Press releases

‘Discovery’ Stage Required by Majority of App Development Companies

September 26, 2017

by Riley Panko

Marketing Communications Manager

New survey finds over 70% of app developers require pre-development research so clients can understand the process and better estimate costs.

WASHINGTON, DC – Sept. 26, 2017 – Most app development companies require a pre-development research or ‘discovery’ stage with their clients to clarify project objectives and Discovery Stage Costdetails and gauge client expectations, according to new survey data from Clutch, a leading B2B ratings and reviews firm. Nearly 70% of 102 app development companies surveyed say they mandate this discovery phase, which also helps formulate a realistic cost estimate for an app development project.

App development costs vary and are based on features, timelines, the type of firm employed, and other factors. Businesses can research app development prices online, but experts agree that identifying an accurate estimate is unlikely without completing the discovery stage in collaboration with an app development company.

“It makes sense to only give an exact [price] estimate after the team clearly understands what should be done,” said Dmitry Dobritskiy, CEO and Co-Founder of MindStudios, a mobile app development company. Clutch’s survey of 102 app development companies helps businesses better understand the app development process and its potential costs.

App Development Cost Typically Depends on the Type of Features

Certain app features, such as a web portal for managing an app and infrastructure for performance management and analytics, tend to increase the cost of a project. These features require backend integration and intricate coding.

Even simple features can add to the cost of an app, though, depending on the requirements. For example, one app development company reported that push notifications cost between $50,000 - $100,000 to build, even though push notifications are typically considered a simple feature. Experts caution that an app feature should not be assigned one specific price tag across all projects.

“Every project is different. The underlying process and layers of complexity required to deliver each particular feature will determine the cost just as much as the total number of features,” explained Drew Johnson, Co-CEO of App Partner, a mobile app design and development agency.

Misconceptions About App Development Are Common

App development experts say there are several common misconceptions among businesses regarding app development costs, including that many businesses don’t understand the investment required to build a meaningful app.

“Many businesses walk in thinking that an app can be built for $25,000 - $50,000,” said Nik Sanghvi, Head of U.S. Sales and Business Development at Robosoft, a mobile app development company. While Sanghvi acknowledges there are, “very simple apps that can be built within that price range,” for any ‘meaningful’ app development Sanghvi recommends that a company budget $200,000 - $500,000 from end-to-end to be successful.

Businesses interested in building an app with a professional app development company should be knowledgeable of the process and understand the investment required.

Read the full report:

For help finding an app development firm that fits your company’s budget, explore Clutch’s app development firm reviews.

For the raw data, a comment on the findings, or an introduction to the industry experts included in the report, reach out to Riley Panko at [email protected]

About Clutch

A B2B ratings and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch connects you with the agencies and software solutions that can help enhance your business and meet your goals. Our methodology maps agencies and software solutions based on customer reviews, the type of services offered, and quality of work.


Riley Panko

[email protected]

(202) 899-2779