As soon as you’ve decided to choose Flutter to build a mobile application — halfway done! But the next question is: how much does Flutter app development cost and how to make finance-wise planning?
It is a stretch to research and calculate everything. We at Surf have been through it many times. We’ve used our 10-year experience, expertise, and data to help businesses create the applications they want and not to waste their money. Keep reading, and you’ll find out what makes up the Flutter app development cost, what expenses are essential, and how to calculate the approximate cost.
Average Flutter application cost
It’s hard to name some average price: it varies by tens of thousands of dollars depending on the type of app you need and what should be calculated in each case. Let’s find out what makes up the development cost and what factors can affect it.
Staff expenses and\or hourly rates
While developing a simple app with Flutter, you’re going to need 200 and more hours of developers’ work. To calculate the amount of money you’re going to pay your staff, just multiply the rates by the number of hours spent on the development. For today, it costs from $40 to $200 per hour depending on developers’ location. In North America, Europe, and Australia prices are higher than in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
In addition, don’t forget about other staff — QAs, product managers, and UX/UI designers. Their work will take you about 40% of spendings on the whole project.
If you wonder how to gather your team and how much it will cost, check out our blog post on how to hire mobile app developers.
Tools and Flutter license pricing
The framework is absolutely free, even for commercial use. But you may need some other tools for which you might need to pay.
Below you’ll find a list of some tools you may need.
- An integrated development environment (IDE) — special software for building applications. Developers usually prefer Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, and XCode. Those tools are free. For some other IDEs, such as IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate, you might need to pay.
- Integrations. For example, if you need to add any subscription, you may use a ready-to-hand decision such as RevenueCat instead of writing thousands of lines of code. The tool has a free plan and paid plans with extended functionality.
- Tools for analytics. For example, Firebase — a platform for development — has a Google Analytics for Firebase tool. It tracks and reports about 500 events, collects data about user behavior within the apps, and more.
Hardware for Flutter developers
If you’ve chosen to hire an in-house team, keep in mind that you are to provide them with quality technical equipment, such as productive, up-to-date computers. Ideally, your developers should have Macs: in simple terms, MacOS is pre-tailored for both iOS and Android app development because all these operating systems are of the same family — Unix (while Windows is not). Developers prefer iMacs or MacBooks. For example, a 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro price starts from about $1,300.
Not only the functionality makes your application loved by the users but also good design. To make the interface intuitive and user flows seamless, you need a UX/UI designer.Depending on the complexity of the app, you may spend from 20 to 300+ hours on design. The approximate designers’ rates vary from $20/hr to $60/hr.
Support and maintenance expenses
To store data, perform users’ requests, and maintain the overall functionality you’re going to need server space. You can choose either a dedicated or cloud server.
Generally, cloud servers are cheaper, and they are the best option to start or host relatively small projects. The precise cost of server usage depends on its technical characteristics (CPU, RAM, disk space) and service options (resources pooling, on-demand self-service, and more) — and may vary from about $5/mo to $150/mo.
When choosing a server provider, take into account its performance and reliability. If the performance of the server is weak, a user will have to wait longer for the response. And if the server is not very reliable, some security issues and even user data leaks may occur.
As your business grows, it would be better to have a dedicated server: it’s more secure and reliable — as soon as you’re its only user and have it at hand. But having a dedicated server entails some extra expenses, apart from the cost of the server itself. You’ll need a facility to place the servers and a specialist to maintain them — a server administrator. The average annual salary of a server administrator varies from $60,000 to $80,000 a year; their hourly rates are about $40-60.
Remember that your product is going to scale, and new features are going to be created, designed, and tested. So when you have some general understanding of the overall sum, add 15-20% to it.
Release to app stores
Once your product is ready, you need to launch it on a distributing platform such as App Store or Google Play: it is the proven way to reach your potential users. Normally, to publish your application, you’re going to need a developer account on the platform; it’s paid. What’s more, platforms may take some share of in-app purchases of subscriptions.
In the chart below, we’ve collected the information on the fees for all major distribution platforms.
Factors affecting Flutter app development cost
Here are some more things forming the cost to develop a Flutter app.
Project scale and requirements
The scope of work depends on the project scale. For startups, planning to build an MVP, it is enough to conduct previous research and prepare MVP concepts, having chosen some main features to test them.
For large projects with defined audiences, the scope of work will be different. It will depend on reasons the business owner is going to rebuild or improve the existing product: market changes, company strategy changes, need for new features, design, etc.
So, the more complicated and large-scale your project is, the more spendings it will require. When for e-commerce application MVP 1000 hours of developers’ work is enough, for fintechs it grows to 1500 hours.
Flutter is a UI framework, offering many tools and libraries that are excellent fit for implementing any design you can imagine. It is more than enough for any purpose, and besides, you get smooth animations without overpayment as a bonus.
The only thing that has influence on the final cost is creating the design concept. If you have in-house UX/UX designers to do it, the final design prices depend on your company rules and agreements with employees. If you order a ready-made design concept from an outsource, the specialists’ hourly rates are about $40-$60.
Complexity of features
The number of features and their complexity are the main factors affecting your Flutter application cost. The amount of time needed, the qualification of the developer you need to hire, and many other issues stem from the complexity of the particular features. Also, you need to decide whether you are going to code the feature from scratch or use integrations that allow you to reduce the code work.
For example, there are relatively simple core features, such as a basic user profile or subscribing to a channel in a streaming service: it can take about 20 hours to develop those. Some complex features, such as integrating a payment system, usually take more than 60 hours and require a high level of mastery and accuracy.
But don’t worry: with a skilled team, it’s possible to build even a complex application within a reasonable timespan. For example, we at Surf built a YouTube-like streaming service within just four months. For more information, check out our case study.
Choosing a tech stack for the backend is crucial in forming prices. Performance, concurrency, bug detection, and memory management are some of the criteria you should consider while comparing programming languages for writing the backend to each other.
For today, Golang (or Go) is a prospective programming language that suppresses many others in the criteria. Though the prices are high enough, development time is significantly faster.
Large companies have already chosen Go for their fintech projects. Learn more about the reasons and results in our dedicated article.
Application security requirements
The larger your project is, the more important it is to pay much attention to security to avoid data leakage and other dangerous situations. How to do it?
It is the developer team who can offer you an individual solution based on their previous experience. For example, if you need a very high level of security, look through the vendor’s portfolio. Banking applications have strict security requirements, and if a vendor is ready to show you successful cases in fintech development, they deserve your trust.
Note that your spendings will depend on a project specific: the higher security requirements are, the more expensive it is to follow them.
Fintech applications created by the Surf team. Learn more
Integrations can help you make a product more convenient for users and speed up the development process. To choose integrations, your developer team or vendor should do a review of existing services, demonstrate to you their pros and cons, and help you decide which of them are the best match for your project. The final cost of each integration depends on its complexity.
For example, we at Surf have a case study of creating a banking application with numerous integrations for less than a year. Read it to learn more information about integrations optimal for fintechs.
Approximate estimate of Flutter app development cost: examples
How much does flutter app development cost?
In the charts below, we’ve gathered the approximate time you need to add the most common e-commerce, streaming, and banking applications features.
If you don’t feel like calculating or you are afraid to miss something we can do all the math for you. Just tell us about the product you want to build and get a precise estimation.
Summing things up
Flutter is an open-source cross-platform framework that helps reduce the costs and speed of creating applications by up to 40%. With this technology, you can release your product faster, involving fewer developers, designers, and QAs in the working process and getting the same high quality as native technologies offer.
At Surf, we have proven experience in building applications both for startups and large-scale projects. Since 2011, we have developed numerous projects we’re really proud of to help our clients’ businesses grow.