Mobile App

Cost to Develop an App

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App?

A mobile app for a single platform can cost anywhere from $25,000 to over $250,000 US. In the world of app development, the old saying that you get what you pay for holds true.

However, many factors can influence the cost of an app, including developer location. So, what exactly determines the cost to develop an app? Read on to find out.

What Determines the Cost to Develop an App?

cost-to-develop-an-app-phoneHere’s a breakdown of the key factors that influence the cost to develop an app.

  • Type of app – Apps come in many shapes and sizes including marketplaces, learning platforms, navigational apps, streaming services, social networks, video games, utilities, customer relationship management solutions, and many more. Building a simple offline 2D video game is going to cost a lot less than developing a marketplace for thousands of users.
  • Platform – Apps developed for iOS may have higher development costs than Android apps, but there are exceptions. Cross-platform app development, or building apps for multiple platforms using the same code, can be cheaper but may require compromising on performance since there’s often a performance gap between cross-platform and native apps.
  • Features – Apps within the same category can differ considerably in terms of their features and functionality. More features mean a higher cost, but this also depends on the complexity of the features and how many resources these require.
  • Design – Custom-designed apps call for more work than apps built from customized templates. Or that are simply based on a pre-existing template.
  • Backend infrastructure – Certain apps require a greater and more complex backend infrastructure than others. Compare for example a social media app with a small ecommerce store.
  • Maintenance costs – To stay alive, all apps require maintenance and updates after launch. Whether or not the same development team handles updates, maintaining an app can cost at least 15% of the initial development price of the app. Adding new features to it will further increase maintenance costs.
  • Outsourced versus in-house development team – Developing an app in-house can be cheaper or more expensive than outsourcing it depending on the size, experience, and quality of the developers.
  • Type of development team – Some developer teams focus on building specific types of apps for specific markets. Some outsource part of the work. Some include business analysts that can dig deep to help you build a viable app in a competitive market. In the end, the structure and approach of the development team all influence the cost of creating an app.
  • Location of the development team – The location of the development team can also significantly influence the cost of the project. According to a survey, hourly app development costs range from $44-57 dollars in the United States, with UK development costs being somewhere in between at £25 per hour ($31 US).

How Much Can I Expect to Pay to Develop an App?

cost-to-develop-an-app-amountUltimately, the cost to develop an app varies from project to project and the development team you choose. According to the same source cited above, the minimum average native app development costs (calculated at an average hourly charge) for one platform are:

  • Simple app with minimum viable features – starting at $25,000 US
  • App with complex features – starting at $37,000 US
  • Advanced app with innovative features – starting at $60,000 US

It’s worth remembering that app development is a scalable process. You can find the right balance between costs and features by implementing essential features into your app and introducing new features over time.

That said, building an advanced app that takes advantage of the latest native features and that requires a complex infrastructure can easily take your app development costs over $100,000 US.

The Bottom Line – Cost to Develop a App

There’s no simple answer when it comes to the cost of creating an app. No professional web developer can tell you the cost of an app before first learning more about your project. If you’re thinking about building an app, it’s important to consider all the factors we’ve discussed and then request a quote.

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