cost to develop an application

Over the last decade, along with the growth of social networking, advanced analytics, cloud sharing, a huge amount and various types of mobile applications are being developed. In order to reduce the brand’s reputation loss along with the loss of productivity and revenue, various relevant applications are developed to run on Smartphones, Tablets, etc. keeping in account the distinctive needs integrated with various challenges.

Moreover, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all because mobile app development is done keeping in mind the business requirements including the cost, timeline, etc. So just like any other software, the cost to make an application is basically dependent upon various factors. Here are a few of them:

What type of App are you going to develop? Is it a mobile game app or business app or social networking app or others?

App Development team/individual

Features of App & Infrastructure

App Platform i.e. iOS or Android or Windows Phone or other

App Design i.e. basic or individual or custom

How many pages does it require? And more

Moreover, below we have concluded everything you must know to calculate the Cost of Mobile App Development:

Factors Affecting the Mobile App Development Estimation

Type of Mobile Application:

In order to calculate the cost to create an application, it's crucial to first know what type of mobile application needs to be developed, which highly depends upon what problem are you looking forward to solve for your target audience. What type of mobile app does a market need? Do you have any expertise to provide the solution for market needs?

Well, here are a few types of mobile applications to consider:

Native apps: These include apps relevant to businesses, entertainment or education, etc.

Basic functionality apps: These include app developed for personal use only.

Hybrid apps: These include apps relevant to lifestyle or games.

Database-driven apps: These include complex apps for data storage such as mobile dictionaries or encyclopedias.

Mobile Gaming apps, etc.

Mobile App Development Team:

If you aren't a developer, you will have to find a professional team or individual to do the task for you keeping in mind the product quality. And hence, it's crucial to know if you want to hire someone or a team that is locally available or you want an offshore team. Because let's face it both options here have their pros and cons and hence, you must choose wisely while you hire mobile app developers. Here are a few factors to consider:

Outsourcing: This includes reasonable costs, lesser personal control, high-level expertise, flexibility, etc.

Local App Development: This includes face-to-face meetings and discussions, physical proximity, more personal control, and involvement, etc.

Apart from that, for a complex project, the Simple app development team requires: 1 QA engineer, 1 Project manager, 1 Programmer and 1 UI/UX designer, and the Extended app development team requires: 1 project manager, 2-4 app developers, 1 QA engineer, 1 system administrator, 1 back-end developer, and 1-2 UI/UX designers.

App Platforms:

if you want to develop an application for all platforms the cost will naturally increase. This happens because Apple iPhone utilizes Xcode IDE and the Objective-C or Swift Programming Language. Android utilizes the Java Programming Language and Windows utilize C# Programming Language causing the cost to develop an application to double or triple. Also, it depends on the time required to develop the app using different programming languages in case of each platform.

Moreover, if an application has to be built for all platforms using hybrid development technology, the app developer requires developing it just once, for example, CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript could be utilized in order to develop the application, and PhoneGap can be utilized to make the app ready for all platforms which on the whole could reduce the cost considerably.

Mobile App Development Cost

Complexity and Number of App Screens:

The number of screens directly has an impact on the app development cost. Hence, it is always suggested to develop screens that are cleaner and comes with simple navigation that utilizes the standard application conventions. This not only reduces the cost of the app development, but it also will provide a better experience for the user.

E-commerce and In-App Purchases:

In the case where monetary transactions are involved, the developers need to be a bit more careful when it comes to implementing algorithms and 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.

Integration with Third-Party APIs:

If the application needs to connect and communicate with various other services, then it has to be interfaced with third party APIs for which the app developers will have to have some extra time to learn and understand the third-party APIs and execute them correctly.

Features of App & Infrastructure:

Mobile App Development Cost highly depends upon what features or infrastructure a mobile app requires. Moreover, depending upon the type of application, different features are needed along with unit tests, app architecture, bug fixes, code refactoring, design/UX, project management or more, however, here are a few most common features:

User login & registration via Social sign in or email or more.

Navigation via swiping, action buttons, scrolling, etc.

Streaming (recommend for apps such as Netflix, Twitch, HBO, etc.)

Push notifications

Multi-language support


Database for data storage

Phone sensors usage

In-app purchases


Doze / Standby mode optimizing

Offline mode

Google Maps integration

Landscape/Portrait orientation or view

Media content



Payments integration and multiple payment options

Synchronization between devices


Data encryption and more.

Complex Animation or Gaming Apps:

Complex animations or gaming applications could possibly take a lot of time to complete product development. So, it is also suggested to keep any complicated animations that do not provide any practical purposes which might again slow down your application speed overall and frustrate the users.


When it comes to mobile devices, they are of two types: Smartphones – For example Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4, S5 or Apple iPhone 3,4,5,6, etc. and Tablets – For example Samsung Galaxy Tab (with other multiple versions) or Apple iPad and Air.

The above devices come with a variety of screen resolutions. So, in order to develop custom interfaces just to support all of these screen resolutions could become very time-consuming and cost might increase as compared to the newer versions of these devices. So, there are ways to modify the sizes of the content in order to match most screen sizes.

Cost of Mobile App Development

Mobile App Design:

Just as the above-mentioned factors highly affect the cost to develop an application, the mobile app design plays a crucial role as well. 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 the app designing.

The simple 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 App Maintenance

Well, getting your app designed, developed and launched isn't just the end to your investments. Regular mobile app maintenance, marketing, improved versions, and updates is what it takes to stay in your business for the long run and keep the users intact. Moreover, it costs about 20% of the Cost of Mobile App Development in order to maintain as per average every year.

app development cost

In the end, considering all the above-mentioned cost factors in check, as per the mobile app development companies, it costs around $100,000 – $500,000 to create an application, which could be complex or heavy. On the other hand, it costs around only $10,000 and $50,000 in order to create an application that is simpler and has less requirements to fulfill the market needs.

blog CMO - kodytechnolab

Manav Patel