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How Much Does App Development Cost in the UK?

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The world is moving towards a digital future where mobile apps have become a popular way for businesses to deliver customers a branded experience, boost sales, and provide better customer service. A branded mobile app solution is at the heart of many modern business strategies, and an increasing number of business owners are investing in developing mobile apps to reach their potential customers. 83.72% of the world population consists of smartphone users today. With this trend on the rise, we have seen an increase in the demand for app development services globally. The app development market in the UK is £19.4 billion in size and has grown by 17.4% growth in 2022. Research indicates that it is projected to grow at a steady pace in the future as well.How Much Does App Development Cost-1When it comes to app development, most business owners have the same first thought – How much does it cost to develop an app? Cost is an important consideration which is why businesses prefer outsourcing as an alternative to in-house development. While outsourcing mobile app development to a professional third party is cost-effective, easier, and more efficient for entrepreneurs, finding the right outsourcing partner can be a difficult task. There are a plethora of app development service providers out there, each with varying rates and offerings. It can be challenging for most businesses to find app developers who can provide good quality services at justified prices because the choices are potentially endless. If you too are a business looking to launch a mobile app and you are in search of a UK app developer, then this is the right guide for you.

Factors Influencing the Cost of App Development

How much does app development cost exactly? If you are looking for a definite answer to this question, we can tell you right away that there is none. App development cost depends on a number of factors, such as the type of app you want to get developed, where you are located, what features you want in the application, the technologies, etc. Let’s look at some of the main factors that determine the cost of app development. Location The company's location plays a major role in determining the software development prices. Depending on the service provider's location, the development cost can vary greatly. Countries located in the Global West (US, UK, and Canada) and Scandinavian nations (Finland, Norway, and Sweden) are considered expensive locations for software development. Whereas countries in the Global South such as South America and South Asian nations like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, have considerably cheaper custom software development pricing. The graph below indicates the average cost of app development for iOS, Android, Cross-platform, and Windows for different regions in terms of USD per her.How Much Does App Development Cost-2North America has the highest cost of app development while South America, India, and Indonesia have the lowest. The main reason for this is the low cost of labour, inexpensive infrastructure, and low value of the currency in these locations which makes the development services cost half of what app development costs in the UK. Type of Service Provider Software development pricing also depends on the type of service provider you opt for. If you are in the UK, then you have the option to hire freelance developers or find a software development firm. Freelance developers charge lower hourly rates, but it comes with many risks such as low-quality work, lack of responsibility by the freelancer, miscommunication, and mishandling of the project. Experienced software development firms although costlier are a safer and more popular option because the risks are much lower. Complexity Software development costs can vary depending on the scope of the software project. With mobile app development, the technical complexity of the app you want to get developed and the requirements and features of the app is the main deciding factor for the cost of the project. For instance, a simplistic informative and content-managed mobile app is comparatively cheaper and quicker to develop than a mobile app with complex functional requirements such as real-time updates, various API integrations, augmented and virtual reality, etc. The complexity of UI/UX design is also an important consideration because an app that requires a custom design, unconventional layouts, and navigation comes with a heavy price tag. Choice of Mobile Platform The cost of app development is also dependent on your choice of the mobile platform. App development costs for Android, iOS and other mobile operating systems are different. iOS and Android developers have different skillsets and the number of devices for each platform is also different which is why there is a difference in development costs as well. On one hand, iOS is supported by a limited number of devices (i.e. Apple iPhones), and on the other, Android is supported by a wide range of mobile devices. Android devices are less expensive than iPhone devices and the cost of an Android developer licence and an Apple licence is also different. These are some of the reasons why iOS app development costs in the UK are priced higher than Android. Functionalities and Size of Your App Custom software development pricing can vary for each project depending on the scope of the project. If you want to build an app that has a long list of features and functionalities, then the price tag of developing it will be big too. Apps that require advanced graphics, payment gateway, social media integrations, real-time functionalities, and multiple backend management tools are time-consuming to develop and hence costlier. The table below gives an overview of different categories of mobile apps and their estimated cost of development.
Application Categories Estimated Cost Examples
Data-Based Apps £12,500- £20,000 Calendar, Weather, Stocks, Maps
E-commerce App £40,000- £250,000 eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, etc.
Online Shopping / Marketplace Apps £160,000- £250,000 Restaurants, hotels, groceries, airline ticket booking, etc.
Social Media Apps £40,000- £300,000 Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
On-Demand Apps £65,000- £400,000 Postmates, Uber, Uber Eats, etc.
The scope of an app development project also depends on the size of the app. So how do we determine the size of an app? It is based on two things – the size of the userbase and the number of screens in the app. The number of screens basically means the number of modules or pages that are in the app; the more feature and functionalities there are, the greater number of screens the app will have. Ongoing Maintenance and Support The mobile app development process does not conclude with the app launch. Post-release, the app requires maintenance and support to keep the app performance top-notch and to resolve any bugs and issues that might occur. Therefore, the app development cost in the UK and globally also includes the cost of maintenance and support for a set period of time after launch. Many software providers cover the cost of app maintenance for six months post-launch and charge extra for their app maintenance and support services beyond that.

Conclusion – Save Your Development Budget

We’re at the end of the list, phew. These are the main factors that impact app development costs in the UK. Before you outsource your project development, it is important to weigh your options and do thorough market research. You will likely find a huge number of options some even at very attractive prices, but a lower price tag is not always a good choice.
Comments (1)
Charlie Miller Level 1, Pacifica, United States
2 September 2023
It's a great discussion on the cost of mobile app development! In my experience, leveraging technologies like React Native can be a game-changer when it comes to cost-effectiveness. React Native allows developers to write code once and deploy it on both iOS and Android platforms, significantly reducing development time and costs. This approach also helps in maintaining a consistent user experience across platforms. For those interested in delving deeper into how React Native can reduce mobile app development costs, I found this insightful article: How React Native Reduces Mobile App Development Cost. It's worth a read for anyone looking to optimize their app development budget.