What Is the Approximate Cost of Mobile App Development?

mobile app development cost

It is the first thing that comes to mind when business owners decide to move forward with app development for their products or services. But before we get the insights into the mobile app development cost breakdown, let us first understand why mobile app development is what all business owners think about despite the industry or segment. 

When it comes to business, mobile apps have a huge market across various mobile app platforms (Android, iOS, etc.). As per recent statistics, global customers spend approximately 167 billion U.S. dollars on mobile apps. The mobile app development market is set to escalate to USD 653.91 billion by 2025. 

Mobile app development users have gradually increased over the year, and app downloads reached a whopping 255 billion in 2022. 

Source: Statista

All these statistics can strike a silver lining for businesses seeking mobile app development opportunities. 

Regarding industry contributions to mobile app revenue, the top positions are held by industries segments like gaming applications, music and entertainment application, retail and eCommerce, social networking, health, and fitness. The gaming industry is the major contributor, with 77% and 61% Revenue generation on Google Play and Play Store, respectively. It is expected to be the major revenue contributor in upcoming years too. 

Let us find the average cost of developing a mobile app depending on various factors. 

Top 5 Factors Affecting the Cost of Mobile App Development

When it comes to mobile app development, any business can expect the average mobile app development cost as per the following table. 

Simple app$16,000 – $32,000
Medium complexity app $32,000 – $48,000
High complexity app $72,000+

Source: Businessofapps

The approximate time for app development of the simple app, medium complexity app, and high complexity app are 2-3 months, 3-6 months, and 9+ months respectively.  

Here we can see that there is a range of costs that your business will possibly incur. This is because the appropriate cost results from the uniqueness of every mobile app development project and various factors, some of which are listed below. 

Let us dive in and find out how the cost of developing a mobile app is affected by these factors. 

Region Of the Development Team

Every country or region shows variation in terms of mobile app development cost. This can be highlighted in the table below. 

CountryApprox hourly rates
India$20-30
United States (USA)$120-150
United Kingdom (U.K.)$100-120
Australia$100-120
Ukraine$30-100
Russia$60-150
Eastern Europe$20-150
Southeast Asia$20-30

Depending on the developer’s experience, technical know-how, efficiency, and more, the rate of the mobile app developer you hire from these countries would vary and fall somewhere around the above-mentioned hourly rates. 

Type of Mobile App Categories

A crucial step when planning to develop a mobile app is deciding the platform preference (Android, iOS, etc.) for development. The choice of the platform for mobile app development is affected by various factors like cost effectiveness, availability of target customers, features, functionality, and more. After you have weighed the platform on these factors, these are the types of apps that you can decide to develop. 

Type of appApprox development cost
Cross-platform apps$25,000 to $60,000
Hybrid apps$10,000 to $150,000
Native apps (Android & iOS)$50,000 to $100,000

Either you can choose to go for platforms-specific mobile app development, which is the native apps, or you can go with developing apps that work efficiently over various platforms without developing them separately like the cross-platform apps.

Regarding platforms, iOS and Android app development may cost approximately around $60,000 and $50,000, respectively.

This does not end here. The more features and functionalities you require in your app, the more cost your business will incur for mobile app development. This can be better understood by the next factors that substantially affect the overall mobile application development cost. 

App features and functionalities

User engagement is one of the crucial aspects of any mobile application. It is the features and functionalities of the app, apart from the app design, that elevates the user experience to great heights. Depending on the type of features/functionalities you need in your app, it would add up to the final cost of developing a desired mobile application. 

Here is the approximate cost of some of the most used mobile app features/functionalities:

Features/functionalitiesApprox Cost
Push Notifications$1,000 – $1,200
Messaging$3,000-$5,000
User Login$500 – $1,000
Basic admin panel$3,500-$4,000
In-app purchases$500 – $1,000
Geolocation$500 – $1,000
Advanced features (e.g., machine learning, augmented reality)$5,000 and up

Advanced features like payments, calls, maps, etc., can cost approximately $2,000-$3,000, $3,000-$4,000, $14,000-$15,000, and more. 

These costs are further elevated or reduced depending on the complexity of your app as well as the experience/expertise of your development team, as the time consumption may vary, and so will the cost incurred based on the developer’s hourly rates. 

Mobile App Development Resources

When developing an app, mobile app developers if your asset. When you are looking for a developer, you can either build your in-house team, outsource your app development to a software development company or find a freelancer. 

This is what it will cost you in each of these cases. 

Inhouse team $400,000
Software development agency $50,000
Freelancers$30,000

Further, when you opt for a specific platform when hiring a developer, the approximate cost breakdown would look like the below: 

PlatformApprox hourly cost
Android developer$25-85+
iOS developer $45-75+

This cost would vary in accordance with the years of experience the developer has and various other factors like the location of the developers and more. 

Building a mobile app does not end with hiring a developer. Other resources are essential to be part of your development team. 

Type of ResourceApproximate Yearly Cost
U.I. UX Designer$ 5,000 to 15,000
QA Specialist$ 10,000 to $20,000+
Project Manager$ 7,000 to $10,000+
Solution Architect$ 3,000 to $9,000+

Note: The cost may vary depending on the development time, location of the team, and some of the above factors. 

App Updates and Maintenance

Post-deployment, the business still must pay for app maintenance and updates. The average cost of app updates/maintenance after the app has been deployed, irrespective of the platform, can be anywhere between $250 and $500 per month. The cost can also increase if the complexity of the update or maintenance is considerably high. 

The list does not end here. 

Other factors that affect the overall cost of mobile app development are

  • Back-end infrastructure
  • Database and CMS
  • App Security
  • Animation and Design 
  • Customization 
  • In-app purchase support 
  • Third-party integration

Not to forget the requirement of marketing the app after deployment to generate the desired ROI from the developed mobile application. 

All these factors are interdependent in approximating the final cost of mobile app development. One factor is likely to affect the other factors causing variation in the individual cost of each factor. 

Note: All the cost values are approximate. These values are calculated based on research from various sources. 

Concluding Thoughts

Opting for mobile app development can be an expensive decision when you do not have the parameters finalized according to your available budget. So ensure that you consider each factor and make the decisions keeping each decision and corresponding mind. This way, you can ensure the app development fits your estimated budget. 

Still, be ready for any out-of-the-blue situations regarding cost, as development is a continuous process until project completion that may lead to some unforeseen situations.

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Ankit Kumar

Ankit Kumar

Ankit is a Tech Enthusiastic Business Development Manager at SPEC INDIA. He loves to write and share content on latest technology news, updates, software tips for SMEs and more.