How Much Does It Cost To Develop an App?

How Much Does It Cost To Develop an App?
14 min read
14 November 2022

Are you planning to develop an app, but not sure how much it will cost? Wondering if you can afford that shiny new idea you’ve been incubating? Then you’re in the right place! This article will outline the top factors that influence the price of mobile apps, so you know what to expect when it comes time to negotiate your contract with your developer or design company. So, let's start:

Cost To Develop an App

Top Factors that Determine Cost of Mobile App 

The factors determining how much your mobile app costs are fairly predictable and straightforward, and knowing them allows you to assess whether an estimate seems reasonable. Here are the top factors that determine how much your mobile app will cost

1) Complexity

One factor in determining the cost of a mobile app is the complexity of the app. The more complex the app, the higher the cost. An app can be broken down into six components: design, development, testing, deployment, maintenance, and hosting. 

For example, if you're developing an iOS and Android app at the same time and you need two different designers for each platform then your project will be more complex than if you only needed one designer to work on both platforms. 

This complexity also applies to all other parts of your project. If you need specific features or capabilities in your app then it will be more expensive to develop them than it would be for a simpler app.

2) Platforms

Mobile app developers usually ask you what platform you want to deploy to when they estimate the cost of your mobile app. The Android and iOS operating systems are the two most popular platforms for mobile devices, but there are many others. 

For example, if you plan on deploying a mobile game on a console like the PlayStation or Xbox, it will need to be created specifically for that device in order to work properly. Apple has an additional program called Apple TV which requires apps created with the tvOS SDK (software development kit). 

If your target market is particularly small like children or those with disabilities, then it might be worthwhile developing a custom application for their needs in addition to creating a universal version so it can be used by everyone else too. 

In some cases, organizations might also want to create an app that’s specific for their own particular industry such as banking or medical; this will make sure all of the features are appropriate and not just generic features found on every other application in these industries.

3) Design

Designing a mobile app is an intense process. You will need to consider everything from the UI UX Design of the app, to the coding languages it will be programmed in. Here are some of the top factors you should consider when designing your app: 

  • The Functionality - This one is pretty self-explanatory, but how many features do you want your app to have? 
  • The Development Language - Which programming language will you use?
  • The Target Audience - What type of people would most benefit from your product? 
  • The Device it's being Developed for - What type of device do you plan on using for development? 
  • The Number of Users - Do you anticipate having a high number of users? 
  • Distribution Platforms - Do you want your app to be available on Android, iOS, or both? 
  • Aesthetics and Graphics - There are three things that affect this factor: User Interface design; content layout; and interactive animations and graphics 
  • Content Creation Software - If you're planning on making videos with your app, what software will you use? 
  • Geolocation Services and Data Collection Devices - Is location data essential for what your company does? 

4) Development Team

Your development team is your biggest factor in determining how much your app will cost. Developers are expensive, especially if you're not outsourcing your project to a third party. You'll need to make sure you have enough money for the developers to work on your project, and then some more for any unforeseen issues.

In addition, developers often charge by the hour or day so they can't be paid until the project is finished. Make sure you budget appropriately! Your development team should comprise below members: 

  • UI/UX designers: Responsible for making the interface of an application easy-to-use 
  • Programmers/coders: Responsible for writing code to carry out program functions 
  • Project managers: Keeps track of what needs to get done, manages schedules, and coordinates work with other teams 
  • QA Testers: Conducts tests on software after it has been developed 

5) Location

Location is a very important factor in determining the cost of your mobile app. One of the main reasons for this is that developers and designers are typically paid less in developing countries, which means you will spend less on their services. This can be a good thing if you are trying to save money, but it also means you will not have as much access to talent if you choose to work with a team outside of the US or Western Europe. In addition, the time zone differences between where your team is located and where your customers are based may cause problems down the road if they do not overlap at all.

6) Third Party Integrations

Since many mobile apps rely on Third Party Integrations to provide the functionality and content you need, it is important to think about how many Third Party Integrations your app will need before you get started. 

This decision will depend on what kind of app you're building and how much time you can afford to spend. The more Third Party Integrations you need, the higher your cost will be. If you are building a well-defined app with few features or needs, then the number of Third Party Integrations won't matter too much. 

However, if your mobile app has many features or needs, then the number of needed integrations could significantly increase your cost because each integration is an additional expense.

7) Coding Language

Coding languages are one of the most important factors when it comes to how much your app will cost. There are two coding languages you can choose from: JavaScript or Swift. The language you choose will depend on your budget, skillset, and what platform you would like to develop for.

JavaScript is a simpler language than Swift and has many more open-source libraries available to use. However, it is not as common in the iOS development world so if you're developing for iOS, Swift may be the better option for you. 

The amount of time required to learn a new language will vary based on your skill level, but it's always worth investing time into something new to ensure the longevity of your business.

8) Testing & QA

Testing & QA is the process of finding bugs, errors, and other issues in your app before releasing it to the public. It's important to test your app thoroughly so you know what to fix before release day. There are a few different kinds of testing, including alpha and beta testing, which let you get feedback from users while developing your app.

9) Marketing & ASO

Marketing and ASO are two of the largest factors in determining how much your app will cost. This is because Marketing and ASO are a lot more expensive than other methods, but can have a much bigger impact on getting you to your target audience. This is why startups often use these methods before scaling down to less expensive ones. There are many different strategies for Marketing, from Facebook Ads to Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on Google or Bing. The average cost of Making an app across all platforms was $1,872 per month in 2018 and these costs can be anywhere from $150-$3,000 per month depending on what you're looking for. For ASO there are two main factors: app store optimization (ASO) and keyword research.

10) Maintenance & Support

Maintenance & Support of your app is an important factor when considering the cost of a mobile app. It costs money to develop and maintain software, so it's important to budget for this. Plus, support is not something you should neglect; you may need to provide customer service as well as technical assistance in order to keep your app up-to-date and running smoothly.

Cost of Mobile App Development

Based on above mentioned Factors, here is the cost of mobile app development:

Level of Complexity



Development Time


Simple Apps

> Essential features like profile making, search, notifications, and messages

> No added benefits

> No added benefits

Fewer screens

Calendar, calculator, or camera apps

2-3 months


Average Apps

>Essential features, in addition to in-app purchases and payment portals

>Allows API integration

>More screens than the basic version

>Custom UI

>Real-time messaging and other features

McDonald’s Loyalty App

3-6 months


Complex Apps

>Multi-functional apps

>Advanced features like real-time synchronization

>UI animation

>Media processing

Uber, Instagram

9 months or more


How to Minimize App Development Cost?

No matter how great an idea may be, there’s no guarantee that it will succeed in the competitive mobile app market. An excellent app often requires a significant amount of time and money to develop, which can make an expensive mistake if your app doesn’t take off. 

Fortunately, with careful planning and execution, you can minimize your development costs while still creating a high-quality product that has the best possible chance of success. Also, you can Hire Mobile App Developers that cost less. Here are some tips to help you minimize app development cost while still giving your business the best possible chance at success!

1) Go for cross platform mobile app development

Many businesses are turning to cross-platform development tools and frameworks in order to reduce the cost of app development. Cross-platform development is a process that allows developers to create an application for different operating systems, such as iOS, Android and Windows. This is not only cheaper than developing separate apps for each system, but it also provides more consistency in design and functionality among the different platforms. With cross-platform development, you can also have one set of code that runs on all platforms.

2) Keep the design simple

Keep the design simple. Complex designs can be more expensive, as they require a lot more work on the front end of development.

3) Use open source tools and components

Open source software is a great way to reduce the cost of your app development project. Because they're free, they save you money on licensing fees. Plus, there are plenty of open-source components that are available for purchase if you need them (such as icons).

4) Leverage existing code and libraries

There are many third-party libraries and frameworks for mobile app development that can be used to reduce the cost of developing a new app. These include ActionBarSherlock, Apache Cordova, PhoneGap, and more.

5) Develop for multiple platforms simultaneously

Developing your app for multiple platforms simultaneously can save you time, money and resources. If you're not sure which platform is best for your app, it's better to develop on all major platforms (iOS, Android and Web) at the same time so that you don't have any regrets later.

6) Automate the build process

One of the best ways to minimize app development cost is by automating the build process. This not only eliminates human error, but also reduces manual testing, saving you time and money.

7) Use a cloud platform

When you're building an app for your business, it's important to find a platform that is cost-effective and easy-to-use. One way to do this is by using a cloud-based platform. With these platforms, you can build an app without having any technical knowledge or expensive software programs. Plus, they are typically very low cost.

8) Optimize for performance

App performance is the most important thing for users. People won't download your app if it takes too long to load or to respond to their taps. There are many things you can do to optimize for performance, and we're going to go over a few of them here.

9) Use a flexible pricing model

One way to reduce costs is to use a flexible pricing model, rather than the traditional fee-per-hour or fixed price. This type of model allows the app developers and clients more freedom in determining when the project will be completed and how much it will cost.


It is common for people to be intimidated by the high price of mobile app development. The truth, however, is that there are many factors that determine the cost of an app. 

By understanding these factors, you can have a better idea of what you can afford and select a platform to match your budget. I hope this list has helped you understand more about what goes into the cost of your mobile app. 

If you're looking to build your own app and you want to keep the cost as low as possible, it might be in your best interest to hire a Mobile App Development Company in The UK. They'll be able to give you a quote for a mobile application based on the factors listed above, which will help you determine how much your app will cost.


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Marie Weaver 161
Tech Consultant at well established IT company specializing in enterprise web application development, mobile apps, iOS App Development Services, IoT, Big Data...
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