Mobile app development

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

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Develop a mobile app is becoming a new money-making tactic for most of the businesses today. And this is equally important with the rise of smartphone usage. A mobile app can fulfill the necessities of users and also earn profit to the businesses.

Well, everything comes with a cost and this is true for mobile apps too. So, this brings us to a critical question of developing a mobile app: How much does it cost to develop a mobile app? A lot of factors contribute towards the cost of making an app. Let us understand how these factors affect the development in detail:

Business Model:

The revenue generation plan or business model is the significant driving force behind the cost of your app. It all depends upon the platform you choose, the product you sell or the devices that require to be integrated with the app, in order to determine the cost of development. For example, an e-commerce app demands more time and cost owing to its business model.


You may wish to provide an app for Android users or iOS users or both altogether. The app can be made accessible to several such platforms like Android, Windows, iOS or even web. It depends upon where your targeted customers are. The platform you choose for your app contributes towards the cost of its development.

Also, note that both Android and iOS have significantly different systems and interfaces. Therefore, to provide a good user experience, a business will require developing two separate apps for iOS and Android. This adds up to the cost of development. However, it is not always necessary to develop separate apps and there are other cheaper options available too.

Functionalities of the App:

Another major contributing factor towards the cost of developing an app is its functionality. One can always provide a basic app costing a few hundred dollars to offering more advanced functionalities costing thousands of dollars. There is no limit to what an app can do and this determines your budget.

List App: A list app is simple with all the information provided in form of a list and it does not cost you more.

Dynamic Apps: These apps are quite complex in terms of functionality like Facebook and so cost incurred is higher.

Games: The 3D environments, advanced physics, and artificial intelligence can sum up to be the most expensive type of apps.


Another factor is development adding to the cost of the app. It depends upon who you hire. You have several options to choose your app development team. You can hire freelancers, individual developers, a team of developers or employ an in-house team altogether. The factors to consider here are skill-set and consistency. Hiring freelancers may cost you less but you also need to be sure of the quality provided. Employing an in-house team will surely cost you more but it ensures consistency.


In case if you thought development is the last contributing factor, then you are wrong. You also need to consider the legalities of your app development project. This includes trademarks, copyright, and patents. It forms a secure means of controlling access to your apps. Trademarks secure your brand names while copyright protects your content from being stolen.


Developing an app is not just enough, you also need to consider upon maintaining it. And this calls for some extra cost. Technical support for updates, user profiles, data, and monitoring is an important part of an app. Approximately, 20% of the app cost goes into adding new features and updating the existing ones.

Summary of Total Cost:

It is difficult to put the overall app cost into a defined number as it depends upon several variables and app complexity. Still, to give you a general idea, a basic app without any back-end database, social media integration or API functionality should cost you in the range of 2000 to 10,000 dollars. In the US, it is near about 8K dollars and in India, it is nearly the half. A bit complex app will cost you around 10 to 40K dollars.

A more complex app will have advanced functionalities, social media integration, APIs, back-end support and will require experienced skill-set; all these summing up to a higher cost of 40 to 80k dollars. In India, it is equivalent to 35 dollars.

Note: These numbers denote approximation and it does not determine the precise app cost. It may cost you significantly more or less depending upon your project requirement. It is in the best interest to consult professionals for getting accurate numbers.   

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