A mobile app development budget depends on many things - from app features and functionalities to technology used in the build. And, sometimes, things like special features and design requirements can't be nailed down before you get the project started. Generally, app budgets are calculated using the total number of hours spent developing the app, multiplied by the agency's hourly rate. Of course, projects can evolve along the way, so it helps to have a cushion in case your project goes over budget. To help you estimate the cost of your app development project, we've broken down 6 types of mobile apps, from basic to complex. Obviously, the more complex the build, the higher the quote is likely to be. Here's what you need to know...
Mobile app types and their relevant budgets
1. Basic apps
A basic app can easily function without network access and server components. These apps generally consist of five to six screens in total. For example, the calculator app on your phone has a very clear purpose and can be used without internet connectivity - this is considered a basic app.
Budget: Between R30 000 and R70 000
Timeline: 4 to 6 weeks
Example: Camera, clock, local audio or video
ALSO SEE: 10 Reasons To Build A Mobile App In 2021
2. Data-driven apps
Data-driven applications function with the help of network connections. These apps consume only specific information. No verification or login access is required in these apps. These apps also require back-end work so the cost for such apps increases. For example, the Weather app uses third-party API information, which makes it more complex than a basic app.
Budget: Between R70 000 and R150 000
Timeline: 6 to 8 weeks
Example: Maps, Stocks, Calendar
3. Authentication apps
In order for these apps to function, they need a user to log in. Users will have a personal account and will be able to interact with data. The mobile app development cost increases since there are many subordinate features required. An authentication app is an ideal option for those who are planning to develop an app that can be accessed by sign-up procedures. Also, we recommend a one-step log in procedure using social networks like Facebook, Twitter etc.
Budget: Between R100 000 and R150 000
Timeline: 3 to 6 months
Example: Google drive
4. Social networking apps
There's no denying that social networking apps are major dominants in the mobile app industry. These apps allow users to interact via instant messages and share images, texts, or videos. Hence, the back-end framework should be planned in such a way and with such intent that it seems like vast data is processed. These apps generally function on a minimum viable product scenario. For example, Instagram was originally a simple app with square shaped photos. Now, the app includes videos, reels, stories and live interaction sessions. We suggest an MVP approach for the start of such a project.
Budget: Between R225 000 and R400 000
Timeline: 3 to 9 months
Example: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
5. On-demand apps
On-demand apps meet specific requirements of their users at the time. They connect customers with different service providers and vice versa. They let users order any kind of service and strive to deliver it in minutes. Such apps are highly in demand and are built for Android and iOS platforms. Uber is an on-demand app that is being used worldwide. These apps require login information and allow users to chat, call and request information. This app development has to look into various factors for cost like the technology used, team members, features to include and so on.
Budget: Between R200 000 and R450 000
Timeline: 4 to 8 months
Example: Zomato, Uber, Netflix
6. E-commerce apps
E-commerce apps can be used after logging into them. These apps have extensive product catalogues, separate product pages, wishlists and a cart where the user purchases products after completing the payment. They also require a check-out system completed via payment transaction. Such apps require a well maintained admin panel and back-end team to look into payments and inventory details.
Budget: Between R100 000 and R500 000, depending on the size of the store
Timeline: 4 to 9 months
Example: Amazon, Shopify, Takealot
After understanding the different types of mobile apps, you should have a better idea of how much your project is likely to cost. Of course, each custom mobile app is different, so a one-size-fits-all rule can't really be applied. Also keep in mind that the above costs are simply an estimate, bearing in mind that different development companies charge hourly rates depending on expertise and experience. Custom apps often incorporate a few of these types, so the quote will need to be adjusted accordingly.