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How much does mobile app development cost in 2024?

The average price of app development is
£5,000 - £10,000

per project, with prices varying widely based on the type of app you want.

Need a mobile software developer to bring your business to the next level but unsure of costs? Read on to find everything you need to know about how much your expert will charge for basic apps, iOS and Android platforms, and much more.

You've had the eureka moment - the million-dollar app idea that's going to shake up the tech world, or at least make life smoother. But as excitement ebbs and pragmatism sets in, the big question on your mind is: "How much does it REALLY cost to hire an app developer?" Whether you're a serial entrepreneur, a self-starter in the tech world, or the owner of an established business who wants to take things to the next level, we're breaking down the nitty-gritty of app developer pricing for you.

(And when you're ready to begin your app-building journey for real, you can get free quotes from expert app developers suited to your needs here.)

Wait, What is Mobile App Development?

app developer

More and more businesses are jumping on the mobile app bandwagon, and for good reason. Whether it’s increasing accessibility, building brand awareness, or improving customer loyalty, a mobile application can provide endless opportunities to your business.

You might be wondering what the difference is between mobile software development and web development - they both sound the same, right? The key difference is that a web developer creates applications for the internet, whereas a mobile software developer creates more complex applications for use on computers and mobile devices. 

Don’t have the necessary skills to create your app? You’re not alone. Knowing how to build an effective mobile application requires years of training and experience. A software development expert will have the skills and experience to bring your vision to life.

App Development 101: Investment or Indulgence?

Before we launch into the world of app developer pricing, it's crucial to understand the cost against the potential gain. An app is more than a pretty interface; it needs to serve a function, whether it's a money-spinner for your business, a way to make life easier for customers, or a brand builder — maybe even all three. It's estimated that there are more mobile phones than people in the world, so there's definitely a market. Yet, with the mobile market well into its maturity phase, standing out amidst more than 8.9 million apps is no easy feat.

Developing an app can give you a gateway to the bustling world of smartphone users. The average cost of developing an app can easily run into the thousands, but if you play your cards right your return could outweigh your investment.

What Do App Developers Charge in 2024?

app developer

Here's where it gets tricky. There are lots of ways to pay for an app developer, and how you pay yours will depend on the outcome you want. If you're trying to build an app from the ground up, you might want to pay a project rate based on the professional's estimate of how long it will take to build - that way you know exactly what the cost will be at the outset. On the other hand, if you need regular maintenance, paying by the hour could be good to cleaning up bugs and making small changes.

The cost of a mobile app developer
Payment scheduleLower endHigher end
Hourly£20-£45£50-£100+
Daily£300£800+
Project-based£5,000£50,000+

Hourly Rates for App Developers

Entry-level app developers might charge anywhere from £20 to £45 per hour, a mid-tier pro could average £50 to £100, and the creme de la creme could clock in at £150+ hourly. These rates reflect the developer's competence, coding prowess, and capacity for innovation.

Understanding Daily Rates

If you'd prefer to condense your cost discussion into daily chunks, you'd be looking at around £300 to £800 per day for an app developer, depending on the individual's skill set. However, at this rate, communication ought to be precise, project management impeccable, and expectations meticulously set.

Project Rates for App Development

Opting for a project rate it quite popular, especially if you have a clearly defined brief. Basic projects for one platform start around the £5,000 mark; if you want it available across two platforms, such as Android and iOS, you're looking at £10,000 to £15,000; and something far more sophisticated and unique might cost up to £50,000, although at these prices, you're probably a bigger corporation!

The Variables Affecting Price

app developer

Lots of factors affect how much you'll pay an app developer, such as hiring a freelancer versus a full-scale agency, an app's complexity, and even location.

  • Geographical Influence

    An app developer based in London will probably cost more than one based in Newcastle. Typically, prices in bigger cities are higher, and the South is usually more expensive than the North. However, if you live in a high-cost location and hire someone remotely you might make a saving (and vice versa).

  • Agency vs. Freelancer

    Agencies with established reputations and rigorous QA processes command higher fees. On the flip side, freelancers bring a personal touch and, often, a more flexible payment structure.

  • Type of App

    The complexity of your app project is by far the biggest cost driver when it comes to mobile app development. In a nutshell, the number and complexity of features you require will have a big impact on costs. 

Here’s a list of some features you may want to include which typically influence the cost: 

  • In-app purchases - In app-purchases sell products within an app. This feature bumps the price up because they require more time to integrate with a third party.

  • Location services - Location-based marketing tools like Geofencing are complicated and time-consuming to install, bumping up the overall cost. 

  • User engagement features - User engagement features, such as clicks, likes, comments and shares, can be relatively simple or extremely complex, affecting the overall cost. 

The iOS vs. Android Dilemma

app developer

The platform you want your app on can affect costs too. Historically, iOS apps are more expensive to develop and maintain, given Apple's stringent quality control, higher market penetration levels, and the broader range of Apple devices. On the flip side, Android poses challenges with fragmentation across devices and operating systems, which can translate to iterative development timescales and costs. In reality, if your customers use both of these services (and they probably do) you'll want your app to be available on both.

The Global Office Space: Remote vs. In-Person Development Teams

The pandemic has turned cultural norms towards remote work environments, and app development is no exception. Remote work can mitigate costs related to office space and even developer salaries in high-cost areas. The absence of face-to-face interaction can inflate project management duties and time, which still equals money - but overall it still tends to be cheaper.

Cash Saving Tips

app developer

If you're very cost-conscious, consider a 'minimal viable product,' a streamlined app that covers the essential bases but doesn't have any bells and whistles. This not only saves you money but means you can get something out before evolving the app using user feedback.

Secondly, try using third-party app development companies that let you launch apps with little programming knowledge. These will be templated and they won't be perfect, but if you want something really simple, they can work. And remember, however you build your app, services like Stripe and Salesforce have readymade app integrations that can slice significant chunks from your development bill.

Lastly, have a clear vision. Before you hire a mobile software development expert, make sure you have a clear vision of your end goal. Take some time to think about what you are hoping to achieve and the results you want. The clearer you communicate this to your expert, the easier it will be for them to bring it to life. It will also be quicker for them to achieve, which reduces the overall cost as projects are priced according to time. 

Choosing the Best Fiscal Fit

So, now it's time to find the right developer for your budget. It's like buying a car — consider your price point, performance needs, and your long term goals. A developer's portfolio and references are a great place to start.

In your pursuit of the perfect app developer, remember that expertise is just one side of the coin. Style and a shared drive for success are equally pivotal. Never sacrifice quality for cost, but always ensure that you’re spending judiciously.

Bring your business into the twenty-first century with the help of Mobile App Developers on Bark. 

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