Mobile app development in Singapore has risen in popularity over the past decades. Businesses, individuals startups are using mobile apps to start their business, improve their business, improve the productivity of a task.
The main question is how much does the mobile app development cost as most are looking to the most cost-effective way to develop a mobile app.
In this article, we will break down in detail the cost of mobile app development in Singapore.
Firstly, we will talk about the variables of what mobile app costs. After that has been covered, we will be diving into the costs that are included in mobile app development.
Finally, we will cover what it costs to develop different types of apps.
Factors that affect mobile app development costs
- Technology Stack
- Platforms Required
- App Developer’s location
- Number of Features and Complexity of Features
- Design Complexity
- Admin Panel Robustness
- Security requirements
The mobile app technology stack that you choose will affect the costs of mobile app development. There are a few main mobile app frameworks that are in the market at the moment.
They are – Native, Hybrid, and Cross-Platform mobile app development.
Native mobile apps are the priciest but have the best stability. They are also developed with the recommended technologies that are for Android and iOS app development.
Android is currently developed in Kotlin (previously Java) in Android Studio, while iOS is mainly developed in Swift in XCode.
Native mobile apps are expensive and are suitable for enterprises who are looking for the best performing apps and can be scaled easily.
Hybrid mobile apps are apps that are essentially a website that is packaged in an app. This allows the app to feel like a native app when it is a website. This is good for companies or startups with a low budget that are looking to launch an app quickly with the most cost-effective solution.
The reason for the low cost is that we only write the code once, and it can be launched on both Android and iOS platforms.
However, since at the core is a website, the performance might be inferior as compared to native apps. Moreover, hybrid apps are not the best for scalability.
The most common hybrid app framework is Ionic App Framework.
Cross-Platform apps are apps that are written once and can be launched on both Android and iOS NATIVELY. It has a similar code style to hybrid apps. However, for cross-platform apps, the frameworks deploy and render native elements.
To understand cross-platform apps better, you can think of it as a translator. It takes a set of code in cross-platform, and “talks” to the native codes to tell them what is needed in the mobile app. In other words, it is a shortcut to native apps.
This saves quite a big chunk of costs since the code is only needed to be written once. Moreover, it has a similar performance to native apps.
Some examples of cross-platform development frameworks are Flutter and React Native.
Cross-platform mobile apps are suitable for companies and startups who have a decent budget and is planning for a mid-range scale.
Here is the cost breakdown for native, hybrid and cross-platform apps.
|Platform||Cost (Starts from)|
There are two main platforms that mobile apps are on, and they are Android and iOS. In some exceptions, there are also requirements to have windows mobile app.
As you are already expecting, if you opt for only one platform, the cost will be significantly lower, especially for native mobile apps.
App Developer Team’s Location
The location of the mobile app development team plays a part in the cost of app development. To elaborate, there can be offshore teams or local teams.
Having requested a local development team in Singapore can have a better experience as compared to an offshore team. In other words, clients can drop by the local development house to meet the developers for project updates. However, for offshore development teams, communication is through only a local project manager.
Some situations, for example, if you are a government agency looking for mobile app development, then a local team is more suitable for this.
However, for most cases, an offshore team with local project manager will suffice. Some companies also have a requirement that the developers are based locally. Startups who are looking for the most cost-effective development should opt for offshore development teams.
|Local Development||Offshore Development|
|Fulfils “Locals Only” Requirement||Yes||No|
Number of Features and Complexity of Features
The main variable of the cost of mobile app development is the number of features and how complex each feature is. For example, if you have a mobile app with limited functionality, it will cost near the starting price of the platform.
The more the functionalities of your mobile app, the more effort is needed to build the app, the higher the cost of the development.
In addition to the number of functionalities, the complexity of the features also varies the cost of app development.
For example, a simple blog app will cost less than a GPS location-based ride-hailing app.
Here is a list of some high-level features that we can build, and the correlated price beside it:
|Module||Price (Starts From)|
|Single Database CRUD||S$3,000|
|Dual Database CRUD||S$5,000|
|Multiple Database CRUD||S$3,000/database|
|Image Upload Functionality||S$1,000|
|QR Code Scanner||S$1,000|
To explain deeper, user modules are where users can be created and features such as login, forgot password, sign up, are in the app. Social authentication is being able to sign in and sign up using social media such as Facebook and Google accounts.
A GPS functionality is when you can use the user’s location to perform different location-based functions such as booking a taxi or suggesting nearby items.
A single database CRUD (or Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) is where there is 1 database that is being played around. Some examples of these single database apps are blogs and simple social media platforms. The single database, in this case, would be either blog posts or social media content respectively.
For dual database CRUD, it involves multiple databases. Some examples of these are blog posts with categories, M-Commerce apps, etc.
Multiple database CRUD is when there is complex database work consisting of many database tables. These are more commonly used in enterprise systems like inventory management apps, HR staff apps, etc.
Image upload, chat and QR Code scanning apps are also other functionalities that we can build.
The sky is the limit to what kind of mobile apps can be built. In order to get a clearer picture of what kind of quote you are going to have, you can speak to us for more details.
The design requirements of the mobile app is another big variable of the mobile app development costs. Simple designs for mobile apps will be more affordable as compared to complex designs.
For clients with a bigger budget, we will suggest a full UX and UI road map to optimise the app for your users. In this way, not only will the user interface look good, but your users will feel good using the mobile app as well.
However, for clients with a tighter budget, it is alright to stick with normal mobile app designs, as we will ensure that it meets or exceeds expectations.
Therefore, the more complex the designs, the higher the costs. Usually, complex designs cost double of normal mobile app design costs.
Admin Panel Robustness
There are many variations of admin panel robustness. Admin panels are mostly web-based and control the content that is showing on the app. The admin panel can also control user information, database information, send notifications, etc.
Some projects might require more complex admin panels, while others might require simple and basic admin panels.
Example of basic admin panel: Simple content management and user management. Data analytics for the admins to do business intelligence analysis.
Examples of complex admin panels: Exporting data as CSV, workflow management, complex filters, sorting, send notifications
We craft the admin panel on a case-by-case basis where we add functions in the admin panel that can bring value to the admins and achieve their KPI.
Cybersecurity requirements in mobile apps are also a variable cost in mobile app development. Depending on the project, some apps require extensive mobile app security protocols as compared to normal basic apps.
For example, large enterprises and government projects require security wherever we can cover. This is to prevent viruses or data leaks that might potentially happen in mobile apps.
Although we like to paint a perfect world situation where a mobile app would not get hacked, hackers will find a way into the apps if they want to.
Some examples of these security requirements are penetration tests, data encryption, HTTP injection blocker, CSRF Token, etc.
Therefore, the more stringent the security requirement, the higher the mobile app development costs.
Costs included in mobile app development
- Design thinking or app consultation
- UI/UX design
- App development
- QA efforts
- Project management
- App deployment
- Mobile App maintenance
- App marketing
- App Security
- Running Costs
Design Thinking or App Consultation
Before starting to develop a mobile app, we will go through consultation or a mobile app design thinking process to ensure that the mobile app solves a core problem. We have to optimise the mobile app functionalities so that our clients have measurable goals.
In design thinking for mobile apps, we identify the problem that we are trying to solve, then come out with innovative solutions. From here, we can work backwards to iterate on the mobile app idea that the customer has.
These are a whole range of consultation services to help improve the idea of the mobile app.
This cost ranges from a simple consultation to full-fledged consultation with testing and iteration.
For every app to come out beautifully and effective, we have to spend efforts on the UI and UX design.
The UI design is the process of allowing the app to look aesthetically good, while UX design is the process of making the mobile app relevant and meaningful for your users. These are efforts that are already considered in the mobile app quotation that we provide.
App development is where the actual bulk of mobile app programming is done. This is the main cost of mobile app development.
We take the designs that were previously done and convert them to mobile app codes. We also implement and plan things like database schemas, wireframing, architecture planning, mobile app release plans, etc.
QA (Quality Assurance) is when the team tests the mobile app for potential issues and bugs. We point out the bugs and fix the bugs in this process.
Project management is assigning a project manager to ensure the team is aware of the mobile app project requirements and that the client is aware of the progress.
This includes milestones release and the support for the mobile app development process. Should there be any issues arising, the project manager will be there to handle it.
After the mobile app has been developed, we will have a training that is included to educate the app owners on how to operate the app and admin panel. This is to ensure that the project handover is smooth.
The cost of deploying the mobile app into the appropriate app stores (Google Play Stores and Apple App Store) are also included in mobile app development.
App Maintenance and Support
After the app has been done, maintenance contracts will be signed and these will include bug fix, support, software updates, version upgrades, new device upgrades. These costs are usually charged yearly.
For support, if there are any questions for the admin panels, such as a bug pointed out or needing some guidance, the support is there.
The basic security of the mobile app has also been already taken into consideration in the quotation. This includes things like CSRF Protection and basic data encryption from SSL certificates. These basic security measures only take up a fraction of the cost. More advanced security protocols will have to have a separate package.
Running Costs for Mobile App Operations
When running a mobile app, there are fixed costs that occur either yearly or monthly that has to be paid to the appropriate parties. Firstly, it is maintenance costs that have already been mentioned above.
Secondly, there are server and domain costs. Domains range from S$20 to S$100 on average but reach higher if the domain is more expensive and rare. Servers are depending on the usage. On average, our clients spend about S$300/year on server costs.
Next, we have the app store fees. For Android’s Google Play Store, clients have to pay a US$25 one-time fee to Google. For Apple’s App Store, clients have to pay a yearly US$99 fee to Apple.
Lastly, it is any third party subscriptions that we have used in the app. These are things like Google Map API charges, monthly App Analytics charges, etc.
Freelancers vs Mobile app development Company
Many times, we have clients asking if they can save cost by engaging with freelance mobile app developers instead of a mobile app development agency. Although costs can be saved, here are the comparisons between freelancers and the mobile app companies.
Here are the things that we are comparing:
- Customer Service
The price of freelancers is cheaper than mobile app development companies. This is because freelancers are made up of either a single developer or a small team of developers. On the other hand, mobile app development companies are made up of a whole fledge of resources. For example, designers, project managers, testers, sales team, etc.
Therefore, freelancers are able to produce a more competitive price as compared to the app development agencies locally.
Although the price of the freelancers is more competitive as compared to local mobile app development companies, the quality is not assured. The work that is delivered by mobile app development companies is highly tested and checked.
They have to be world-class standard mobile app development companies in order to deliver quality work to enterprises. With their resources such as testers and project managers, they ensure that quality has been met before the mobile app is released to the clients.
For freelancers, they are their own Quality Assurance people. They have to ensure the quality on their own before sending to the clients. This has many issues such as lack of quality on the client-side. Moreover, clients might have to do their own testing and spend a lot of time.
In conclusion, mobile app agencies provide better quality apps as compared to freelancers.
For freelancers, since they are operated by the developer team themselves, it is harder to get better service from the freelancers as compared to a dedicated project manager from mobile app development companies.
In the app developer agencies, the dedicated project manager will be focused on giving you updates on the project instead of the developers themselves. This is better service as compared to the developers sending over updates. Moreover, with the project manager, there will be control from them to deliver the work on time.
Therefore, customer service in mobile app development companies is better than freelancers.
Since mobile app development agencies are registered companies in Singapore, they have better dependability. As their brand is on the line, they will have to deliver or risk spoiling their brand reputation.
However, for freelancers, they are individuals that do not have a brand. Most freelancers do not have a registered company so it is harder to take legal action against them.
Therefore, mobile app companies are more reliable as compared to freelancers.
In conclusion, here are the core differences in choosing an app development firm as compared to a freelancer.
|Freelancer||Mobile App Development Company|
If you are a price-constraint client, then going for a freelancer is the best way to go. However, if you are looking for high-quality work and willing to put in a better budget, then it is highly recommended to go for mobile app companies as they produce better work, better customer service and better dependability.
How does SleekDigital come up with a Mobile App Quotation?
There is no fixed exact cost for mobile app development. Instead, at SleekDigital, we usually go in a few steps before we can define how much an app will cost our client.
Firstly, we meet up with the client to get the requirements. We understand the client’s problem through our mobile app consulting. After the consulting, we refine the mobile app specs and technology (e.g. Flutter or Ionic). After the client has approved the functionalities, we will then proceed to calculate the efforts of the mobile app.
From there, we will derive a quotation based on the functionalities. Some companies charge an hourly rate, however, at SleekDigital, we charge mobile apps by features. At every module, we will put a price on it depending on the complexity.
Afterwhich, a mobile app quotation has been crafted.
Total Mobile App Development Costs
We have covered a range of topics, you’ve probably gotten lost in all the numbers. Let us summarise for you to refresh the costs of mobile app development.
|Simple App (Mvp apps, with limited functionalities available)||Mid-Range App (Most Enterprise apps and startup apps are in this category)||Advanced App (High requirements, complex mobile apps, mainly for enterprise clients.)|
|App Consultation||S$1,000 – S$2,000||S$3,000 – S$5,000||S$10,000 – S$20,000|
|UI/UX Design||S$2,000 – S$3,000||S$3,000 – S$8,000||S$8,000 – S$12,000|
|App Development||S$3,000-S$6,000||S$5,000 – S$8,000||S$10,000 – S$12,000|
|QA Efforts||S$800-S$1,200||S$1,000 – S$2,000||S$2,000-S$4,000|
|Project Management||S1,000-S$2,000||S$1,500 – S$3,000||S$4,000 – S$8,000|
|Training||S$400-S$800||S$800 – S$1,200||S$2,000 – S$3,000|
|App Deployment||S$800-S$1,200||S$800 – S$1,200||S$1,200 – S$2,000|
|App Maintenance||S$1,800-S$4000||S$2,400 – S$6,000||S$8,000 – S$12,000|
|App Security||S$1,000-S$5,000||S$2,000 – S$6,000||S$5,000 – S$10,000|
|Timeline||2 – 3 Months||3 – 4 Months||4 – 6 Months|
|Total Market Rate:||S$11,800 – S$25,200||S$19,500 – S$40,400||S$50,200 + S$83,000|
|SleekDigital’s Rate:||S$8,000 – S$15,000||S$15,000 – S$30,000||S$45,000 – S$65,000|
Do take note that these are ballpark figures and it is to show roughly how we can gauge a mobile app development price. In order to get an exact quotation for your mobile app development, you can schedule a FREE consultation with one of our mobile app experts.
To give you an idea of what different mobile apps are being priced at, here are the examples of different mobile apps
|Type of App||Rough Price Estimation|
|Ride-Hailing App (Like Grab)||S$30,000 – S$70,000|
|Food Ordering & Delivery App (Like FoodPanda)||S$20,000 – S$40,000|
|Marketplace App (Like Carousell)||S$20,000 – S$45,000|
|Grocery App (Like RedMart)||S$25,000 – S$40,000|
|M-Commerce App (Like ASOS)||S$12,000 – S$30,000|
|Blog App||S$10,000 – S$15,000|
|Enterprise Inventory Management App||S$8,000 – S$20,000|
|CRM App||S$8,000 – S$15,000|
|Tuition Apps (like Tueetor)||S$10,000 – S$30,000|
|On-Demand Service App||S$20,000 – S$30,000|
|E-Learning App||S$30,000 – S$60,000|
|QR Scanner App||S$10,000 – S$15,000|
These prices are ballpark mobile app development prices and will vary depending on the number of functionalities, complexity, and exact business requirements of the company.
At SleekDigital, we aim to provide the most cost-effective mobile app development services that provide the highest ROI for your business needs. With our strategies and expertise in mobile app development, mobile app consulting, mobile app marketing, we are confident that we can achieve your business needs.
We do not just want to develop your mobile app, we want to develop your business.