App development cost in 2020
This article is to reveal the app development cost in 2020 in Switzerland, Western Europe or in the world – a question we get all the time. It is a bit like asking ”How much does a movie cost?”. If a university student shoots it with a hand-held camera it is $200, if it is a Hollywood movie, then $200 million. It is just as hard to compare the cost of work to develop an app.
We are Swiss Tomato, an award-winning app and web development agency in Geneva and Zurich. So let us give you a long answer to a seemingly short question.
First, you have to understand what the key factors are that will determine your app development budget.
Number and Type of Platforms for the App Development Cost estimate
iOS or Android – smartphone or tablets? These are all very different things, an iPhone and an Android development have very little in common. Which practically easily doubles the so-called front-end costs (=non-online element). If you need to optimize it for tablets, it adds extra hours on user interface & design.
Does your app have online functionality?
App developments consist of two main elements: front-end and back-end. The front-end is the “visible” part, it is the app’s user interface, the different screens that are displayed. If your app needs online function. Like refreshing data from a web site, users logging in, users providing data that are stored centrally etc.. Then you also need a back-end, a server solution to develop an app. Most meaningful apps need a back-end. Therefore it adds significant development hours to your budget, therefore to the app development cost globally. In this case, also an API (application programming interface) is needed which makes the communication between the app and the back-end possible.
Hourly rates depending on who will develop your app
Freelancer, off-shore app agency or a European or Swiss agency.
Freelancers are cheapest, it can be 50% of the regular agency hourly rate in Europe. There is a huge risk, people may disappear, many do it after their main jobs. So they will make mistakes and are more likely to miss deadlines.
- Indian off-shore agencies – you can choose a development team located outside of Europe, there are a lot of app developers in India. They work avg. 60-70% cheaper than the regular European, Swiss agency hourly rate. Challenges will be no face-to-face interactions, slow and difficult communication, time difference and little oversight on progress and quality.
- Digital agencies based in Switzerland / Europe – there is a good selection of quality agencies to develop an app. Please note that a lot of full-service or web agencies claim they develop apps, in reality, they subcontract it to specialists. App developer agencies have a team of iOS, Android front-end developers, back-end developers, designers. As well as, project managers and account managers to ensure high quality, on budget and on time app deliveries. Western European agencies might work for 80-90% of Swiss rates.
The complexity of the app development
This can be on a huge range – from a very simple app (say a calculator with a nice design) to a very complex one (Facebook is also an app). If you need online functionality, user log-in, a lot of screens & functions, social media link etc.. It will all make your development time longer, hence more expensive to develop an app.
How long does it take to develop an app?
A good app takes a long time to develop, as it involves phases of concept development, wireframe / user interface, design, coding, testing & uploading to Apple Store and Google Play.
Medium complexity app
If you count with an iPhone & Android phone app with medium complexity, you can count with 150-200 hours for iOS, 150-200 hours for Android. And 150-200 hours for back-end development. Which gives you a total of 450-600 hours of development and roughly 4 months development time.
Low complexity app
If it is one platform only (say iOS) and with low complexity, you can count with 300-350 hours and 3 months to develop an app.
High complexity app
If your app has many special features, like in-app payment, user management, complex content management module, integration of 3rd party systems and a complex back-end. Then the app development might be 750-1’000 hours as well.
Let us not write the exactly hourly rates here, but you can calculate the total project app development cost will be 300-1’000 hours time the hourly rate od the developer.
Swiss Tomato Digital Agency for your app development project
We have a lot of experience in web and app development. We have worked with NGO and non-profit sector clients, luxury brands, pharma industry, local SMBs or startups among others. Also very proud to be among the Top3 several times at awards like Best of Swiss Apps, Best of Swiss Web from 2015. We are very proud that we have won “Best Mobile App” in 2019 in Switzerland at the Meilleur du Web 2019 Award.
Please also visit our references page for more information on the projects and to see the diversity of the industries, type of websites and applications that we are working on.
We would be really happy to talk about any of them in order to be able to identify your needs. And to show you how we can be at your service regardless of the industry or the complicated design and technical requirements.
We are looking forward to discussing your project whenever you feel like and know more about app development cost! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any further questions.