How much does it cost to make an app?

How much does it cost to make an app for your business? This article talks about factors of mobile app development cost estimation that contribute to overall costing of an app. An estimate of development project is mentioned in this post.

mobile app development cost breakdown

Can you guess the amount of time people spend on their smartphones? Study from Flurry reveals that Americans spend dedicated 162 minutes on their mobile phones each day. To give so much time to a pocket sized device in spite of a busy schedule reveals the importance and usefulness of mobile phones. People of all age groups starting from school children to senior citizens are seen carrying this gadget with them everywhere.

World of apps

Splitting up the usage ratio, it is quite surprising to know that out of total time spent on mobile phones, 86% is dedicated to the usage of apps. Over a millions of apps available in Play Store and App Store justify this statistics. Moreover, these apps help users in carrying out many day-to-day tasks apart from entertaining them. Given below is a split up of total time spent on mobile phones:

Building monetizing apps

Now that there is immense scope in the app world, many entrepreneurs are thinking of building one and earn money from it. When thinking of business, the first thing that comes to mind is investment required for it. Proper mapping of money invested and assured returns enables a businessman to think of a prospective business in a systematic manner.

Read Also: Top 10 Mobile App Development Companies in India

Contributing factors for mobile app development cost:

The nature and complexity of app determines its budget. Here’s a list of major factors that determine the overall cost of building an app:

  1. How much feature-oriented you want your app to be?

Some apps are quite simple and hardly possess a countable number of features. These apps are easy to build with minimum software requirements. On the other hand, there are apps that have high graphics, complex functionalities and high end features. These apps may serve a lot of purpose of users and this might be the reason behind their complexity. Such apps ideas require good amount of investment.

2. Will your app need a back end server?

Most of the apps you see in the App Store have a back end server, until and unless they are very basic ones providing nothing more than mere information. These sorts of apps that do not have a backend server are good for those entrepreneurs having restricted budget. The ones requiring back end server are definitely going to hit hard on your pockets.

3. On how many platforms you plan to release the app?

Who are your target audience? iOS, Android or Windows users, or may be just all of them? On how many platforms you plan to release the app determines the number of versions that app needs to have. This ultimately increases the building cost of mobile app developm. Apps built for single platform are cost effective compared to those intended for multiple platforms.

4. What will be the nature and complexity of your app?

These two are major factors that determine the amount of investment necessary for app building process. Developing complex and highly functional apps requires manpower and good amount of time too. These apps may take longer for its release in the App Store, which eventually pushes the time for returns from the app.

5. Whom do you prefer to give your app development project?

The rates charged by mobile app development companies vary as per their experience and popularity in this field. Newly established ones charge less while long term established ones guarantee result-oriented work for a substantial fee. The budget of project varies depending on whom you choose as your app development partner (freelancer, off shore or high end agency).

6. Have you calculated costs for future updates and marketing?

Once an app is released and used by audience, there will be scope of improvements and bug fixing in the future. This will again demand for shelling out money to make your app live up to the expectations of users. Consider this cost while calculating the overall money to be spent on app development project. If you plan to market your app then this cost to the overall estimated budget.

Android versus iOS apps

Though there are many tools today that facilitates easy development of mobile apps, Androids apps take more time for its completion when compared to iOS apps. It ultimately requires employing developers and designers for longer period of time. The expenditure on resources increase as you will have to give salary to employees as long as the project is not completed.

Exceptional Cases

The fact that complexity determines the cost of building an app holds true, but there are few exceptions to it. Even though complex apps have backend servers and APIs that increase its overall cost, few simple ones sometimes surpass this budget too. In short, it all depends on the feature set that your app will possess. For example, some complex apps have been completed in five figure budget in contrast to simple ones demanding six figure budget for its development.

Estimate of mobile app development cost

Now that you know what goes into the making of a mobile app and what factors to consider in calculation of its budget, let’s move ahead to talk about estimate figures of such development projects:

  • If renowned and much-talked about development agency is your choice, be prepared with an initial investment of minimum $500,000. Such companies do not entertain anyone having budget less else than this amount. This is the starting range with which one can look forward to basic and simple apps. Thus, choosing high end development partner can cost you between $500,000 and $1,000,000.
  • Mid-level companies are considerable in terms of pricing factor. This means they charge reasonable and do not fall heavy on entrepreneurs’ pockets. You can place the rates charged by these agencies from anywhere between $150,000 and $450,000.
  • Start-ups do not have a reason to charge more from businesses. We need customers to establish themselves properly in the industry. Choosing them for your development needs entitles you to spend between $50,000 and $100,000.


Starting a new business requires proper planning and analysis to avoid falling into pitfalls in future. You should know investment that goes into making of app along with potential market risks to be prepared for the same. Be smart and keep going with your eyes and mind wide open.

If you are looking to develop mobile app for a new startup or expand your existing business, get in touch with top mobile app development company to transform your idea into reality.