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    IoT App Development Cost You Need to Know In 2024

    Tuhin Bhatt's image.
    Co-founder of LAD

      Last updated on January 8, 2024

      12 min read

    Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to bring your innovative IoT app idea to life?

    Picture this: you’re designing a revolutionary smart device that will transform the way people interact with their homes.

    Exciting, right?

    But amidst all the excitement, there’s a nagging question at the back of your mind – how much will it cost to develop an IoT app that powers your device and provides a seamless user experience?

    That’s where we come in.

    In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the world of IoT app development costs, helping you understand the factors that influence pricing and providing you with the insights you need to make informed decisions.

    We know that cost is a significant concern for any business, especially in the highly competitive UK market.

    So, whether you’re a startup, a small business, or an established company looking to venture into IoT, we’ve got you covered.

    You’ll discover everything from the key factors impacting IoT mobile app development costs to a breakdown of expenses in different development stages.

    By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge necessary to navigate the intricate landscape of app development costs for IoT.

    What is IoT?

    IoT short for Internet of Things refers to the network of interconnected physical devices embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity capabilities that enable them to collect and exchange data.

    These devices can range from everyday objects like smartphones and wearables to industrial machinery and smart home appliances.

    What is an IoT App and How Does it Work?

    IoT application development involves creating software applications that facilitate the control, monitoring, and management of IoT devices.

    These apps act as intermediaries, allowing users to interact with their connected devices and enabling seamless integration into their daily lives.

    The significance of IoT app development lies in its ability to unlock the full potential of IoT technology by providing intuitive interfaces and intelligent functionality.

    📊 Internet of Things (IoT) Market Overview

    The worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market would increase at a CAGR of 26.1% from $662.21 billion in 2023 to $3,352.97 billion in 2030.

    In 2023, the IoT industry is expected to generate US$1,177.00 billion in revenue.

    With an estimated market size of US$397.20 billion in 2023, the automotive IoT sector is the largest IoT market.

    Understanding IoT App Development

    To understand the cost of developing an IoT app, you must first understand the scope of an IoT app development project

    An IoT app allows you to connect, monitor, and control IoT devices through a user interface on a smartphone, tablet, or other smart device.

    Developing an IoT app requires integrating IoT hardware like sensors, actuators, and communication modules with cloud platforms and mobile apps.

    This end-to-end solution typically involves:

    IoT hardware: Sensors, actuators, and communication modules to enable your connected devices. Costs vary significantly based on complexity and quantity.

    Connectivity: Enabling your IoT devices to send and receive data. Options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity have different costs.

    Cloud platform: Storing, processing, and managing your IoT data and connected devices. Major platforms like AWS IoT Core, Azure IoT Hub, and Google Cloud IoT charge based on usage.

    Mobile app development: Designing and building your IoT application interface. Developing an iOS and Android app can cost between £200,000 to £500,000 or more for a complex solution.

    Integration and testing: Connecting all the components and ensuring your IoT solution works as intended. Plan for at least 20-30% of total project costs for integration and testing.

    Maintenance and support: Keeping your IoT app and connected devices up to date and providing ongoing support. Budget at least 10-15% of initial costs annually for maintenance.

    The total cost to develop an enterprise-level IoT app solution could easily exceed £500,000 to £1 million or more when all factors are considered.

    However, an innovative IoT app that provides value to users has the potential for a high return on investment.

    With the right strategy and technical partner, developing an IoT application could be very rewarding.

    Benefits of IoT Apps for Businesses and Consumers

    IoT apps offer a plethora of features and benefits for both businesses and consumers.

    For businesses, IoT applications can optimize operations, enhance productivity, automate processes, enable data-driven decision-making, and unlock new revenue streams.

    Consumers can enjoy personalized experiences, increased convenience, energy efficiency, improved safety, and enhanced quality of life through IoT apps.

    How Much Does IoT App Development Cost?

    A basic IoT app that connects a few devices and has limited functionality will cost between £20,000 to £50,000.

    An intermediate app linking 10-50 intelligent devices with moderate features may range from £50,000 to £80,000.

    A sophisticated app integrating 50-100 IoT assets with advanced capabilities can cost £80,000 to £150,000 or more. The more complex the app, the higher the price tag.

    Factors Influencing the Cost of IoT App Development

    The cost to develop an IoT app can vary greatly depending on several factors.

    When estimating the total cost, you must consider the type of IoT app, its complexity, the technology stack, application design, and the development team.

    • Type of IoT App

      The category of IoT app will significantly impact cost. For example, a basic sensor app may cost between £20,000 to £100,000, while an enterprise solution could cost £400,000 or more.

      Apps requiring hardware components will cost more than software-only apps.

    • Complexity of the App

      The intricacy and sophistication of an IoT app’s features directly correlate to cost. Simple apps monitoring a few metrics may cost £30,000 to £50,000.

      Highly complex apps integrating AI and performing predictive analytics can cost £200,000 or higher. The more connections and integrations needed, the higher the cost.

    • Technology Stack

      The software and tools used to build the IoT app influence cost. For example, apps built with open-source tools like Android OS or Raspberry Pi cost less than those using proprietary enterprise platforms.

      Similarly, the number of integrations with third-party services raises costs. Choosing a tech stack suitable for the app’s needs can help minimize costs.

    • App Design

      An attractive, user-friendly design requires more resources, increasing cost. Custom designed apps tend to cost more than template-based ones.

      Similarly, the number of screens and interfaces impacts cost. While a minimal viable product may have 5 to 10 screens, an enterprise app could require 50 or more.

    • Development Team

      The team’s experience, skills, and location determine rates and overall cost.

      Experienced IoT developers and engineers in North America or Western Europe charge £100 to £200 per hour, significantly more than in Eastern Europe or Asia.

      The size of the team also matters, with a small team of 3 to 5 members costing around £200,000, and a large team of 10 or more costing £500,000 or higher.

    • Security and Data Privacy

      Implementation of Robust Security Measures

      Building strong security features, such as encryption, secure communication protocols, and user authentication mechanisms, can increase development costs.

      Compliance with Data Privacy Regulations

      Ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations may require additional development efforts to safeguard user data, potentially impacting the overall cost.

      Encryption and Authentication Mechanisms

      Implementing encryption and authentication mechanisms to protect data privacy can add complexity and cost to the development process.

    • Integration with Third-Party Services and APIs

      Connectivity with External Services and APIs: If the IoT app needs to integrate with external services or APIs, such as mapping services or payment gateways, licensing or subscription fees may be incurred, contributing to the overall cost.

      Costs Associated with Licensing or Subscription Fees: Depending on the specific third-party services or APIs utilized, there may be licensing or subscription fees involved, which should be considered when estimating the development cost.

    • Testing, Quality Assurance, and Maintenance

    1. Rigorous Testing and Quality Assurance Processes: Investing in comprehensive testing and quality assurance measures is essential to ensure the reliability, functionality, and security of the IoT app.

      This can contribute to the overall cost.
    2. Post-launch Maintenance and Updates: After the application is launched, ongoing maintenance and updates are necessary to address bug fixes, security patches, compatibility issues, and feature enhancements.

      Considering the long-term maintenance costs is crucial for accurate cost estimation.

    Cost of Developing Different Types of IoT Apps

    The cost to build an IoT app can vary significantly depending on the type of app and its complexity.

    In general, you can expect to pay between £50,000 to £500,000 or perhaps more for a custom IoT app depending on the requirements.

    • Consumer IoT Apps: The least expensive option is a basic consumer IoT app, such as one that allows a user to control smart home devices like lights, thermostats or security systems.

      An app of this type may cost between £50,000 to £150,000 to develop. The app would connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to off-the-shelf smart devices.
    • Enterprise IoT Apps: More complex enterprise apps that track assets, manage fleet vehicles or monitor infrastructure may cost £150,000 to £350,000.

      These apps integrate with sensors and tracking hardware, then analyze and report data to optimize business processes.

      They require secure access and integration with existing enterprise systems.
    • Industrial IoT Apps: The most expensive IoT apps are highly customized solutions for industrial environments. An industrial monitoring and control app may cost £250,000 to £500,000 or more to develop.

      These applications connect with industrial equipment, sensors and control systems. They must meet stringent requirements for security, reliability and performance.

      Development costs include hardware components, system integration, and extensive testing.

    The exact cost will depend on the number of features, connected devices, and platforms you need to support.

    Ongoing costs include:

    Hosting fees: £5,000 to £50,000 per year to host the app and store data.

    Maintenance and support: 10-20% of the initial development cost per year to maintain the app, release updates, and provide support.

    Additional hardware: £5,000 to £500,000 per year for new or replacement sensors, networking equipment, and other hardware components.

    Data services: £1,000 to £50,000 per year for third-party data usage, storage, and analysis services.

    Carefully evaluating your needs and options can help mitigate costs. Choosing an experienced development partner is also key to the success of any IoT project.

    In summary, developing an IoT app requires balancing these factors to build a high-quality product at a reasonable cost.

    Carefully evaluating options and making strategic choices around complexity, features, technology, and resources can help create an affordable IoT solution.

    Stage-By-Stage Cost Breakdown of IoT Application Development

    The cost to build an IoT app can vary greatly depending on the complexity and features of your app.

    As with any software development project, there are several stages involved, each with its own costs.

    To determine an accurate budget, you will need to evaluate the specifics of your app in the planning and research stage.

    1. Planning and Research

      This initial stage includes researching the IoT technologies you want to use, identifying your target users and their needs, and defining the app features and user experience.

      Costs for this stage typically range from £5,000 to £15,000.

    2. Design

      The design stage involves creating wireframes, UI/UX designs, and prototypes of your app.

      Designers and developers collaborate to ensure an intuitive interface and experience.

      You can expect to pay between £10,000 to £30,000 for professional design work.

    3. Development

      App development is where the bulk of the costs are incurred.

      The complexity of your app’s features and the experience level of your development team will significantly impact pricing.

      Basic applications with standard features may cost £30,000 to £100,000 or more.

      Enterprise-level or highly customized apps can cost £150,000 or higher.

    4. Testing

      Rigorous testing is required to ensure your IoT app is secure, functional, and ready for launch.

      Professional QA testing services typically charge between £10,000 to £30,000 depending on the scope and scale of testing required.

      Fixing issues found during testing will also add to costs.

    5. Maintenance

      After launching your app, continued costs are required to maintain, update, and support it.

      Maintenance fees often range from 15-30% of initial development costs per year.

      Updating for new OS versions, security patches, and feature enhancements will continue to cost over the lifetime of your app.

    Ways to Reduce IoT Development Cost

    To reduce the cost of developing an IoT app, there are several strategies you can employ.

    By carefully considering each option, you can achieve significant cost savings while still producing a high-quality product.

    • Choose an Efficient Technology Stack

    • The technologies you select for your IoT app directly impact your development costs.

      Opt for an integrated platform that provides ready-made solutions for common IoT functionality like connectivity, device management, and data collection.

      These platforms abstract away low-level components so you can build apps faster. They also often have tiered pricing models, allowing you to only pay for the features you need.

    • Outsource Development

    • Hiring an outsourced development team is an easy way to cut costs.

      Offshore developers, especially in Asian and Eastern European countries, charge significantly lower rates than local engineers.

      Make sure to vet companies carefully based on their experience, expertise, and reviews.

      An outsourced team with domain knowledge in IoT can get up to speed quickly and requires less oversight, further reducing costs.

    • Focus on Core Features First

    • Determine the minimum viable product (MVP) needed to meet your needs and build only the essential features.

      You can always release additional functionality in future updates. An MVP approach minimizes wasted effort and prevents “scope creep,” where extra features are added and costs balloon.

      Stay disciplined in your vision and avoid distractions that do not serve your strategic goals.

    • Use Open-Source Solutions

    • Leverage existing open-source software whenever possible. Many mature IoT platforms and libraries are available under permissive open-source licenses.

      These solutions have been developed and tested by experts, so you can utilize them freely without needing to build core components from scratch.

      You’ll only pay for customization and integration work.

    • Scale as Needed

    Start with a small-scale pilot project to prove the viability of your IoT app. Then, expand to more devices and users in a gradual way.

    Incremental scaling allows you to control costs because you are only investing in additional capacity when absolutely necessary.

    You can also make adjustments to your technology stack or processes based on lessons learned during initial deployments.

    An iterative approach to growth will yield a cost-optimized IoT app over the long run.

    Embrace the Future with Your IoT App!

    Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the cost of IoT development, it’s time to take the leap and turn your visionary IoT app idea into reality.

    Embrace the power of IoT, and together, we’ll shape a smarter, more connected world.

    Let your IoT application be the beacon of innovation that guides us into a future of endless possibilities.

    Don’t wait any longer! Reach out to our expert team today and let’s embark on this transformative journey together.

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    Co - Founder

    Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of London App Development (LAD), a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company. He helps passionate entrepreneurs build amazing tech products. Tuhin being a peoples man who has a passion to share his technical expertise with clients and other enthusiasts.

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