april 06, 2020 • 10 minutes read

How  To  Estimate The Price Of A Mobile  App Development?

If you book a flight, a hotel, order some food, book a taxi, or chat with your friends, the first thing to use will be your smartphone. And so does everyone else. To be able to capture the enormous market that is rapidly evolving towards mobile and personalization, providing a mobile app is an apparent and essential demand. Mobile app development has become a new form of monetization and an effective PR channel of businesses. When thinking about building an app, another critical question is, “How much does it cost to build a mobile app?”. There is no accurate answer to this question because it depends on what you create and how you create it. Many factors affect price, include the platform on which apps develop, the complexity of the app, the experience of the development team, and some other factors. So, before you jump on this journey, let’s define some questions - it’s quite easy to find out the estimated cost of your app.  


The process of developing a business application starts with the core values, business plans, and revenue-generating objectives. Revenue or business model is the biggest motivation behind application development costs. Therefore, you need to analyze and answer the following questions:  

  • What is the preferred platform for your potential customers?  
  • Which product are you looking to sell?  
  • What are the devices that need to integrate so that your app can respond?  
  • Is your app free or paid?  
  • Is your app a build-in app for buying and selling (E-commerce Platform)?  
  • What is the importance of visual design in your app’s interface?  


These and many other factors play a crucial role in determining the budget and time required for mobile app development. For example, an e-commerce app is more time-consuming to develop than an app that provides only basic information about your products and business.  


The most important part of your business model is understanding your target customers. In short, you must always ask the question, “Which problems is this app trying to solve?” Answering it will help you identify your target audience, like the way that Gary Halbert described, “The most important thing is a hungry market. Not a brilliant burger”, you have to figure out your “hungry crowd”.   


Even the largest start-up company has made a mistake regarding the target customers. For example, Snapdeal has failed in gaining the customer’s trust because they were focusing too much on the quantity than quality. You won’t earn a penny from your app if the market isn’t really in demand. Have you found your target market yet? Now, let’s focus on defining your sales strategy.  



The free app is an easy way to get your potential customers downloading it from the Application Store and access information about your business and products. So how can a free app generate revenue?   

Here are some ways:  

  • The free app is a great way to expand your existing customer network or build a new customer network for future product sales.   
  • The mobile app will create a trust relationship between your company and your customer, which helps to build value for existing products/services.  
  • You can generate revenue directly from advertisements and affiliate marketing in your app.  

The paid app will generate revenue from each download. It is essential to consider the willingness of your customer to pay for your application and to perform competitors’ analysis to find the right pricing strategy for your app.  

E-commerce is a market-based revenue model that primarily sells your products or collects commissions from sellers on your platform. E-commerce app is a complex sales system for handling orders, online payments, shipping, inventory, discounts. And there are plenty of other features on this mobile app. With the development of the Internet, 4G-5G, smartphones, and new mobile payment methods, the trend of e-commerce on mobile platforms is inevitable. So, if you have a huge development budget, a broad and varied product spectrum, and you want to prioritize the customer care and maximize profits, e-commerce app development is your destination.  

A transparent model depends on your goals and your customer’s preferences. And in any case, the mobile app can generate additional revenue.  


Mobile App, according to the user’s terms, is a software program developed to run on devices such as smartphones and tablets. The mobile app can be used with a similar function as a website, but its User Experience (UX) & User Interface (UI) help users to have a better and friendly experience. “Easy to use” is an essential prerequisite for a mobile app. So, are all the apps the same? No, of course not.  


There are 3 types of mobile apps (by technology): Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps. Which one should you choose? Let’s figure out these types of mobile app:    


Native Apps are built specifically for the operating system (OS) of the mobile device. Therefore, you can have native Android or native iOS apps, not to mention all the other platforms and devices. As it’s built for just a platform, you cannot mix and match. For example, you can not use an android app on the iPhone or use an iOS app on a Windows phone.   

In terms of technology, a native mobile app is an application that meets the requirements of a particular operating system by using its SDK (Software Development Kit or Devkit) as well as hardware memory, gear, and other applications installed on a device. Native apps are coded using a variety of programming languages such as Java, Kotlin, Python, Swift, Objective-C, C++, and React.  

For a more in-depth discussion on Native Apps, read: Cross-Platform vs. Native Mobile App Development.  

  •   WEB APPS:  

According to some research, 80% of smartphone users prefer to use web apps instead of the standard website version on their phone. Web Apps are defined as your mobile-optimized website to fit smartphone users. Web Apps works similarly to Native Apps but accessed through the web browser on smartphones. They’re responsive webs that adapt its user interface (UI) to the device the user is on. One kind of web app is theprogressive web app (PWA), which is a native app running inside a browser. Progressive Web Apps is a type of web-based application that works like a regular website but fully supports the touch operation. It has all the same features as an ordinary mobile app but does not need to install and wait for downloads and takes up very little storage space. Web Apps are designed using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, and similar programming languages used for web work.  

  •  HYBRID APPS:   

Hybrid App is a relatively simple app for development. A hybrid app can be developed in a single programming language and can work on two platforms.  It looks and feels like a native app. Hybrid apps can have a home screen app icon, responsive design, fast performance, which can even work offline, but they are web apps made to look native. Hybrid apps use a mixture of web technologies and native APIs such as Ionic, Objective C, Swift, HTML5, and others.  


Now it’s time to decide which platform to use.   


Probably this is a question that everyone must face when starting to build apps. Android and Apple iOS have significantly different interfaces and systems, Android vs. iOS is not an easy choice. It is advised to go for both if your budget allows. There are many things to consider when choosing the platform. According to statistics, iOS is top-rated in America, but Android is dominating in the global scope. iOS apps are quicker to build and generally cost lesser than an android app, but the number of Android users dramatically exceeds the number of Apple users, especially in Asia. The cost of developing and hosting an app on the Android market is lower and more comfortable as the guidelines are not as strict as on iOS. 

On the other hand, iOS apps have better technical performance than Android apps. If you intend to publish your mobile apps in many countries, choose Android over iOS. To decide on the right platform, make sure you have considered all possibilities and other options. If you fail to do so, you risk losing many potential customers.  

Read this article from Sioux for more ideas:  8 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Developing New Mobile Apps 



Once you know “what and who your app is catered for,” – create your essential functions and features list that is required for the app to be active:   

  • Login  
  • Profile  
  • Push Notifications  
  • Location  
  • Chat  
  • Payment  
  • Purchasing History  
  • Membership  

 Additional features will require increased time and budget. Therefore, the cost of mobile app development will depend mainly on the requested features for the app to operate smoothly.  


Even if you know that your app offers a lot of useful functions and benefits to users, the user’s first impression of it is remarkable. Let’s do this well. Mobile App is an extremely competitive marketplace, and it can say that every company is eager to get its app into the app stores quickly. However, design is an essential element of innovative and disruptive apps, which is very often ignored.   


So, what makes a good design? Here are a few essential things to consider:  

  • Creative and catch up with the latest technology trends. 

You can read more about UX/UI Trends in 2020:   

  • Focusing on the product and the product’s usefulness.  
  • Great aesthetics. 
  • Understandable and easy to use. 
  • Everything is designed with a clear intention.  
  • Robust & long-lasting (build a truly excellent user experience and keep customers in love with your product). 
  • Simplicity - Less is more.  
  • Be consistent across all devices and platforms.  

A great design will have its price. Add a little budget to make your app look great as an investment rather than a cost. The way your app performs its functions and how it easily navigates users will depend on the development of the UX Design. Excellent application design can make your users not want to put the phone down.  


There is another determinant — who you hire!  


In our previous article “4 Ways To Find The Right Developer/Agency For Your Mobile App”, we’ve analyzed the advantages and limitations when you choose to work with freelancers, small and new agencies, or a big company with experienced developers (like Sioux High Tech Software). It’s important to do your due diligence about the development team and the development process by evaluating previous projects they’ve done and compared to your requirements to find the fit.  

At Sioux, with our many years of experience in the industry, we have perfected our proprietary app development process that minimizes risks and guarantees success for the products. We combine the best practices of both traditional and agile software development methodologies to ascertain both flexibility and cost-effectiveness.   


 During the development process, you’ll find more ideas, new functions, and features for your app as well as features that will not fit. That is an ongoing process and requires you to follow all the changes in technology, new updates to make your app best.   




The core development team behind an app consists of the following:  

  • Project Manager  
  • Software Developer  
  • Back End Developer  
  • UX/UI Designer  
  • Tester  

Obviously, the question of the average cost to create an app is difficult to answer. Because your app may have distinct functions, and features differ from specific pricing methods. Do you have an idea for building an app or need some digital consultation? Talk to us! 

Sioux High Tech Software (HTS) is one of the best mobile app development companies in Vietnam and a software development center in Asia of the Sioux Technologies Group. We have many years of experience in providing the best solutions for website and mobile app development across all industries for our global clients. At Sioux HTS, we focus on the website, mobile apps, windows and universal app solutions for the Health-tech, Agri-tech, Edu-tech industries. Our technology competence is in the .Net Core and MERN (Java) Stacks. 

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