How Much Does it Cost to Build an App? (A Detailed Guide)

Yes, the mobile app development market is booming! With the exponential adoption of smartphones worldwide, more and more people are using mobile apps for online shopping, social networking, navigation, entertainment, and so on, so forth. In this article, we have discussed the cost to build an app.

A recent report reveals that there are more than 3.3 million Android apps available on the Google Play Store and 2.2 million on the Apple App Store. Another report suggests that the global mobile app market size is expected to grow at a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% from 2024 to 2030, estimated to reach $567.19 billion by 2030.

Global Mobile App Market Size and Growing Cost to Build an App
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The point is simple: If you don’t have a mobile app for your business, you are skipping a lot of opportunities. However, when it comes to mobile app development, the most frequently asked question is – what’s the cost of app development? Let’s find out!

Mobile App Development Cost – A Detailed Breakdown

According to most industry reports, the cost of building a mobile app from scratch can be anything between $10,000 and $300,000. Please note that these figures are only estimates. The actual mobile app development cost may be significantly more or less based on your specific requirements, such as the complexity and features of the app. Let’s discuss the key factors that can directly impact the cost of app development.  

App Type and Complexity

The type of app you are planning to build and the market it is going to cater to are influential when it comes to determining the mobile app development cost. Building a simple app can range between $10,000 and $50,000. Whereas, a complex project can be somewhere around $50,000 to $300,000 and above.

Simple apps like video recording apps include basic user features, such as a login system, user profile facility, dashboard, and administration. Whereas, complex apps like OTT apps come with advanced features like payment gateway, audio/video streaming, and AI integration. They require a lot of time, work, and money.

Features and Functionality

The cost of app development greatly depends on the features and functionalities you are planning to integrate into your app. Take a content creation app, for instance. It does not require a geolocation service. However, you can’t build a food delivery app without using location services. Thus, consider the features and functions you want to include in your app.

The base price for the type of app you intend to develop keeps on increasing with the additional functionality and features. So, it is better to distinguish between the primary and secondary functions of the app.

Focus only on the core features during the initial phase of mobile app development. This approach will help you ensure a positive user experience at affordable costs. The right solution is developing an MVP as the first version of the product with a basic set of features.

Operating System (iOS vs. Android)

Mobile app development cost varies depending on the app platform or operating system (OS) which you want to build your product for. The development costs for Android and iOS can vary based on the programming languages deployed in their development.

For instance, Android app development requires experienced Java or Kotlin developers. Whereas, iOS app development depends on Swift or Objective-C. To give you a rough idea, iOS developers may charge 15% more compared to Android developers.

Additionally, you can also follow the hybrid approach. Building an app for both Android and iOS can be as simple as using a cross-platform framework like Flutter. It can help you save on app development costs. On top of that, your app will be available on both operating systems.

Development Team (In-house vs. Outsource)

Whether you are working with an app development company or an independent developer, the mobile app development cost may vary. Building an in-house team can be a time and money-consuming process.

This is because you will need to interview and recruit individuals for each task involved in the app development process. You may need developers, testers, and designers for the project. On the contrary, outsourcing an app development team can be an easier approach as they are a one-time hire.

Aside from that, the geographical location of the development team also impacts the costs. Please refer to the table below for the average cost of mobile app development based on different geographical locations:

Region or Country App Development Cost
United States  $80 to $150 hourly
India    $20 to $60 hourly
Ukraine             $30 to $100 hourly
Australia           $70 to $140 hourly
Russia  $60 to $120 hourly
United Kingdom $80 to $150 hourly

Maintenance and Marketing

Even if your app is fully developed, you can’t ignore post-launch maintenance. It includes factoring in ongoing maintenance, support, and launch costs for bug fixes, updates, and feature enhancements. These costs typically range from 15% to 20% of the initial mobile app development cost.

Apart from maintenance costs, your mobile app will also require promotion to reach your target audience. This includes marketing and advertising activities to engage a mobile app user base on social media, search engines, and landing pages. The average marketing cost for an app can be 2-3x of the initial development cost.

Industry-Wise Mobile App Development Cost

Since every industry has different requirements as well as complexities, the total cost of mobile app development varies depending on the types of industry domains.

From fashion and beauty to health and gaming, here is a comprehensive breakdown of industry-wise app development costs:

Industry Domains App Development Cost Examples
Lifestyle, fashion, beauty, traveling, etc. $15,000 to $250,000 Uber, Facetune, Stylebook, Zivame, etc.
Social media, online dating, and networking $50,000 to $250,000 Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tinder, etc.
Health monitoring, telemedicine, fitness, etc. $80,000 to $200,000 Headspace, Fitbit, HealthTap, etc.
Online tutoring, e-learning, language learning, etc. $20,000 to $150,000 Google Classroom, Padlet, Quizizz, etc.
Gaming, AR/VR, etc. $60,000 to  $500,000 Pokémon GO, Ingress, Rec Room, etc.
Ecommerce, online retail, electronics, etc. $30,000 to $150,000 Amazon, Flipkart, AliExpress, etc.

How SoftProdigy Estimates Mobile App Development Cost?

Now you understand the key factors that influence the cost of app development, it’s time to estimate your project’s cost. At SoftProdigy, we take the following approach to ensure that the actual cost meets your budget:

  1. Research: First, we conduct comprehensive market research to analyze popular apps, define the target audience, and discuss app ideas.
  2. Prototype: We will start with the first app version or prototype with a basic set of features to test your app idea.
  3. Features: There is always a potential for more app improvements, security updates, etc. Thus, we will plan for further improvements and additional features.
  4. Estimate: Based on the features and prototype, we will evaluate the cost of app development to give you a fair idea of the project.

Want to know how much does it cost to build an app for your business? Let us help you calculate the mobile app development cost based on your unique requirements. Contact us today for more info!

FAQs:

Is it possible to develop a mobile app on a limited budget?

Yes, building a mobile app on a limited budget is possible if you adopt the Minimum Viable Product or MVP approach. It helps you focus on core features and launch the app faster while reducing costs.

What are the ongoing costs after the app is built?

Once your app is launched, there are several ongoing expenses you need to deal with related to testing, ongoing support, and iteration based on user feedback. You can’t eliminate this cost, but can optimize it with the help of an app development company.

How long does it usually take to build a mobile app?

On average, a mobile app development project can take anywhere between three and nine months, depending on the complexity of the project. However, for detailed insights, you can consult with a mobile app development company.