We’d Love To Hear About Your Project

    Estimated Budget



    Upload An RFP( 10Mb Max ) PDF, Doc, Docx, JPG, Gif, Png

    6 min read

    How Much Does It Cost to Create a Mobile App?

    By Ellaine Parsons

    Apple’s App Store made its way to the market in 2008 and Google launched the Google Play Store in 2012. Now, while the former has around two million apps, this number stands at over three million for the latter. This does not come as a surprise, given that an increasing number of brands want to connect and do business with their audiences via apps. However, getting a mobile app requires making an investment, one that is often worth the money. So, how much does it cost to create a mobile app?

     

    Can you build an app for free?

    In-House App Development vs. Outsourcing

    An important factor that affects how much it costs to create a mobile app is whether you plan to do it in-house or hire a mobile app development company. Both come with their share of pros and cons.

     

    Pros of In-House App Development

    The advantages of getting an in-house team to work on developing your mobile app include:

    • Direct control. You have a complete say over the development process, ensuring your team follows your vision meticulously.
    • Clear communication. Daily interaction with the team fosters smooth communication and quick issue resolution.
    • Deep understanding of your business. An in-house team becomes intimately familiar with your company’s goals and culture, leading to a product that can align with its requirements perfectly.

     

    Cons of In-House App Development

    Some of the possible drawbacks of in-house app development include:

    • Cost. If you don’t have an existing in-house web design and development team, getting one in place requires significant investment in salaries, benefits, equipment, and office space.
    • Scalability. If your project scope changes, scaling the team size up or down can be difficult.
    • Finding the right talent. Recruiting and retaining top app designers and developers can be a challenge, especially in competitive markets.

    Looking to Grow Your eCommerce Revenue?Request a Quote

    Pros of Outsourcing

    There is no dearth of small, mid-sized, and large businesses that turn to professional app development companies to create apps for them, and this is because of the benefits on offer.

    • Cost-effectiveness. Outsourcing typically offers lower development costs due to reduced overhead expenses.
    • Access to a wide talent pool. You can tap into a wider range of developers with specific skill sets you might not find locally.
    • Flexibility. It is possible to scale your development team up or down easily to meet project needs.

     

    Cons of Outsourcing

    Not everyone benefits from partnering with a mobile app development company, so it makes sense to look at the potential drawbacks.

    • Loss of control. Communication can be more challenging and you may have less control over the development process.
    • Differences in time zones. Time zone differences may hinder collaboration, potentially slowing down progress.
    • Understanding your business. The outsourced team may need more time to grasp your company’s unique needs and vision.

     

    If you choose to outsource, bear in mind that time difference can play an important role in communication. For example, if you outsource your requirement to an app development agency in the U.S., you will have to deal with a time difference of one to four hours. However, it can change significantly if you choose to move further east or west.

     

    How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

    The cost of developing a mobile app depends on multiple factors like the complexity you’re after and the app development agency you select. For example, the solution you seek may vary from simple to highly complicated. This is how much you may expect to pay based on the features and functionalities you need.

    • Simple app. A simple app with Minimum Viable Product (MVP) functionality and a basic user interface (UI) can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000.
    • Basic app. If you’re looking for complex features and a custom UI, you may expect to spend $50,000 to $150,000.
    • High-end app. If your requirements include highly complicated features/functionalities, a bespoke UI, and apps for Android as well as iOS, you might need to spend upward of $100,000 and up to $300,000, although some apps cost even more.

     

    What is the cheapest way to build an app?

    How Much Do App Developers Charge?

    Two factors that affect how much mobile app developers charge are where they live and their level of expertise. For example, developers in North America and Western Europe tend to have the highest hourly rates. Next on the list are developers from Eastern Europe, followed by ones from Asian countries like the Philippines and India. Rates may vary from an average of $60 per hour in the U.S. to an average of $20 per hour in Asia.

     

    Expertise Matters

    Whether you hire a mobile app developer or partner with a mobile app development agency, the expertise on offer typically has a bearing on how much you need to spend. If you’re after an app with extensive requirements, the team that handles its development may have developers with different skill sets and expertise.

    • Beginner ($25 to $30 per hour). An entry-level developer can assist with simple tasks like documenting code, debugging, and maintenance.
    • Intermediate ($50 to $60 per hour). Intermediate developers have the required knowledge and skills to work on most types of app development
    • Senior ($100 to $125 per hour). Senior developers tend to lead teams that work on large and complex app development projects.

     

    Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown

    Mobile app development takes place in stages and it is possible to break the cost down accordingly.

    • Discovery. This is when the agency you select matches audience needs with your business goals and selects a suitable development approach. This stage can set you back by $2,000 to $5,000.
    • Design/prototyping. This stage involves iterative processes and user testing, and can account for expenses ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.
    • Development. Development involves coding to bring the design to life and it requires the most time and effort. It typically accounts for over 50% of the overall cost, which may vary from $25,000 to $75,000.
    • Quality assurance. Quality assurance (QA) testing involves ensuring app functionality and adaptability by running different system and unit tests. This process can account for around $5,000 to $20,000.
    • Deployment. App verification along with backend transfers take place during this stage. It may cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

    Looking to Boost Your Business Online?Request a Quote

    Other Factors That Affect App Development Costs

    It’s common for business owners and managers to ask, “What costs should I consider when developing an app?” The answer rests in the details. If you look at online app development cost calculators, you will notice that they rely on a host of variables like the type of app you need, the operating system, the app’s users, and the features you want.

     

    Types of Apps

    The benefits of apps for businesses notwithstanding, you need to determine what type of app will work best for your business and its audience at the very onset.

    • Native apps. Native apps run on specific operating systems like iOS and Android, and you’ll need a different one for each. The cost of developing a native app can vary from $10,000 to $300,000 or more.
    • Web apps. Web apps run on web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and users don’t need to download them on their devices. These are typically more affordable to develop than native apps. Getting one can cost $5,000 to $100,000.
    • Progressive web apps. A progressive web app (PWA) is essentially a website that offers the user experience of a native app. Besides, it’s possible to install a PWA on a device’s home screen, just like a native app. It can also come with offline functionality. The cost of a PWA can vary from $5,000 to $150,000.

     

    The Industry You Belong To

    The industry or sector you belong to might have an effect on how much it costs to develop a mobile app because it’s common for most sectors to have similar requirements. Here are a few examples.

    • eLearning apps. $75,000 to $300,000
    • Healthcare apps. $20,000 to $200,000
    • Travel/hospitality apps. $20,000 to $300,000
    • Gaming apps. $20,000 to $300,000
    • Dating apps. $50,000 to $300,000
    • Enterprise apps. $50,000 to $300,000
    • Live streaming apps. $50,000 to $300,000
    • eCommerce apps. $50,000 to $300,000
    • Social media apps. $50,000 to $300,000

     

    Features and Functionalities

    Whether you’re looking at iOS or Android app development costs, you need to remember that you need to pay extra for practically every added feature and functionality.

    • API integrations. $2,000 to $7,500 per integration
    • IoT integrations. $7,500 to $10,500 per integration
    • Geolocation. $5,000 to $7,500
    • Use of device sensors. $2,000 to $3,000 per sensor
    • Data encryption. $3,000 to $5,000
    • Push notifications. $1,500 to $2,500
    • User login. $1,000 to $2,000

     

    What costs should I consider when developing an app?

    How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an App?

    A good rule of thumb is that app maintenance costs around 15% to 25% of the initial development cost. This is especially true in the first year after launch, when you iron out bugs, implement user feedback, and add new features/functionalities.

     

    What’s Included in Maintenance?

    Ongoing app maintenance requires paying attention to different aspects and this is what you may expect over the long run.

    • Bug fixes. Even the best apps have bugs, and the app maintenance company you hire will ensure identifying and fixing them quickly.
    • Updates. These include carrying out operating system updates, updating security patches, and ensuring compatibility with new devices.
    • Performance optimization. Performance optimization keeps your app running efficiently at all times and ensures that it delivers a positive user experience.
    • Server costs. Most apps rely on servers to store data and run functionality, and it’s common to include server costs under the maintenance umbrella.

     

    Can You Build an App for Free?

    Several app builders offer drag-and-drop app creation with no requirement for coding, and you may use them to build basic apps, especially for simple concepts or internal business tools. Platforms like Glide and Appy Pie offer free plans with limitations on features, storage, and customization. Besides, these apps often display their branding within your app. If you wish to build an app that delivers great user experiences, it’s best that you steer clear of free alternatives.

    Looking to Create a Marketing Strategy?Request a Quote

    Mobile App Development Agency vs. Freelancer vs. DIY

    Anyone wondering, “What is the cheapest way to build an app?” might be inclined to go the do-it-yourself (DIY) way and use an online app builder to save money. However, unless you’re happy with a very basic app, limited functionality, poor online branding, and restricted customization, it’s in your best interest to seek professional assistance, either from a mobile app development agency or a mobile app developer.

     

    Mobile App Development Agencies

    Partnering with an agency comes with a price tag, no doubt, and its comprehensive services might translate to higher costs. However, the benefits on offer usually outweigh the costs. For example, a mobile app development agency will have a team of specialists like UI/UX designers, developers for different platforms (iOS and Android), and marketing experts. This ensures a well-rounded approach to your app’s development and launch.

     

    Agencies have likely built numerous apps, encountering and overcoming various challenges, and their experience translates to a smoother development process for you, with fewer roadblocks.

     

    In addition, established agencies have defined processes for project management, quality assurance, and communication.

     

    Freelance Mobile App Developers

    While they may not have the backing of teams, freelancers can offer distinct advantages. For starters, they tend to charge by the hour, making them a good option for budget-conscious projects. Since clients deal directly with developers, the process can pave the way for a more personalized approach and quicker decision-making. Besides, freelance platforms allow you to find developers with particular expertise, which is perfect for a niche app idea.

     

    Potential drawbacks of working with freelancers are that they may lack experience in specific areas or struggle with managing large projects. Communication can also be a challenge if they’re juggling multiple projects. Ideally, partnering with a freelance mobile app developer makes sense if you’re on a tight budget, need a simple app, or require a very specific skill set.

     

    Conclusion

    The cost to develop a mobile app can vary greatly, from $5,000 to more than $500,000, depending on the scale and intricacies of the project. For example, if you’re after an app like the ones offered by names like Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Duolingo, or Fitbit, expect to pay a tidy sum, probably upward of $100,000. In addition, make sure you partner with an app development agency that understands your goals and can meet your requirements in a streamlined and time-bound manner.

    Ready to Boost Your Business Online?

    Request A Quote

      Let's create something amazing together

      click link