Mobile apps continue to be a common product focus and development goal for rising and aspiring entrepreneurs. Given that offering business services/products through a mobile app has numerous privileges. Being closer to customers, providing personalized service/product recommendations, retaining customers via notifications are a few advantages to name. And all these privileges result in high revenue down the line.
However, nothing in this world comes without paying a cost. You might be able to bootstrap your startup business, but you cannot build an app for your business on your own(unless you’re a programmer). On the contrary, the cost to develop an app has roots widespread throughout the mobile app development process.
So, how much does it cost to develop an app?
You may not like my answer or find it redundant, but “the mobile app development cost depends on the various factors.” By Googling, you might get some figures like the cost to develop an app is between $10000 to $300,000+.
Because estimating the cost to make an app is a complicated subject for everybody who wants to address it. Owing to that, you need to dig deeper into each factor that possibly can affect your budget at the given market condition.
But now you don’t.
We are already clarifying every bit-and-piece of the cost to develop a mobile app in this post. After burning midnight oil, the guide is prepared to study the factors that affected the app development cost in the past and 2021. Thereupon, we decided to let you get the most out of our research. And here we are predicting how much it will cost to create a mobile app in 2023 with you.
Buckle up as we are set to plunge into the mobile app development cost estimation!
TOPICS WE TOUCH ON IN THIS POST ARE;
- Mobile App Development Cost Based On Different Types
- Mobile App Development Cost Benchmarks
- How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App As Per Development Stages?
- Factors Influence Cost to Develop a Mobile Application Disguisedly
Mobile app development cost based on different industry types
There would be no industry left out to leverage the application development solution. In other words, in the new decade, we might see digital transformation in various sectors through the app development solution. So far, Social Media, Food Delivery, Transportation, Healthcare, Gaming, and On-demand service apps are blowing up the market. So, let us see how much the type of your application impacts your budget.
|App Type||Estimate Cost||Time|
|Basic Mobile App||$15,000-$300,000||1,200h|
|Startup App with basic features||$32,000-$400,000||1,600h|
|Taxi App like Uber or Lyft||$32,000-$400,000||1,600h|
|Augmented Reality App (AR)||$100,000-$250,000||1,600h|
|Social Media App like Instagram||$24,000-$300,000||1,200h|
|Learning App like DuoLingo||$18,000-$225,000||900h|
|Video Streaming App||$30,000-$300,000||1,600h|
|Restaurant Management App||$20,000-$150,000||900h|
|Dating App like Tinder||$28,000-$350,000||1,400h,|
|Food Delivery App||$20,000-$150,000||900h,|
|On-demand delivery App like Rappi||$40,000-$200,000||1,200h|
Note: the cost and time mentioned in the table are based on our general research. Both attributes significantly differ based on the app development cost benchmarks. To wrap your head around the cost structure, let us get to the app development cost-determining standards.
Mobile App Development Cost Benchmarks
Generally, when you consult a mobile app development company for an app development cost quotation, they consider a bunch of factors. Bear in mind that these factors have a connection to your app idea, business, and app’s functional requirements. In addition, they are considered to be the most influential factors in determining the final cost to develop an app.
Let us understand them individually:
Features of App & Infrastructure:
Mobile App Development Cost highly depends on what features or infrastructure a mobile app requires. Typically you outline your mobile app features during the discovery phase while preparing the scope of work or project requirements document.
Usually, the feature set is according to your app type. Not to mention, technology, app architecture, bug fixes, code refactoring, design/UX, project management, or more will have to be in accord.
Let us understand the feature term with an example of real-life applications:
- Ikea — an Augmented Reality-based application of a furniture brand’s features.
- 3D visualization of the products,
- compliance with social media sharing,
- 360-degree view of the products,
- real-time dashboard and analytics,
- CRM integration.
- Tinder — a popular dating app’s features.
- GPS location, settings,
- user profile,
- matching functionality,
- push notifications,
- and 3rd party integration.
- Uber — a revolutionary taxi booking app’s features.
- payment integration,
- routing and advanced route optimization,
- SMS and push notifications integration,
- and more additional features.
You see, to perform different functions, your app will require various features. And the more complex the components will be, the higher the cost to develop an app.
The number of App Screens:
The number of screens directly has an impact on the app development cost. Hence, it is always suggested to create wireframes before finalizing the number of screens. This way, you can analyze if your app really needs the number of screens you have predicted. Consequently, it not only reduces the cost of the app development but also will save time to market — as fewer screens mean faster app development.
App Development Complexity Level
Developing an app with basic features doesn’t require significant expertise, time, and money comparatively. Creating various features and integrations, maintaining a complex business logic, however, can extend the budget accordingly. So, we break down the app complexity level into three categories to interpret as follows.
|Type of complexity||Characteristics||Examples|
|Simple apps||they have only essential features,-low-tech and fewer screens, and the necessary UI interaction and no data storage.||Calculator, Camera, Clock, SMS apps, Local audio/video players, Local games|
|Mid-level apps||they have advanced features,-significant APIs integrations,-additional screens, custom UI,and features like real-time GPS, push notifications,-require data storage.||Photo-sharing application, food delivery application, taxi-hailing application|
|Sophisticated apps||they are multifunction apps,-have advanced and complicated features, namely real-time synchronization,chatbots,-need significant time to analyze the requirements and cost estimation,-include Custom UI animation, integration with existing systems, etc.||Enterprise applications, Logistics applications, gaming apps, trading platforms|
Calculating the cost to develop an app at an average of $40/hour rate:
- Simple app development cost – $60,000 for one platform;
- Mid-level app development price – from $60,000 to $150,000 per platform;
- Complex, custom (multi-feature) app development cost – starts from $300,000+
E-commerce and In-App Purchases:
In the case where monetary transactions are involved, the developers need to be a bit more careful when implementing algorithms and the safety/security of the application. Hence, in-app purchasing and money dealing then indicate more application development time because extra time is needed to ensure that the app is secure and that the calculations are precisely done.
Application Programming Interfaces is a language to enable communication between software products. Thus, if your application needs to connect and communicate with other services, you can either develop an API/s or use third-party ones. For example, Facebook or Instagram API for quick registration or payment API like Paypal facilitates in-app purchases.
If you develop APIs, it will increase the development time and cost. In contrast, integrating third-party APIs charge you per integration.
The majority of mobile phone users are split into two categories: iOS users and Android users. Since both are different operating systems, you cannot develop one app and launch it on the Apple Store and Google Play together.
The reason behind it is Apple iPhone utilizes Xcode IDE and the Objective-C or Swift Programming Language. In contrast, Android uses the Java Programming Language, causing the cost to develop an application to double.
Hence, you necessitate developing an iOS app and Android app separately. If you’re unsure which one to develop, it’s suggested to research which platform your target audience or customers use the most. Suppose it’s Android. So, first, you should create an Android app to attract your primary audience.
Regarding app responsiveness, you need to consider the myriads of devices that come with your targeted platform: Android or iOS. Specifically, in Android app development, developers must consider numerous screen resolutions to render a smooth experience relatively.
It includes smartphones, tablets, wearables, and all those devices you want your users to use your app on. As a whole, developing custom interfaces just to support all of these screen resolutions could become very time and cost-consuming.
Mobile App Design:
Just as the factors mentioned above highly affect the cost of developing an application, the mobile app design also plays a crucial role. Here is what needs to be considered in terms of cost estimation while designing an app:
- A professional app designer costs around $45 per hour, whereas an expert designer charges around $150 per hour for app designing.
- The simpler the app design, the lesser the cost to create an application, and hence, a complex design counts for extra app development cost that ranges between $5,000 to $25,000 and more.
- Depending upon the geography of the place, an app designer may charge about $50-250 per hour for USA & Canada, $50-$150 for Australia, $35-170 for Western Europe & UK, $25-150 for Eastern Europe, $10-80 for Asia and more.
- Depending upon the platform of the app, i.e., iOS or Android, the cost to make an application ranges between $3,000 to $10,000 for iOS and $4,000 to $12,500 for Android.
Mobile Application Development Approach
For calculating the cost of developing an application, it’s crucial to decide which app development approach you want to follow. Given that how you approach your app development directly influences the final cost to make an app.
So, there are mainly two approaches, Native and Hybrid/Cross-platform app development. Both the approaches have their own pros and cons with different cost structures.
Basically, native app development is when you create apps using platform-specific technologies. For example, Swift/Objective-C for iOS and Java/Kotlin for Android. Meaning, you have to develop two different apps to target both OSs. And as discussed in the app platform, developing individual apps for different platforms costs double.
Alternatively, you have cross-platform app development, letting you create an app for multiple platforms at once. How? There are technologies such as Xamarin, Flutter, and React Native that let you write code once. And using the same codebase, you can create apps for Android and iOS both.
Technologies and expertise to carry out your app development with either approach are different altogether. And so the time and cost to build an app.
Mobile App Development Team
If you aren’t a developer, you will have to find a professional app development team. Since the pandemic, the remote culture has been encouraged to an extent. Today, you can build your remote team to develop an app or hire a team to work on your project from anywhere in the world. Or else you can just outsource your project, partnering with a seasoned app development company.
First, let’s see how a mobile app development team looks:
- Business Analyst
- Project Manager
- iOS/Android developers
- UI/UX designer/s
- Quality Analyst
If you build your own team, you need to pay them monthly wages and other employee allowances as long as they work for you. The salary will depend on their experience.
On the other hand, the cost of outsourcing an app development team depends on the location. Given that the outsourcing team charges hourly and their rates differ geographically. For example,
|Title of Employee||United States||Latin America||Eastern Europe||Asia|
|Business Analyst||$110 – $205||$45 – $55||$40 – $63||$30 – $42|
|Project Manager||$133 – $233||$55 – $66||$45 – $70||$35 – $48|
|Jr. Developer||$105 – $111||$35 – $44||$25 – $42||$18 – $24|
|Sr. Developer||$154 – $163||$45 – $55||$45 – $70||$30 – $42|
|Junior QA||$77 – $81||$30 – $39||$25 – $42||$15 – $24|
|Designer||$79 – $163||$40 – $50||$35 – $56||$25 – $36|
How much does it cost to develop an app as per development stages?
We can split the mobile app development process into five fundamental stages to estimate the cost.
1 Pre-development or discovery
During this phase, you and your business analyst work on:
- Project Requirements gathering
- Identifying tech and business problems
- Analyzing competitors
- Defining what values to offer
- Writing project specification
The Discovery phase may cost you around $5000 to $12000, depending on how long it takes.
2 UX/UI design
Next to the discovery phase, it’s time to visualize your app designing prototypes with the help of designers by:
- Analyzing similar applications
- Mapping user interfaces
- Creating wireframes
- Iterating designs
The app designing stage price ranges from $5000 to $50000, depending on how sophisticated your design requirements are.
3 App development
Your developers work on the app’s architecture, backend, data structure, and other coding tasks during the app development. The essential cost to carry out this phase starts from $10000 and rises depending on the app platform, functionality, technologies, quality coding, etc.
4 App testing and deployment
By this stage, your app is developed, and now you need to ensure app functions and quality meet the requirements. Your quality analysts will run various tests to remove potential bugs and assure the high-performance before deploying the app on platforms. So, you can expect the cost to test the app befalls between $5000 to $10000. Of course, the number of tests and overhaul of the app can enhance the cost.
5 Ongoing support and maintenance
Maintenance doesn’t include only testing your app over time but also keeping your app updated, introducing new features and improvements. Many companies offer post-development support to their clients. Hence, if you have partnered with a mobile app development company, you can easily maintain your app with the latest trends.
Generally, the app maintenance cost is considered to be 20% of your total app development cost. Nevertheless, what way you maintain your app may fluctuate your cost to an extent.
Factors That Influence Cost to Develop a Mobile Application Disguisedly
In addition to apparent factors and causes, several aspects are swaying the cost to develop your app invisibly.
- App infrastructure services such as servers, hosting, domains;
- Type of Databases used for storage such as user data, photo, and video content, etc.
- App administration portals or CMS for app management;
- Tools and libraries used during development;
- Data encryption technology to transfer data;
- Video or audio streaming functionality;
- Artificial intelligence, AR & VR, or other advanced technologies that are used to elevate app functionality.
So, this is how different sets of factors affect the cost of developing a mobile app. If we put it simply, developing an app ranges from $10000 to $300,000. However, the increasing digitization craze in all sorts of industries can shift the app development cost paradigms.
Therefore, instead of cloning successful apps, spending thousands of dollars, you should start small. After all, today’s successful apps Uber, Instagram, Airbnb, were also simple apps with basic features once. Now it’s up to you whether to start small now or wait till the cost reaches its peak.