Mobile app development is undoubtedly a profitable deal. As recorded in the third quarter of 2022, the Google Play store showcases 3.55+ million apps, and the Apple App Store is up with 1.6+ million apps. With the increasing number of apps every year, every second enterprise plans to build an app for robust branding. While being challenging, app development demands some upfront costs.
But how much does it cost to make an app?
Depending on varied factors, figuring out the app development cost may require much effort. Mobile app development costs rely on numerous factors, like the type of app, platform you choose, complexity of the app, region of your app developers, varied stages of app development, third-party integration, privacy and security for your app, and a lot more. Besides, various hidden costs also impact the cost of app development.
Well, you don’t have to fret, as you have landed on the right page. In this article, we will explore and deeply analyze all the essential factors of app development that affect its cost, considering every crucial aspect without any miss. Also, wait until the end to know the hacks to reduce mobile app development costs.
Let’s get started.
Formula For Calculating App Development Cost
Applying the formula below is the easiest way to calculate the average cost to develop an app. The formula is simple:
App Development Cost = Total Development Time x Hourly Rate
You only have to multiply the number of hours of app development by the hourly rate (you charge). Most companies use this formula to estimate the budget needed before they kickstart the development.
7 Factors That Affect App Development Cost
Above, we talked about the factors affecting the app development cost; here, we will explore more.
1. Complexity & Features
The app design, number of screens, features, database, 3rd-party integrations, app development team, and more decides the complexity of an app.
The app’s complexity affects the app development cost. Let’s check out the table below to make it clear.
a. Basic App Development Factors:
|Features||Estimated Time (hr)||Cost (approx.)|
|User Profile Completion||23-29 hr||$300 – $500|
|Basic Messaging||160-170 hr||$450-$750|
|Search||13-18 hr||$300 – $500|
|Push Notifications||25-32 hr||$300 – $500|
|Basic admin panel: Push notifications||8-14 hr||$150 – $250|
|Basic admin panel: Payment management||23-44 hr||$300 – $500|
|Basic admin panel: User management||66-90 hr||$300 – $500|
|Geolocation||50 hr||$400 – $750|
|Monetization Schemes||50+ hr||$300 to $750|
|Total||418 – 497 hr||$2,000 – $5,000|
b. Intermediate App Development Factors:
|Features||Estimated Time (hr)||Cost|
|All from The Basic||418 – 497 hr||$2000 – $5000|
|Chat||50-60 hr||$800 – $2000|
|In-app Purchases||20-30 hr||$600 – $1500|
|Analytics||2-5 hr (For each tool)||$400 – $1000|
|Ads||8-16 hr||$400 – $1000|
|Data Encryption||16-24 hr||$1000 – $2500|
|Connectivity||16-24 hr||$800 – $2000|
|Total||532 – 661 hr||$6,000 – $15,000|
The estimated cost and features are a rough approximation and can vary widely based on the project’s specifics.
c. Advanced App Development Factors:
|Features||Estimated Time (hr)||Cost|
|All Features from Intermediate App||532 – 661 hr||$6,000 – $15,000|
|Payments||60-78 hr||$2,000 – $2,600|
|Streaming||90-140 hr||$2,300 – $3,000|
|Offline Mode||Up to 80 hr||$3,500|
|Map||75-111 hr||$2,000 – $1,600|
|Report abuse||10 – 12 hr||$400 – $500|
|CMS: Admin management||6 – 10 hr||$1,250 – $1,500|
|CMS: Admin authorization||8 – 12 hr||$850 – $1,500|
|CMS: User management||20 – 37 hr||$1,800 – $2,500|
|CMS: Reported entity management||10 – 15 hr||$1,100 – $1,500|
|Total||891- 1,156 hr||$15,000+|
2. Types of Mobile Applications
Before we start, we choose a type of app we need to develop, be it a native, web app, or cross-platform app. It depends on your target audience; you can pick any type of app to build.
Let us help you.
a. Native Apps (iOS and Android)
If you are looking to start mobile app development with a minimal budget, you can go with native app development, be it an Android or iOS app. Built for a specific platform, the native apps are faster and more responsible than other apps as the code is stored on the user’s phone locally.
- Fewer Bugs
- Improved User Experience
- Better Performance
- Enhanced Scalability
- Advanced Customization
- Easier to Launch
- Greater Security
- Instant Updating
|Complexity||iOS App Average Development Cost||Android App Average Development Cost|
|Basic||$2500-5000||$2000 – $5000|
|Intermediate||$9000 – $15000||$6000 – $15000|
|Android App Development Benefits||iOS App Development Benefits|
|Huge Knowledge Base||Better App Revenue|
|Flexible Environment||Perfect User Experience|
|Easy App Review Process (on the store)||Less Device Fragmentation|
|Perform Well in Any Ecosystem||Robust Data Security|
|Diminished Time to Market||Rapid Development Time|
|Open-source Freedom||Tech-Savvy Customer Base|
b. Hybrid Apps / Cross Platform
Hybrid app development cost is usually less in contrast to native app development cost. The fact behind this is while choosing the latter one, you need to write separate code for each OS, which means separately for Android and iOS. Besides, hybrid apps take less time to code, hold a faster development cycle, and run anywhere.
- Use One Codebase
- Lower Development Cost
- Faster Development Time
- Higher Audience Reach
- Support Code Reuse
- Diminish Need for Testing
|Complexity||Hybrid App Average Development Cost|
|Basic||$5000 – $10,000|
|Intermediate||$12,000 – $30,000|
c. Web Apps/PWA
Such apps allow the users to witness the app experience on mobile and desktop also. Easy to install and download, the PWAs are like any other native application. Such apps only demand a browser with fast Internet connectivity regardless of the OS and device one uses.
- Works Offline
- Lower Development Cost
- Improved App Performance
- Light Weight
- Acts like a Native App
- Allows Direct Downloading
- Fast Loading Speed
- Permit Automatic Updates
|Complexity||Web/PWA Average Development Cost|
|Basic||$1000 – $2500|
|Intermediate||$2500 – $5000|
While giving an estimate of app development cost, we will consider one more factor that may impact the price, i.e., app developers’ location.
Let’s unveil an approximate price of app development based on different regions worldwide that may change depending on the design resources, developers, and the organization one hires for app development.
|Region||Cost Per Hour|
|North America||$100 – $250/hour|
|Western Europe||$75 – $200/hour|
|Eastern Europe||$40 – $150/hour|
|Southeast Asia||$20 – $50/hour|
4. App Development Stages
As you are looking to develop a successful application for your business, you need to follow the below steps:
- Idea Generation, Conceptualization, and Market Research
Approx. Impact on Cost: 5%
You can start with a clear and concise app concept that the development team can find easy to understand. Next, this stage demands deep research of the market and competition, which will put forth the actual market dynamics, ruling market players, consumer interaction with brands, and more. Also, check out the reviews of similar top apps in the market and learn from the mistakes to emerge with a better product.
- Planning and Strategy
Approx. Impact on Cost: 5%
Post the target audience definition, and move on to the planning and strategy stage. We determine the app requirements, features, and functionalities during this phase. Ahead, after capturing all the app’s relevant details, you should create a roadmap and an effective strategy considering all the essential factors to build an expected and useful app.
- Design and User Interface (UI/UX)
Approx. Impact on Cost: 15%
When it comes to designing and UI of an app, it needs to be engaging yet easy to navigate. So, you need to decide which type of app design you choose and the experience level of the UX/UI designers you hire for your product.
Approx. Impact on Cost: 60%
In this phase, we develop our app, including coding, debugging, and top-class features integration. Varied factors decide the cost of this particular stage, like the platform for which the app is to be built, the number of features, the development team experience level, etc.
- Testing & Quality Assurance
Approx. Impact on Cost: 10%
Once the app development is completed, the app is moved ahead to the QA team to conduct tests thoroughly to identify errors, bugs, or glitches. The size of your testing team, the tools used, and the number of app features affect the cost of the testing phase.
- Deploy & Launch
Approx. Impact on Cost: 5%
Post conducting app testing perfectly, your app is all set to be deployed on the app store. But how much does it cost to put an app on the app store? You should comply with the specific platform you chose to deploy your app on and align your monetization model with its needs, like store fees.
- Ongoing Maintenance & Support
Approx. Impact on Cost: 15-20%
Obviously, post-development also, an app looks for maintenance and support services to stay running successfully. Well, most app development companies provide this service as an option (on paid basis) that the app development package usually excludes.
- Integration of Third-Party Services
Approx. Cost: $1000 to 10000
Third-party APIs or services are necessary to append extra functionality despite creating a separate solution from scratch. Besides, it’s a cost-efficient method to improve your app later when you again plan to upgrade it and let it follow the latest trends.
- Privacy & Security Measures
As your app is going to collect, share, and utilize users’ data to offer a better experience, you need to ensure the privacy and security of data. This way, the trust of app users and loyalty will boost, impacting the ROI.
Hidden App Development Costs
1. Functional Costs
You need to invest in implementing your app’s functionality, known as functional costs. If you want to make your app perform a specific function, you need a subscription for a service-providing delivery mechanism. The app uses endless services and may cost you a hundred or thousand dollars.
Let’s uncover a few such services:
- Push Notifications
- Social Media Integration
- SMS Notifications
2. IT Support Costs
IT support services, or continuous technical support, are crucial to evolve with a high-quality app. The only issue is that the support charges can increase with time.
Some examples of such support services are:
- API Maintenance,
- Android and iOS updates,
- Bug fixing,
- App update submissions
3. Infrastructure Costs
Such costs include varied expenses, like data storage, app hosting, and data delivery. These hidden app development services need load and redundancy balancers for security and backup servers. This adds up more to the complexity and app development cost.
A few instances of infrastructure cost items:
- Content delivery network
- Image data
- Development tools, support, and libraries
- Data storage
4. Software Licenses
You need different SDKs and libraries to develop a mobile app; some are free, while some are paid. Such sort of software lets the developers reduce the feature’s implementation time.
5. Administrative Costs
You can get constant access to your data without contacting your IT department to update your app’s content and manage users. Well, it’s challenging to estimate the cost of the administrative services depending on the mobile app type you are building. As such costs add up, you need to pay regularly.
A few paid administrative services:
- Dynamic updates
- Data segmentation
- Content management tools
- Analytics/event collectors
- Functional services management
- Access controls
- Dashboard emulators
6. Mid-Project Changes
Obviously, project requirements may change with time. Some businesses may need to add any specific functionality they should have added initially. So, companies should keep aside an amount for mid-project changes also.
Statistical Insights – Facts and Figures to Consider
- In 2023, mobile apps saw 255 billion downloads, an 11% YoY increase.
- Users downloaded 27 billion apps from Google Play in Q1 2023.
- Mobile apps earned $167 billion in 2022, despite a 2% decrease.
- The mobile app industry is projected to hit $201 billion in revenue by the end of 2023.
- Mobile apps are on track to generate over $935 billion in revenue in 2023.
- Users spent a staggering 1 trillion hours on apps and games in 2022, showing a 9% YoY increase in engagement.
- The mobile application market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2023 to 2030.
- There are currently 8.93 million smartphone apps worldwide.
- Google Play Store has 3.553 million apps, while the Apple App Store has 1.642 million apps.
- The app economy is valued at around $500 billion, with $336 billion from advertising and $167 billion from in-app purchases.
- Consumer app spending could exceed $270 billion by 2025.
How Much Does It Cost To Develop An AI-Powered Mobile App?
Usually, an AI-based app development cost usually starts at $30,000. But, integrating advanced AI technologies with varied features and functionalities can cost up to $100,000 or even more.
Let’s check out the cost breakdown of AI-based app development below, with the approximate contribution of every app development phase (in percentage) in the overall cost.
|AI App Development Phases||Contribution (in percentage)|
Benefits of AI-Powered Mobile Application
Well, integrating AI in app development arrives with numerous benefits. Let’s check a few below:
1. Improved User Experience
Leveraging machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies, developers can create conversational UIs that boost user experience and app functionality.
Virtual assistants and chatbots are best for eCommerce, healthcare, and customer support in mobile apps that use CUI (conversational UI). Reaping the potential of text-based and voice instructions ease users with improved app interaction.
2. Robust App Authentication
With robust security, mobile apps can easily aim at cybercrimes with the expanding number of internet hackers. AI-powered security algorithms help stop this. Exploiting authentication techniques based on data storage and user activity patterns can ease identifying fraudulent activities and offer real-time alerts to app users. Besides, via fingerprint authentication, the AI enhances app security.
3. Rapid Translation
With AI-enabled translators, computers, mobile apps, or other devices can let users connect with anyone wherever they are worldwide. The real-time translation technology empowers the apps to instantly translate varied languages in real-time with or without an internet connection just by pushing a button.
4. Highly Customizable User Experience
Designers and developers can evaluate user data to know what the users are expecting from their in-app experience and learn how those choices change over time. Resultantly, they may create more personalized and responsive apps, increasing user engagement and retention rates.
5. Content-Based Data
Content plays a vital role in mobile app performance. With AI abilities, apps analyze and use data sophisticatedly and craft relevant and user-friendly content based on the reader’s personas. Also, AI utilizes optical character recognition (OCR) to translate material across languages.
On the other edge, machine learning algorithms are best at automating repetitive jobs in AI-enabled apps. Such algorithms can also evaluate data, recognize trends, and conduct tasks more accurately and quickly than in manual mode.
6. Emotions Recognition
The best part of using AI in mobile app development is it boosts the platform’s capability to recognize and respond to human emotions. The sophisticated picture processing, vocal intonation, and audio data interpretation permit the system to pick spoken and facial cues from users and choose movies or music that may fit their current mood.
The Most Popular Global Apps and Their Development Cost
|Category||Top App||Available On||Cost to Build|
|Travel||Kayak||Android, iOS||$15000 to $50000|
|Shipping||FedEx Mobile||Android, iOS||$30,000 and $80,000|
|Retail||Amazon Shopping||Android, iOS||$40,000 to $300,000|
|Education||Duolingo||Android, iOS||$25,000- 100,000|
An all-in-one travel app, Kayak helps organize itineraries with trips, track costs, and more. Whether it’s flight or hotel booking needs, this app meets all.
- Compare travel deals.
- Free personal travel assistant.
- Flight tracker to stay up-to-date.
- Travel plan sharing with family and friends.
- Carry-on bag measuring tool.
2. FedEx Mobile
One of the top shipping apps, FedEx Mobile, tracks shipment status, creates domestic and international shipping labels and handles packages from anywhere. This app gets quick rates, scan bar codes, discover a pickup or drop-off location, and view rewards.
- Track all incoming and outgoing packages’ status.
- Discover a FedEx location nearby.
- Scan a barcode for seamless tracking.
- Access the shipper address book.
- Cancel a scheduled pickup.
3. Amazon Shopping
Amazon Shopping app provides app-only benefits to assist faster and easier shopping experience. Besides, it provides a never miss a delivery option, notifies you when the products are on sale, and lets you browse and buy almost everything you need.
- Allow camera use for finding products.
- Permit Microphone usage to search for whatever users want.
- Store user’s preferences.
- Allow sending Amazon gift cards to your contacts.
Meet all your healthcare needs simply using Netmeds app. Arriving with varied features, this pharmacy app ensures an easy, user-friendly, and quick healthcare products ordering process with cost savings.
- Store patients’ medical records.
- Talk to a doctor online.
- Book lab tests online.
- Track orders.
Use this educational app to learn new languages with fun that’s available free on the app store. It allows practicing speaking, listening, reading, and writing to create your vocabulary and grammar skills.
- Track learning progress.
- Quick and fun lessons.
- Speak and listen to the language.
- Learn new words and boost your vocabulary.
Hacks to Reduce Your App Development Costs
- Choose the right platform with reduced development time and costs.
- Go with a simple app design; later, you can upgrade.
- Opt for 3rd-party APIs or services despite creating advanced solutions from scratch.
- Consider scalability while developing an app.
- Hire experienced app developers to ensure a profitable mobile app launch.
- Prior plan for ongoing maintenance and support to keep your app running successfully.
How Emizentech Can Help You?
As we have learned, the cost of app development relies on varied factors; thereby, obviously, your app requirements will impact your app development cost.
Besides, choosing experienced and skilled app developers will let you build an app at the best price ever. The experts recommend hiring a trusted app development company holding proven app development proficiency. Careful guidance will let you emerge with the expected and profitable app in the market. But how to choose an app development company?
Top Aspects to Consider Before Choosing An App Development Company
- Years of Experience.
- Proven track record of successful projects.
- Technical proficiency.
- Best reference and portfolio.
- Reasonable pricing.
- Seamless communication skills.
Well, you don’t need to look all over seeking an expert app development team, as with Emizentech, you will surely get all the crucial aspects and meet your app development needs seamlessly at the best price ever with no hidden costs.
In a nutshell, whatever your app development budget, come to us with your idea, our app development consultants will provide exceptional guidance to successful app development.
How Much Will Your App Cost – A Final Verdict
This blog presented an average cost to develop an app that you can consider as an estimate while planning to build one for your business. Besides, just remember to include the hidden cost we showcased here to keep your budget from going out, which may impact your app development time and progress.
Also, to get an exact range for an app development cost, get a consultation or hire a mobile app development company with a robust portfolio of developed apps for varied industry verticals successfully.
FAQs For App Development Cost
The average cost to develop an Android app ranges between $2000 – $300,000 and even more depending on the factors affecting the cost.
Well, iOS app development costs vary per the features, functionalities, app type, complexity, and more. An estimated cost to develop an iOS app ranges between $10,000 – $100,00.
Simple app development may take 2-4 months, intermediate may take 4-6 months, and complex one may take 9+ months.
You may hire an experienced team of developers from a reliable app development company holding years of experience and a proven record of building apps in varied industry verticals.
Let’s make it clear. Hiring the app’s design and development talent is expensive. Millions of apps on the app store developed by independent developers are struggling to earn a single penny. So, hiring the best app developers to engage with a profitable mobile app is crucial.
On average, a freelance charge is around $61-$80/hour for mobile app development, depending on the location of the developers, their experience, and your app development requirements.
Usually, per the market trends, a mobile app developer charges $36 to $62 per hour in the US.
The average hourly rates of mobile app developers:
▪️ Android developer: $25-$85+ per hour.
▪️ iOS developer: $45-$75 per