By June 2015, Apple reported that more than 100 billion mobile apps had been downloaded from the Apple store. The rise in app usage can be attributed to the constantly rising numbers of smartphone use. According to a report by Statista, the year 2016 will witness approximately 207.2 million smartphone users in the US alone. These stats reveal the explosion of the app market and the rise in app revenues.
Another report reveals that in 2015 alone, global mobile app revenues reached 41.1 billion US dollars and by 2020, consumers are expected to spend more than 101 billion US dollars on mobile apps.
Again, with the prevalence of wireless transaction modes like Apple Pay, Apple has access to over 90% of US consumers’ credit cards. Moreover, the app craze doesn’t stop at the App store, it has spread to other platforms especially Google Play Store and Windows.
Now with the above stats pointing towards an incredible business opportunity, there is no doubt that investing in app will be a game changer and could earn you thousands to millions of dollars in revenue (depending on how successful your app is). For example, the makers of Angry Bird were able to generate a billion US dollars!
Let’s take a look at how much it costs to build an iPhone app:
IPhone apps usually rely heavily on the programming process. The costs of developing the app also vary depending on the devices, e.g. iPhone4, iPhone 5, iPad and so on all have different development costs.
Usually different products will have different costs for example:
A plain table based app: Cost may vary from about $1000- $4000. Here you will have to explicitly list down all potential features that you’d want the app to have. If you are well versed in design, you can do the design work yourself and this will cut down the costs even further, expect to part with approximately $1500 for this kind of app. Additional features like social media integrations and the like may scale up the costs.
A native database app: This kind of app will require you dig deep into your pockets. The costs may vary from $8000- $50,000. Just like the plain table based app where you will have to provide every detail to the developer including sound, writing, design etc. The cost will increase given that the in-app architectural logic plus usability has to be built. Such apps tend to be font heavy since they are data based.
Games: Games are the costliest apps to build. They can cost anywhere between US $10,000-$250,000. For instance, the Angry Birds game cost about $125K to $180K on development alone. Established developers who know the ins and outs of game coding including the physics, math, sound and the like, and are going to use gyroscope will charge US $125,000 as a starting price, and that will be for the development alone.
Other app costs include:
In- app purchases: If you want users to unlock more features within the app, they you have to invest in in-app purchases which will cost from anywhere between $1000-$3000 depending on the complexity and whether they’re built in the app or from a server.
Sharing and social media integration: Shared capabilities mainly refer to social media and other integrations like WordPress websites, although they are mainly concentrated on social media integrations and emailing. Cost may vary from somewhere between $500- $1000.
Game center: You have to pay $1000 to Apple for integrating the Game Center into your app. Integration with the game center is a fairly simple process that doesn’t require technical knowledge.
Web services: You may have to spend at least $1000-$5000 if you’re to make web changes remotely via XML files rather than raw code. You will need to clarify this with your developer though.
Complete App Costs
Apple will charge you $99 per year for your app and a 30% commission on each sale you make. Other than that there are no hidden charges.
Most app costs shall be centered around design, development and marketing. However, with the increase in app building, costs will become considerably lower. You will find freelancers offering to build your app at low rates, but will that come with quality? You need to ask yourself all these questions before deciding whom to handover your app building tasks to. You may also be interested in knowing how to build an app in less than $300.
Sadia Suhail is a serial content marketer, who is passionate about Inbound marketing, SEO, CRO, Email marketing and Ecommerce. She is a writer at Mobiwoz.com