If you have an app idea and want to know the exact cost of app development, this guide is for you. But before that, you might love this data.
Did you know mobile apps are expected to generate around $613 Billion in revenue by 2025? Creating an app requires a lot of investment, but it also has the potential to give you a handsome return. To create a successful app, you first need to understand the cost of app development services and how much your project will cost.
So before you begin developing an app, it’s essential to understand the expenses involved and where you can cut back on costs.
This guide aims to help you with a detailed cost estimation for laying out a budget if you are planning to develop an app-based custom solution or launch an app for your business.
Creating an app is a long and complex process that requires time and money. However, with the right planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Read on to find out everything there is to know about application development cost.
Table of Contents
- Mobile App Development Cost
- How Much Does It Cost To Develop a Native and Custom Application?
- How Much Does It Cost To Design An App?
- How Much Does It Cost To Make An Android App?
- How Much Does It Cost To Make An iPhone App?
- How Much Does It Cost To Hire An App Developer?
- How Much Does It Cost To Make An App For Your Business?
- Factors That Impact Mobile App Development Cost
- Which are the Different App Categories
- Things to Consider Before Choosing App Development Company
- FAQ About the Cost of App Development
- Get a FREE Quote For Your App Development Idea
Quick Answer to Mobile App Development Cost
The price varies depending upon your app requirements, complexity level, and timeline.
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Now you know about the cost of app development. Next, learn about the cost of the app development for native and custom apps.
How Much Does It Cost To Develop a Native and Custom Application?
The native and custom mobile app development costs between $10k to $100k or more. Here, we have divided the cost of native app development based on its categories.
|Benefits of Native Apps|
The following image illustrates the benefits of native app development. Have a look.
Hybrid Apps: Meaning, Benefits, and Examples
The following table includes the meaning, benefits, examples, and cost of hybrid apps.
|Hybrid Apps||A hybrid app includes the functionalities of a native app and a web solution.|
|Benefits of Hybrid Apps|
A hybrid app is a single application that can run on multiple operating systems including iOS, Android, and Windows. In this app type, some components of the apps are developed as native while some components are developed as a hybrid.
Many people think that hybrid apps are more affordable and convenient to create, but hybrid apps are not convenient when it comes to customization.
Apart from that, the availability of the latest features on hybrid or cross-platform is quite slower than on native platforms.
Use this simple formula to get the idea or to know how much it costs to develop an app.
How Much Does It Cost To Design An App?
Asking this question is essential to building engaging mobile apps. Additionally, the design of an app is again a crucial aspect influencing its cumulative cost of development, or we can say app development cost.
Many app development companies include hidden app development costs after the completion of the project. Therefore, make sure you discuss the requirement and cost clearly and include it in the document as well.
You can minimize the overall app design cost here by using ready-made design resources and templates. However, the more app functionality you need, the more it will cost.
|Components||Explanation||Approx Timeline||Approx Cost|
|Visual Design||Visual design plays a vital role when it comes to designing your mobile app. It signifies the look and the feel of your app.|
How do you make your own app? The process of creating an app starts with visual design. The better it looks, the customer engagement will be higher.
|30 – 250+ hours||$1100 to $10,000|
|UX Design||UX designers study user behavior and heavily rely on research and relevant data to develop an app that provides an engaging user experience.||40 – 300+ hours||$1400 to $10,500|
|Icon, Logo, and Branding||Branding is an important part of the process. Hire a professional designer with experience in crafting solid strategies for a company.|
You must consider hiring a professional graphic designer to create the logo and icons for your app. Having an appealing icon can make you stand out from the crowd. And you won’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
|30 to 100+ hours||$1000 to $10,000|
Here is the list of app design tools used by mobile app designers.
It is worth noting that if you’re hiring an end-to-end mobile application development company – it will have an in-house app development team for everything. And this means you will be able to get it all done at an affordable price.
However, if you’re choosing an agency that only offers development services, you may need to find other partners for the rest of the services. Hence, the overall cost could be comparatively high – as different agencies will have their own rates.
The designer’s rate may vary if you are planning in-house hiring. The designer’s charge will vary from $40 per hour minimum and go up to $250 per hour if the designer is senior.
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How Much Does It Cost To Make An Android App?
The Android app development cost depends upon the features and functionality of the app too. To help you understand the average cost to develop an app, we have created a table containing app development cost estimate based on the type of app, development timeframe, and cost.
|Different Types of Android Application||Android App Development Timeline||Approx Cost of Android Application Development|
|Simple||3 to 5 months||$15,000 to $40,000|
|Medium||6 to 10 months||$30,000 to $50,000|
|Complex||10+ months||$60,000 to $1,20,000|
Based on your requirements, the development phase includes implementing features, back-end infrastructure, and other UI/UX components. Apart from this, post-deployment services, including app promotion and maintenance costs should also be considered.
The following table contains the region-wise Android app development hourly rates.
|Region||Android ($ hour)|
|North America||$50 to $250|
|Australia||$50 to $150|
|UK||$35 to $170|
|South America||$40 to $150|
|Central Europe||$22 to $160|
|India||$10 to $80|
Note: The above-mentioned hourly charge is approximate and may change depending upon the developer, design resources and the company.
As per the project’s intricacy, the team size and structure can also vary. While the number of Android developers and designers may vary per app project – a project manager is a prerequisite for every project.
When we start our cooperation, we make a rough estimate according to your requirements and the description of your idea. Then, we determine the approximate number of hours required to develop the application.
Having received your approval, we move on to detailed cost estimate, building app logic, and wireframes, and creating detailed project documentation.
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How Much Does It Cost To Make An iPhone App?
Additionally, the size of a project is the deciding factor in iPhone app development price as long as the rate for programming services and the time are tied together in one bundle. By size, we mean the complexity of functionality and business logic. Development can also include
- Designs with animation
- Custom solutions that require technical research
- Unexpected outcomes and changes along the way
The following table contains size-wise iOS app development costs.
|Different Types of iOS Applications||iOS App Development Time||iOS App Development Cost|
|Small iOS App||3 to 5 months||$10,000|
|Medium iOS App||6 to 8 months||$10,000 to $50,000|
|Enterprise iOS App||8+ months||$50,000 or more|
According to the average project cost estimate:
- It costs about $30k and takes up to two months to build a basic iOS app with minimum functionalities.
- It costs around $50k and takes more than two months to develop the complex iOS app.
- A high complexity iOS or Android app with extensive enterprise data can last for more than six months and require $80k.
You have seen the size-wise iPhone app development cost. The following shows the region-wise iOS development cost.
|Region||iOS ($ hour)|
|North America||$60 to $250|
|Australia||$55 to $175|
|UK||$40 to $180|
|South America||$45 to $170|
|Central Europe||$26 to $170|
|India||$20 to $100|
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Now you know that how much does it cost to make an iOS app In the next section, we are going to answer how much it costs to hire an app developer.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire An App Developer?
Two of the most important factors determining the cost of hiring dedicated developers are location and experience. For example, developers from countries like India can cost you significantly less than the ones from Australia or the US. But that’s not all. Many more factors can influence the entire cost of hiring an app developer.
Let’s check all the factors that influence app developer charges.
Mobile App Development Platform: Native, Hybrid, or Cross-Platform
The costs of hiring a developer can vary based on the different mobile app development platforms. For instance, if you are seeking to create a native app for iOS or Android, the costs of hiring an iOS developer and an Android developer would be more than compared to a hybrid or a cross-platform app.
App Development Complexity
This one’s quite simple. The more complex features your app will have, the more the app development cost will be – irrespective of the iOS and Android developer you choose.
Having said that, the development time of any mobile app development project can range from one week to 6 months and sometimes even more.
And thus, understanding your mobile app requirements will enable you to understand all the development phases, and methodologies, and determine the ideal time frame for your project.
Explaining the simple, clear, and basic version needs the developer that will take a lower rate and shorter time to build your app. In the USA, the average cost of hiring a mobile app developer will be $138,539.
Here is a graph that tells how much developers charge from the different regions of the world.
How Much Does It Cost To Make An App For Your Business?
A popular survey by Clutch revealed that the entire cost to build an app that’s functionally rich and complex could be $171,450.
According to that survey, cost of creating an app ranges from $10k to $700k. Of course, most of that cost depends on your overall requirements.
Check this image to learn how to reduce overall app development costs.
A few components that influence the app development cost breakdown include:
- Wireframe, SRS, and Feature List
- UI and UX Design – Images, Typography, Iconography, Aesthetic elements
- User Engagement- Push notification, SMS, Social Media
- Payment Gateways
- New user Sign-in
- Use of Location Data
- Cross-channel Functioning
- Third-party Integrations
- Live Chat
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4 Factors That Impact Cost of App Development
When evaluating the cost of an app, there are certain cost factors that play an important role in app development cost estimates. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Size & Type of App
The app size and its intricacy are certainly two of the most important factors influencing the total cost of an app.
Primarily, you can bifurcate these costs into three categories: small, medium, and large. Here is a quick answer to the cost of making an app.
App Type Development Cost Development Hours App Examples Simple Mobile App $10,000 – $40,000 1200 Hours Text Scanner Mid-level App $50,000 – $75,000 1200 Hours Spotify Complex & Enterprise App $80,000 – $1,00,000 1800 Hours Zoom Hybrid App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1200 Hours iPhone App $50,000 to $2,00,000 1200 Hours Glovo Android App $20,000 to $2,00,000 1200 Hours Lacy Web App $30,000 to $2,50,000 1000 hours Starbucks Taxi Booking App $30,000 to $2,00,000 800 hours Venuxx Retail App $50,000 to $2,00,000 1500 hours The Square Retail App Video Streaming App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1600 hours YouTube Healthcare App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1500 hours WebMD Restaurant App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1000 hours Pizza Hut Social Media App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1500 hours Learning App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1200 hours Duolingo Community App $40,000 to $2,00,000 1400 hours Food Delivery App $20,000 to $1,50,000 1000 hours Uber Eats Marijuana App $15,000 to $2,00,000 1300 hours Leafly Dating App $15,000 to $1,00,000 800 hours Tinder
Note: The mentioned cost and timeline are approximate. Consult our app development consultant to know the exact cost and timeline according to your project.
The following table explains different app types.
Small Apps Built for a single platform, small apps have limited functions and a simple UI. Such apps generally don’t require any back-end system or API integration. A simple text scanner app is a good example of a small application. Medium Apps Such apps may have considerably more features and functions than simple ones. It could be in the form of a payment gateway or custom UI elements.
Medium apps are majorly built for a single platform. Examples of such applications are an expense tracking app and a music app.
Enterprise Apps Mobile apps having complex features, bespoke UI, and API integrations are considered enterprise apps.
The cost of building this enterprise mobile application development can be significantly higher if compared to small or medium-sized apps. Examples of such apps are Zoom, Slack, and Asana.
By following app architecture, our mobile app creators have built a complete mobile app solution, One8 for one of our clients. This app helps logistics companies to manage complete transportation. Check the portfolio of One8 to know more.
We have developed One8, a cloud-based enterprise fleet management software, for one of our clients based in Ireland. It is a complete transportation management solution to make transport requests, find optimized routes, and track driver’s location.
Platforms and Devices
The platforms you build the app for will also add to your total expenses. For instance, you can create native apps that work on a single platform, a web app, or a hybrid app that is a combination of native and web apps. Which one to choose really depends on where your audience is based and what device features you want to utilize. Here is the following image that shows how a native and a hybrid app development works.
Design of the Mobile App
Your app’s user interface also influences its entire cost structure. For instance, it may cost you more to integrate complex and interactive UI elements as compared to a simple and minimal UI with fewer components.
Features and Functionalities
The features you wish to integrate into your app are directly proportional to its cumulative cost.
Features Explanation Front-end Infrastructure Everything that the user interacts with comes under front-end infrastructure. Back-end Infrastructure The entire logical part such as components, versioning, bundling, and shared components come under back-end infrastructure. 3rd Party Service Integration When a business utilizes 3rd party API to power its business, it is known as 3rd party integration. For example, to use maps on your website, you can integrate Google Maps API. Push Notifications It is an essential feature that will help to directly send the message to the user’s mobile device. Chatbot By integrating a chatbot into a mobile app, you will get the below-mentioned benefits.
- Increase user engagement
- Immediate customer service
- Permit direct payment
Thus, prior to evaluating the answer to how much does it cost to make an app, make sure you prioritize the features you need in it.
Now that we know what factors influence the costs of app development, let’s dive deeper to know more about how much it costs to build an app for the different app categories.
Which are the Different App Categories?
Moving ahead, let’s check out to know how much it costs to create an app based on different app categories. The cost also varies from category to category. Here are all the major categories:
|App Categories||Explanation||Examples||Approx Cost|
|Basic Functionality Apps||Such apps require a minimum time to market as there are limited features. They are mostly developed for personal use and may not be published on app marketplaces. These apps are informational and quick to build.||$15000|
|Database-driven Apps||More intricate apps that have massive data — stored directly in the device memory or on a web server can be categorized as database-driven apps. They require additional features like a camera, internet connection, or access to the gallery to operate optimally.||$50,000|
|Database-driven Apps: Firmware Applications||Firmware applications are built to enhance the mobile device’s functionality – be it a camera, flashlight, or alarm clock.||$65,000|
|Games||Games can come under several categories: simple, complex, AR-based, or operating on 3D graphics. The cost depends upon the proportion of the game’s intricacy.||$70,000|
When it comes to the game, the initial development cost is high – however, the return on investment is also significant. Angry Birds made $286.2 million euros in revenue in 2021. The rest is history.
Check this graph of Angry Birds’ revenue from 2010 to 2021.
Now that we know about different types of applications, let’s quickly look over a few of the most common engagement models that various app development partners and service providers offer.
The following table includes information about the fixed price model and its benefits.
Fixed Price Model
In a fixed price model where both the price range and the work remain fixed which is a good thing if you have an app budget almost no room for changes. Check the following benefits of fixed price model.
- It works best for small projects to build apps with limited features.
- If you’re seeking to build MVPs on budget and strict deadlines, this could be an ideal model for you.
The following table includes information about the pros and cons of the fixed-price hiring model.
Pros of Fixed Pricing Model Cons of Fixed Pricing Model
- The price remains consistent throughout the project unless there are any changes to the requirements.
- You get a clear idea about all the expenses associated with the project — no hidden surprises.
- Minimum risks. Both parties know exactly the project parameters.
- Defining the exact requirements can be a daunting job and may take 2 to 3 weeks – depending on the intricacy of the project.
- Less control over the project. Once the project has begun, adding anything to the requirements can increase the total project cost.
- Lack of ongoing feedback. Because the project parameters are pre-defined, there’s little to no scope for providing ongoing feedback.
Time & Material Model
This model allows clients to regularly pay for the completed tasks. It requires consistent feedback from the client as the project moves on. Unlike the fixed-rate model, clients can add or remove any features at any given point in time.
Pros of Time & Material Model Cons of Time & Material Model
- The client has full control over the project, and they can make changes to their requirements – even in the middle of the project.
- The client is only required to pay for the services they have used by selecting the flexible payment options.
- The project execution is seamless as it requires minimal paperwork.
- The deadlines aren’t fixed as the amount of work is uncertain.
- The budget also may significantly vary. While the project is done, it is possible to receive multiple revisions to the actual requirements.
In this model, the client and the developers set benchmarks or milestones before beginning the app development process. The client and the team members agree to make the payment after achieving the predefined milestone. Unlike the previous pricing models, the bill of the decided cost range is paid only after the client is justified with the milestone achieved.
Pros of Milestonewise Model Cons of Milestonewise Model
- The client can pay once the project hits a milestone.
- More control – the client gets to decide whether the milestone is achieved or needs revisions.
- The client can easily keep track of the project through milestones.
- Because the time taken for developing a functionality is uncertain – the client will have to pay the prices according to the time it took to reach the milestone. This means no fixed budget.
- There could be variances in the perspectives about each functionality. The client and developer conflict may raise because of this.
- The time required to complete the milestone always remains uncertain.
3 Things to Consider Before Choosing App Development Company
Now that you know what it will cost you to build your app, it’s time to hire an app development agency or developer for your project.
While there are countless software development companies out there, you must ensure the one you hire fits right to your needs. Let’s look at a few things that you must consider before hiring your tech partner.
|Portfolio & Clientele||A company’s portfolio and its clientele are a subtle reflection of its capabilities and potential. And hence, having a quick look at it will help you understand your technology partner and their abilities.|
|Expertise||Ensure that the development firm or developer you hire is competent enough to handle your project well. A few key indicators of a company’s expertise include its years of experience, clientele, and a number of dedicated resources. Choose an agency that can help you create even the most intricate mobile applications.|
|Client Testimonial||Check what users are posting about the company except for their own website. You can consider checking their client experiences at various independent reviewing platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, and AppFutura.|
You can also look for threads, topics, or questions about them on forums like Quora and Reddit. This way, you will have a brief idea about their working patterns, development approach and how well they treat their clients.
Apart from the above-mentioned ones, there are many more things you should consider before hiring an agency or Android and iOS developer team for your project to build your app.
Things like the app development timeline, the pricing options they offer, the platforms they work with, and their overall involvement in the project. Your project execution will be smoother, once you understand your partner well enough.
If you still have any doubts about the cost to develop an app, check the following FAQ section.
FAQ About the Cost of App Development
What complexities increase the cost of app development?
The server costs, function complexity, number of screens, the type of design, and admin authorization – are some of the factors influencing the mobile app development budget size.
During the discovery stage, your development team will help you evaluate all such complexities that you might encounter during various app development stages.
How long does it take to build an app?
The mobile app development timeline ranges between 4-6 months to make an app from the ground up. However, this timeline depends on the intricacy and scale of the project. If the app complexity increases it may even take 9+ months to build an app.
How much does it cost to host an app on the Apple App Store?
It charges $99 per year to get a developer account to host an app on the Apple App Store. Want to know more about app publishing prices? Check this guide on how much it costs to put an app on the app store.
How much does it cost to host an app on Google Play Store?
Google Play Store charges a lifetime registration fee of $25. Here, one has to pay 30% for every purchase. However, this charge will decrease to 15% for subscription apps after a year.
How much does it cost to maintain an app?
Generally, app maintenance costs can vary from 15 to 20 percent of the total development cost. Maintaining an existing mobile application is as important as developing it in the first place. This is because there are so many moving pieces to it. Let’s look at a few of the most important aspects of app maintenance:
|Bug Fixing||Over time, you will discover a lot of bugs in your app. Therefore, combating them is extremely crucial to keep your app running optimally round the clock.|
|OS Upgrades||All the mobile operating systems are evolving exponentially. Thus, if you seek to stay ahead of your competition, you must keep up with the operating system upgrades. This means you will need to create new versions of your app very frequently.|
|Feature Upgradation||You will need to add a new feature set to your app on a regular basis. This will help you keep your users engaged, and they will spend more time on your app. The cost of feature up-gradation will vary based on the kind of app features you wish to add.|
|Pushing Fresh Content||Keep your content fresh by updating it regularly. Since contributing fresh content will help you gain a genuine user base for your app.|
Where do I look for mobile app developers or agencies?
There are several platforms where you can find reliable technology partners based on their expertise. A few of the most popular platforms include Clutch, GoodFirms, and Toptal. These platforms have genuine reviews from the company’s previous clients. They will give you a clear idea of how grounded your potential technology partner is – when it comes to their core services.
Is the back-end development service included in the app development cost breakdown?
Yes, in most cases, the cost to develop the back end of your app will be included in the app development costs. This means you won’t have to allow any extra resources into your existing app development budget.
Can I build an app for free?
While there are a few platforms allowing you to create mobile applications for free, we don’t recommend them. That’s because they offer limited functions and are not scalable. If you are thinking that how expensive is it to make an app and you’re looking to create a robust and reliable app for your business, it is recommended that you choose to develop it from scratch. The stronger your foundation, the more reliable the app will be.
How do I make money from my app?
Two of the most common ways of monetizing an app include advertising and in-app purchases. Apart from that, you can also make money by selling subscriptions or merchandise directly through your app.
Get Your Custom Cost of App Development
Evaluating the total app development costs can be really difficult. That’s because there are so many moving pieces to the mobile app development process.
Being the leading app development service provider, we can help you estimate the mobile app development cost, and provide you an accurate answer to your question “how much does it cost to start an app” and what app development budget should be realistically considered for your idea. We will evaluate your requirement in detail and suggest the best possible solution.
This way, you will have a brief idea about the mobile app development process and app cost with its counterparts. So schedule a call today, and our experienced consultants will be happy to help.