This blog can be used as a reference to assist you in calculating the actual budget required for app development.
How much does it cost to build a mobile app
#1 Cost of mobile app development by app complexity
The app’s complexity determines the cost of mobile app development.
|App type||Estimate cost||Time|
|Basic mobile app||$40,000 to $60,000||7-9 weeks|
|Medium-complexity app||$60,000 to $150,000||2-3 months|
|Complex app||From $150,000||3+ months|
# Basic mobile app
We talk about an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) app as a “basic app”:
- Having a plan for a group of core features with minimal business logic
- Including up to five screens
- Basic user interface (UI) with no customized elements
- The recommended QA plan for this type of app includes 7 man-days of QA specialist work each month.
- If you have two developers working on each operating platform, the development time will take about 7-9 weeks (about 2 months).
- Start-ups searching for their market fit frequently develop this kind of app.
# Medium-complexity app
When we say “medium-complexity app”, we talk about an app:
- Including about 6–15 screens
- Consisting of a few complicated features with intermediary business logic
- Including some customized UI components
- Being translated into up to 2 languages
- The recommended QA plan for this type of app includes 12 man-days of QA specialist work each month.
- If you have two developers per operating system, the development time will take about 2-3 months.
# Complex app
when we mention “complex app”, we talk about an app:
- Including more than 1 screens and several complicated features with advanced business logic
- Fully customized UI & complex animation
- Involving complicated architecture, various integrations, or requirements to meet high-security standards.
- The recommended QA plan for this type of app includes 20 man-days of QA specialist work each month.
- If you have two developers per operating system, the development time will take four months or more.
#2 Cost of app development by app categories
The average cost of mobile app development varies from $30,000 to over $400,000.
Another key factor that must be considered is the category of application. Below is a list of the most common types of apps and their average development costs:
|App Category||Estimate Cost||Time|
|Augmented Reality App (AR)||$100,000-$250,000||1,600h|
|Social Media App||$50,000-$300,000||1,200h|
#3 Cost of mobile app development by app types
|Mobile app types||Estimate Cost|
|Native app (IOS app)||$75,000-$500,000|
|Native app (Android app)||$50,000-$500,000|
- IOS app
An iOS app is a mobile app designed specifically for the iPhone operating system and aims at interfacing directly with the device’s key components.
Swift, Objective-C, XCode, and popular programming languages to construct and build these apps.
- Android App
These are mobile applications that run directly on the Android operating system. They interact with the operating system’s components to provide users with the best possible experience. These apps are built with Kotlin and Java.
- Hybrid app
A hybrid app is a mobile app designed to run on both Android and iOS devices using a single codebase. These apps are built with React Native, Ionic, Flutter, Native Script, and other programming languages
#4 Cost of mobile app development by region
A high price does not always imply a good product. It simply reflects the differences in developers’ salaries among countries.
So, how much does developing an app cost based on where you plan to hire cost. Below is a breakdown of the typical hourly pay of IT team workers worldwide. (Source: Accelerance Analysis 2022)
Cost of app development by region
The cost of mobile app development will vary greatly based on where you employ your IT team. Naturally, the hourly rates of software engineers in the UK, the USA, and Australia are much higher than in locations such as India, China, or Vietnam that are becoming popular outsourcing destinations.
Factors Affecting The Cost of Mobile App Development
#1 App developer rates and experience
The cost and experience of hiring mobile app developers typically go hand in hand.
- Entry-level developers: can assist in debugging, maintaining apps, code documentation, and simple function requests for around $30 per hour.
- Intermediate developers: These skilled staffs charge an hourly fee of about $60 and possess the general knowledge needed to complete most of the app design projects and new feature requests.
- Senior developers: may manage your app development projects or implement complex app features for an average cost of $120 per hour.
Typical rates for mobile developers
Hourly rate for iOS developers: $45-$75
Aside from the fundamentals of Objective C and/or Swift and the Xcode IDE, iOS developers must also be experienced in one or more API and frameworks like Foundation, UIKit, and Cocoa.
Familiarity with issue reporting platforms like Bugzilla and version control with GitHub are examples of skills that reflect experience working on project teams.
Hourly rate for Android developers: $25-$85
Aside from the fundamentals of Java, the Android SDK, and the Android Studio IDE, Android developers also need to be experienced in one or more frameworks, such as Ionic, Corona, and the Material Foundation.
Knowledge of issue reporting systems such as Jira and version control systems such as GitHub can be learned when working on project teams.
Hourly rate for React Native developers: $25-$70
React Native developers can assist you in developing native-performing, flexible UI components that operate on both iOS and Android, reducing development time and easily integrating with current iOS and Android applications.
#2 The number of app features and their complexity
The primary cost driver in app development will be the number and complexity of features you want to include in your app. Below are a few examples of app features that you may need to add to your app and how they affect the overall cost of developing your app.
User engagement features
Authorization, networking, notifications, etc., fall within this category. A user authorization feature, like any other feature, can be simple or sophisticated.
- Adding features like password recovery, password storing, appealing design, or social network logging will add to the cost of the app.
- Push notifications, social sharing, and commenting via social media accounts will all attract additional fees.
This set of features refers to how customers can purchase items in your app. Credit cards, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and PayPal are all common payment methods within apps. Every payment processing option requires additional time and expense to set up.
Building features such as geo-fencing is often time-consuming and expensive if you want to adopt cutting-edge technology. You must also locate a development team with the necessary skills to offer you these services, which may take some time.
#3 Operating systems
A different option affecting the cost of developing your app is whether you want it to run on one or multiple operating systems.
Consider aspects such as the market share of iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as the complexity of creating for each platform, while making your decision. Android application development and iOS application development require different programming languages, as well as various software development kits and tools.
If you’re designing an app for a single platform, you won’t notice a major price difference between Android and iOS. However, if you want your app to function on two or more platforms, the development cost will rise.
#4 App maintenance cost
This point sometimes gets overlooked by app developers. We have been prone to believe that app development costs are only paid for until the solution is complete. This is not true.
Customers and market trends are continuously changing, and your product has to deal with these changes to be competitive. That is why app maintenance and updating are essential to the app development process.
In many circumstances, app maintenance costs might account for a large portion of the initial mobile app development cost (about 15% – 20%). Its cost is determined by the estimated duration and the number of hours required for adequate support.
What Should You Look For When Choosing an App Development Company?
Tip #1: Determine Your Application’s Requirements
Decide on the needs of your app, the amount of money given for its development, the intended development timetable, and the platforms on which it will run.
It will also help you understand what application type you need to design if you learn about the popular key technologies for mobile app development.
Tip #2: Look for full-service companies
You may be assured that competent experts will be provided if you choose from well-known software development companies that have an amazing portfolio of services.
Such a company can offer you all of the resources you need at every stage of developing an app, such as design, development, or testing, so you won’t have to search elsewhere for additional assistance or services.
Tip #3: Research the portfolio of the company
Ask company executives to suggest some of their most outstanding apps and carefully review them.
Consider whether you enjoy the way these apps are designed, as well as whether you find them to be user-friendly and functional.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that an app’s uniqueness is one of the key components of success. Do you notice anything unique about this company’s apps, or do they just seem standard?
Tip #4: Learn about the company’s privacy and data security policy
The security and privacy of your mobile app and the data related to your business must be thoroughly discussed.
To guarantee that your information is secure, the outsourcing company should be prepared to sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement with you.
Furthermore, it’s preferable to have a prior discussion on intellectual property rights. Before beginning a project, these and other elements of assuring the security of personal data must be discussed.
We hope this article has helped you understand what aspects influence the total cost of mobile app development and that you now have an answer to the question: How much does it cost to build a mobile app?
Contact us if you’re seeking a skilled mobile development team. We can advise you on how to cut software development costs at each level of your project.
Our experts understand how to leverage existing technology to accelerate native mobile development and offer a short time-to-market so that your product can start earning profit as soon as possible.