The Internet of Things is a brand new technology that allows various devices to get connected to each other on the web. Its functionality is similar to a network that allows smartphones, cars, household items, and other devices to share data. The IoT application development is going to be a new wave of modern digitalization. These apps are expected to interlace and combine sensors, analytics, cloud, and networking allowing developers to create large systems inside of the IoT world. The number of potential apps to be created is countless, because almost all spheres of our life can be improved by IoT. This includes healthcare, automation, finance, daily routine, and more other spheres where you can quickly start looking for someone who can help you with your daily assignments.

There are two ways of IoT app development: hiring a team of experts and using IoT platforms, such as Ubidots. Considering the fact that cost is a great concern here, the second option is more comfortable financially. In this article, we are going to discuss the prices for app developing and review some suggestions about a cost-effective option provided by IoT platforms.

iot application

Factors that affect the cost of IoT app development

There are some basic factors that the price for IoT app development:

  •      The complexity of the app
  •      Type of the app you are going to develop
  •      The number of connected devices
  •      Additional features that will ensure app functioning
  •      Technologies you would like to implement

Digging deeper into details, one can distinguish more factors that influence the price.

What type of hardware is going to be used?

This factor is the central one since the development cost heavily depends on the hardware. For IoT, the amount of connected devices decides 80% of development price. The more complicated the system you want to build, the more you will have to pay.

Hardware creation stages include analysis, modeling, prototyping, and testing. First, the concept is invented, then engineers design a visualized scheme of the project after that hardware providers create a number of prototypes, and finally, the prototypes are tested in practice. As a rule, the last stage of IoT project development is just a beginning, because this is when errors and weak points are detected. Most projects have to pass 3-5 remakes before they are launched.

The cost of the entire process is hard to predict. For instance, a complicated face-detection system that uses machine learning technology to remember people may cost about $5 million. And keep the hidden costs in mind.

What kind of infrastructure do you want to implement?

Besides hardware, there is another important factor that determines the price – infrastructure. There are three main types of them: cloud infrastructure, middleware deals, and network. It is true that no IoT project will work properly without a solid infrastructure. The gadgets need wireless connection and advanced low-power solutions, so extra expenses are unavoidable here, especially if you choose the network option, which is the most expensive. You should choose middleware or cloud infrastructure if you want to save money and implement a ready-made solution.

How large will be the project?

There are different categories of projects defined by their size. Obviously, the larger it is, the higher the price. For example, a small app for a smart home that switches the light on is easier and cheaper to develop than a car that drives on its own. For instance, an app for electrocardiogram monitor can cost you about $3000, while an app that controls a set of exercises will cost no less than $30000. Also, be aware that every app has unpredictable or hidden costs, so chances are that you will have to pay much more than you thought from the beginning.

An approximate cost breakdown

Counting expenses is not easy. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself before you start:

  • How complicated the algorithms will be?
  • Can I perform an analysis of every unit separately and the entire structure to know how to synchronize everything?
  • Do I want to create a standard model or something unique?

Then you need to move to the questions that determine the prices:

  • What is the cost for additional analysis if your initial ideas need expansion?
  • What is the cost of automating actions that will make your project operate?
  • What security measures do you want to implement?

And here is an approximate scale of expends (starting from the most expensive element of your future IoT app):

  • Hardware
  • Implementation
  • Data storage
  • Safety
  • Communicativeness

Of course, there are some aspects you cannot predict, such as:

  • Social acceptance and impact
  • Reliability
  • Safety

The development process can take from 6 months to 2 years, that is why it is hard to predict the amount of money you will have to pay. An IoT project that requires less than 500 hours to be created is considered as a small one and will cost you about $10-15 thousand. For example, this might be an app for data visualization that works on one platform. A large-scale, secure, cross-platform and multifunctional app will cost you no less than $70 thousand.

Reducing IoT cost: a development platform as an alternative option

Using an IoT platform like Ubidots for your app-building means that you don’t have to hire a team of developers, which reduces costs significantly. This resource provides a number of instruments for data gathering, visualization, and analysis. With a set of advanced instruments at hand, users can create IoT apps and Cloud projects with minimal efforts. Gladly, you can apply these tools for your business even if you don’t have any coding skills. What is more, the complete apps created with the help of this platform can be customized to your liking. Approximately, the default plan will cost from $20 to $2000 per month. The price depends on the number of tools and functionalities needed.

The great thing is that this app builder can replace an entire team of engineers and developers, which reduces the cost significantly. With the help of tools presented at Ubidots, you can create both: a small app for everyday purposes your customers have and a large infrastructure for the most ambitious projects. What is more, the platform offers software development services that can help you customize your application.


Development services per order is a common solution for people, who would like to own an advanced digital product for their business or start-up project. However, there are progressive solutions like development platforms and you should consider using them as well. The main benefit of such resources is affordability that comes along with many powerful features. You don’t have to learn a programming language or become tech-savvy to use the products offered by companies like Ubidots. They are intuitive and easy to grasp, so why don’t you give them a try? Maybe, this is the thing of the future.

Author’s Bio:

Sandra Larson is a blogger and copywriter with a background in Engineering and Computer Science. She composes analytical articles for various resources and platforms.

Currently, Sandra works as an academic consultant for tech-students. The main focus of her interest is the future of communications and cohesiveness of technology and our daily life.