8 necessary costs of app development (1)

Since the hit of pandemic in 2019, business operations are experiencing large or small changes gradually . The most significant one would be on business websites. Some of the businesses rely on developing their own mobile apps to promote their products. Compared with websites, app development definitely has a higher research and development cost. Creating an app  requires expertise from experienced programmers, plus the complexity in functions of an app and the high salary level of Hong Kong, add up to the higher app development cost.   

People who are new to the mobile app development market may wrongly assume that the cost of it is cheap, hoping to launch an app as the start of business. But this is definitely a wrong mindset!

In reality, the research and development cost of mobile apps is way higher than that of websites. Such development includes a few stages, like logic flow planning, programming, repeated testing, error fixing, etc., along with the approval procedures for the launch on App Store and Google Play, takes a lot of time and human efforts! Therefore, if you have considered opening up an app for your business, please first set a budget and be mentally prepared. 

Below we will be analysing the several costs of mobile app development, bringing you through the reasons behind its high prices. 

1. App Development Cost and Time

App development cost

The development cost of mobile app ranges from around HKD 50K to 500K. If it’s a mobile game, generally it costs over 1 million and a year of time! Depending on the app functions, client’s requirements, user interface design, the app development cost and time will vary as well. On average, the development needs approximately 3 to 8 months or even more, and HKD 150K to 200K. 

Mobile apps often utilize admin panel (Web-based), to view, manage, export data and amend fixed contents, such as membership information, editing app contents, changing the banner image, etc. If functions like video and audio streaming (eg. TikTok, Youtube), forum (eg, Lihkg), scoring (eg. Openrice), securities trade, system integration, e-Shop (eg. Taobao) are needed, the cost will further be increased and the time might take 8 to 12 months or more. 

2. Types of Mobile App – iOS/Android Platforms

Mobile App

iOS and Android are the two main systems of smartphones. Before developing an app, you need to consider the type of user your mobile is for. If the target audience is the general public and there are no special requirements from the client, app development companies usually write apps that can be used on both platforms with React.js to cover more mobile users. Generally, having an app developed on both iOS and Android will be relatively a little cheaper than writing one just for either platform. 

If the client requires Native App, which is to write an app based on the native code of iOS or Android system, it will further drive up the app development cost as the app development time will be around 2 times than that of React.js. In normal cases, apps developed by React are sufficient for basic functions already. Not only it enables smooth usage on the two systems, but also shortens the app development time and lowers the app development cost as it is a relatively new technology. 

For company internal apps, like for production or delivery tracking which requires more of basic functions, it is recommended to develop only the app for Android. As it is only for internal uses, there is not a need for launching. In addition, the app development time, cost and approval time can all be reduced. All these are more aligned to the economic principles in businesses!

3. Labour Cost and App Development Price

App development cost

Labour is the main component of app development cost. Generally, companies use Man-day to calculate the mobile app development price of projects. The price of Man-day depends on the team members number of the app development company, experience and qualification of programmers, etc., it usually ranges from $4000-8000. A complete development team consists of the following 8 positions:

Project Manager: Responsible for resources and time management, keep closer contacts with developers/programmes and client

App Development Team Technical Director: Responsible for leading the programmers

Front-end Developer: Responsible for the developing the front-end interface of mobile app/website 

Back-end Developer: Responsible for developing and managing admin panel and content management system (CMS)

UX/UI Designer: Responsible for User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design and to ensure the App/Web is simple and smooth to use

Test : Responsible for testing processes, initiating repair suggestions and ensuring quality

Of course, there is much more to know for app development cost than just the above mentioned. We are going to introduce you to the remaining 5 necessary costs of app development soon. Stay tuned!