Mobile App Development: What are the Costs & How Long Does It Take?

If you have a great idea for a mobile app that you’d like to have developed, you may be wondering how much time and money you’re going to need to invest to make your idea a reality. This uncertainty may even be putting you off have your mobile application developed. If this is the case, you needn’t worry.

In this post, we’ll be discussing the cost and time investment of mobile application development.

So, How Long Does Mobile App Development Take?

You can’t put an exact time duration on all app development. Of course, the major apps that we use everyday have had hundreds of thousands of hours piled into them and continue to receive a similar treatment. However, what you’ll most likely be considering is a v1 MVP (version one, minimal viable product) app. A v1 MVP mobile application is an app that has been put to market with only the very essential features needed for it to be a viable app.

Studies have taken place surrounding the development time of a v1 MVP app. Firstly, a 2013 survey by Progress Kinvey showed, based on the surveys of 100 agencies, that the average v1 MVP app takes roughly 18 weeks (4.5 months).

Another study, done in 2017 by GoodFirms, surveyed 55 app developers. In this survey, participants had to provide an estimate for how long they believed it would take to develop a complex and feature-rich application, such as the ones we use every day.


Based on the average response, GoodFirms reported that:

Feature-rich highly complex apps – (E.g. Instagram and Uber) take anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5 months to develop.

Medium complexity compelling apps – (E.g. WhatsApp or QuizUp) take around 4.6 months to create.

User-friendly apps with lesser functionality – (E.g. Tinder and Periscope) take roughly 3.8 to 4.1 months to complete.


How Much Does Mobile App Development Cost?

App development costs can vary hugely between agencies. All of the studies done have shown these dramatic price ranges too.

The GoodFirms study we just looked at also surveyed for the cost of developing these applications.

Here are their results:

A feature-rich highly complex app – (E.g. Instagram or Uber) costs anywhere between $70,000 to $100,000.

Medium complexity compelling apps – (E.g. WhatsApp or QuizUp) typically costs between $61,000 to $69,000.

User-friendly app with lesser functionality – (E.g. Tinder or Periscope) would cost anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000.


How Can You Cut the Costs for App Development?

At Appoly, we suggest that you start with an MVP app, get the basic structure and function of your app how you want it and get it live on the app store(s). This will cut the initial cost and time consumption, allowing you to get your app live much quicker and cheaper.

This is even better if you’re going to monetise your app, as it allows you to make money from your application sooner, and you can invest that money back into the app for further development.

Another thing you should ensure, is that your app developer offers expert knowledge alongside a fair price. This will shine through in the final product; don’t be taken advantage of.


Contact Appoly for Mobile Application Development Services

If you want to turn your app idea into a reality, get in touch with Appoly and one of our design and development experts will happily discuss your project with you and explore the best development options for you based on your ideas, circumstances and needs.

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