. 


Basic requirements

What are the basic requirements you would need to build a successful mobile app? We’ve spoken before about the steps you should consider when building a digital product for your business. The first point we highlighted was to realise that a successful mobile app is often a lot more costly than many imagine, because you are not just building a single digital product. You are in fact developing a mobile ecosystem. 

The ecosystem takes into account not just the design and build, it is the key to ensuring your digital strategy is executed in a way that is able to adapt, change and grow as you build on the success of your initial product. 

It takes into account the user experience and how it will be cohesive across all channels, not just the mobile app. It includes the functionality, third party integrations and a robust backend system that can securely maintain your development. These are a few areas that need to be included in any initial stages, all of which needs to be considered when outlining a budget. 


Native vs Cross-platform vs Hybrid

How do you choose what language to develop in? When considering native vs cross-platform vs hybrid, rather than simply investigating which is easier or cheaper. You really must go back to your initial strategy and think about what your users will need. 

More often than not, organisations require their mobile app to be released on both Android and iOS. To do this both cross-platform and hybrid applications are the most common route, as they work on the same codebase to develop for all platforms (bear in mind there is usually a price difference between them as they are not the same thing). If you decide to go down native development, this can affect your cost as they are often more secure, user-friendly and faster than other applications. 


Is mobile app development a one off cost? 

Can you expect to pay a one off cost for building a mobile app? In reality, yes. To develop and launch a mobile application it can be treated as a one off project. No matter how much you spend at the start, or how excellent your app ends up being, it’s impossible for an app to truly live forever without some form of maintenance. 

Over time, code deteriorates as new OS updates are launched, as new devices appear and as new technologies begin to filter into applications. For any app to truly be a success, your budget should consider a level of ongoing maintenance. 


Going back to our original question, what is the average cost to develop a mobile app? 

At Indiespring, we built a tool to help give you a rough idea on what you can expect your app to cost. Using the cost calculator tool below, you can see live cost changes and pick and choose the features you believe are required to build either your MVP or perhaps to go all out and build the mobile app of your dreams. 

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In order for your app to live a long and successful life, whatever stage your digital product is at, make sure you have scoped out and fully considered the number one reason your mobile app is necessary. By ensuring and reminding you and your teams about the need your mobile app is fulfilling, you are already headed in the right direction to make your product a success. 


Are you looking to build a digital product for your business? Not sure if a mobile app is right for you? Speak to our expert team +44 (0) 161 660 6756