What Are the App Development Costs In 2020?


A question and concern that we are hearing, again and again, is regarding the app development costs in 2020. This blog intends to provide you an overview of all the major factors that make up the greater chunk of app development cost. We mention ‘greater chunk’, because accurate cost of any app development project can only be roughly estimated considering the given factors. In simple words, it is absolutely like asking ‘How much does a Hollywood Movie costs? Considering the factors that a amateur film student is making the film, it can be made in $1000, or if it is a full-fledged, star-studded movie, then it could costs $200 million. Just like that, it is not easy to exactly quantify the cost of app development.

We are Code Creators Inc., an award-winning agency for app and web development in Canada and USA, and we are happy to give you the long answer to a question that seems to be answered so quickly.

First of all, you need to understand the key factors that determine your app development budget.

Types & Number of Platforms for App Development Costs

Android or iOS – Tablet or Smartphone? These are all very different things; a development for iPhone and Android have very little in common, which practically very easily doubles the so-called front-end costs, also written front-end costs (= non-online element). Tip: Add extra hours of design and user interface development, if you want any further optimization in app for tablet.

Will You Need Online Functionality of Your App?

App development or app development consists of two main elements: front-end and back-end (sometimes also written in German as front-end and back-end). Front-end denotes the “visible” part; it is the user interface, the user interface of the app, the various screens displayed. If you think your app will be having needs for online functionality such as data updating procedures needed from any website, user data entering features for central data allocation and storage, and user log-in requirements etc., then you will also need a server & back-end solution for you app. Most of the app with high usefulness and functionality requires a back-end, server solutions; and this adds up significantly to the app development budget. In this case, an API (Application Programming Interface, interface for programming applications) is also required, which enables communication between the app and the back-end.

Hourly Rates Depend On ‘Who Is Developing Your App’?

Freelancers & Self-Employed Developers: They are the cheapest option, which can mean 50% of the regular hourly rates of agencies in USA and Canada and from other parts of the world can be instantly waive off. However, it involves an enormous risk – i.e. people could go missing, a lot of them do it part-time, and they’re more likely to make mistakes and miss deadlines.

Indian Offshore Agencies – Offshore Agencies from Asian countries including India are in great trend as there are hundreds of startups that are landing within the industry there. This could be an option to consider. You can choose for a developers’ team that is based in USA or Canada, and can ask them to work in close collaboration with the local based team; in case if any specified skill is required. Opting for Asian or Indian agencies, your cost is 60 to 70% of an average of the regular rate that is charged by the American or Canadian development companies. However, you may also lack a few things while working with any off-shore development company which may include lacking face-to-face interaction, clumsiness and difficulty in communication, issues related to time difference and lack of control over progress and quality.

Digital Agencies Based in USA/Canada – There is a good range of development companies in USA and Canada including Code Creators Inc. that develop apps of excellent quality. Keep in mind, however, that while many full-service or web agencies claim to develop apps, they are actually subcontracting app development to specialists. App development agencies have a team of front-end developers for iOS and Android, back-end developers, designers, project managers and account managers to ensure the app is of high quality, adherence to budget and delivery on time. Agencies in USA and Canada may work for 80-90% of the hourly rates on average.

The Complexity Of App Development

The biggest difference in the development cost of an app lies within this factor. An app with simple features such as a Calculator etc. to an app with a complex feature, for example Facebook etc. tends to vary significantly in terms of costs, because they vary in features. If you need online functionality, user login, loads of screens and functions, social media links, etc., this increases development time and therefore makes it more expensive to develop an app.

How Long Does It Take to Develop an App?

App development is a lengthy process, since it is comprised of several phases starting from concept development to user interface/wireframe designing, coding and finally it uploading to Apple App Store or Google Play Store for commercial use.

App with Low ComplexityThe complexity of the app is usually considered to be low if it is required to be developed for one platform only i.e. for example, iOS or Android development. An app with low level of complexity usually gets developed in a period of 3 months with approximate 300-350 working hours.

App with Medium ComplexityFor Android & iPhone app with medium complexity, you can anticipate about 150 to 200 hours for front end and 150-200 hours for its backend development, which makes a total of around 450-600 hours and a duration of around 4 months.

App with High ComplexityIf you have requirements of a lot of special features, for instance, in-app payment, user data management, any module for content management system or the integration of third-party apps and system, then you need a strong server or back-end solutions. And, development of such complex apps, usually takes approximately 750-1000 working hours altogether.

If your app has many special features, such as in-app payment or in-app payment, user management, a complex CMS (content management module), integration of third-party systems and a complex back-end, it can take 750-1000 hours getting together.

We have a wealth of experience in web and app development and have worked with clients in diverse sectors including banking, finance, healthcare, luxury brands, the pharmaceutical industry, local SMBs and startups, and others. We are also very proud to have reached among the best development companies in Canada and USA.

If you are now interested, take a look at our website, where you will find more information about our projects and which gives you an overview of the variety of industries and types of websites and apps with which or on which we work.

Our project experts are always available at your service to guide you about any of your concerns and queries related to your project and its cost.