Survey and Expert Analysis in Mobile App Cost


How much does it cost to build a mobile app?

Apps provide new and rewarding channels for businesses to grow and market themselves. Yet, the cost for a quality app can sometimes be an obstacle – especially if the business doesn’t understand how cost is determined, and how it can change.

Thoroughly understanding app development cost helps these businesses develop quality products within their budget. With that in mind, Clutch, a B2B ratings, reviews, and research firm in Washington, DC, recently surveyed 100+ app development companies from around the world to help illuminate the app development process and the cost to build a mobile app.

Clutch reached out to several app development experts to provide further analysis on the data, including Digital Brand Group founder, Jeremiah Jacks.

Jacks spoke to Clutch about two common misconceptions when it comes to app development cost.

1. Businesses may not understand the flexibility required to develop a quality app.

App development is typically a conversation between a business and developers, not a one-sided relationship. Cost should be thoroughly discussed between both parties, especially if the business doesn’t have prior app development experience.

“[Businesses] can initially expect things to cost a certain amount or take a certain amount of time,” said Jacks. “They have no basis for making that kind of statement, but they say those things anyway.”

This can lead to disagreement down the line.

“If [businesses] don’t allow the developer to state what they think is the right time or cost, then the business may be disappointed,” advised Jacks. “=”The expectation should be validated by the developer.”

If the businesses do not validate expected time and cost with their developers, the end product may suffer.

To avoid this outcome, businesses can participate in a pre-research or “discovery” stage with development companies before writing any code. During this stage, the business and developers will plan goals, schedule work, and clarify details, allowing for a more accurate estimate of cost and time. You can read three case studies of how app development companies approach the discovery stage, including DBG’s full case study here.

2. Businesses may not understand the advantages of offshore partners.

Jacks also emphasized that there are several misconceptions regarding the globalization of software development.

Offshore development partners may bring to mind certain negative stereotypes. Yet, for many businesses, an offshore development partner can be a key cost-saving measure, while still providing a high quality product.

“I know groups here in the US that charge over $200/hour for their services, and I know offshore groups that charge $50/hour and they’re better,” said Jacks.

You shouldn’t pick a partner based purely on geography- there are good and bad development partners in every corner of the world. No matter if you choose an onshore or offshore partner, you should always be conducting thorough research before committing to a relationship.

Do not write off offshore development firms until you’ve done your complete research.

“There’s a big misconception of where your work is being done and how that actually directly results in the quality of work that you’re being provided,” said Jacks.

For more information, read “How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App” and “How to Make an App.”