Mobile app development costs revisited

Mobile app development costs revisited

Our post on how much it costs to develop a mobile app has had more traffic than any other article we’ve posted.  We noted there a blog post by Alex Ahlund on TechCrunch that pegged the average cost of developing an app at $6,453.  Because we get so many questions about this subject, we scratched around for some more data points.  Here’s what we found.

A June 2010 post on the Communities Dominate Brands blog analyzing app economics cited two reports, one from May 2010 and one from December 2009.  The first, from the Internet Retailer, reported an app development cost of $25,000 to $50,000.  The second, from prMac, put the cost at $15,000 to $50,000.

You can find even higher numbers.  The PadGadget blog post cited in our original article noted iPad apps can cost $150,000 or more.  In response to a question on Stack Overflow about app development costs, Craig Hockenberry, one of the guys behind Twitterific, said that the Twitterific iPad app required about 1,100 hours of programming time.  At his rate of $150 per hour, that’s $165,000 in programming costs.

These are big numbers, but they’re somewhat anecdotal.  The survey of 96 app developers reported in our original post includes more data and may more accurately reflect an average cost.  Of course, apps with more complex functions, richer graphics, and more robust back-ends will cost more to develop than relatively simple apps.

For more on the costs involved in mobile app development, here’s a post from Impiger Mobile, a mobile app development company.  Like some of our prior posts, Impiger’s post notes the dangers of hiring the cheapest developer.

As we observed in our first post on app development costs, the question of how much it costs to develop a mobile app does not have a set answer.  Depending on what your app idea involves, the cost can range from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  If you have an app idea and want some insight on what it will cost to develop it, contact me.

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