Business owners have a habit of searching for the cheap app development companies when they’re looking for someone to create a mobile app for their business. Anytime you are offered a lower price for a high-quality mobile application, why would you refuse, right? Even though it should make you suspicious, many business owners or startup entrepreneurs in this position will let their cheapness take over by choosing the most inexpensive mobile app development company.
The truth behind cheap app development cost
But here’s the truth about choosing the company with a low rate. If an app developer gives you a lower priced quote for an app project, you can expect the final price to be 2 or 3 times over the original estimate. Furthermore, cheap app development companies will miss all the deadlines that were agreed upon and if they ever do finish the project, it will be filled with bugs and have a very low-quality performance. There’s even worse outcome – you can run out of budget before there will be an app ready for release.
You may have a limited budget which is forcing you to consider cheap mobile app development solutions, but you must consider all the factors before going forward.
The purpose of this article is to make you realize the true cost of app development over the entire course of the project. Hopefully, by the end, you will understand that choosing a mobile development agency based on their initial price offering is probably not the best thing to do.
How are the services of cheap app development companies so much lower?
App developers who have low hourly rate will often cut costs somewhere along the line. Either that or you won’t understand their true potential as an app developer until you are deeply involved in the deal with them.
Below are the numerous reasons that most mobile app developers are charging cheaper prices:
- Offshore developers in Pakistan or India will usually offer the cheapest service rates for app development. The only problem is they lack the proper education and skills to perform the job to high-quality standards.
- Cheap app development companies will purposely underestimate the scope of the project. They will give you a cheap quote in the beginning, but then later claim the project turned out to be bigger than they estimated. So, they will end up charging you more money to develop an app
- Some developers are so desperate to strike a deal and get a contract that they will offer a lower price. After the deal is made, they will throw in extra charges and fees that you must pay for them to complete business or startup app.
- New iOS or Android app developers or interns just starting out in the mobile app development industry may charge cheaper rates just to get the work and experience. Unfortunately, their clients will be the ones to suffer because the quality of the work will be lower than it would with an experienced mobile development agency.
- If your business or startup app project has few custom specifications, the cheap app development companies may just edit a cloned app or create an app based on a template using a do-it-yourself app builder. This means that your app will not be completely original. In such a competitive marketplace, your unoriginal app will never be able to compete.
- Sometimes these cheap app development companies will have their designers and iOS or Android app developers working on numerous projects at the same time. This will distract them from focusing more on your business or startup app project. As a result, you will see a lower quality outcome of your app.
Additional Costs to Expect from Cheap Mobile App Development Companies
Companies that offer inexpensive mobile app development services will likely charge extra money later down the road. These costs will come in a variety of forms, such as:
- A hired executor will not finish the project on schedule. This will prevent you from releasing the product at a time when you would have had a competitive advantage in the marketplace. As a result, you will lose the potential to make a good profit.
- Cheap mobile app development company may not even finish the project. Sometimes if the project is small or seems insignificant to the vendor, they won’t even bother starting the project until they have completed their other more important projects. Meanwhile, you will have wasted so much time with them and you will be forced to find a new mobile development agency.
- If your app makes it to the post-production stage, you may discover bugs that you will need to fix. The vendor may not have included the cost of bug fixing in their initial estimate to you. This means that you will need to pay more money to have them fix the bugs. Depending on how extensive the bugs are, you could be looking at 80% more time and costs spent on developing an app for your business or startup app. As this extra time is spent, the market and your clients might change in the process. By the time your app is finally ready for release, there may be no interested parties left.
- Cheap app development companies may ignore the scalability and architecture of your software product if it means lowering the app development cost. If the product is not scalable, this means that adding a new feature to the app will require architectural changes to be made. That will require extensive recoding or complete recoding in some cases. Either way, the initial estimated development time will be as much as 10 times longer, meaning you could be sending 10 times more money for the project to be completed.
Some of these extra expenses are not directly connected to the app development cost, but they do pertain to money in some way. For instance, the long-term expenses of operating the software may be more than expected. This could lead to lost revenue overall because the total cost of ownership (TCO) will be greater than predicted.
TCO is calculated by adding all the expenses of developing and operating the software, both the indirect and direct expenses. These expenses will include costs for support, management, software acquisition, hardware acquisition, end-user costs, downtime, training, and communications.
To understand what this means more clearly, let’s use an analogy with cars. When you own a car, its TCO will really include tech maintenance, gasoline, insurance, repairs, and the purchase price of the vehicle. So, when you are spending money to develop software, the TCO will be more than just the cost of the app development. You will also be paying for data management, infrastructure management, support, maintenance, and so on.
As you can see, there are a lot of hidden expenses when you hire a cheap app development company to develop your app at a low price. If you were buying a car, would you purchase a cheap one with no reliability or more expensive but with more reliability?
Aside from the cost of each car, there will be differences in their maintenance costs, service, performance, and safety. But if you purchase the more expensive car with the reliability, then it will last you a long time. This will actually lower your TCO because you won’t need to purchase a new car for a while. If you were to purchase the cheaper car, then you would be spending more on maintenance costs and will likely have to purchase a new car sooner rather than later.
What can’t have a low cost
There seems to be a lot of confusion about how much money it takes to develop an app. There is no clear fixed answer to this question because there are a lot of factors involved in each project. You can never calculate an average app development cost because that would be impossible.
If you are trying to develop the next big app that makes money like Tinder, Facebook, or GrubHub, then it is not going to happen in 30 days. And, it certainly won’t happen if you’re only spending $5,000. The more features your app contains, the more it will cost to develop them.
Here are some examples of features that will take more money and time to create:
- Custom animations and user interface.
- Database development or backend development.
- Real-time location tracking.
- Integration of a 3rd party API.
- Data encryption and extra security layers.
- Administration web portal
- Payment gateways
- Integrate hardware configuration
- Virtual reality / augmented reality content. This is a more complicated type of content which is still rather new, so it will be expensive to find a skilled enough mobile development agency who can do it for you.
- Chatbots / Artificial intelligence
Anytime an app development company gives you a very low estimate on an app that has these kinds of features, just walk away as fast as possible.
There are lots of methods for reducing an app development cost if you’re on a limited budget. Just plan carefully and be very clear with the app developer about what your requirements are. Go with an MVP development, to begin with. Pick a vendor that has a proven reputation with professional management and a thoroughly planned app development process.
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