How Much Does It Cost to Develop an IoT App

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By: Julia Nasy
20 Feb. 2023
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The Internet of things (IoT) has penetrated so deep inside our lives that the use of technology has long gone beyond smart home systems and wearables. Today, it is already being used in retail, large-scale manufacturing, and the financial sector. Moreover, the demand for IoT mobile app development continues to increase as every industry shifts to modern technology. According to Statista, the number of IoT various devices worldwide will triple by 2030 – from 9.7 to 29 billion. But what is IoT, and why does this new technology play an essential role in today’s digital era?

IoT is an interrelated sensor-equipped objects system within which information is transmitted across compatible communication networks, software applications, and multiple devices. The technology provides control of every machine and gadget within the network. It helps to stay in permanent connection and interact with assets and resources. Shortly the Internet of things will connect the world across various industries, and the world, in its turn, will become dependent on IoT applications.

For businesses, now is the time to invest in IoT app development to keep up with the latest trends and take advantage of their opportunities today. This article is a detailed guide about the IoT application development process, where you will know its cost, which tools are better to use, and how to implement a new app into your business.

Most Significant Applications of IoT

IoT implementation provides various opportunities for enterprises. First, it makes processes transparent and connected. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), technology helps to better business data analysis. Let’s take a look at IoT apps’ use cases by industry and what else they can provide to different enterprises.

Related reading: How to Build IoT Projects

Retail

IoT mobile apps have excellent prospects in the retail sector. Thanks to them, retailers increase their business results. For example, IoT integration helps remotely track and measure specific aspects of the supply chain operations, reducing operational overhead. And mobile apps with AI and ML bring product lifecycle to a new level as they improve tracking the entire process from production to logistics and distribution.

Manufacturing

With the help of the Internet of things and augmented reality (AR), managers comprehensively view equipment conditions, fuel levels, to-be-replaced parts, and more. Custom mobile apps in manufacturing track how production tasks are implemented, avoiding potential problems. Such IoT solutions include various features like product equipment management systems, digital product quality control mechanisms, asset management systems, and others.

Healthcare

IoT technology is widely used in the healthcare industry. It is becoming a central part of the sector’s app development today. For example, patient monitoring apps connected to wireless scales and cuffs monitor the vitals and send data directly to the patient’s medical record. And then, doctors or coaches check patient health and track potential problems. IoT-powered mobile apps are used not only for monitoring health but also to check UV radiation and radiation in medical product storage, along with analyzing environmental conditions.

Smart Home

Smart home automation is one of the main reasons for the increasing demand for IoT development. Smartphones capable of tracking electricity, gas, water, or remote control systems and security are becoming a standard attribute of our everyday routine. Smart homes make people’s life comfortable. For example, Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular smart home devices. Using Alexa mobile app, users can control appliances, switches, and thermostats using voice commands.

Steps of IoT Mobile App Development

Successful IoT development requires careful planning and implementation. Below is a short step-by-step guide for a better understanding of the process.

Step 1. Choose a platform

After you define the main objectives of future app development, you need to decide whether to build your product from the ground up or use one of the existing off-the-shelf IoT platforms. The advantage of the second variant is that it allows quickly spinning up a complete cloud infrastructure for your IoT application.

However, ready-made platforms are only for some businesses. Therefore, you have to check diligently to see if your IoT app can operate within chosen technological boundaries. Choosing a ready-made platform is a tricky moment, as there are a lot of parameters that require careful consideration. You should check such aspects as network protocols, cloud architecture, hardware support, scalability, etc.

Step 2. Take Care of the Security

IoT app development means you create a mini-ecosystem, including a web-based data processing application, an admin portal, a data visualization platform, and other modules. And this is a reason why IoT products must have a multi-layered approach to security. So think about it at the beginning of an app development process.

Examine some key points required for secure IoT apps, like user authentication, data encryption, access rights management, and more. But remember the balance between these security requirements and ease of use.

Step 3. Development and Testing

At this stage, a mobile app development company works closely with customers by following subsequent actions: design, prototype, verifying, coding, and testing. IoT app developers’ big task is to analyze the speed and performance of the software while designing the process. Because IoT applications connect to real-time data, a lag of even a few seconds can ruin everything.

Mobile application development implies much testing. In addition, a solid QA strategy includes automated tests in code and checking app features from the customer’s perspective. You should expect some specific types of testing from your app application development team, such as usability, security, scalability, compatibility, and performance.

Step 4. Deployment

After developing and finalizing the design based on test results, your IoT app is finally ready to deploy. And some problems can arise even after this stage, and your mobile app developers should be capable of quickly resolving them.v

Step 5. Maintenance by Mobile app development company

Once your product is live, your development team will be busy adding new features or updates to the interface. In other words, more work should be done, as you need to keep refining your IoT app.

Factors Affecting IoT App Development Cost

The cost of IoT applications depends on certain factors. There are three most common aspects: hardware, infrastructure, and application. Next, we will describe in detail each of them.

Hardware

70-80% of the total development cost constitutes the cost of building a smart device. It also depends on the type and complexity of the IoT solution. Take a look at several hardware design stages that affect the overall cost of building an IoT app.

  1. In this step, mobile app development companies analyze, plan budgets, develop concepts, and specify technical requirements.
  2. The second stage is modeling. Engineers, along with industrial designers, work on developing the device’s interior elements.
  3. The next point includes prototyping. Developed PCBs are debugged and then modified by the hardware device manufacturer.
  4. The last stage is testing. Successful prototypes go to the pre-production model. And then, it’s time for several tests such as electrical safety, climatic, user tests, and more.

Infrastructure

Three components make up the infrastructure. And each has a role to play in the final cost of building an IoT solution.

Network

For the successful work of the IoT ecosystem, it requires high-speed connection, low latency, and highly scalable network infrastructure. The LPWAN solutions and short-range wireless cellular enable IoT connectivity. And If you build an IoT app out of a system of devices connected over the cellular network, you will have additional expenses.

Middleware

 Adding off-the-shelf third-party gadgets to your IoT ecosystem requires middleware. It means you’ll need software connecting two or more IoT components that fail without it.

Cloud-based infrastructure

Cloud computing solutions strongly influence final app development costs. But this is an essential part of the IoT ecosystem, as storage software refines raw data and then analyzes it.

Application

Another important factor influencing the total cost estimate is the complexity of the developed IoT application. There are three types of development difficulty: simple, mediocre, and complex. Below we will look at each of them.

  • A simple IoT app is called that because it takes only 300 man-hours to develop. However, such mobile applications use various complex programming tools to visualize sensor data and produce real-time information. They also work in sync with the custom tracker.
  • IoT-based applications that take up approximately 1000 man-hours to develop fall under Mediocre apps. These applications contain Bluetooth low energy to facilitate the management of connected devices, visualize data, and share results on social media. And the cost of mediocre IoT mobile app development is in the medium range.
  • Secure iOS and Android mobile applications are considered complex ones. They are integrated with monitoring devices through Bluetooth to generate a report and send data to the server. IoT mobile app development, including obligatory authorization and a Pin code generator, needs about 2000 man-hours.

However, that is not the limit. AI integration or implementation of IoT apps at the enterprise level adds extra hours and increases development costs. In addition, besides the essential factors above, IoT app development cost also depends on the following aspects:

  • type of mobile app development;
  • the complexity of app functioning;
  • features for the app loading;
  • type of project and business needs;
  • number of planned device connections;
  • used technology types and even location.

And now, after we have considered all the significant factors that impact the IoT app development cost, it’s time to look at the overall price.

How Much Does It Cost To Make an IoT App?

As we see from the previous block, the cost of IoT mobile app development consists of different factors. That’s why it is correct to calculate the final price based on the complexity of the application.

A simple IoT app costs around $30,00-40,000. But keep in mind we’re talking about IoT application with limited device connection possibilities. Such software has few features, just basic connection and information rendering options.

And if mobile apps include more features, they will automatically be classified as complex ones. For instance, IoT application development that involves synchronization across connected devices, data encryption, geolocation, and even payments, will be priced at $50,000-80,000.

As we can see, the average IoT app development costs $20,000-60,000. However, it is worth considering the fact that the cost to develop depends on the company and location. For example, an IoT app development company in South-East Asia will charge $20-40 per hour, in Eastern Europe – $30-50, and in India – $25-50.

Final Words

Today we are seeing a growing demand for IoT technology. And its mass adoption in the world has a bright future. Businesses across industries are interested in custom IoT mobile apps – from healthcare to automotive and security. In addition, various open-source platforms contribute to the progress of IoT development. And this trend, along with futuristic IoT apps, will lead us to a more networked society.

By: Julia Nasy
20 Feb. 2023
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