Last Updated: July 13, 2023
mobile app development cost
Published On: July 06, 2023

The mobile app development market is estimated to cross billions of dollars and is a revenue-generating niche. It is growing as we are talking. The total revenue of the Application market was estimated to reach $475.90bn in 2022. 

Developing an app is an exciting and challenging journey for which safeguards should be implemented beforehand. Answering questions like “How much does the process of mobile app development cost?” is one of the decisive tasks before embarking on this journey. We are aiming to help you to find the answer to this question.

Simple Ingredients of App Development:-

  • Founder of a firm that is interested in getting an app
  • Fantastic Idea for an app
  • An app development partner company (who will sail the tides with the founder before and after launching the App.)
  • Money(essential medium)

Hence begins the perfect recipe for “Breaking down the cost of mobile app development!”

The budgeting of app development is a process that involves answering a series of questions and making choices at every step.

If you consult Moon Technolabs, an app development company, for your mobile app development costs, a typical conversation would look like this:

You: I want to get an app. What is the mobile app development cost for my business?

Moon Technolabs: Ok, have you considered the three most important questions about what type of app you want?

You: Can you explain a bit more about them?

Moon Technolabs: Sure! 

What type of features do you want to incorporate into the App?

Where is the location for which you are targeting?

What is the budget you are planning for?

You: Let me do my research first. 

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Here we are helping in the research of all those who are thinking of or have planned to get a mobile application.

The first step of research is to understand how renowned names in the industry have done it.

The Titans Decided to Do it This Way!

Let us give you an overview of how the giant apps are doing – what it costs them, and how much time it took to come up with such addictive features to develop their applications: 


Due to its numerous features and complexity, an app like Facebook can have a significant development cost. Facebook’s early development cost was reportedly approximately $500,000. Due to its extensive development efforts, apps like Facebook have a development time of around months to a year.


A well-known global taxi app made with a novel idea to connect drivers with riders. The App provides options such as ‘Book a ride’ or ‘Schedule a ride’ for the future. Apps like Uber cost around $30,000 to $100,000 with complex features such as in-app calling and geolocation tagging. The development time comes around a few months.  


It is renowned for having an easy-to-use messaging interface. WhatsApp’s development cost was approximately $250,000. Owing to its complex backend infrastructure, messaging applications like Whatsapp take somewhere near a year to build—additional time for updates like the recently launched in-app payment option. 


Instagram is a well-known application for sharing pictures and videos. Instagram’s development cost was reportedly between $500,000 and $1 million. Various filters and tagging locations, making reels. All these options are popular, interactive, and user-friendly, which makes Instagram a stand-out application. All these complex features take time to develop. Building an application like Instagram takes close to 6 months to 12 months. 


Snapchat is renowned for its functionality that allows users to send disappearing pictures and videos. Snapchat’s development cost was reportedly $4 million. Unique features like disappearing photos, video messages, and augmented reality features take time to develop. Sometimes not creativity, but its implementation takes time. If you are eyeing a sophisticated app like Snapchat, assume a good nine months to 18 months for development time.


It is a hugely liked app for short videos. TikTok’s development cost was reportedly around $1 million. A short video-sharing application like TikTok takes 6 to 12 months to develop.

What is The Cost of Running a Mobile App?

When looking to get an app created, generally, the cost can be as low as $5,000 for starting and can go up to a staggering high of $300,000 and more as well. The lower range is associated with basic applications, calculators or flashlights, and other simple apps needing basic functionalities.

Complex applications like Netflix work on complicated features which cost the organization up to $250,000. But the best way to estimate the cost is to get an idea from the developers. This blog will give you a detailed and clear picture of all the factors for the price while creating an app. It helps you while discussing the budgeting with the developer.

You: What is the cost of basic mobile app development?

Moon Technolabs: Let us explain to you with a pie 🙂

Simply think of your App as a big round cake(pick one with a flavor you love). 

Phases of app development

This pie chart shows the different phases of app development, and each phase takes up a slice of the pie (Budget). So to calculate the expenditure, a simple formula is:- 

formula to calculate the cost

The various stages take up time, which is multiplied by developers’ hourly rates. This is the approximate formula to calculate the cost of the application.

It’s Not Just One; There Are Many

There are multiple factors involved while calculating the cost of an application. 

The factors affecting the cost

The factors affecting the cost of any application you develop are:-

  • Type of Application
  • Region
  •  Design and structure
  • The development platform

Let us explain these in detail:

Choosing The Type

The mobile app development is a competitive industry with numerous industries like 

food delivery apps, social media apps, transportation apps, etc… This becomes a deciding factor as the cost and the development hours depend on it.

Here’s an overview of different apps with average costs and hours to develop::-

Application Type Avg. Development Cost Development Hours
Web App $5,000 – higher limit requirement basis 800 – 1200+
Native Mobile App (iOS, Android) $10,000 – $100,000 800-1000+
Hybrid Mobile App $10,000 – $150,000 800-1200+
E-commerce App $4,000 – $50,000 1000 – 1200
Social Media App $25,000 – higher limit based on requirement 1000 – 1400+
Learning App $20,000 – based on the features added 1000 – 1200+
Dating App $20,000 – based on the features added 1200 – 1400+
Gaming App $10,000 – $100,000 1200 – 1800+
Taxi App $12,000 – $50,000 1400 – 1600+
Video Streaming App $15,000 – based on the features added 1200 – 1600+
Restaurant App Based on requirement 1200 -1600+
Shopify App $2,500 – $25,000 500 – 800
WooCommerce App $2,500 – $25,000 500 – 800

Place Matters

You might be thinking, how can location relate to cost? But yes, the rates vary region-wise as the cost of the workforce is different at different places. The common reason accounts for factors like standard of living, avg. Wages, etc. In regions like North America, the avg. wages are higher than the rest of the world, contributing to higher prices.

Region Rate Per Hour Development Hours
North America & Canada $100 – $250 1200
Australia $100 – $130 1200
European region
Western European region(U.K, Germany, France ) $80 – $180 1200
Eastern European region(Ukraine, Poland, Romania) $30 – $80 1200
Asian region
India and nearby region $20 – $50 1200
Southeast Asia(Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines) $20 – $35 1200

factor affecting rate

Designing is an Art

While picking an outfit, we keep in mind the occasion. You won’t pick formal wear for a wedding, and seldom you’d pick a party outfit to wear for your jobs. Similarly, the design and structure will vary depending on the application of your choice. Social media apps like Instagram have a different layout than Uber. The development time always depends on the type.

Application Type Avg. Development Cost Development Hours
E-commerce App $4,000 – $50,000 1000 – 1200
Social Media App $25,000 – higher limit based on requirement 1000 – 1400+
Learning App $20,000 – based on the features added 1000 – 1200+
Dating App $20,000 – based on the features added 1200 – 1400+
Gaming App $10,000 – $100,000 1200 – 1800+
Taxi App $12,000 – $50,000 1400 – 1600+

Development Platform

When working on dedicated platforms, you can either choose to hire iOS developers or hire Android developers separately. Every platform developer has their expertise while working on any project. The little nuances which are gained by experience make the application cost-effective. Here the cost breakdown is explained platform-wise to make your understanding better. 

App Platform type Avg. Development Cost Development Hours
Web App $5,000 – higher limit requirement basis 800 – 1200+
Native Mobile App (iOS, Android) $10,000 – $100,000 800-1000+
Hybrid Mobile App $10,000 – $150,000 800-1200+

What Does it Take To Make a Great Application?

User Experience and User Interface Design

When your mobile App has an impeccable UI/UX design, it directly impacts your sales. Games, as we know, have the best effects, making the player glued to them.

Impressive Design = Increased ROI

Gaming apps are the highest revenue maker in the app category, with 25.5 billion dollars. If you want a gaming app or any application, customizing it is the key to standing out in the market. Moon Technolabs offers AR/VR gaming solutions when talking about great UI/UX experience. 

What Communicates, Sells

Branding is Connecting with People. 

Why do you use Whatsapp? The first thing we do while conversing and exchanging information says, “Whatsapp me the details”. Despite many similar messaging applications in the market, giants know branding is the secret ingredient. Giants understand that “Building relations with customers is the key to grow.” Branding helps establish a reputation. A good investment in branding your App is a wise decision.

It is the aspect that helps your application catch the eye of the target audience. It includes naming the App, logo, design, and user experience. It helps attract the target audience. Target audience impacts the purchase intent, in turn increasing the sales. Like here, different components are included while determining the cost.

App Phase Designing Components Cost
App Branding Creating brand presence Logos, icons, designs $5,000 – $20,000

Partner With Moon to Land The Sales on Moon

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Hire Android developers.

Selecting Tech Stack and Platform

There are various platforms on which the applications are developed. You and the developer decide which tech stack to utilize and which platform will give the best output with your App. 

Talking about Native Platform is an app developed for a dedicated platform like iOS or Android. For iOS-specific app development and Android-specific app development, native platforms are the perfect choice as you can implement desired features without compromising. When it comes to budgeting, native sure is an expensive pick, but every penny spent is worth your business.

The Hybrid platform is an application developed to work on iOS and Android. Writing in web-based language and then rendering natively. It follows a “write once, run anywhere” philosophy. 

Hybrid platform

App Platform type Avg. Development Cost Development Hours
Mobile App $10,000 – $300,000 1200
Web App $15,000 – $50,000 1200
Native App (iOS, Android) $10,000 – $100,000 100-1000
Hybrid App $10,000 – $150,000 200-1300
Cross platform $25,000 – $60,000 1200

Now you have an idea about which platform costs how much and what the development time takes on each of the platforms. Now comes the choice for complexity level. 

The Complexity Level of Your App

Another facet of app development cost, after you choose the platform, is how complex the App level you want to keep, i.e., what features you want to include. Some features like simple login, dashboard, etc. qualify for a simple app. However, features like geolocation tagging, in-app calls, etc. are considered complex features making the App stand out. Hence, implementing them is a complicated task.

complexity level of App

When considering the complexity level, there are various factors on which the cost and development time depends. Factors like API integration, database testing, deployment, UI/UX design, front-end development, backend development, hourly wages rate according to the region, type of platform, and features included.  

Remember that the figures shown here are only approximations and that the final cost will depend greatly on the demands and circumstances unique to your app project. The location and level of experience of the development team you select to engage with may also affect rates.

You will have a more precise cost estimation for your application idea if you choose to consult Moon Technolabs. We can evaluate your needs, offer a thorough explanation of the costs, and assist you in determining whether or not your project is feasible, given your financial budget.

Hidden Mobile App Development Costs You Need to Know

Marketing Cost

It is the money spent to promote and make your mobile App known to your target audience. 

Your optimum app development marketing cost should be two to three times your initial development cost. 

If the cost of developing your mobile App is $100,000, you should estimate between $200,000 and $300,000 for marketing expenses each year. 

Mobile App Maintenance Cost

The app maintenance fee is the cost of keeping the product usable and improving performance. Maintenance might be scheduled, performed on-demand, or both. The best budget for app maintenance is twice the cost of development. The following will account for the majority of maintenance costs: 

  • App registration and subscription,
  • Services for cloud hosting, 
  • Fees for server subscriptions, infrastructure expenditures, third-party integrations, SSL, and a technical support team.

Want to Save Some Money?

Up to this point,  you must feel it is a lot of money. But here we’ll be talking about where you can save. And you should save your money in categories like these:

App’s Functionality

Well, being an early bird can surely make you wealthy if you are wise. Prioritizing the App’s functionality at an early stage is a wise step toward saving some money. It’s smart to prioritize your App’s capabilities to begin creating commercial value as soon as possible. MVP(Minimum Viable Product) is the way to go. Create it, start with it, commercialize it, and then rectify it according to the response.

Finding Errors

Finding errors ASAP in the app development journey will save you a lot of dollars. By onboarding QA professionals in the earlier stages, you can detect significant errors and bugs so the development phase begins smoothly. This will save you a lot of money which might go up in the middle of the project, and that is not desirable.

Future Goals

The App created now may not appear the same. Your target market may shift totally, causing you to adapt your offering. That is why, when building an application, keep in mind both short-term and long-term goals. It saves a lot of time, effort, and money. 

Opting For App Development

When choosing the right partner for your project, knowing all the options to budget correctly and adequately is quintessential. It is essential to save money, but it is crucial to understand where to invest money to make good use of it. 

The final factor to consider when determining how much it costs to create an app is the team you hire. Choosing the right team, on the other hand, provides various advantages. Lower costs and improved quality are two of them. As a startup, your money is limited, yet the requirement for a one-of-a-kind product is critical.

Choose Results Over Regret

Partner with the right app development company and get better results.

Hire iOS Developers from Moon Technolabs.

Hire a Local Mobile App Development Company

Local companies will charge more development fees to create an app. That is beyond doubt. Depending on the area where you launch your firm, the hourly costs for a development and design team range from $150 to $250 per specialist. So, if the total job is 200 hours and the hourly cost is $200, you are looking at spending $40,000.

Build an In-House Team

Building an in-house team is a good choice if eyeing a complex project. An in-house team is a group of software developers who operate totally as employees of your firm, receiving fixed monthly compensation from your company and daily instructions from your management. 

When dealing with some sensitive information the in-house team is what you want. They work as employees whom you can trust with crucial information. The cost of employing an in-house team varies depending on your startup’s location and the developer’s experience. 

The cost for startups established in the United States is:

  • a Full-stack developer earns $180,000 annually,
  • a designer earns $160,000 yearly, and
  • a native mobile app developer (iOS or Android) earns $170,000.

The cost is significantly higher than if the work was contracted to a local agency. You can, however, cut your costs by granting the developer some stock.

A worth keeping note – A higher development cost will cost higher maintenance. 

Work With Freelancers

If you are considering budget and want to spend less, then freelancers are a good pick. There are multiple platforms, like Upwork, Fiverr, etc., where freelancers post their work and bid. 

If you need to experiment or complete a job quickly, freelancing becomes an ideal case.

A word of caution is just the supervising process, and the contractors demand a substantial amount of time. 

Freelancing has two options to choose from, either an hourly basis or a contractual basis.

Again location plays a factor here. The freelancers’ charges are:

  • $50 per hour in the United States,
  • $15 to $25 per hour in Asia or India
  • $20 per hour in Latin America

Outsource Mobile App Development

If your project necessitates more workers and professionals working on it, the availability of high-quality software, and experience promoting apps, consider outsourcing app development.

In outsourcing, you hire a foreign company to take the baton forward and help you with the app construction idea.

It enables you to concentrate on your business goals while a team of experts handles your technological requirements. The cost of progress varies by country. For example, the cost of employing developers in the United States is 2x-3x that of hiring developers in Asia. The USA offers both price and quality. 

Things To Know When Choosing a Mobile App Development Company

There are some things to remember when choosing a mobile app development company for your project. 

Take Control In Your Hands

If you already have a vision, taking the steering wheel in your hands is a smart choice. A little knowledge about your application’s needs will always help you. Or else, find an experienced mobile app developer who will help you clear your mind about the allotted development funding, development schedule, and platforms on which it will run.

Try to Choose Full-Service Companies

Working with experienced and skilled companies like Moon Technolabs, who have established themselves in the field for years, can prove highly profitable for your App. If you work with such a firm, you won’t need to search elsewhere for further assistance or services because they can give you all the resources you need at every stage of developing an application, including design, development, and testing.

Asking a Few Questions Never Hurt Anyone

Asking the correct questions at the correct time is your next need. One-to-one interviews with the developer with crucial information will help you give clarity and make them understand that you both are on the same page. Ideas are exchanged, and knowing their previous experience will make brainstorming with them easier. 

Researching Your Way Through

Research the applications the firm has already made. Judge them on a non-technical note like the feel, the ease of use, and the technicalities like user-friendliness and time to upload on the web and mobile. You have in your mind a unique application. Ask yourself – “Will they deliver what I want?”

Rethink Your B2B Results

With apt guidance to lead generation, you can get higher conversion rates with increased purchase intent.

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Checking if Your Secret is Safe With Them

The most important thing when it comes to creativity is “Idea”. Understanding that the company you’re picking is trustworthy and can keep your ideas safe is a decisive and essential step. A detailed conversation about how the company assures data security and privacy is necessary for your business. 

To ensure you, the developers must be willing to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with you. Companies like Moon Technolabs sign NDAs to assure and ensure privacy and data protection.

How Can Moon Technolabs Help with Mobile App Development Services?

Evidence proves better than words. Our mobile app development services are the talk of the town, with customers profiting from the applications and satisfied with the work. Our mobile app developers understand your opinions and value your time and money. They have demonstrated expertise and experience working on numerous complicated projects, allowing them to rise to any challenge. Hire iOS developers for any of the Apple projects you have in mind. Hire Android developers if you are planning to launch your Android app. 

Time and money savings

The cost of using our mobile app development services is competitively low. We ensure that the resources are utilized effectively and practically. Because “Time and Money” are valuable resources, the land we believe in saving, be it your data, time, money or ideas. 

Credible and trustworthy

Be assured, “Your secret is safe with us”. To provide you with complete ownership and validation of the app design or app idea, our developers sign an NDA. We value privacy and protect customer-sensitive information.

Perception and transparency from our developers.

Convey your ideas, and our developers will understand your vision. They are aware of your needs and the application’s needs for the business. You have an idea, and we will make it a reality.

Keep up with the latest updates to produce elegant, sleek iOS and Android apps.

To maintain the App in line with user needs and Apple upgrades, our iOS developers stay current on the most recent Apple guidelines. The most recent upgrades made by the Android community to keep the program cutting-edge are well-known to our Android developers.

Bonus Infographic


The cost of any mobile application depends on the factors like which platform you choose? What is the complexity level? And many more such factors. Feel free to give us a call and book a free consultation with us to understand more about this process.

The development time totally depends on the level and type of application. If it is a simple hybrid application you can expect it to be delivered within 6 months.

We respect customer privacy. Our developers sign NDA to keep your information and ideas confidential and safe.Be assured from our end.

iOS is effective when looking for security and safety but when looking for security with various features Android is a better option. It is hard to tell which is cheaper between iOS and Android as it depends on the type of application as well. Like Native apps cost more than Hybrid or cross platform apps. Consult with the developer to know better about the cost.
ceo image
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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