Cross-Platform Tool offerings for 3 different scenarios: Indie developer, App agency & Enterprise: cost comparison
A 1-person project completed with the use of a Cross-Platform Tool (CP Tool) may be more expansive than 50 projects involving 20 developers supported by a different Cross-Platform Tool (CPT) vendor. A price comparison of CPT vendors’ offerings for three cost scenarios.
CPT vendors use different pricing models. The most common one includes charging per seat, per app and duration of use. A number of CPT vendors use other pricing strategies which are more complex. Therefore, to make a cost comparison possible, CPT vendors have been asked to provide cost information for three different scenarios. The scenarios differ in the number of users, apps and support type required. The figure below gives an overview of the three scenarios.
Information provided by those CPT vendors who agreed to disclose it, shows that the yearly cost for an Indie app developer who wants to develop one app with a CP Tool ranges from a few hundred USD to more than US $ 12,000. However, there are three notable exceptions. AppShed, Smartface App Studio and Marmalade provide their CP Tool and services free of charge for Scenario 1.
The price range is getting wider the more users get involved, the more app projects are to be delivered and the more comprehensive and extensive support is demanded. For this reason, yearly costs could reach almost US $ 100,000 per year for Scenario 2 and US $ 200,000 for Scenario 3.
A cost comparison of the tools is more representative if confined to a certain category of tools (e.g. CP IDEs Enterprise). As one could expect, App Factories charge the lowest price for their services, whereas CP IDEs for Enterprise tend to be the most expensive.
Many of the CPT vendors, whose cost information is provided, offer a free limited trial version of their tools. Additional remarks explaining the details of the three different cost scenarios, including the vendor-provided cost information, are accessible in the appendix of CPT Benchmarking 2014 which is available for download free of charge.
It must be remembered that the above analysis constitutes a pure cost comparison. Quality issues such as the rate and comprehensiveness of platform functionality changes, of support or complexity of a given CP Tool, are not taken into consideration. To see the leading CP Tools according to these and other quality criteria, download your free copy of the latest report: “CPT Benchmarking 2014: Find the right tool for your app project”.