Last Updated: February 14, 2024
App Development Cost
Published On: December 06, 2022

Mobile applications are being widely used by businesses to sell their products and services. The exponential growth of smartphone users all over the world and the propensity of customers to use mobile apps for a host of purposes, such as online shopping, travel booking, dating, and much more, is driving more and more businesses of all types and sizes towards developing their mobile apps.

As a business owner, your foremost concern is the App Development Cost. The cost of developing a mobile app depends upon many factors. Here we will discuss the various factors affecting the price of mobile apps and look at the development costs of some popular apps.

Cost of App Development Based On Complexity | Mobile App Development

The cost of developing an application hugely depends upon the level of complexity of the app to be developed. This means the cost varies as per the app’s features, functions, and architecture. The amount of money you are required to shell out depends on whether you need a basic, simple, or feature-rich complex app per your business requirements.

The average application development cost and the time is taken for the same have been summarized in the following table.

App Development Cost In 2023

App type

Average price range

Time taken

Easy-to-use application

$12,000-$22,000

2.5-3 Months

Intuitive app

$26,000-$40,000

3.5-6 Months

Difficult app

$45000 and more

Over 6-7 Months

 As the above table shows, the more the app’s complexity, the greater its development cost and the more time it takes to design, develop and launch the app. The cost to develop a simple to basic app can be between $40,000 to $150,000 on average, while a complex app can cost $300,000 and even more depending upon the features to be integrated.

Cost of App Development Based On The Type

The Application Development Cost in 2023 is also dependent upon the kind of platform for which it is being developed and the purpose it would serve for your business. The cost varies as per the specific nature of the app. Consider the following table to get an idea about the average app cost per its type.

App Type

Cost Estimate Development Time

Android App

$60,000-$400,000

1100 hrs

Mobile App

$40,000-$300,000 1300 hrs

iPhone App

$55,000-$400,000

1100 hrs

Web App

$70,000-$300,000

1400 hrs

Start-up App

$30,000-$500,000

1200 hrs

Taxi App

$40,000-$500,000

1300 hrs

Retail App

$50,000-$160,000

1100 hrs

Augmented Reality App Development

$110,000-$260,000

1400 hrs

Game App

$50,000-$2650,000

1500 hrs

Business App

$40,000-$200,000

1400 hrs

e-commerce App

$50,000-$260,000

1300 hrs

Social media App

$40,000-$300,000

1100 hrs

Learning App

$50,000-$225,000

800 hrs

Video streaming App

$80,0000-$310,000

1100 hrs

Dating App

$60,000-$370,000

1200 hrs

Restaurant App

$50,000-$150,000

900 hrs

Shopify App

$30,000-$190,000

900 hrs

Community App

$17,000-$150,000

800 hrs

Food Delivery App

$50,000-$150,000

900 hrs

Health App

$50,000-$300,000

1200 hrs

Hybrid App

$40,000-$300,000

1100 hrs

Typical App $30,000-$300,000

1000 hrs

Cost of App Development Based On Country

The app development average cost varies as per the location of the app development company executing the project. The simple reason is the difference in hourly rates charged by programmers in various countries. Thus, the cost of developing a mobile app changes from one region to another.

Consider this table to understand the hourly rate charged by app developers in various countries.

Region

Rate

USA

$125-$150

United Kingdom

$90-$120

Eastern Europe

$40-$50

Western Europe

$60-$100

India

$60-$80

Australia

$90-$125

In this context, it’s important to note that the hourly rate charged by an app development company depends upon several factors.

The programming language used to write the application has a significant role in determining the how much does it cost to build an app. The rate varies as per the nature of the programming language employed. Common programming languages for app development include Java, PHP, JavaScript, Swift, Golang, and Kotlin.

The brand reputation of the app development company and the level of expertise and experience of the app development team also impacts the hourly rate. The hourly rate charged by reputed companies delivering high-end apps tends to be high.

The degree of complexity of the app affects the hourly rate to a large extent. Hourly rates for developing basic or simple apps with limited features are lesser than the hourly rates charged for developing complex apps with a number of features and functions.

The involvement of specialist professionals such as programmer, scrum master, project manager, business analyst, and tester also determine the hourly rate for app development.

Global App Statistics | Mobile App Development

Mobile apps have become highly popular in recent years. The demand for constantly improving mobile apps is also affecting the cost of mobile app development. Here are some statistics related to the app development industry and cost.

The value of the global app market was $581.9 in 2019. At the current growth rate, this figure is estimated to reach $1 trillion in 2023. The market is expected to register a growth rate of 18.4% until 2026.

cost of app development statistic

Above(Global App Users Statistics)Image Source: Statista

The total number of apps published thus far in the app stores is 7 million. Each month, the number of apps released on the App Store is about 30,000, while the same figure is 100,000 for Play Store. The most popular apps are the ones available for free download. 92% of the apps in the App Store are available for free.

Regarding the download trends globally, more than 95% of smartphone users download messaging and communication apps, while 66% download gaming apps.

As per an estimate, users spend about 90% of smartphone screen time on applications. It is also predicted that smartphone users will spend 4 hours a day on their devices shortly, and 88% of that time will run applications.

Calculating The Cost Of App Development

The developer gives the exact mobile app cost after ascertaining the client’s exact requirements. However, app cost calculators are available on the websites of many app development companies that provide a fairly accurate cost estimation of app development based on various inputs.

Several factors are taken into account to arrive at the precise cost of app development. Let’s have a look at the various factors.

  •         Number of screens and the level of sophistication of the design and architecture
  •         Number of features and functions integrated into the app
  •         The types of features and the complexity of the database
  •         Number of 3rd party integrations and their complexity
  •         The number of stages of the development process
  •         Nature of the security protocols implemented in the app
  •         The number of specialists involved and their expertise
  •         Quality control tests

Examples of App Development Cost (With Different Business Apps)

Some examples of mobile applications, along with their development costs and time taken for development, have been listed here. The following examples provide a better understanding of how much it costs to develop an app.

Amazon

cost to develop app like amazon

Amazon is an e-commerce application. It’s a top pick among shoppers and has become a trusted platform. This app along with mobile app development has essential functions such as user registration and user account. The app’s major features include a shopping cart, product catalogs, product pages, filters, push notifications, check out and digital payment integration for net banking, credit/debit card, Google Pay, and more.

Developing an e-commerce application like Amazon requires complex backend development, especially an admin panel to manage users, orders, product catalogs, payment gateways, and more.

Developing a mobile app for an e-commerce application such as Amazon starts at $50,000 and can cost up to $240,000. The development time can range from 90 days to 6 months and extend to 9 months or more.

Facebook

cost to develop app like facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media application, with almost 3 billion active users worldwide. Facebook’s major features and functions include user registration and profile creation, user engagements, information sharing, video and image uploading, live streaming, notifications, and much more.

The backend architecture of a social media app such as Facebook needs to be complex and robust to process a huge amount of data daily. Moreover, since there are already many heavyweight competitors, such as Facebook, in the social media market, you need to integrate a host of unique features in your app to attract users.

The average cost for a social media application such as Facebook is between $50,000-$240,000 and even more. The duration to develop such an app usually ranges between 5 months to 9 months.

Today Weather

Today Weather mobile application is a data-based app operating in the domain of weather data. This app uses third-party API integrations to provide many kinds of weather information such as forecasting rain and snow, alerts for strong winds/thunderstorms/heavy rains, giving accurate temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, air pressure, and more, tracking rain and storm clouds and even assessing the air quality.

Data-based applications require an extensive backend development. There is no shortage of features to integrate into data-based apps, depending on how advanced you want the app to be for the users.

The cost of developing an app like Today Weather or any other data-based app starts from $12,000 and keeps increasing as per the type of features integrated. The development cycle usually lasts for 3-5 weeks.

Home Credit

cost to develop app like home credit

Home Credit is a personal finance/loan app under fintech apps. This app enables users to apply for all kinds of loans through the online route and pay installments through various payment gateways. Signing in is enabled using OTP received on phone number/email. Passwords protect the accounts.

An app like Home Credit requires integrations with third-party platforms to enable users to link their bank accounts with the app. Encrypted payment gateways are also necessary for users to pay their installments securely.

Fintech apps cost like Home Credit $130,000. The time duration to develop such an app is about six months.

Netflix

cost to develop app like home netflix

Netflix is a widely downloaded media streaming application. It streams videos and shows on demand by the users. The users must register and select from among the payment plans to start watching the videos and shows.

An app like Netflix requires a host of features and functions such as seamless user registration and login, a vast video library that is readily accessible for the users, downloading to local storage, smooth search function, content suggestion as per the search behavior of the user, multiple language support, payment gateways integration and more.

The mobile app development price vis-a-vis a media streaming app like Netflix starts from $22,000 and can go up to $100,000 and more.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Developing An Application

app development cost factor

The app development company cannot specify the cost of app development. The company first analyses your target audience and business requirements and makes an overview of the types of features and functions required to be included in the app. The platform for which the app is to be run is also considered. The best practice is to first develop a prototype of the app and check the details of its functions and features. The cost is then determined after the prototype is committed to development.

If you want to know how much it costs to build an app, then the three major factors to understand in detail are the design and structure of the app, the level of complexity, and the platform for which it is developed.

Nature of the Application Design

Designing the app is as important as the development part. The design stage has an important role in an app’s development cost. Using standard templates for the app design costs less than customizing the design templates. The app design has many facets, each playing a major role in how much does it cost to develop an app.

Let’s look at the various facets of app design that affect the cost of developing a mobile app.

  • User experience is a measure of the capability of the app. The app should be easy to use for smartphone users. The user experience imparted depends upon the level of understanding of the business objectives, target audience, and the market being targeted by the app. The placement of the icons/buttons, color palette, and other app design elements affects its development cost.
  • The user interface determines the app’s appearance. The number and nature of visual elements on the UI determine the cost of designing the UI. The business goals to be achieved with the app has a major role vis-a-vis the visual elements required on the UI. This is closely related to the category of the app, such as social networking, on-demand, e-commerce, video streaming, and others.
  • Creating a unique icon for the app and marketing efforts to establish a brand are also included in the cost of app development, Brand value is required to enable the app to stand out among similar apps and influence the users. Capital investment in branding can be kept at a minimum at the beginning. It can be increased as the app acquires a significant user base.
  • UX is another design element that significantly impacts the app development. The texts appearing on the landing pages of the app, along with emails and newsletters related to the same, must engage the target audience of the app and influence maximum users to download and access it. Hiring a good content writer requires a fairly good amount of capital. Thus, the cost of hiring a content writer also needs to be added to the overall cost of app development. The app developers have their content writers, but the clients are free to hire writers of their choice.

Level Of App Development

The cost of developing an app is hugely linked to the complexity of the app, which has a direct bearing on the development process. Simple and basic apps do not require long development times and complex steps. Mid-level and high-end apps, on the other hand, require more complex steps and more development time.

Ultimately, it’s directly proportional to the complexity of its algorithm and business logic, the number of features deployed and their nature, the number of functions, the number of screens, and several buttons.

Degree of Complexity

Nature

Development Time

Simple apps

  • Basic UI elements
  • Necessary features only
  • A small number of screens with limited functionalities

2-4 Months

Mid-level apps

  • Custom designed UI
  • Greater number of screens
  • More complex features, such as real-time messaging

6-10 Months

Highly complex apps

  • Have a large number of features and functions
  • Creative UI elements such as animations
  • Complex features such as live video streaming or GPS tracking
  •  Chatbots and other AI integrations
  •  Maximum number of screens

8-12 Months or more

 

Simple apps: Simple apps have 3-4 screens and have basic functions only. The number of features is limited, and they are elementary. The major features of such an app are signup, login, messages, notifications, a dashboard, and search. It’s much less compared to a more complex app.

Some examples of simple apps are recipe apps, quiz apps, calorie counter apps, note apps, calendar apps, and timetable apps.

Medium complexity apps: Medium complexity apps have more features than simple apps. They also provide data storage and need databases to access various types of information. Common features include social media integration, payment gateways, location tracking, in-app purchases, better security protocols, and more. The cost of developing such an app is more than compared to a simple app because the development process is more complex due to more features involved.

Some examples of medium-complexity apps include food delivery apps, hookup apps, and photo-sharing apps.

High-complexity apps: High-complexity apps have extensive high-end features like real-time video streaming, in-app calling, data synchronization with more than two devices, integrations with AI and machine learning or AR/VR, multi-language support, and more. The UI and integrations are customized to meet the client’s specific business requirements.

The development efforts to build high-end data logic and multiple servers and databases, along with customizations of functions by writing complex codes, require multiple experts’ services and more time than other kinds of apps. Moreover, research and planning are carried out before the development stage.

Altogether, the cost of app development in the case of a high-complexity app is the maximum among all kinds of apps. Such apps are usually required by large-scale businesses having huge customer bases.

Some examples of high-complexity apps are trading apps, NFT marketplace apps, banking apps, gaming apps, and enterprise resource planning apps.

A Platform For The Application

The answer to the question of how much it costs to develop an app is incomplete without discussing the platform on which it is designed to run. The type of platform profoundly impacts the cost of an app. The cost depends upon whether the app is a native app or a hybrid app.

hybrid vs native

Native App: A Native App runs either on Android or iOS platforms. Since both Android and iOS devices are almost equal in the market, a native app is required to be developed for both platforms. Thus, two separate development teams are required, one team each for developing the Android and iOS versions.

The API integrations, SDKs, frameworks, databases, and other technological tools are different for Android and iOS apps, but the prices are almost identical. However, using two development teams increase the cost of developing native apps.

Hybrid App: A Hybrid or cross-platform app has features and functions designed to work on Android and iOS platforms. A single code base of JavaScript, HTML, or CSS runs on multiple platforms. The look and functions of a hybrid app are the same as that of a native app irrespective of the platform because it uses the native features of the platform.

Since only one codebase is required to develop a cross-platform app, it is built simultaneously for both platforms by a single development team. Hence, the cost of developing an app of the hybrid variety is less as compared to a native app.

Hidden Costs Of App Development

Functional costs account for a large share of the App Development. These are the costs required to implement various functionalities of an app. The costs are in the fees required to subscribe to third-party services to integrate the functions they offer into the app. There are many paid third-party integrations, such as push notifications, SMS notifications, email functionality, social media integration, and more.

Administrative costs refer to the paid admin services required to constantly access data to keep the app’s contents updated and manage users efficiently. Paid admin services include content management tools, dashboard emulators, dynamic updates, functional services management, data segmentation, and analytics. The specific costs for admin services depend upon the type of app.

Infrastructural costs mean the costs to set up and maintain infra for app hosting, data storage, data delivery, load balancing, integrations, CDN, and more. The specific infra items necessitating costs are servers, developmental tools, libraries, content delivery networks, and support.

IT support is required constantly to maintain the app in the best possible state. This is an ongoing cost for the app owner. Common IT support services include API maintenance, bug fixing, app updates, and general improvements made to the app.

Publishing the app on App Store and Play Store is also chargeable. The app development company may or may not handle placing the app in the stores. The cost of listing an app on the App Store is $99 annually, while Play Store charges a one-time fee of $25.

Choice Of The App Development Team

app development company charges

The cost of mobile app development is heavily influenced by the kind of development team chosen by the business enterprise. The correct choice of the team ensures that the best app meeting all the business requirements is developed at a reasonable rate without delays.

There are multiple options for app development teams, such as professional app development companies, local agencies, in-house app development teams, and freelance app developers. Whatever the choice, it is necessary that the app developer focuses on the specific business interests to be furthered by the app, creates a robust design, and implements enough marketing strategies.

Let’s have a thorough look at the various options for app development.

Local agency: A local agency with medium-sized operations offering app development and digital marketing services can be hired for app development. However, the cost factors with a local agency must be assessed.

Factors to consider

Details

Cost

  • The cost of app development by a local company is higher
  • The hourly rate of the developers of a local company depends upon the location of the company
  • The hourly rate is $150-$250 per specialist
  • It can be up to $40k if the average rate of $100 is considered for 400 hours.

Merits

  • Constant communication is easily maintained
  • Changes to the app can be made easily
  • Responsibility is fixed easily

Demerits

  • Exorbitant rates
  • Services such as maintenance, copywriting, editing, and market analysis are not included.

Feasibility

  • High cost without many benefits does not make this option much feasible, especially for complex apps.

In-house team: The IT team of the business enterprise can be tasked with developing and maintaining the app. This option is suitable for small companies because the IT teams of such companies do not have to handle a huge flow of data and complex information systems. Using an in-house team tends to be high.

Factors to consider

Description

Cost

  • Developing an in-house app costs much more than hiring a local agency.
  • The yearly salaries to be paid to the in-house team include $85k for the developer and the Android or iOS developer and $98k for the full-stack developer.

Merits

  • Communication is excellent with an In-house team, and everybody is on board with the app concept.
  • Newer ideas constantly flow, and improvements to the app can be made swiftly.

Demerits

  • The responsibility of developing the app lies ultimately at the doors of the business owner.
  • The quality of the app and its maintenance needs to be managed by the business owner.
  • Extra costs of setting up an IT infra and hiring developers are huge

Feasibility

  • The high costs involved make this option unsuitable for startups.

Freelancers: Freelancers are specialist App developers offering their services to companies on a project-to-project basis. The freelancers charge based on their skills and experience. The cost factors and pros and cons of hiring freelancers should be assessed before deciding.

Factors to consider

Details

Cost

  • The freelancers can be hired either on a contract or hourly basis.
  • The average hourly starting price varies from country to country, such as $50 in the USA, $25 in Ukraine, $20 in South America, and $15 to $25 in Asia.

Merits

  • There are many credible platforms, such as PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, Upwork, and more, where freelancers having various skills and experience are widely available.
  • Costs can be negotiated with freelancers.

Demerits

  • The risk of a freelancer leaving the app development project incomplete is very much there.
  • Fixing responsibility on the freelancer is difficult

Feasibility

  • Hiring a freelancer at the desired price is easy, but constantly monitoring the process to ensure that the developer sticks to the specific requirements and that there are no delays can be a problem.

Outsourcing to an app development company(To Us): App development can be outsourced to a professional company. Such companies have teams of specialists well-versed in developing various kinds of apps. The responsibility for designing the app per the client’s business requirements and delivering it on time rests only with the app development company. when utilizing the services of such a company is not excessive considering the app’s quality.

Factors to consider

Details

Cost

  • App development companies provide high-end services at cost-effective rates.
  • The cost of developing apps differs from one country to another
  • Companies located in Ukraine and Asian nations provide app development services at low rates

Merits

  • Cost-effective
  • High quality of the apps
  • Wide options of tech companies from all over the world
  • Firm adherence to the business requirements
  • No need for management on the side of the client
  • Expert team
  • Full accountability on the part of the company
  • Timely delivery
  • Low risks, especially for startups

Demerits

  • There can be an issue of language barrier and time zone when working with a company located abroad, so choosing us is like, your job is done.

Feasibility

  • Outsourcing app development to a company significantly reduces app costs.
  • When outsourced to a professional company and is usually ranged between $30k and $50k.
  • It is necessary to check the past projects of the company and customer reviews before hiring it.

 To sum up, the average cost in 2023 as per the type of developer is

  •         Local agency: $65,000
  •         In-house team: $35,000
  •         Freelancers: $8,000
  •         App Development Company: $14,000

Points To Consider When Choosing An App Development Company

There are many companies offering app development services. Choosing the right app development company to deliver a superior product per your business requirements is essential.

Some points to be considered when choosing an app development company have been detailed here.

1. Focus on the requirements

There should be clarity about the features required in the app and the business requirements it needs to fulfill. The number of platforms it would run, and the development timeline should also be considered.

Familiarity with the latest technologies for app development, such as Agile, is also beneficial. Finally, the amount of capital you are willing to commit to is another major factor to consider.

By determining the type of application you need, the technology you require, and the budget for developing the app, you can choose the company that fits the bill per your requirements.

2. Look for full-service companies.

There are many stages of app development, such as designing, frontend and backend development, optimization, testing, and deployment. A full-service company has specialists to handle each stage of the development process. Thus, there is no need to look for outside services.

It’s charged by a full-service company includes the entire process. Getting the app developed piecemeal by hiring a company that does not offer full services tends to increase the cost.

3. Assess the portfolio of the company

Checking the body of work done by the app development company is necessary to get an idea about its experience. You can ask the company to provide download links for multiple apps developed by it. Run those apps and assess their quality regarding design, features, functions, and ease of use.

Companies that constantly innovate and implement new designs, features, and functions in their apps are suitable because unique apps compete well in a market that is most likely to be replete with similar apps.

4. Communicate with the developers

Communication with the development team of the company you are considering is an essential exercise. Information regarding their experience developing mobile apps for different platforms must be sought. The software development skills that the team brings to the table must also be assessed by asking them relevant questions.

You should also discuss your app ideas with the development team and seek their opinions about the project and how they plan to implement them into the app. Clear communication lets you understand whether or not the company is suitable to create your flagship app.

5. Development time

App development companies tend to work on multiple projects simultaneously. You should take precautions to avoid any delays in your project. To this end, you must decide on a specific timeline for the development and delivery of the app with the company. Ensure the company has enough developers to complete your project within the specified timeline.

Delays in the development process increase the cost besides postponing its release into the market. Timely delivery is one of the most important aspects of an app development company. Hence it is better to avoid a company with a history of delayed projects.

6. Privacy and data security policy

The privacy and security of the app and the data it houses are important factors to be considered. The sensitive business and user data must not land in the hands of any third-party entity. To this end, ensure that the company signs a non-disclosure agreement binding the company to confidentiality regarding the information associated with your app.

Intellectual property rights over the app must also be discussed with the company before handing over the project to it. Code ownership is important to the rights you need over the app. Ownership of the code is necessary to ensure that you can make changes to the app whenever required without being dependent upon the company.

7. Maintenance

Maintenance services cannot be ignored when looking for an app development company. After the app is launched, it requires frequent updates and the addition of new features to attract more users and retain the existing ones. Fixing bugs is also required now and then to eliminate glitches.

Thus, it is imperative to ensure that the company is providing updating and other app maintenance services. The total cost also includes the maintenance charges. Companies usually charge on an hourly basis for updating and other maintenance services.

8. Wireframing service

The company can be asked whether it provides wireframe development services before the main app development process. The wireframe is a two-dimensional sketch of the proposed app, which illustrates its functions and features by visually representing the main screens and interface elements.

Wireframing enables you to determine whether the development team has understood your needs regarding the scope and direction of the app. It also helps you and the development team to clear doubts and come on the same page about the app. The company can either provide wireframing service for free or at a minimum rate depending upon its policy.

9. Pricing

The Cost of app development should be within the budget fixed beforehand after considering all the factors such as type, complexity, platforms, maintenance, and more. To this end, look for a company having rates within your budget.

The best approach is to opt for the package cost offered by the company. A cost-benefit analysis should be done to get the best services at a reasonable price.

Conclusion

In detail, we have covered the various factors determining the app development cost in 2023. As a business owner, your focus should be on developing an application that effectively reaches your target audience & the intense competition at the best possible price. Let’s connect with us to know more about the cost of your application development with the best strategy.

FAQs

The average hourly rate for app development in the USA is $120-$150

Yes. We estimate the app development cost based on factors such as type, features, technologies, etc.

No, the price is different as per the usability, platforms, and features.

It ranges between $16,000 to as much as $105,000 depending upon the level of complexity and other factors.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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