How much does app development cost? Infographic | 4i

How much does app development cost? Infographic

01 March 2018 ‐ 5 min read

We've been designing and developing mobile apps since iOS 2.3, when there weren't even 500 apps on iTunes. From our wealth of experience working with a range of different clients, we've learned a thing or two about what goes into creating a mobile app. Here's a guideline on how much your app idea is going to cost. 

1. Very Low Complexity

If you are testing an idea or concept, the stakes are high. Our advice is to spend as little as possible by working with a team that's fast, efficient and thinks like an entrepreneur. Then, launch your first phase within 2-3 months to start gathering market feedback. We like to work lean and smart, and keep things really simple. In our opinion, a first phase app should do one thing, and do it really well.

2. Low Complexity

Your next phase should merely refine the main purpose of the app, taking into account any user feedback you might have received after launching phase one to the market. If your idea is a little more complex, then a first phase could take around 3-4 months.

3. Medium Complexity

A lot of people come to us, really excited about their app idea. Too excited, in fact. They get so wrapped up in the 'app idea' that they've forgotten about the business. Make sure you've done your due diligence and market research to be sure there's an appetite for your idea, that the market is big enough, and most importantly, that the projected ROI outweighs investment.

If you're working iteratively with an agile development team like 4i, then this would be roughly what you would expect to pay by phase 3 of development. Again, adding very few features.

4. High Complexity

Most apps that actually end up producing a return on investment cost around the high complexity bracket, for a first and second phase release. By 6 months you can expect to have a pretty impressive app with some really cool features and functionality. In addition, it should be able to handle high loads and have scalability.

5. Very High Complexity

The "Uber or Airbnb" of anything is considered a highly, highly complex app. These companies have invested millions upon millions of Rands (or Dollars) refining their digital product to do everything they need it to do. A first phase high complexity app will take roughly 6 months to build, and that's just a start. The "average" app that has progressed from one phase to the next would be nearing "full functionality" at around 6-12 months, and the cost of development would be in excess of R1m.  

It's really important to note that these costing brackets are guidelines only, as every piece of custom software is unique, and the process involved in accurately costing a project is in itself, pretty complex due to the number of unknowns. If you're looking for an experienced and creative team to solve your business challenge with state-of-the-art software, drop us a line at hello@4imobile.co.za

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