How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App?

Cost to Develop an App

“How much does it cost to develop an app” is a worldwide concern in today’s 21st century. Well, developing a mobile app involves various stages and considerations that significantly influence the cost of building an app.

Understanding the intricacies of app development costs is paramount for businesses and entrepreneurs. Whether you are a startup or a full-fledged business and want to expand your digital presence, then learning the factors affecting the cost of mobile app development is crucial. 

We will delve into the multifaceted nature of app creation costs, factors affecting the cost of mobile app development, and strategies to reduce the cost of creating a mobile app.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App?

To cut a long story short, the approximate cost to develop an app can range from USD 25,000 to USD 150,000 and may also exceed USD 300,000 during the development of tailored complex apps.

The word approximate is added here because the cost of custom mobile application development varies on various factors such as the app’s complexity, functionalities, features, development approach, and several others. And, if you want to develop a custom app, then make sure to seek help from custom mobile app development services.

However, the detailed analysis of the mobile app development cost is explained below with factors affecting the cost of development. As soon as you are well aware of these factors, you will be able to estimate how much does it cost to develop an app.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App Depending on App Development Stages?

When you think about building an app from scratch, questions like how much it cost to develop an app would have popped up in your head. Isn’t it? And, to find its answer, you would have used calculators, searched for its costs on the Internet, or asked your business friends about this. 

But you should keep in mind that no matter how accurate the cost seems, it will surely mislead you. We are saying this because the cost of developing an app depends on various factors and app development stages. 

Each phase of mobile app development requires different expenses that we are going to help you through. So, let’s tighten your belt and get ready for the long drive on “How much does it cost to develop an app.”

1. Cost of Project Discovery & Strategy Phase

The cost of project discovery and strategy planning revolves around the hours taken to complete this phase. When you seek help from an iOS/Android app development company for building your mobile app, their consulting experts will ask you a wide range of questions about your company, future business, or project requirements. 

Around 10% of the cost of total mobile app development comes under this stage and takes nearly 20 to 200 hours to complete. The final document after discussion will contain information like:

  • Analyzing the competitor
  • Objective declaration
  • Concept of MVP 
  • User research and Market analysis
  • A clear strategy and roadmap for your project

However, the estimated timeline of project discovery and strategy is 2 to 4 weeks, and the cost of this phase is USD 1,200 to USD 11,000.

2. Cost of App Design Phase

Next comes the app designing phase which contains software prototyping, wireframing, and designing UI/UX. You all know that the first impression is the last impression, hence you need to create a visually appealing user interface that captures the attention of the users and compels them to visit your app again and again.

For this, you can hire UI/UX designers or a mobile app development company like Mobulous in order to invest your money as it is the most crucial phase that can make or break your project. It takes around 10% to 15% of the cost of developing an app for iOS or Android

Not only this, but also the timeline of the design may extend due to complex screens, visual intricacies, custom elements, and several other factors. Therefore, the estimated timeline of the designing phase is around 3 to 4 weeks and can cost you USD 2,500 to USD 10,000.

3. Cost of App Development Phase

Mobile app development is the most important, expensive, and time-consuming phase. In this stage, app complexity and functionalities describe the estimated cost of app development. 

The complexity of the app and the number of features in the app add to the cost and timeline of the app development. Apart from features, the app development stage allows you to concentrate on other elements as well such as data encryption, storage, third-party integration, userbase, and several others. 

You must choose the best mobile app development frameworks and technologies that suit your application and are within your budget. However, the app development stage takes around 2 to 6 months to complete and costs you around USD 3,000 to USD 60,000.

4. Cost of Testing and Deployment Phase

After developing an app, you need to test it thoroughly in order to identify and resolve bugs. This improves the quality of your app and you don’t need to pay extra for post-launch bug fixing. For this, you need a team of Quality Assurance in order to conduct comprehensive testing. QA testing ensures to delivery of the best user experience and brings the finest quality to the app. 

The most acceptable way to ensure user retention and satisfaction is to launch the app with minimal or no errors. However, the estimated time taken in this stage is around 2 to 4 weeks and cost you less than USD 5,000.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App for Different Platforms?

You need to be more careful when selecting a platform to develop a mobile app for your users. The cost to develop an app for different platforms directly impacts the overall mobile app development cost. 

Therefore, you must consider a specific Android, iOS, web app, progressive web app, or cross-platform app development.

1. Cost of Developing Native Apps

Native apps are developed for specific devices such as iOS and Android. It uses selective programming languages such as Swift and Objective-C for iOS app development and Java or Kotln for Android app development. 

However, the cost for native app development is around USD 40,000 to USD 300,000 depending on the complexity of the app and its UI/UX.

For Any Query:- Seek help from Native App Development Company!

2. Cost of Developing Web Apps

In technical terms, web apps are not mobile apps but are mobile-friendly websites that leverage responsive and user-engaging design. Therefore, web apps make sure to provide the finest user experience, irrespective of screen sizes and devices. 

These apps are considered the best option for businesses with limited budget constraints. The minimum web app development cost ranges from USD 15,000 to USD 100,000. However, if your web app has more complex functionalities, then it will cost you around USD 110,000 to USD 500,000.

3. Cost of Developing Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps or PWAs are those apps that are built with the help of web platform technologies. However, these apps provide an experience for users like that of a platform-specific app.

Just like a website, a progressive web app can operate on various platforms and devices from a single codebase. The cost of PWA development differs based on numerous factors. However, the average cost of progressive web app development is between USD 10,000 to USD 100,000.

4. Cost of Developing Cross-Platform Apps

Cross-platform app development enables app developers to leverage a single code to create an app for both Android and iOS devices. It is a time-saving development option that appeals to a majority of developers and business persons.

For cross-platform app development, Flutter and React Native are the most popular technologies and may cost you around USD 90,000 to USD 700,000.

How Much Does it Cost to Publish an App on the App Store?

With the cost of mobile app development, it is essential to learn the cost of publishing the app on the App Store (Apple App Store/Google Play Store). Let’s understand how much does it cost to put an app on the Stores in a comprehensive way.

Cost to Publish an App on the Apple App Store

The Apple App Store provides an authentic space to shop for the most delinquent Apple products, apps, and accessories. However, there is a fee charged by the Apple App Store to publish your app on the platform. Let’s understand this with the table below.

Components Essential Description
Name Apple App Store
Fees Charged $99/Year
Timeline for App Launch 
  • 24 hours to Review.
  • After receiving approval the app will go for publishing.


Also Read:- How to Get Your App Approved to be Launched on the App Store?

Cost to Publish an App on the Google Play Store

On Google Play Store, you can download mobile apps, gas, and digital content on your Android devices. In most cases, you are able to use instant apps that don’t require installation. On this platform, various content is available for free whereas some you will need to purchase. 

However, there is an expense that you need to pay before launching your app on the Google Play Store platform. Let’s learn this with the below table.

Components Essential Description
Name Google Play Store
Fee Charged $25 – One Time Fees
Timeline for App Launch
  • 2-3 Days to Review.
  • After receiving approval the app will take up to 7 days to get published.

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain an App?

Well, the app maintenance cost can be as high as 50% of the total app development costs in the first year. This is because you need to add and remove various features, resolve bugs/glitches, and implement user feedback after launching it on the App Stores.

After passing each year, the cost of app maintenance reduces to 15% to 20% of the total cost in order to develop an app. However, if you spend more than 20% on mobile app maintenance, you will surely get the best and desired results. 

The cost of maintaining a mobile app will be reasonably high if it is a native app (Android or iOS). Therefore, you need to secure USD 250 to USD 500 for monthly maintenance whereas USD 20,000 for yearly maintenance only if the cost to develop an app is USD 100,000.

App Maintenance Cost Based on Different Locations

As we have understood the cost of maintaining an app on a monthly and yearly basis, let’s learn how much does it cost to hire mobile app developers from different locations. Make sure to consider the below table carefully.


Geographical Location of App Developers/Development Companies Per-Hour Rate
India $25 – $50
Eastern Europe $25 – $80
South America $30 – $80
Australia $40 – $100
Western Europe $40 – $100
North America $50 – $150

Complexity Level Influencing the App Development Costs

The level of complexity of a mobile app can create a significant impact on the cost of mobile app development. You should know that the more complex an app is, the more resources and time it will take to develop. This results in higher development costs in the long run.

Therefore, it is essential to consider the complexity of an app carefully in order to ensure that the app creation costs are under your project budget. Here is how the complexity level of an app influences the cost of app development.

Complexity Functionalities Examples Cost
Simple apps Standard UI elements, low-tech screens, no storage, basic MVP, single platform SMS app, clock, calculator, audio/video player $20,000-$60,000
Average Apps Customized UI, API integrations, data storage, push notifications, high-quality screen, GPS access Chatting app, budgeting app, photo and file sharing app, food delivery app, cab booking app $50,000-$200,000
Advanced Apps Two-factor authentication, chatbots, real-time synchronization, nonlinear workflows Gaming app, logistic app, enterprise app, healthcare app, trading and lending app, telehealth app $80,000-$350,000

Factors Affecting the Cost to Create an App

From platform selection and app complexity to design intricacies and developer rates, each component plays a crucial role in affecting the overall app development costs. Let’s learn the most influential factors that influence the cost to create an app and embark on the journey of mobile app development.

1. App Development Platform

The choice of platform (Android, iOS (or both), web, PWA, or cross-platform) significantly impacts the cost of app development. Developing apps for any platform requires different skills, knowledge, and resources. Thus, it affects the overall cost of app development.

2. App Complexity

The complexity of your mobile app such as its features, functionalities, and user interface plays an essential role in order to demonstrate the cost of app development. Simple applications with basic features are less expensive to build when compared with complex apps with advanced features. Therefore, it influences the cost of developing an app.

3. Design Complexity

The intricacy of app design, including UI/UX and animations affects the cost of mobile app development. Apps with highly customized and visually attractive designs typically incur higher app creation costs.

4. Features and Functionalities 

The complexity and number of features added to the mobile app directly affect the cost of app development. Every additional feature adds to the development resources and time. Therefore, it impacts the overall budget of the mobile app development.

5. Third-Party Integrations

Third-party integrations incorporate third-party services such as social media platforms, payment gateways, or APIs that add to the cost of mobile app development. These integrations improve the functionality of the mobile app but also require additional investment.

6. Developer Location and Rates

The geographical location of the app development team and their hourly rates play a crucial role in determining costs. Mobile app developers based in regions with higher living standards generally charge more fees when compared with those in lower-cost regions.

7. Maintenance and Updates

Post-launch maintenance and updates are crucial to keep the app functional and up-to-date by leveraging the latest mobile app trends/technologies and security measures. Budgeting for ongoing maintenance is important in order to ensure the long-term success of the mobile app.

Strategies to Reduce the Cost of App Development

As we know the cost of mobile app development is typically high, hence you must know some tips to reduce the app development costs. As a result, we have come up with some strategies that will help you immensely in lessening the expenses and developing the app within your budget.

1. Prioritize Features

Identify and prioritize crucial features for the initial version of the mobile app that can help you reduce the app development costs. Some additional features can be added in future updates depending on the market demand and user feedback.

2. Select the Right Development Team

Choosing a knowledgeable and experienced app development team that has expertise in your app’s niche ensures effective development and reduces the risk of costliest errors. Thus, it saves you from the hefty expenditure.

3. Using Pre-built Modules and Templates

Leveraging pre-built modules, templates, and libraries can significantly reduce the time and cost of mobile app development. These solutions are ready-made and streamline the mobile app development process while maintaining quality standards.

4. Agile Development Methodology

You must adopt an agile development methodology as it enables iterative development and regular feedback loops that lead to quick time-to-market and reduced mobile app development costs.

5. Opting for MVP

Developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with crucial features allows you to validate your app idea with minimal investment. Once it is validated, additional features are incorporated depending on the market demand and user feedback.

Final Takeaway

When building a mobile app, the thought of “How much does it cost to develop an app” would have surely come to your mind. However, the cost differs depending on various factors such as complexity, platform choice, features, and developer rates.

When you learn and understand these factors and implement all the above-mentioned cost-saving strategies, then you are able to optimize your app development budget and ensure a thriving product launch.

FAQs –  How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App?

Q. How much does it cost to develop an app? 

Ans. The app development costs are between USD 5,000 to USD 10,000 for a simple app with basic features. However, if your app is advanced and contains more complex features, then it will cost you around USD 50,000 to USD 75,000 or more and may reach USD 3000,000+ depending on the features/functionalities, location of the development team, and the platform.

Q. How hard is it to make an app?

Ans. Mobile app development is simple but not easy. You need to hire an app developer or a whole team to create an app as it requires various tools, technologies, and strategies for a successful development. You need to invest a lot of time, energy, and resources in researching, brainstorming, and designing a user-centric mobile app.

Q. How to create an app?

Ans. In order to create an app, you need to follow the below points carefully:

  1. Define Your App’s Concept and Idea.
  2. Design Your App.
  3. Develop Your App.
  4. Test Your App.
  5. Optimize the Performance of Your App.
  6. Localize Your App.
  7. Publish Your App on the App Stores.
  8. Marketing and Promotion of Your App.
  9. Monitor and Update Your App.
  10. Monetize Your App.

Q. What is mobile app development?

Ans. Mobile app development is the process of building software applications that run on a mobile device and a basic mobile app leverages a network connection in order to work with remote remote computing resources. The mobile app is developed by following a rigorous process of planning, designing, coding, testing, and app launch.

Q. Is it expensive to publish an app?

Ans. No, it is not expensive to publish an app on the App Store (Apple App Store/Google Play Store) as Apple App Store charges USD 99 on a yearly basis as a developer fee and Google Play Store charges USD 25 to publish a mobile app as a one-time fee.

Q. Is it profitable to make an app?

Ans. Yes, it is profitable to make an app as more than 16% of Android app developers earn over USD 5,000 on a monthly basis with their mobile applications. On the other hand, over 25% of iOS app developers earn more than USD 5,000 with their app earnings.