The cost of an app is extremely variable. I’m gonna walk you through what happens inside Amplemind and probably to similar agencies, this scenario will differ if you are considering a Freelancer.

Also, notice that if the app you are planning to launch, requires admin panel, back-end server development or API integration, the price will highly vary.

As you may imagine, there are a couple of steps before getting a correct app development cost estimation:

1. The Discovery phase

Is all about analysis: when the experts help you to arrive at your vision or dig in deep to comprehend what you’re looking for. Find a detailed explanation here.Discovery phase


2. Features Breakdown

A feature is an attribute or functionality required. The output of the discovery phase is a list of features needed for your app.

See an example of a feature’s breakdown here (this is not a full list, just so you can have an idea of how specific a feature look like):

If the feature’s breakdown isn’t complete enough, then we will be missing clarity on the app needs. This ended up with a more expensive app since changing an already developed feature is more costly (and time-consuming) than develop it correctly from the beginning.

That’s the reason why we always recommend starting your project with the discovery phase, where the experts will give their advice on the app needs. We have been through projects that end up duplicating its original price due to the lack of clear features from the beginning.

3. Technical Requirements

This step is very important too. Technical requirements are the answer to questions like:

  • Which operating system? (Android or IOS)
  • Which devices? (Mobile, Tablet or Web App)
  • Which development language? (i.e. Swift, React Native, Java)
  • Which database system? (i.e. MySQL, Firebase)
  • Which framework? (i.e. AngularJS2)

Of course, we will help you with this info by giving you our recommendations, but the estimation may differ upon the choices.

4. Launch

Launching your app will also imply some cost, since you may need a marketing strategy, whether it will be digital marketing (SEO, SEM, Social media, Email marketing), traditional marketing (POP materials and events) or ASO (Positioning your app inside the Apple or Google Stores) or all of them.

Making developer accounts on the AppStore and the Google Play Store, cost some money too. And you need those accounts to upload your app to the store.

5. Feature Improvement (Repeat Steps 1-4)

Have you seen that most of the apps are constantly updating? This is because most of the times the first launch is only an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), so you can make the first tests with the real audience and see what is working and what isn’t.

Therefore, you will need to improve your features constantly (as well as give them some maintenance) and this will impact your cost too.

So… how do we estimate an app development cost?

Basically, we take the results from steps 2 and 3 (features breakdown and Technical requirements) and ask at least to 3 of our teammates (Developers and/or designers) to estimate the hours required for each feature. Then, we take an average for each feature, calculate the quality engineers and project manager required time (yes, making a successful app development project requires coordination, skills, and talent)… and voila!

As you can see, if you are looking for a real estimation of your app development cost is not as simple as just calculating an average between all of our projects or making an automatic estimator. Each app has its own specifications, functionalities, and needs adaptation from the resources.

Verónica Bugarin - Account manager
Verónica Bugarin –   Account manager