To begin with, there are a wide range of factors that affect the process of building a hybrid mobile application. From the experts you choose to the features and type of application, the cost varies. But with the end product being applicable on multiple platforms, there is a guaranteed wider audience reach, for a better return on investment.
Some of the main factors that affect the app development costs include
1. The type of hybrid mobile application
The type of application determines the functionality that comes along with it. For an e-commerce app, the features are different, compared to a learning app. Hence, deciding the type of application is the first step to mapping out the features needed and the target audience.
To provide an overview of the general costs of simple to complex applications, here is how hybrid mobile applications of different types may cost,
A simple hybrid mobile application has fewer features and requires a smaller team. This may cost from $10,000-$40,000
A medium complex or basic hybrid mobile application may require a time of 3-6 months and may cost from $40,000-$90,000
A complex hybrid mobile application may take around a year or more, due to the features involved. This requires an equally experienced team and might cost around $120,000 or more.
For companies that require small or medium applications, hybrid mobile applications are a great alternative given their low upfront and maintenance costs.
2. Cost of the stages in hybrid mobile app development
The app development approach may differ according to the development team, but the major stages remain the same. If the app were to be developed for one platform, such as Android or iOS, the costs would differ according to the platform. Some of the main stages that determine the cost of the hybrid app include,
Operating System (OS)
One of the advantages of hybrid apps is that the app development timeline for both platforms is time and cost-effective. Only one codebase is needed for cross-platform development.
The applications for both platforms can be built simultaneously. For instance, native app development targeting one platform such as Android or iOS would cost from $40,000-$1,00,000 or more, compared to a hybrid approach that costs $20,000-$60,000 or more and targets both platforms for a lesser price.
No matter the complexity of the application, a hybrid mobile application would still have to go through the regulations of the Google Play Store or the App Store. The main focus must be on the user experience, as hybrid apps cannot entirely mimic the feel of native apps. Making sure that the app follows the publishing and regulations criteria of the app stores by utilising third-party tos and native features whenever possible can make a better impression when the app is assessed by store regulators.
The app design must be welcoming and ensure a smooth user experience. The UI/UX design costs depend on the complexities, the team, expertise and whether it's in-house or an outsourced team. The cost ranges from $6,000 to $25,000 depending on the hybrid mobile app requirements.
One aspect of app development that is mostly overlooked when discussing costs is access to data and content updates. Based on the type of app that you develop, the content and the type of updates vary accordingly. Some essential features include a content management platform, dashboard to monitor routine tasks, user profile management, analytics tracker, and a preview platform to take a final look at any changes before pushing them live.
These are some basic costs that tag along with hybrid app development. These investments provide insights into consumer interaction and usage and serve as crucial data for future app updates.
3. Cost of the development team
Besides the global difference in the cost of development teams, the type of team required for your hybrid mobile app development is a crucial factor. As a company, you can resort to three main choices,
In-house team- In-house team specialists work with the company's staff. The advantage of constant updates, higher performance, monitoring and controlling of timelines and deadlines in the project is possible. However, the cost of housing the team, providing learning resources and the overall cost is more compared to freelancers or outsourced agencies
Outsourced agency- a hybrid mobile application development company can either be local, within your proximity or be an outsourced, global team. Here, experience is crucial. An experienced team may provide better communication, transparency and faster updates. However, the quality of work for the project may vary, the cost is dependent on the expertise and location and there can be no customisations available within the team
Freelancers- for smaller projects, freelancers may be the right fit. They are the most cost-effective compared to the other options, can be picked from a diverse talent pool and are easy to hire. However, reliability is the least in this case and they may require constant feedback on the work done. Hiring freelancers for different, specific roles may also be a time-consuming process.
The costs for these agencies mainly depend on the project, expertise of teams, number of people and the country. In-house teams require the highest amount, while outsourced agencies may cost $20-$150 per hour. Freelancers may cost an average of $15-40, making it a cost-effective, but a project-dependent option.
4. Cost of development by region
The cost of development for a hybrid application depends on the country and the hourly rates of the companies that offer the services.
The hourly rate of application development is also based on,
The programming language used for hybrid mobile app development
The number of specialists involved in the team and their experience
The complexity of the features of the app
The price difference varies across different countries and an average of the app development cost would be,
|Region||Hourly rate (in $)|
5. App maintenance costs
To maintain quality post-deployment, hybrid app maintenance is a must-have feature. Most often, when the cost of building a hybrid mobile application is considered, maintenance is not taken into consideration. But, zero maintenance can lead to zero app updates, and the eventual rise in customer uninstalls.
Hence, if your hybrid mobile app caters to their requirements, but does not update over time compared to other competitors, your app faces a risk of being uninstalled. There are many advantages of hybrid app maintenance which include,
Regular app updates that deliver a better user experience
Bug fixes in maintenance duration that reduce chances of downtime
A security check during maintenance to reduce cyber threats
Corrective maintenance to check the functions
App maintenance comes after the deployment cycle and usually costs higher in the first year, compared to the ones after. The expenses include app store developer fees, emergency maintenance, maintenance of servers, notifications, payment gateways and so on. An average estimate of the maintenance cost would be 50% of the hybrid mobile application in the first year. In the following years, maintenance costs decrease to 15-20% of the total maintenance cost.
Both iOS and Android platforms are known to release constant updates. This requires hybrid applications to update and a process of resubmission. This may cost around $1500 annually, depending on the complexity of the features added. Further, multiple third-party APIs is a crucial feature of hybrid mobile apps. Updating API versions would incur additional charges of about $3000-5000 a year.
Services such as hosting server fees, tools to check analytics, and customer service can be additional charges. Hence, based on the total expenditure for an application, the maintenance costs can be calculated. This also depends on the organisation that provides these maintenance charges.