The mobile industry is in the buzz right now. There are a lot of opened opportunities in the market that is not limited into texting and extends to mobile banking, e-mails, researches and app usages. The list goes on. It seems that the opportunities are limitless and cannot be bound by the technology we have right now. Developers are clamoring for the next best thing that people can utilize. They are always on their toes looking for what is going to be wanted and desired by the market. Production seems to increase in greater proportion than the need. However, the question that begs to be asked is if the production is going to be worth it in the long run.
The trending platform for applications at the moment is for the Apple trademark. However, if the mobile trend is to continue at this pace, extending the market to the creation of applications for Android and Blackberry would entail the development of such from scratch.
So as a developer, what are the things that you have to have in mind in order to make sure that your efforts will pay off?
Have a game plan
First off, you have to have a game plan in mind. For instance, when developing an app, you have to have a clear mindset as to what kind of purpose your product will have. Are you shooting for an income-generating app or are you just making one to upgrade and market your other businesses. If earning from your product is what you desire, then you can just simply hook them to an iTunes billing. However, if you are going to use your app as a marketing tool, when you really have to start considering and planning ahead so that the amount that it will cost to build an app will bring more customers to your door. After all, you are going to offer this kind of app for free so there are no guarantees that you will have your money back if it does not work out.
Have a main goal
At the end of the day, what you need to strategize on is how to distribute it as widely as possible. If your mobile app is primarily for marketing, you need to reach not just a certain number of users, but these users must be your specific target market as well. At the end of the day, it does not matter how you reach them, but how many will actually buy in to what your app is promoting. So, if you are planning to reach as many people as possible, you would need to develop not just iOS app, but also app for other platforms such as Blackberry and Android. Thus you would triple the cost of your marketing.
Factors in app development
App development is not an easy task. When you are asking for the cost, one of the first things that will be asked is how long is the expected turnaround time? The quicker you need it, the more it will cost. You may also incur additional costs if you will be needing a server to connect to your app for hosting. If you are aiming for an app with a high aesthetic appeal, then additional money will be shelled out if you will add in music or make an original app because you need to get a license or a copyright from a third party.
You will also need to decide how content-heavy your mobile app is going to be. You can either choose it to be static or dynamic in terms of content. The former is mainly informational and does not automatically update content unless requested while the latter is continuously updated via web services fees from Wi-Fi or RSS. Obviously, the dynamic mobile apps will cost more because it will need more maintenance.
Know what you are getting into
Just to give you an idea of what you are up against, the typical cost for producing an iPhone app will amount to around $30,000. A majority of the expenses will go to labor. You will also need to factor in delays in deployment, bugs, and maintenance. You will need to shell out almost the same amount for designing and deploying a Blackberry or Android app. If want to lower the cost a little, you can leverage in-house talent for writing scripts and design to help out with the creation of your app. However, the cut will probably not be more than one-fourth of the whole amount. You may also choose to outsource a developer from other countries. However, you have to check the background of the freelancer and get references, so as to be assured of the integrity and quality of work. However, if you are just going to settle down to simply having a mobile web app, then the marketing cost will definitely lower.
Alternatives to app development
Unless you have a business enterprise like a nationwide mall or banks, a hundred thousand dollars investment of app production is definitely not worth it. If you are not planning to risk your money with an app that will not guarantee to pay off, then a good alternative is a mobile website. You may be restricted in terms of flexibility, but this option will definitely guarantee lower rates than what would cost you if you are to create a native app. In addition, you will be reaching far more people, around 90% of the population compared to the 80% reach of smartphone users.
Another alternative that you can employ is to subscribe at software services. There are companies like Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.com that offer software-as-a-service solutions. In this way, they will develop a software for you that you only have to pay on a monthly basis. Formotus pricing offers the creation of custom business apps for only $45 a month. This service does not give activation fee and additional charges for creation, deployment and maintenance. This is quite affordable because it involves no coding for the development of the product.