How Much Does It Cost to Build An App [Complete Cost Breakdown]

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile App

Have you ever heard the phrase “there’s an app for everything”? Well, it’s true!

Statista published a report after the second quarter of 2022, claiming that the Google Play Store has more than 3.5 million mobile apps globally. Likewise, the Apple App Store has almost 2.2 million mobile apps.

Furthermore, Statista also estimated that the global mobile app market revenue for different industries will cross $613 billion by the end of 2025.

Revenue of Mobile Apps Worldwide 2019 - 2025

So, what does it mean?

Well, regardless of your business size or niche, you must develop a mobile app because it drives positive ROI and offers many more benefits. When talking about mobile app development, the most common question is - how much does it cost to develop an app?

Don’t worry; we will help you out!

In this blog, we have given a complete breakdown of how much it costs to develop an app. We have also suggested ways how you can save money during mobile app development.

App Development Cost Breakdown [Different Stages]

On average, the app development cost can range between $25,000 and $150,000. However, in the case of customizing complex apps, it can exceed $300,000.

The overall budget for app development can significantly vary depending on stages like discovery, UI design, development, and testing & deployment.

Below we have discussed how much on average companies spend on these 4 stages:

Discovery Stage

Discovery Stage - App Development Cost Breakdown

51% of companies spend up to $5k on the discovery stage, which includes initial research and concept development. Likewise, 22% of the companies spent $10k, and 14% of companies spent between $10k to $25k. Compared to other app development stages, the discovery stage is the cheapest one.

UI Design Stage

UI Design Stage - App Development Cost Breakdown

32% app development team spends less than $5k on app design. Whereas, 9% of firms have been reported spending $50k. Lastly, 60% of companies fall between the range of $5k to $50k.

Development Stage

Development Stage - App Development Cost Breakdown

One of the major parts of the mobile app development process is taken up by the development stage because it includes the actual coding of the mobile app features. Only 9% of companies were reported to spend $5k. And a majority of 33% spend between $5k to $10k.

Testing and Deployment Stage

Testing & Deployment Stage - App Development Cost Breakdown

No mobile app development project can be completed without going through testing and deployment stages. Around 32% of companies reported to have a budget of less than $5k for this stage. Whereas, another 31% falls between the range of $5 to $10k. And the remaining spent over $10k.

Factors Influencing Mobile App Development Cost

Below are a few factors that are commonly reported to influence the mobile app development cost:

Factors Influencing Mobile App Development Cost

1. App Platform

Before you start with the development of your mobile app, you need to choose a platform. Depending on your target audience, you can choose from Android, web, iOS, or cross-platform.

Companies with less budget should initially opt for one platform. Later, they can shift to multiple platforms.

  • Native App Platform (Android & iOS): Android apps are developed on Kotlin or Java. While iOS apps are developed on Objective C and Swift.
  • Web App Platform: PWA and similar web apps can be developed between $15,000 to $50,000. Compared to native app platforms, this one is affordable.
  • Cross-platform: It’s a cost-effective mobile app development method that comes with a series of benefits like less development effort. Presently, the cross-platform industry is divided between Flutter and React Native platforms.
  • Hybrid App Platform: If you want an app that runs on the web but can be installed like a native app, you should go with hybrid app platform.
Type of App Average Cost
Native apps (Android & iOS) $50,000 to $100,000
Cross-platform apps $25,000 to $60,000
Hybrid apps $10,000 to $150,000
Web apps $15,000 to $50,000

2. Code Reuse

One of the few factors that drastically slash the mobile app development cost is code reuse. Why? That’s because when a company reuses an existing code to make its app, the overall development process becomes much more affordable.

It is always advised to only use common elements like ‘login’ and ‘contact us’ so you can maintain a separate brand image. When using the existing code, the cost of app development gets decreased by 20-30%.

3. Size and Location of Development Team

The overall mobile app development cost can be significantly influenced by your choice of development team. You can either hire a local team, a freelance developer, an app development company, or go for in-house development.

Working with an experienced team is beneficial because they have the potential to create robust mobile apps with top-notch features. Whereas, by working with less experienced developers, you can save a great amount of money.

Here’s a rough estimate:

Requirements/Cost Factor Simple App Medium App Difficult App
Development time 2-6 months 6-9 months 9-15 months
UI/UX designer $4-5,000 $5-7,000 $10-15,000
Developers $30-40,000 $50-60,000 $100,000+
Project managers $5-7,000 $10-15,000 $10,000+
Solution architect $1-3,000 $5-8,000 $9,000+
Business analyst $2-3,000 $5-8,000 $8-10,000
QA specialists $8-10,000 $15-20,000 $20,000+
DevOps $2-4,000 $5-7,000 $10,000+
Total $20-50,000 $50-100,000 $100,000+

Likewise, the mobile app development cost is also influenced by the location of the developers.

For instance, if you hire a developer from India, you would have to pay $20-40/hr. Whereas if the developers are from the US, the cost would be $80-170/hr. For Ukraine, the cost is $30-100/hr, Australian developer charges $80-200/hr, and developers from Russia charge $60-150/hr.

4. App Category

There is no fixed answer to how much it costs to develop mobile apps for different categories. That’s because each category has a separate requirement in terms of users, security criteria, functionalities, scalability, and more.

  • E-commerce Apps: E-commerce apps are at their peak because they offer the ease of purchasing items from the comfort of home. Since these apps are loaded with tons of features and functionalities, the e-commerce app development cost can be higher.
  • Social Networking Apps: These apps are developed with third-party integrations and come with the unique ability to access hardware functions. Compared to other apps, social networking apps are highly scalable.
  • On-demand Apps: Regardless of the on-demand app’s complexity, it comes in three different versions, i.e., for users, individuals, and businesses.
  • Hardware Apps: IoT-based apps are highly dependent on hardware devices to send commands, extract data, or perform any other action.
App Category Approx. Time Average Cost
E-commerce app 1,200 $50,000 – $150,000
Social media app 1,200 $50,000 – $300,000
Learning app 900 $60,000 – $225,000
Dating app 1,400 $50,000 – $350,000
Gaming app More than 1,800 $60,000 – $250,000

5. App Maintenance

It's important to remember that your app development expense will not end even at the last stage of the development process. You need to continue updating your app to keep it relevant to the current trends and OS versions. But it comes at a cost.

  • App Bug Fixes: No matter how simple or complex your app is, it is bound to have bugs. In most cases, bugs are highlighted after the app becomes available for public use. You must constantly look for the bugs and fix them on time.
  • Design Changes: An app’s design determines how visually appealing the app truly is. Over time, the design gets old and requires alteration. As a brand owner, you should think about the app design change so users stay engaged with it.

Ideally, app maintenance cost is calculated at an annual valuation of 20% of the mobile app development cost.

Cost Optimization Strategy to Develop a Mobile App

The average cost to develop an app is calculated after considering various factors like design, user interface development, coding, planning, consultation, programming, integration, and more.

But as a business owner, you can follow these cost-optimization strategies to develop a robust app:

Cost Optimization Strategy to Develop a Mobile App

1. Outsourcing Development

You can reduce the labor cost, streamline resource allocation, and get access to specialized expertise through outsourcing development. In addition, it also helps reduce intracultural expenses, accelerate launch time, and improve focus.

2. Open-Source Technologies

By using open-source technologies, you can eliminate license costs, get continuous updates, avail of community support, promote vendor independence, enable scalability, and lower the total cost of ownership.

The free-to-use open-source technologies eliminate the hassle of purchasing costly frameworks and licenses. The developer community regularly improves these technologies, providing you with a better opportunity to access security patches and new features.

3. MVP Approach

MVP approach can drastically reduce the mobile app development cost, encourage iterative improvement, facilitate better decision-making, and optimize resource allocation.

4. Cloud-Based Infrastructure

Cloud-based infrastructure offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, reduces maintenance costs, offers scalability, ensures high availability, and provides cost optimization tools.

Lastly, you need to find an IT company from a reliable platform like TopDevelopers or you can directly reach out to Protonshub Technologies with your mobile app development needs. With 5+ years in business and a team of 220+ full-time specialists, Protonshub Technologies guarantees to deliver 100% client satisfaction.

How Protonshub Technologies Can Help You With Mobile App Development

Protonshub Technologies is an award-winning company, offering premium mobile application development services to businesses of all sizes. Our team of experts follows a client-centric approach and innovative methodology to deliver custom services.

We understand each mobile app development project has unique needs and requirements. That’s why our team uses cutting-edge technology to craft visually appealing mobile apps. It helps us exceed user expectations.

Reach out to us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Predicting the exact cost of app development is not possible, but here’s the approx cost breakdown:
  • Simple app development cost: $5,000- $50,000
  • Medium app development cost: $50,000-$100,000
  • Complex app development: $100,000- $300,000 and above

Ideally, app development can take up to six to nine months. However, depending on the complexity of the app, the development time can get further extended.

Common factors that affect app development cost include app complexity, code reusability, size & location of development, app design, and more.

Ekta Singh

"Senior Content Writer"

Ekta Singh is a rookie food experimentalist and k-drama fan with 4+ years of experience in writing. Bridging gaps between companies and customers through conversion-driven content is her forte. She believes in writing stories for a living and living life for exploring places.