App Development Economics; Responding to App Pricing Structure

In a recent article on TechCrunch, app development is making headlines for a different reason than what we may normally consider; rather than the fruits of app development garnering media attention, the pricing structure has come under close scrutiny as tech companies around the world begin competing more vociferously within the app marketplace. It’s not as if the global marketplace had yet to enter the app development foray; however, as new grads and amateur developers hone in their skillset and begin to stake their place within the market in nations like India and Indonesia, the price disparity for app development is reaching staggering extremes from one nation to the next. We wanted to take some time to unpack some of the salient mentions from this piece, and uncover what app development costs typically address.

Price Disparity Hits New Extremes

Among the biggest takeaways from the piece is the difference in price for an app developed in America or the Western world as opposed to developing nations like Indonesia or the Indian Subcontinent.

While American app companies are often priced at a premium, this luxury is fast waning based on the quality of work now provided in other outlets around the world. As the quality of work continues to improve around the global marketplace, we’re continuing to see a huge gulf in price for a nearly identical product from developers all around the world. While Americans have enjoyed a premium that is buoyed, according to TechCrunch, by reasons including “time zone, language, product culture, and exposure,” it seems as if the global dominance may soon come to a close.

The ability level and supply of high quality app developers and programmers around the world continues to increase, with even developing marketplaces increasing their means in terms of engineering, design, UX, and more. As smartphones extend their reach and become more commonplace, even in places like India and Indonesia, app development experts soon follow.

SDKs Level the Playing Field

We talk about SDKs often; as new operating systems are unveiled and new technology eschewed in the door with each new iteration of a smartphone, software development kits are often being paraded in front of the media as tech companies realize the value of curating content for their new device or OS.

SDKs are designed to take some of the guesswork out of the app development process; however, their introduction and availability has also helped lower the point of entry required for developers looking to break into developing mobile applications. These kits are increasing in popularity, with many app developers intimating they expect a “25-50% increase in the use of SDKs” in 2015.

Diversifying in the App Industry

With an industry that is being flooded with new developers and experts that are growing into meeting the demands of clients at a lower point of entry thanks to an influx of SDKs, app developers, especially in the United States, will need to ensure that their application development price point is being matched by something of equal value. As app vendors around the world begin to be able to do some of the heavy lifting required to make a well-programmed app, businesses will look for app developers who can offer them something extra.

While Americans currently benefit from product culture and exposure, they may want to look at leveraging these things into part of a wholly integrated, holistic product meant to measure your app’s success. From engagement and UX experience to the more nuanced fields of business consulting and monetization, app developers will need to leverage new areas of expertise to stay ahead in the field.

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