Apps: How Much They Cost to Develop and Are Developers Actually Ripping You Off

Developing an App

Developing a custom application is a lengthy process with tons of variables involved. No 2 apps are exactly the same, so no 2 development cycles are the same either. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to glean some information as to how much app development tends to cost. Here’s an in-depth look at the entire development process of creating an app.

The Costs and Process of Developing an App

The development process for an app is different with every developer. While there are a plethora of different types of apps that can be created, they can be further divided into a simple app, a moderately complex app and a complex app. A simple app can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 to create, while a moderately complex app can run up costs to anywhere from $10,000 to $75,000. A complex app can cost north of $250,000, depending on the implemented features and the overall development time. As an example, the hugely popular Angry Birds game app cost around $150,000 to initially develop.

After the developer thinks of an idea for an app, they must then start programming the app. Programming all of the features within the app to work on the device the app is being built for takes a lot of time and a lot of coding. Coding is an exceedingly difficult process, as there are a wealth of variables that need to be accounted for in order to the simplest thing to work correctly. Those coding the app must also be payed. As coding takes a long time to complete, these costs can shoot up quickly, especially if there are more than a handful of developers working on the app.

Following the coding of an app, the layout must then be designed, meaning that icons must be placed in the right locations and new assets need to be created in order to ensure that the app is aesthetically pleasing to customers. The designers salaries must be added to the development cost as well. While it may seem that all development is complete and there are no more costs that will arise, it’s important to note that the app must then be integrated fully with the device or devices it is working on in order for customers to be able to buy and play it. This means that bugs will have to be taken care of and glitches will need to be ironed out. This isn’t a hugely extensive process, but it does add to development costs. If a developer decides to add social media functionality, this alone can cost an extra $500-$2,500.

Are App Developers Ripping Their Customers Off

In actuality, the costs for apps have been steadily dropping, though developers are choosing to mitigate these losses by integrating advertisements into the app. If we take a look at app prices from 2010-2013, it’s clear that apps are becoming cheaper. The amount of free apps has risen from the low 80’s percentile range in 2010 to over 90 percent by the end of 2013. In comparison, the percentage of apps at over $5 has dropped from 2 percent to well below 1 percent. However, it should be noted that there are some developers that utilize micro-transactions of $.25-$1.00 for certain items that the consumer can pay for in order to receive the best possible experience within the app.

These are usually meaningless items, but there are times when a developer will place certain features that should be included within the app as micro-transactions that customers can pay for if they choose to. In regards to this aspect, there are definitely instances when developers are ripping off their customers. However, if you remain on the lookout for these types of apps, they is easy to avoid.

Author: Robert Cordray

About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finance. With over 20 years of business experience, Robert is now retired and hopes others can benefit from his writing.

Article written by

About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finance. With over 20 years of business experience, Robert is now retired and hopes others can benefit from his writing.

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