"How much does it cost to build an app" is a common question that might come to your mind when you want to turn your app idea into reality. Estimating the app cost can help you optimize your budget for the development process. Let's say you are purchasing a car, and the cost of buying a car highly depends on the elements you want.
The same is the case with the app development cost when it comes to building an app economically. App development cost depends on the features and other factors you want to add to your app. You might be wondering about the exact cost of an app development project. If yes, look no further! In this article, we'll discuss the details to optimize the app cost to estimate the app development price. Let's begin:
How much does it cost to develop an app?
Questions about app development budget are common when you plan to build an app. "How much does it cost to develop an app" is the most common question that you might ask when you plan to build an app in 2022. The answer to the question is that cost to build an app depends on the features you add to the app. Moreover, there are other options to estimate the cost of the app development process. The authentic way to get a cost estimation for an app development budget is to contact an app developer from a top-notch app development company.
Moreover, you can use a budget calculator to estimate the cost of the app development process. For example, you can request an app development company to estimate the cost required for custom app development without documentation. But, when you want to answer your question about how much it costs to develop an app with the calculator, you need to include multiple app development services and time. The services and time required to estimate the cost of the app development process are as follows:
- Design complexity and UI/UX design for an app
- The process for app development
- App features and functions to be added
- The complexity of app features
- Third-party integration to the app
- Execution of security standards in an app to meet security standards of HIPAA or GDPR
- Number of developers in a development team
A little data research
To get an idea about the mobile app development cost, you can overview surveys and statistics by top organizations. In recent years, mobile app development has gained massive popularity worldwide, and this hype is a prime factor that helps to determine the cost of mobile app development. According to an estimation, over 7 million mobile apps are available on Android and iOS app stores.
These statistics provide an idea about the growth of apps and app development companies. Different surveys and researches show intriguing facts about the cost of mobile app development in 2022. In this article, we will unveil the surveys and studies about the cost of mobile app development by top organizations. Let's begin:
- According to Statista, a German survey company, every month, over 100,000 android apps are published on Google Play and over 30,000 apps on Apple App Store. Free app development is leading the app development industry. Business owners choose the pricing strategy that is free or offers freemium. For example, free apps are 92% of all apps on Apple Play Stores. The mobile app industry is growing every year, and the annual revenue in 2020 was $581.9 Billion. If the app industry continues to grow, its revenue will reach almost $ 1 trillion in the upcoming years.
- According to Market Research about app development, the app development industry will flourish by 18.4% in 2026 and continue to reach its fullest potential of $ 407.31 billion in the upcoming years.
- According to Business of Apps, the cost to develop a simple and complex app is up to $30,000 and up to $40,000, respectively. Moreover, the survey stated that the cost to make a complex app is up to 70,000.
- A survey by GoodFirms estimates the average cost of making an app. According to the survey, a business owner needs $100,000 to $185,000 to build an app with complex features like Uber.
- UpCity took deeper dive to estimate the app development budget for each phase. According to their survey report, you need up to $1500 for the planning phase, $15,000 for the design phase, $5,000 to build features like push notifications, and $10,000 for testing and app maintenance.
- According to a survey by eMarketer, 90% of people love to use apps on their phones. There will be a time when the use of mobile devices will be 4 hours a day, and people will spend 88% of this time on mobile apps.
- According to research by Statista, 66% of people love downloading game apps from App Stores. Moreover, 95% of people love downloading apps for messaging and communication.
So, the research ad survey by top companies indicates that app development companies will grow in the upcoming years. The average cost for developing an app will depend on the type of app and its features.
Further in this article, we will unveil the top factors affecting app development costs.
Factors affecting costs
First, when you start to create an app, you need to run an in-depth business analysis to specify your target audience, competitors, and app development, team."How much it costs to develop a mobile app" is your main concern when you start to make an app. Moreover, you might be concerned about the features to determine mobile app development costs. Finally, you are concerned about hiring an app developer from one of the top app development companies to reduce the cost of other services. So, we have highlighted all your concerns about the cost of developing an app. First, we'll showcase the top factors to determine the final cost of app development.
App complexity is the main factor affecting the cost of an app development project. If you want to create a basic app with simple features, it will require less time and cost for app development. To specify the time for application development, you need to clarify the scale of your future work. The complexity level of making an app will increase with the addition of advanced features and integrations. Here we are discussing the details of the app complexity for the app development cost estimate. Let's begin:
A simple app is an app that needs simple functionality and features. A simple app has basic features with a sleek app design. An example of a simple app is a calendar. Creating an app with basic features doesn't require advanced features and platforms. So, the cost of developing an app with simple features is pretty low.
Developing an app with some advanced features lie under the category of mid-level apps. Mid-level apps have some advanced features to offer. It's an app for your business that require the integration of advanced APIs and more screens with custom AI. So, the cost of an app with some advanced features is higher than the cost of developing an app with simple features.
Autor - Kajetan Iżycki/Image Source - Dribbble
A complex app has more advanced and complex features and integration of cross-platform that require real-time synchronization. The cost of creating an app with more advanced features is higher than all other types. An example of a complex app is a chatbot and video app used for real-time communication.
Apart from these factors, app complexity types also help to determine the app budget. Let's unveil:
1.Simple app complexity
Simple app complexity offers basic features without data storage and doesn't support cross-platform. You might be wondering about the basic feature that a simple app can have in it. We are unveiling these basic features. Let's take an overview:
- Login button
- Signup button
- Options for profile creation and editing
- Push notifications
Above mentioned features will determine the cost of software development. Examples of simple apps are a calculator, time tracker, and social apps.
2.Basic app complexity
Creating an airplane always has a high cost. The reason is the difference in the features. Similarly, adding more features to an app will increase the cost of application development. Creating an app with database and API integration lies under the basic app complexity and has a high app development price. In these mobile applications, you need to add some extra features that will add more cost to make an app. The features of these mobile apps include:;
- In-app purchase option
- Payment mechanism
- Social media and API integration
- Security Protocols
- Push notifications
Moreover, these apps offer a robust framework for better use and accessibility. These mobile applications require storage mechanisms for database and synchronization. To build an app of this type, you need to understand your target audience to estimate the cost of application development. So, the higher app complexity will increase the cost of creating an app. Examples of high-complexity apps are food or taxi applications.
3.High app complexity
The cost of developing an app will increase with the addition of complex features. Complex apps include high-range applications for complex business operations. Most businesses require software development with custom features and cross-platform integrations. These high-range applications are the best fit if you want to create a legacy system with high app development costs. When developing a complex app, the average cost to make an app could exceed your expectations. Let's take a look at why the cost of these apps increased:
- Advanced data synchronization for multiple devices
- Custom features
- Video call option
Developing such a complex mobile application requires extensive planning and research for a cost estimate. Moreover, app development costs are higher when adding a dashboard and database. The average cost for complex app projects will increase due to the extensive involvement of app developers.
The reason is that these apps require custom features, and app developers invest a lot of time in writing custom code for custom software development. So, custom software development finds it difficult to determine the cost estimate of the mobile app. Examples of complex apps are enterprise-level software, trading, and gaming apps.
Autor - Bogdan Nikitin/Image Source - Dribbble
Design complexity of an application
So, the second factor in how much it costs to develop an app is the design complexity of Android and iOS mobile applications.
The design phase is a crucial stage of software development, and it plays a vital role in the cost estimate of a project. You cannot estimate the cost of app development without specifying the design of an app. The design of an app increases the app cost just like adding more features does.
Similarly, the app development cost will be pre-defined if you want to use a built-in template. But using a custom design development will increase the mobile app development cost.
Before selecting an app design, you need to consider the following things:
Provide a better user experience
The user interface specifies the functionality of an android app. If you want to create an interactive user interface, the best practice is to sketch the screens on paper or design software. Ultimately, the app design will help you to determine the app development budget. When you plan software development, your ultimate goal is to build an app that provides a better user experience. So, creating a UX/UI design that meets the needs of your target audience is essential.
Moreover, the average cost of app development varies with the selection of design elements. Design elements directly impact the app development budget, such as button position, color scheme, and the following eye pattern.
Visuals and User Interface (UI)
There are many important things to consider about the app design. However, User Interface (UI) and visuals play a vital role in making the app more attractive to the viewers. The use of these visuals can help you to estimate the average app development cost. Furthermore, it also helps in estimating the cost of MVP design. If you choose a better app design, it will help you to create an app that can grab the attention of your target audience.
Ultimately, you'll be able to achieve your app goals of user engagement, high conversion rate, and information. Furthermore, the app type also plays a role in estimating the app development budget. The reason is that different app types use a unique design solution. Just like other factors, we equally emphasize the app design to estimate the average cost of developing an app. The design elements of an app include layout, color scheme, elements, shapes, typography, and much more.
Have you ever thought about Apple, Nike, McDonald, and Reebok? What does come to your mind? The brand with the worth will be your answer. No doubt, all these brands have value and stand high among their competitors. You might be wondering why these brands brand out. The reason is that they have invested in branding. The same is the case when you are developing a mobile application.
Initially, you may not invest in branding because of the increased app development budget. But to increase the brand value of your app, branding is essential for your business model. So, adding branding to your app development process is inevitable to win more audiences.
However, the app cost to build an app will highly depend on app branding, so you need to consider it at the beginning to estimate the app development cost. After knowing your target audience, you can plan to promote your app through branding. For example, you can start by creating an app logo and other marketing tactics.
When estimating app development costs, you need to add the cost of copywriting to the total cost. Copywriting is writing copy that compels more users to use your app. A good copy and user-friendly design are a killer combination for the success of your business app. However, you need to understand that good app-copy costs higher.
To get an idea about how much it costs to write impactful copy in the development process, you can ask your app developer to select a copywriter or hire yourself. Choosing a copywriter and knowing the writing rates will help you to estimate the app development cost. We recommend you choose a writer from the global writer's pool that provides a cost-effective writing solution. The noticeable fact is that hiring a writer from a native country will add more to the app cost of the development process. Examples of copywriting include the landing page of a website, email, and newsletter writing.
So far, we have discussed how much it costs to make an app by app complexity and design. Now, we are unveiling the impact of the app platform on the app cost.
To decide on the app platform, you need to consider two tips:
Make a hybrid app
A hybrid or a cross-platform app is a mobile application that will be an iOS or Android app. In the planning phase, your primary concern is to decide app platform to estimate the app development cost. Before deciding on one platform, consider your market share, device fragmentation, and ubiquity. All these factors depend on your target market and help to estimate the app cost. Before selecting a platform for your app, you need to figure out the scenarios where the android app is more ubiquitous than an iOS app, and the same is the case for iOS devices.
Though both platforms have the same app development process, how much it will cost you to build a mobile app is different. So, app development costs for both platforms vary. The benefit of a cross-platform app is that it runs its platform-specific operations smoothly on all devices. Developing an app that supports cross-platform can help you to provide a better user experience and answer how much it costs to build an app. The noticeable thing is that the app cost for native app development is higher than the hybrid one in 2022. The reason is that you need to hire double app developers to build two apps.
Create a native app
Contrary to a hybrid or cross-platform app, a native app supports only a single platform, either Android or iOS. So, if you plan to make an app for both platforms, you will hire two development teams. Since you will hire different app developers for both platforms, the app development cost will double. You might be wondering about the app cost for an iPhone or an Android phone.
The answer is that the app cost to build an app for both platforms is the same regardless of different Software Development Kits (SDKs), frameworks, and databases.We hope you are clear about the factors affecting how much it costs to build an app.
App maintenance cost
App maintenance is a crucial factor that can help you to estimate the app cost. As per the survey by top organizations, app maintenance costs 20% of the overall cost of an app development project.;You might be wondering about the things included in the app maintenance that adds more to app development cost. Let's begin:
- App Hosting
App hosting is a source of data storage on the server. So, you might have to consider the cost estimate for hosting, which may be $800-$4000 annually.
- App Analysis
Once you have launched your mobile app, the next step is to keep track of its performance. For this purpose, you can sign in to any analytics platform, but you will not be able to calculate the service cost in advance. The reason is that the price tag varies depending on the number of app users.
- App Marketing
The cost of app marketing depends on the tools and platforms that you are using. An estimation of the app development budget suggests that iOS apps cost $3.6 for each installation and Android apps cost $1.22.
- App Updates
Modification cost depends on the nature of the change you are adding to your app. Let's say you are fixing a minimal in your app, and it will cost less than adding a feature. Bug fixing costs $2000 while adding a feature costs more than $6000 in app development.
Salaries of an app development team
Apart from these factors, the cost of an app development project highly depends on the cost of hiring an app development team. The personnel to develop a mobile app for your business may include:
- UI/UX developer
- Project Manager
- Android or iOS developer
- Frontend Developer
- Backend Developer
- Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
Hiring these experts can help you to estimate the cost of an app. App developers collaboratively work with a project manager for overall project management and make sure to develop an app with quality assurance.
The time to make an app is vital in estimating the software development budget. Here, we'll discuss how the term of an app project directly affects the app budget. The software development for a simple app takes a period of 2 to 4 months. The app development process for the mid-level app takes the time of 6-10 months, and the duration of development of complex mobile applications takes the time of one year. So, the project scope, personnel, and time can help you to estimate the average app development cost.
Moreover, you can perform an app development cost breakdown to estimate the app development cost. The reason is that the app development cost breakdown tackles every factor that impacts the app development cost.
How much does it cost to build an iOS or Android app in the USA, Europe, Japan, and Korea?
You might be concerned about how much it costs to build a mobile app across various locations. The answer is that the app budget varies with the location. So, we will discuss the app cost across countries like the USA, Europe, Japan, and Korea. If you are looking for a cheaper app solution, then app development cost in Eastern Europe is below $50/hour.
After India, Eastern Europe provides the app solutions at economic app prices because the mobile app cost is low there. If you want to outsource the services of an overseas app developer, you'll get quality mobile apps at a cheaper hourly rate. But the challenge you may face is a language barrier that hinders effective communication with your app development team.
You might be surprised after knowing that the hourly app development cost in the USA is higher than in other countries. You will have to pay $150/hour if you have hired app developers from the USA. The best practice for an effective app solution is to hire a native app developer with whom you can communicate face-to-face.
But hiring a native developer may have a high cost for mobile apps. This cost is pretty high, right? So, instead of hiring an app developer, we recommend you use a no-code app development platform like AppMaster to build an app at an affordable price. These no-code platforms have low app budgets and provide quick app solutions.
Cost of app development by type
The application type impacts the average cost of app development. Here we will discuss the popular app types and the average cost to build them. So, you are all set to estimate the cost of building a mobile app based on the app type. Let's begin:
1. Basic app
If app developers develop a mobile app with basic features, it lies under basic apps and is the cheapest solution. Examples of basic mobile apps are calculators, do-to apps, quiz apps, and small games that are easy to develop. These app types do need not an internet connection or backend development. Furthermore, it requires a month to develop a mobile app. The noticeable thing is that these mobile apps are not on hype these days. The app cost for this is $10,000 – 15,000.
2. Data-driven app
As the name suggests, a data-driven app collects and interprets information and provides results based on the collected data. Examples of data-driven apps are weather forecasting apps, calendars, and maps. Today, these mobile apps have limited use, and many businesses use them as byproducts. You might be wondering how much it costs to develop a mobile app that processes data. So, the app development project for a data data-driven app can cost you $15,000 – $20,000.
3. Personalized Apps
A personalized app requires users' data to access mobile apps. An example of a personalized app is a brand loyalty app. These mobile applications collect user data, store it, and share information across multiple devices. This type of mobile app development costs higher than the average app development cost. The app development cost for a personalized app is $40,000 – $80,000.
4. Social network app
Autor - Tushar/Image Source - Dribbble
As the name suggests, social network apps help users in social connection building. The best examples of social media apps are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Since a social media app allows millions of users to interact, so the app development cost for this large-scale app-development project is high.
To build an app of this type, you need to invest a high price for the backend development. When planning to develop a social app, you might be concerned about how much it costs to develop an app for social network building. So, the cost to build an app for social network building costs $60,000 – $300,000.
eCommerce apps are more complex and require advanced features such as catalogs, product descriptions, user interactions, and pricing options. The best examples of eCommerce mobile apps are Shopify, Amazon, Eastbay, and other marketplaces. You might be concerned about the cost estimate to build an app for eCommerce. The app development budget to build a small eCommerce app is $60,000 – $300,000.
6. On-demand app
Autor - Daria Kravets/Image Source - Dribbble
On-demand service apps bridge the gap between services and user needs. The best examples of on-demand service apps are Uber and Grubhub, allowing service providers to communicate with end users to meet their needs. These service apps are a combination of social and eCommerce apps. You might be concerned about how much it costs to make an app for on-demand services. So, the app budget for an on-demand service app is up to $150,000.
7. Marketplace app
A marketplace app is a type of app where you can help users to get the service of their choice. The best examples of marketplace apps are Fiverr, TripAdvisor, and Freelacer.com. These mobile apps combine the features of on-demand service and eCommerce apps. If you have planned to build an app for the marketplace, then you need to estimate the cost of an app.The app development budget for this app is $150,000 – $300,000.
App development process
We hope you are clear on how app type can affect app development costs. After going through the app types, you might be wondering about the cost estimate to develop an app for your startup. Before specifying a number for the app cost, you need to break down the app development cost with the steps involved in the app development process. We are unveiling the steps for the app development process to estimate the app development cost. Let's dig deeper into the top four steps for cost estimation:
Step 1: Project Breakdown
The first step to estimating the app budget is to divide an app development project into small and feasible tasks. After the project breakdown, assign these tasks to the team members involved in the app development team. Task assignment to the team members is the responsibility of your app developer. Moreover, these steps also require tracking of the duration and hourly rate of task completion. Apart from task assigning, this step also involves capacity planning to ensure competent team members' availability for task completion. So, you can hire app developers and QA experts based on the nature of your app development project. To cut down the app development costs, we recommend you hire a freelancer or try a no-code platform like AppMaster.
Step 2: Use an estimation method for cost calculation
There are several estimation methods available to help in calculating app development costs. We are unveiling the top three estimation methods that might help you in average cost estimation for your mobile app.
- Method 1: Ballpark cost estimation method;
Ballpark is an estimation method widely used to calculate the average app development cost. This method calculates the average cost based on experience and assumptions. So, you can get a rough idea about app cost using this method, but it might not provide an exact number for developing an app. For ballpark estimation, you can get the services of an experienced app developer of a reputed software firm.
- Method 2: Parameter-based cost estimation method
The second method to estimate the app development cost is the parameter-based method. Contrary to the ballpark methods, parameters use actual data with the previous data for cost estimation. This method takes a bit longer but provides a more authentic cost estimation for an app development project.
- Method 3: Three-point cost estimation method
The three-point cost estimation method is the best method and also considers risk analysis. Using this method, your app developer can estimate the average cost for the best, worst, and real scenarios. The worst cost value incorporates all the uncertainties and risks in a worst-case scenario. For the best-case scenario, this cost estimation method provides a low cost and assumes that the project goes on smoothly. But, the real case lies between the best and worst case.
Step 3: Keep track of app development budgets
Once the app development project starts, you need to track all expenses in the app development budget. For this purpose, you can use cost-tracking software that will monitor your spending and help you in future decision-making. In case you want to focus 100% rely on an app development company, your project manager will take responsibility for tracking the cost of app development.
Step 4: Timeline to develop an app
How much time an app developer takes to build an app is the crucial step in estimating the average cost of app development. This is the question that business owners mostly ask app development companies. The answer that app development companies give is that the cost of app development highly depends on the type of app you want to build and your available resources.
If you want an app for your business in a short time, you can seek help from two developers of an app development team. Hiring two app developers will help you to complete your app project in a short time as they will split the app tasks. So, the time to complete your app project highly depends on the app's complexity.
Time to develop an app based on app complexity
You might be wondering about the time to make an app. So, the time for mobile app development highly depends on the app's complexity. Let's unveil how much time it takes to complete the app development of apps with different complexity:
If you want to build an app like MVP, it can take a time of 2-3 weeks. At the same time, an app with basic features can take one month. At the same time, an enterprise-level app, consumer app, and maps take 2-3 months.
Moreover, on-demand apps take over four months to complete. After going through time to build an app, you might wonder about the effect of time on app development costs. If an app takes longer to complete, its development cost will be higher. So, all you need is to use ways to reduce app development costs.
Creating an app for free
So far, you have gone through all the factors that affect the app development cost. But if you are just starting your business, you might be looking for a source to create an app for free instead of contracting with an app development company. So, the best news for you is that it is possible to build an app without spending a single penny. Interesting, right?
In recent years, no-code app development platforms have gained massive attention and are continuously thriving to turn the ideas of many startups into reality. So, if you want to turn your idea into reality for free, we recommend you try AppMaster. AppMaster is a popular no-code platform that allows small business owners to build an app for free.
After going through our detailed guide about app development cost estimation, we hope you are clear about the factors affecting the app budget. After reviewing all the cost-affecting factors, you need to use the ways to cut down the mobile app development cost. As a new business owner, you might not invest too much when planning to build an app for your business.
To cut down the cost of app development, we recommend you try AppMaster instead of contracting with an app development company. AppMaster is a popular no-code platform that helps new business owners to make an app by cutting down the cost of hiring an app developer. Moreover, the beauty of using this no-code platform is that it provides the source code. So, try this amazing app development tool and cut down the app development budget.