I have seen a wide variety of pricing for getting a prototype worked up. I built the one for the project I am currently cofounding with 2 other partners, but we'd like to know what that service is going for on the market, which will aid us in negotiating with potential programmers, etc.
It entirely depends on the complexity of your project and the technology stack suitable for developing it. IMHO experience is what counts the most. Inexperienced developers often following the law of instrument : "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".
You should try to consider whether your prototype is something you want to use as a foundation for the next phase, which means that doing it right is important, or whether its main use is just a proof of concept, and therefore how its built doesn't really matter, as long as it does the job.
Try to find a technologist who won't try to sell you anything to give you the best advice on how to develop something and what would it take to do it.
Stage is what makes the pricing variable.
1) If you are still in stage of requirement gathering, then it will be high, as agile development makes the clock running.
2) If the requirement is fixed, and you are very sure that you need a MVP with only 5 or etc. features, send it to the company or programmers for estimation. Once he/she estimates, you can fix the cost of development either monthly or hourly.
3) I recently got signed up by a Solution architect of a great Sydney company. He gave me a requirement, which we estimated to be 144 hours. Now the requirement was not fixed as the idea was still evolving and he wanted our experience to design the workflow of app.
4) Sometimes you have to see both the sides of coin. There are many perspectives of seeing a MVP or a prototype.
5) Some clients focus more on UI/UX, and time is directly proportional to creative development.
6) Some clients focus more on technology. They start with say Angular 1 and by the time , the app reaches Beta Testing stage, they think about shifting to Angular 2 or Reactive.
7) There is certainly no fixed answer, as preferences of clients change and there is a proverb from where I come : No finger is same in your hand.
But in my 8 years of experience of working in other companies and now running my own company since last 4 years, I have seen prototypes with fixed requirement to be around 2-3 months max.
Before I was working for a company which had 1.70 lakh employees ,so they didnt took projects less than 1 Million USD.
I have also worked with a company of 20 employees and it doesnt take projects less than 10000 USD.
Go for company whose CTO/CEO are skilled programmers.
Hope this helps you.
We have the same. Try us. We can fulfill your prototype around 6000 USD. Dont consider this a canned sales pitch, its my observation and consulting, the rest is choice of client as to choose whom.
Count yourself fortunate if you can find someone to make your gizmo-
Remember- the better YOUR design data the easier(translation- easier -cheaper) it will be for him/her to mfg .AND last but not least- have at LEAST 10 times the cost of the prototype in your cash box for Marketing..I see great items all the time but the inventor has no marketing $..so it just fades away