Mobile App Development Costs

“How much does it cost to build a custom app?” is the most frequently asked inquiry from business owners and potential app entrepreneurs. Our answer to this huge question is fairly simple – “It depends.”


Undoubtedly, everything comes with an associated cost, but that’s only sometimes the case for mobile app development. There needs to be a set price when creating a fully functional app for mobile.

Think of any item or service you’ve recently bought. Whether it’s a TV with a smart screen, a cell phone, or an automobile, a variety of factors determine the final price. This is also true for mobile applications.

What you can do to answer “How much does it cost to build a custom mobile app?” is contingent on various elements. However, the most common rule is getting what you spend for.

You can only build an outstanding app for a couple of dollars (even just a few hundred dollars). But investing thousands of dollars in developing apps doesn’t guarantee final success.

How do you determine the price of creating a mobile application, especially when trying to do this for the first time? Here, we’ll discuss the various aspects you should consider when estimating the mobile app’s development cost.

Brief Overview of the Mobile App Market

  • Today, there are more than five billion smartphone users around the world. This number is projected to increase by 10% between 2024 and 2028.
  • The number of mobile apps used worldwide is growing quickly. By 2025, it’s expected to generate more than $613 billion. That’s an excellent reason to invest in the development of mobile apps.
  • In 2022 2022, the USA app market generated $42.2 billion in revenues.
  • The year 2022 saw mobile applications represent nearly 4 trillion hours of user time worldwide.
  • Users spend 88% of their time on apps.
  • Companies that engage with customers via mobile apps experience an increase of 36% in their retention rate compared to businesses that rely exclusively upon traditional methods.

We’ve examined the estimated costs of app development and the constantly changing condition of the mobile app market. Let’s now look at the factors that affect the price of developing apps.

Overview of Ballpark of Mobile Application Development Costs

To summarize, the estimated mobile app development cost can range between $25,000 to $150,000, in the case of very customized and complicated apps that can exceed $300,000. We’ve used the word “tentative” since the price of creating a customized mobile app is based on various factors, such as the app’s capabilities, complexity, features, development process, and much more.

Don’t fret, we’ve performed a thorough analysis of every major factor that influences the cost of creating an app for mobile devices.

Once you’ve identified these factors, you can use the calculation formula used in standard calculations to estimate the costs of developing an application. The formula, or response to what it is to develop an app, can be found by multiplying the number of hours required for each phase developed by the amount of billable hours resources can provide.

Most Downloaded Apps Worldwide and How Much They Cost to Develop

Most Downloaded Apps Worldwide and How Much They Cost to Develop

Here are a few well-known applications that currently dominate the app store. They’ve redefined and changed the concept of the customer experience. The typical development cost for the apps is also stated.


Uber is an incredibly well-known ride-sharing application that connects travelers and drivers across the globe. Customers can book a ride immediately or regularly using the application. Drivers who are in the area will be notified of these requests. Making an app like Uber averages between $30,000 and $100,000.

Snap Chat

In social media applications, Snapchat has revolutionized the game with more than 300 million daily active users. With its filters and lenses that are interactive popular messaging apps, Snapchat has set the standard in introducing augmented reality technology to its users. It is also possible to send multimedia messages using the app. They can “self-destruct” after up to 10 seconds. Around $45,000-$100,000 for one platform and up to $200,000 on both platforms can be put into developing an app similar to Snapchat.


WhatsApp Messenger is an instant messaging application that allows users to make and receive calls, make instant video and audio calls, upload images and videos, and much more. The cost of app development like WhatsApp is typically priced between $30,000 to $70,000 for development.


The video-sharing app has revolutionized the entertainment world and is now essential to the entertainment industry. The users of TikTok can lip-synch their conversations and perform their most loved scenes from various music and film videos.

The app has various filters and effects to enhance your videos and photos. Making an app like TikTok typically costs between $60,000 and $100,000 for a single platform development. It can go up to $150,000 for hybridization.


With its many benefits, Coursera is an e-learning app that has grown popular among teachers and students. It offers access to many distance learning courses, ranging from university degrees to skills development classes, across the globe. Developing an app for mobile devices similar to Coursera can cost between $60,000 to $120,000.


Netflix is one of the world’s largest and most popular streaming media services. It lets users stream television and movies anytime that suits their needs. The development of an app that is like Netflix generally costs between $25,000 to $200,000.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Mobile App Development

Costs for developing apps are dependent on a variety of variables, including the development process, the kind of app, the accessibility of reusable off-the-shelf components, the developer’s experience as well as the complexity of the app, etc. Let’s look at some of the most important factors that influence the cost to develop a mobile app.

Type of application

To determine the costs of developing apps, it is essential to know that the price differs based on the type of mobile application. We will look at the following in-depth:

  • Simple applications

They are apps with a single purpose and are the most affordable. Apps like clocks, calculators, etc., which don’t require an internet connection, are in this category.

The cost of creating a simple App: $10,000 -$30,000

  • Social network applications

As the names suggest, these apps belong to giants like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Social network apps can simultaneously handle video chats and chats with millions of interactions. They also let users communicate with each other easily.

The cost of developing a Social Network App: $50,000-$300,000

  • Applications that require Personalized Information and Authentication

Food delivery apps, Digital payment apps, and digital payment apps that need the user’s information. The app is advanced, uses user data, and shares data across the devices.

Cost of creating Apps that require personal data and authentication: $40,000 to $80,000

  • E-Commerce Mobile Application

To develop an eCommerce app, an organization’s business will require features like catalogs, social connections, registration of users, and more. Due to the lengthy features list, the price to create an eCommerce application is higher than basic mobile apps. However, verifying the final cost of developing an eCommerce app with the developers is recommended to keep it in line with your budget.

The cost of developing an online-commerce application: $60,000 to $300,000

  • On-Demand Service Mobile Apps

Apps like Swiggy, Uber, etc., are about one goal: connecting service providers to the end-users and meeting their requirements. On-demand apps combine eCommerce applications and social network apps. Additionally, the startup business model is growing due to the rise in demand economy. Cost of creating an on-demand service app: $70,000 – $150,000

  • Marketplace Mobile App

Marketplace applications share similar functions as apps on demand or e-commerce apps; however, unlike e-commerce applications, they provide various services. In addition to their multiple services, they are quick to render the service provider of the client’s preference. Since it is an all-in-one program, the app development costs are justified by its features.

The cost of creating a Marketplace App: $80,000 to $300,000

Complexity of the App Concept

The development costs for apps increase depending on the degree of complexity of the app, including its design, concept needs, architecture, platform for development, and so on.

The concept of complexity for apps is a crucial factor in determining the cost of developing an app. It considers the types of functions, features, and the absence of buttons and screens, as well as the level of programming complexity, business logic, and more. The app will include.

In addition, apps, the types of development for apps are further classified based on their complexity, for example:

  • Basic Apps

Simple and basic applications are created with a minimal and easy-to-use interface built with limited functions to meet a certain purpose.

They have features of:

  • Simple at the core;
  • Offer only the most essential features and functions;
  • In terms of processing power and memory,
  • A limited set of tasks efficiency;
  • Clean and clear UI makes the app simple to navigate
  • Access to the site quickly, ensuring that users can access it for immediate use
  • Asks for the users to grant minimal permissions;
  • Improved privacy and security;
  • Very little app maintenance and assistance.

Content editors, apps for to-dos, basic manual tracking/record-keeping apps, and many more are examples of basic applications.

Basic apps can cost between $5,000 and $50,000 or even more.

  • Mid-level Apps

They are also referred to as moderately complex applications which require more advanced software than the standard ones. They are usually designed to accommodate a variety of user demands. Let’s look at the traits of mid-level applications:

  • Provide multiple functions or services in a single interface
  • Are a wide range of applications;
  • Other screens, more features and functions;
  • Includes data storage as well as web server support for greater accessibility
  • User interfaces that are more refined and have multiple interaction points in line with the features
  • Could include API integrations from third-party APIs or custom;
  • Users can personalize the experience of their app.

Apps for managing email, entertainment apps (audio/video streaming applications), productivity suites, applications for managing projects, e-commerce applications, fitness tracking apps, and many more are examples of applications that are considered to be mid-level.

In light of all these aspects and types of app development, developing a mid-level app will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000 or higher.

  • High-End/Complex Apps

The most sophisticated or high-end applications provide a wide range of capabilities for tasks that require advanced skills. They are made to handle complex or unique user demands regularly at a larger scale of an enterprise or professional level. Let’s examine the key features of top-of-the-line apps to get a better idea:

  • Applications that are industry-specific or niche for finance, engineering, health, etc.;
  • You will require a thoughtful and straightforward user interface for apps.
  • Highly customized applications;
  • Support in real-time is a must;
  • An array of functions and features like the management of users, data analysis, etc;
  • require sophisticated programming, as well as a complex yet technical architecture.
  • It is based on top-of-the-line internet security. The best practices, functions, and conformances.

Apps for healthcare, Financial Trading Apps, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Hotel Management Systems, Gaming Apps, etc., are in the premium app class.

In assessing the app’s features and design, consider that the price of developing an app with high-end features typically falls from $50,000 to $1 million or higher.

App Development Process

If you are looking at the cost of hiring developers for your app, you are faced with many options. And your choice will directly impact the cost of developing your app. There are various options, including in-house developers, freelancers or development agencies, and builders that do not require code.

In-house developers provide high personalization but have greater costs on average, while freelancers and agencies strike an equilibrium. These builders are cost-effective and are ideal for budget-conscious app developers. Let’s look at the differentiators:

  • In-House Developer

Integrating an in-house development team in your mobile app development is a major financial commitment. In addition to the developer’s salary per year, which could range between $80,000 and $120,000 or greater, additional expenses must be considered.

Other costs include benefits such as retirement plans, health insurance, and paid time off, which can add up to 30-45% of the base salary. The cost of training employees and developing skills adds to the total costs.

It’s important to remember that the price of employing an employee-owned mobile app development company grows substantially with their knowledge. Expertly-trained developers who have years of experience usually have higher wages.

Although the cost may appear intimidating, hiring an internal team gives you greater supervision and control of the project. This approach is hands-on and allows for immediate management and real-time communication, which are crucial when the complex nature of your mobile app requires precise and bespoke solutions.

It is important to weigh the benefits of employing an internal employee against the high cost of capital investment, which is essential in making an informed choice regarding the development of your mobile app.

  • Development Agency or Freelancer

If you choose to hire a mobile app developer from a reputed company or a freelancer to create an app from scratch, prices will vary. The average cost for freelance app developers is approximately $59 per hour. However, the most skilled contracted app developers may bill $100 or more, while mobile app creation companies typically charge between $100-$250 per hour.

While agencies and freelancers can provide cost savings in the short run, it’s crucial to consider long-term cost estimates. While you don’t have to pay employees’ benefits costs, more expensive hourly rates offered by app developers and freelancers teams can quickly add up for longer durations of projects.

In addition, contractors typically offer an uninvolved approach, which can lead to long development times and a price in and of itself. Maintenance and updates to come are contingent on the availability and stability of the agency or freelancer and could result in costs not included in the initial. If your application needs updating or maintenance, and the freelancer or agency is unavailable, finding the right team will take some time, as does the expense, not to mention having to explain the task repeatedly.

Although it could provide savings in hiring a mobile app development firm or freelancer for short-term project management and essential app development, the costs could quickly mount up when it comes to longer-term projects.

Security and Data Protection

One of the most critical aspects of mobile development is data security, including privacy and integrity.

A trusted mobile app development company protects the user’s information from unauthorized access and malicious intrusions. Privacy encryption and data encryption compliance and authentication guarantee that users’ data is handled correctly and complies with legally enforceable requirements. Implementing security and protection of data can make development more expensive.

UI/UX Design

In the next step, we will discuss the amount it will cost to create an app; we are in the design phase. The process of designing an app is an integral element of the development phase. It is impossible to separate the two processes to determine the price of creating the application. Development and design are similar, and adding additional features increases the cost proportionally. (Read more about the costs of designing an app.)

Similar to designing, when you choose to utilize templates, your cost estimation will be a bit limiting, and more modifications to the design can result in more cost and longer. There are some things that we should take a look at.

  • User Experience

UX is all about how the application operates. UX involves creating screens on paper or using a design platform. It also assists in determining the cost of creating a mobile application. The aim is to make the app simple to use for the user. Making sure that the user experience is as pleasant as possible and knowing the market, the customer, your goals and objectives are crucial. The cost of launching an app on mobile will fluctuate according to the level of engagement and the intricate design.

  • User Interface and Visuals

There are numerous ways to improve the design of applications. But, the first step is the UI or how the application will appear to the user. Depending on the application’s use of various visual elements, it is possible to estimate the cost.

It affects the price of MVP design, as well. Creating mock-ups follows designing an application to give an idea of the proposed solution. The style will be based on the goals you have set.

What is the primary requirement you have for your enterprise application? Additionally, the type of app you’re creating can also be a factor in the cost of app development. Different kinds of apps require different design options. Here at AddWeb Solution, we equally emphasize development and design to determine the most cost-effective way to develop and implement an app.

  • Branding

Every organization has a brand worth. Their logos and names stand out in the thousands of other brands. Why? Because they’ve made investments in brand recognition. For mobile application development, you might not want to promote to promote your brand due to the cost. Branding is an essential element of the business model.

Therefore, there’s no doubt that you should incorporate branding into the development process. But, the total cost of building an application will be determined by branding. That’s why you should be able to keep it low-cost at the beginning. Once you have mastered the market to a certain extent, consider scaling your branding effort.

  • UX Writing

If you design an app for a user and want to include copywriting in the total price, Creative copywriting must inspire users to interact more with your product. The combination of great copy and a compelling design is essential for the app’s success. But when you consider the price, it is not a matter of ignoring that good copy demands an investment of money.

To find out the cost of developing an application, request your developer to select the best copywriter. Or, if you prefer to find one on your own, add the cost to the final total. In this case, too, you can choose from a vast selection of writers across the globe. Select a writer with the nativity of their work and also has a cost-effectiveness. In contrast, hiring a writer from an English-speaking nation is more expensive.

Key Features & Complexities

Building an application for mobile devices typically takes 3 to 6 months.

Complex applications could require up to 8-12 months to be released. Then why does app development take so long?

It’s only based on the features you’d like to have in your mobile application.

The most common functions, like user sign-in, push notification, navigation primary, etc., will take little time. However, features like credit card payment, online streaming, offline mode, etc., could take longer.

Let’s examine the mobile app development cost depending on each feature:

  • Registration and Login

Do you wish users to sign up and log into your app to access it? If so, you’ll need this feature to be included in your application. A few popular choices include signing up via social media profiles, like Facebook accounts, and by email. Signing up through social login is a convenient option that requires users to provide access to your application to access the required details from their social accounts.

  • Navigation

App navigation is about creating user flow through your application. It defines how users navigate through various screens, access different features, and move back and exit the app. The user experience must be planned and outlined before the development process begins. UI design is the basis of mobile apps.

  • Push Notifications

Notifications via push are a typical feature in modern mobile apps. They enable businesses to communicate live updates to their clients. There are various options to try: basic texts or those that include images and action buttons.

If you are creating an application for chat, such as WhatsApp, push notifications must be handled with care. The notifications must be sent to the right person.

  • Media

Media content is an important element of any mobile app. Your app must have appealing photos, videos, and audio to enhance user experience. Based on your application’s intended purpose, you may require the integration of specific filters, effects, smileys, and others.

  • Maps

Geolocation is among the most important features of Uber, Airbnb, and restaurant apps. Businesses, too, can utilize the maps feature to aid customers in finding the shop’s location. To allow this feature, developers must incorporate services such as Google Maps into the app.

  • In-app Purchases

Are you looking to market your products or services directly through your application? It doesn’t matter if you are selling products, courses, or premium feature subscriptions; you must integrate payment gateways that will make transactions. This is a common practice and will require little time to incorporate payment gateways into your application.

  • Streaming

The streaming feature for media can be used with apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Twitch, etc. The cost and time of development are based on the extent of the feature.

Do you want your users to view the video or audio in real-time? Or do you prefer a “record-and-send” option where users have to download local files? It is important to think about the audio or video format as well.

  • Security and Data Encryption

Nowadays, cybercriminals and hackers employ advanced methods to steal users’ personal information and crucial business data. With the increasing popularity of mobile, applications are increasingly vulnerable to attacks on security. As per the study, more than 80 percent of vulnerabilities on mobile apps could be exploited with malware. Encrypting the data can stop unauthorized access to the app’s data.

Mobile App Security

Concerning the security of apps being an aspect of deciding the application for mobile development cost, a high level of security demands more cash. The app’s durability must ensure that user data is secure.

Therefore, it is advisable for companies to ensure data security because this could be a significant decision-making point in the future. Security for mobile apps can increase the cost of developing mobile apps; however, it provides real-time security, ultimately saving a lot of cash.

Mobile App Testing

To ensure the mobile app provides an enjoyable experience for the user, it’s important to test the app appropriately. Thus, testing the app is key in estimating iPhone or Android development costs. It doesn’t matter if it’s for speed, user-friendliness, or app connectivity; mobile app testing will play an important role.

Testing apps is an essential element of the development process, but in certain hiring models, the mobile app testing procedure costs are to be considered as an additional option.

In the dedicated hiring model for developers, only the cost of developing mobile apps is covered, which means that the price is determined by the resources employed. In this case, the company must pay additional costs for testing mobile apps or employ another person.

Technology Platform

When deciding on the platform for app development, there’s always a debate about what to choose between Native, Hybrid, or cross-platform development of apps. Don’t worry! You’re not the only one in this situation because every app creator who plans to make it come to life is in this same situation.

If cost is an issue, many opt for cross-platform app development because it will help users save 30-40 percent of time and costs to invest in Native app development.

Of course, if you’re operating on a budget, opting for cross-platform application development is recommended. However, when considering greater performance and reliability over the long term, Native app development should be the preferred option.

Cross-platform applications are trustworthy. Of course, they’re good, but in the case of real-time promptness and complicated app concept configurations, native apps are recommended.

The difference is that cross-platform development of apps covers one code base for the entire application that runs on iOS and Android phones. However, there is a difference in Native. Various code bases are used for iOS apps as well as Android apps. It’s obvious which code base to select for your app’s concept.

But, taking expert recommendations for your app’s design is advisable.

Engagement Model

You’re probably contemplating the different engagement models for app development that can aid in reducing the cost of developing apps. Let’s get this straight!

Each development model uses unique methods to create the most efficient application you require within the specified deadline and budget.

Fixed-cost models are best suited to applications with clearly defined requirements and scope and owners who know the exact procedure. It can reduce the time and cost spent on brainstorming sessions.

This way, you will receive the application in their hands within the appropriate timeframe for project execution and management. The model can adapt to any development method, including Agile methods, DevOps practices, Waterfall model, etc.

If you hire hourly, you choose one from a different group and introduce them to your work. Based on the shared research, you and your team discuss what you want to do next. As a result, you are meeting your diverse needs. It could be taking much time, but, in reality, it’s extremely flexible and nimble when you dig deep.

When your development plan is completed, you can set up your remote dedicated team to work more quickly to improve the speed and efficiency of the production of apps.

So, if you want to create an application with an original idea that has yet to be created, choose the hourly engagement model. Engage mobile application development company that can manage your investments. If required, you can pause and restart your work with more flexibility.

Both engagement models offered by AddWeb Solution give clients the flexibility and effectiveness required to develop their applications within the appropriate project timeframe and budget.

App Publishing

The most crucial thing to remember is that you must have assistance from App developers to release your app on the appropriate app stores that will allow your targeted customers to download it easily.

The price for the same can differ depending on the kind of app store:

#Apple App Store for the iOS App:

  • The Individual Developer’s Program costs $99 for the year.
  • App Store Small Business Program (business that has a $1 million annual revenue) Cost: $99 for the year
  • Apple Developer Enterprise Program: $299 for the year

#Google Play Store:

  • Developer Account: $25 one-time fee

App Store Optimization and App Marketing

As an additional option, you can also choose App Store optimization and marketing services to increase the visibility of your app on the Internet and increase the number of people interested in your app.

The options are flexible regarding how much you will pay for a more professional online presence. Considering the on-demand app development company expertise and expert advice, the average cost could be between $2,000 and $10,000 per month.

Tips to Reduce Mobile App Development Costs

Tips to Reduce Mobile App Development Costs

Every great product starts with an idea. Popular names like Uber, Airbnb, Groupon, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and others started by generating an idea. They have become indispensable to us. It will require more than a good idea for entrepreneurs or an established company that has decided to join the app world. You’ll need to find an app development team that can turn your idea into a product, bring it in front of the masses, and ensure you have enough money to carry it out.

Build an MVP

MVP or Minimum Viable Product MVP is a product with few features offered at a lower price than the original. Creating an MVP and then making it available to the public is possible. You will save time and money in developing the app from the beginning and then use the MVP to get funding to develop your application. Once you do that, you’ll earn profits and feedback for the initial product.

Maintain UI/UX Simplicity

One way to lower the costs of developing apps is to choose simple but elegant designs. Simple UI design is essential, particularly for new users, since the adaptation process is easy. Most websites and apps choose a minimal design that is inexpensive to develop. A complex design and many features can frustrate users and add unnecessary costs to the overall project.

Hire Skilled Testers

If you want to cut costs and time, hiring a skilled group of testers from mobile app development company is the ideal option. At AddWeb Solution, we practice an agile testing process so that there’s less cost and time needed for this testing procedure. You must invest your money in this area as it will improve the experience over-app for users.

Don’t Hurry the Process

Developers often rush the client to complete the work on time, but there are better approaches than this. Unless you’re working with an expert team and want to take your time with the development process, this is because should you make a mistake, the result will be an additional cost to pay. It’s an excellent option to be patient and tackle each stage of the process with patience.

Outsource App Development

One of the primary reason’s companies outsource is to cut down the mobile app development price. When you develop an app in countries of the east, such as Australia or the US, the time for development is within the range of $100-$120, whereas for eastern countries, it’s $60 to 80 dollars per hour. The difference is massive.

Regular Troubleshooting

After the initial launch of the application, it will need continuous improvements and adjustments. Engaging an expert is a smart option since they can provide suggestions to reduce the cost of developing mobile apps throughout development. Remember that if you employ low-cost freelance developers from distant locations, you could have to shell out much money re-designing the app if things go wrong.

Access Mobile-Specific Features

Every device comes with included features like cameras, GPS, call options, and more. Incorporating them into an app might seem like an ideal idea. However, there are two problems to consider. The first is that not all devices have the same features. This means that the app may only work for some users. Furthermore, incorporating these features comes with a price that can be eliminated if there’s no need for these features. For example, an app for news doesn’t require access to the GPS; therefore, it could be removed.

Maintain Regular Communication Flow

It is imperative to stress the necessity of a constant and regular flow of communications between you and developers are vital. Regular communication helps make things clearer for both developers. It also assists in keeping track of what is happening and the costs in the process.

Use Readymade Templates

How can you cut down on costs for app development? Use templates that are already designed. While it’s great to build things from scratch, it’s inexpensive. There are a variety of templates available on the internet, and they can be perfect for any application. By using these templates, you can cut down on time and cost.

While templates from pre-made templates may aid in reducing the cost of development, it is generally advised to select custom app development based on your business needs. This allows you to scale your application to meet evolving market demands that are impossible with apps built using pre-made templates. This scalability limit can increase the likelihood of rebuilding your app entirely in the near future, which can increase your costs over the long term.

The Key Takeaway

From the app’s complexity to the platform on which you intend to use it, we’ve completed the entire process by analyzing the various factors that impact the cost of app development. Each of these factors is important and must be considered to evaluate your business possibilities correctly and determine the best ways to allocate efficiently.

The creation of a mobile app can be an expensive task. It’s crucial to recognize that developing a quality mobile application requires specialized knowledge and expertise.

If you’re committed to growing your business by launching an app for mobile, it is essential to have an experienced tech partner to transform your concepts into a digital reality. AddWeb Solution has a team of highly skilled mobile app developers. Through our innovative mobile app solutions, we have helped numerous organizations to grow their business.


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