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How much does a mobile app cost?
The true costs of building a mobile application for your business
Mobile apps are a crucial part of today's business environment. Most users' time is spent on mobile apps vs the roughly 10% used on websites. And as with any business decision, making a mobile app comes down to pros and cons, and quite often, these boil down to costs and benefits. The benefits are almost impossible to quantify and vastly vary between cases. So it makes more sense to focus on the price. If we can reduce mobile app development costs, it makes even more sense for businesses to have apps.
Traditional app development
For this article, let's assume a development cost of $50 per hour. This article's actual costs for normal app development are lowballed, with upkeep and improvements not considered much.
For standard apps with features like push messages and different types of content, you would expect a minimum development time of one month (150 working hours). In many cases, this would only cover Android or iOS apps. Let's say $15k for Android and iOS apps. At this point, you are still missing server and control panels that probably each cost you the same as a single app plus traffic costs and other running costs from servers. Server costs can be complicated to estimate and vary vastly between different implementations. But it's safe to say that million-user app servers would cost thousands each month. We are also leaving out design work that you should invest in, as modern users expect great user experiences in every app they use as a standard.
There are many multi-platform methods to help develop suitable mobile applications, so it is possible only to create a single codebase for both iOS and Android apps with React Native, Flutter or one of the other existing multi-platform solutions. Each of these solutions has its pros and cons.
In many cases, the promises and what is delivered do not necessarily align. We have heard many horror stories of app development gone wrong and massively over budget. You won't see the result of traditional app development until you have paid for it.
Let's factor in maintenance and change costs, probably 30% of initial costs per year. Your app will need monitoring and updates during its lifetime. You will also want to change how the app looks and feels based on feedback. None of that is free, easy, or cheap.
If you start adding in-app purchases and subscriptions, advertisements, videos and other excellent features, you quickly increase costs.
- Minimal app: $15k
- Includes iOS and Android
- Standard app: $60k
- Android $15k
- iOS $15k
- Server $15k
- Control panel $15k
- Premium app: $300k+
Please don't take our word for it, but make sure you will get value for your investment.
What you get with Choicely
We have made our apps as customisable and modifiable as possible. No more slow and costly development time; you can see and try what you will get before you buy it. You don't have to worry about maintenance or changes to the app. We give you all the tools and help you need to maintain your app with Choicely Studio - our easy drag & drop app builder tool.
Choicely is a good template solution where you can change colours and texts. We allow you to build any part of the app on our Choicely Studio website (studio.choicely.com). You don't have to wait for updates through Google Play or App Store. Any changes you make to your app's structure are instantaneously updated.
To keep your app's content up to date, we also provide you with great tools to create and publish new content in your app. We can also easily automate this process for you, or you can use Choicely APIs to automate the process yourself.
Hidden costs? We don't like those. For ourselves or our customers, we have used and paid for many services and what we have always found very tedious and challenging is calculating the actual costs. You always have some small print somewhere that puts the feature you want behind a new paywall. That's why we at Choicely have opted for a single SaaS fee. The cost for an app with millions of monthly active users on Choicely Platform is just fractions of what a standard app would cost you.
With our cost savings technology, excellent user experience and incorporation of in-app payment methods, apps that can turn a profit are no longer the purview of only the big and powerful companies. We have published apps from less than a hundred monthly users to several million users a month.
You won't be painting yourself into a corner with Choicely either. All of our apps are fully native, so anything that can be done with a native app can also be done with Choicely apps. You can buy the custom development from us or any 3rd party, and we will help you integrate your code into the Choicely app you buy from us.
Good article about app costs: