How Much Does It Cost To Make An App?
“How much does it cost to make an app” is one of the most frequently asked questions in our industry. It is also the kind of question to which there is no one correct answer.
While you will find estimates on different websites, platforms, and forums, the correct answer to this question is “it depends.”
Now you must be thinking, “How much does it cost to make an app and what does it depend on?” Let’s take a look at the answer to that question.
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How Much Does It Cost to Make An App Worldwide?
Apps are a huge revenue churning opportunity in today’s world with inflows in billions of dollars worldwide. We already did an article on how much money does an app makes in 2023, which gives a detailed overview of just how lucrative this industry can be. This makes app development a very important proposition for businesses to consider in the upcoming times.
So how much does it cost to make an app exactly?
While there’s no fixed cost for app development, following are some estimates of app development cost that can guide:
|App Development Benchmarks||Price Range|
|Simple app development||$16,000 – $32,000|
|Medium complexity app development||$32,000 – $48,000|
|Complex app development||$72,000+|
|Cost of hiring a US app developer (annual)||~$105,000|
The more complex the app gets, the higher the cost of developing the app. Further in this article, we set out the accessible data on the development cost for apps using a range of different sources and methodologies in 2023.
But for now, let’s stick to our analysis on “how much does it cost to make an app” by looking at the hourly rates of app development per platform across different regions.
The hourly rate for mobile app development changes in different corners of the world, it imitates a level of economic development in a specific country. Following is a graph that represents the top regions for app development.
While the costs in the table above are estimates, it’s best to consult an Ideal development company for their accurate price. These prices are an estimation for companies and not freelance app developers, for whom these prices can be even lower.
- The US is one of the most expensive regions for app development. So, companies in this region are likely to charge higher prices.
- In Australia, the price for app development is the second most expensive.
- The hourly rate for regional app development service rates in Brazil is $9 approx.
- In Germany, app development services cost $35, but renowned app development companies and skilled freelance app developers may charge you higher.
- Both India and Indonesia are the most pocket-friendly options for startups, with prices starting from $7 per hour.
The discrepancy between the different answers to “how much does an app cost” is a reflection of how big the app development ecosystem is. There is a significant gap in the hourly rates in the US, like cities of New York, Houston, Chicago, Miami, and Austin., when compared to India, with sometimes even a different of 15x for app development.
Here, let’s understand the difference between outsourcing app development vs. local app development and which one is the better option for businesses and startups.
Outsourcing Or Local Development: What to Choose?
The digital sphere today demands businesses to get a mobile app developed, and for that, price matters the most in a majority of cases. Unless you have an in-house team of top-notch app developers, you’ll most likely hire an Android app development company to make an app for you.
The question here is simple,” Is outsourcing app development better than local app development: Which one should you choose?”
The biggest reason why businesses prefer local app development is because of physical proximity. You can find a huge number of app development companies in the US, or anywhere in the world, depending on where you’re from.
Physical proximity makes communication easier and increases trustworthiness. It allows you to meet the development team face to face, and become a more active part of the process, in a physical sense. And that’s understandable, given that you are paying a significant amount of money for this.
Outsourcing app development might sound daunting to you. The effort of collaborating with an overseas team might come across as challenging, but it’s not that difficult, once you start doing it. Remote teams work diligently to meet client requirements and are susceptible to the same kind of reprimand as and accountability as local developers if they fail to abide by the contract.
Developers across the globe might be better equipped to provide the best app development services at a reasonable cost when compared to local developers, which is why it’s important to look at both the options. This increases your choices, giving you the ability to make a much more informed decision about choosing your app development partner, in a way that satisfies your product’s quality requirements through expert developers and pocket-friendliness.
We’ve highlighted the regional cost of app development to guide your decision-making process. Here’s let’s also look at some of the points that will help you find your ideal app development partner.
How To Find the Ideal App Development Company for Your App Development Project?
There are 6 crucial elements to choosing the right app development company and their development services for your project. These include:
- Build The Scope of Your App
- Review Work, The Company, Has Previously Done
- Analyze The App Development Company’s Expertise
- Get The Cost Estimate
- Evaluate The Level of Communication
- Ask For the App Maintenance Services
These six things ensure that you make an informed decision about which company’s app development services you should hire.
If you want deeper insights on how to choose an ideal app development company, you can read our blog that covers this subject in detail. HOW TO FIND AN IDEAL MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT COMPANY.
To ensure we don’t move away from the main subject of the article, let’s move on to understand how much time it takes to build an app.
How Much Time Does It Take to Create an App?
The answer to this question is similar to that of “how much does it cost to make an app?” It depends on several things, such as how many platforms you’re looking for, the complexity of the app, and the availability of resources.
For this, let’s break down the time it takes to develop an app into three simple categories: Basic apps, medium complexity apps, and highly complex apps.
- A basic mobile application that requires simple functionality can take 2 – 3 months of development.
- Medium complexity apps with a few advanced features can take anywhere from 3 – 6 months of development.
- Highly complex apps that look to integrate advanced features and leverage modern technologies such as AI, ML, or AR/VR development can take up to 9 or more months of rigorous development.
Again, these are estimates which can go up and down depending on the company you choose, their resource allocation policy, their expertise, and the swiftness of the team’s collaboration and your communication with them.
Now that we have a good understanding of the hourly cost of app development in different regions, the times it takes to develop an app, and how to find the right app development partner, let’s dive into the factors that affect the cost of mobile application development.
What Affects Mobile Application Costs?
When you approach an app development company, one of the questions you are looking for is an immediate answer to is the cost of app development.
The fact of the matter is that there is no fixed rate, and companies have to breakdown your idea into a feature list to give even an estimation. It requires them to go through different requirements such as features and functionalities, design, platform, and even the maintenance cost.
As such, the first thing they identify is the number of hours it will take for them to develop your app to implement a digital solution based on your specifications.
Here, we’ve identified 8 things that affect the cost of developing a mobile application:
- App Category
- Features And Functionalities
- Customization Of Visual Design
- Back-end Infrastructure and App Administration
- API Integration
- Location And Structure of a Development Team
- App Maintenance Costs
One of the things that affect the cost of mobile application development is the category of the application
This is because, based on the category, there are specific things that developers have to take into account when developing the app, which could extend the number of hours they will need.
For example, an app in the health sector in the US needs to be HIPPA compliant. In the EU, it has to comply with the protocols set in the General Data Protection Regulation Act of 2018.
These things require significant effort and can impact the cost of developing your application.
Similarly, simply based on the category, an e-commerce app will, in most cases, cost significantly lesser than a gaming app, which is one of the most expensive categories for app development.
Features & Functionality
Mobile app development is a complex job, and to find out the answer for “What does it cost to create an app?” you must first understand the complexity of the app you’re building.
The kind of features and functionalities you implement is the biggest contributors to the cost of app development.
As we’ve discussed previously, different requirements and features require more or less time for development and implementation. Some are more complex than others, costing more and taking more time.
As such, we’ve shortlisted a list of basic features and their impact on the cost of developing an app.
After that, we’ll move on to discussing a list of complex features and their impact on the cost of developing an app.
|App Feature/Functionality||Estimated Cost|
|User Registration/Login||$1,500 – $3,000|
|User Profiles||$1,500 – $4,000|
|In-App Messaging||$3,000 – $7,000|
|Push Notifications||$2,000 – $5,000|
|Social Media Integration||$3,000 – $7,000|
|GPS/Location Services||$4,000 – $10,000|
|Payment Gateway Integration||$3,000 – $8,000|
|E-commerce Functionality||$5,000 – $15,000|
|Photo/Video Upload and Sharing||$4,000 – $10,000|
|Search Functionality||$2,500 – $6,000|
|User Ratings and Reviews||$2,500 – $6,000|
|Analytics and Reporting||$3,000 – $7,000|
|Offline Mode||$2,000 – $5,000|
|Admin Panel/Back-End Development||$5,000 – $15,000+|
|Cross-Platform Development (e.g., React Native)||$10,000 – $25,000+|
|AR/VR Integration||$10,000 – $30,000+|
Please note that these are the rough cost estimates and can change suggestively relying on factors such as app complexity, platform (iOS, Android, or both), location of development team, and more. It’s crucial to consult with app developers and get thorough quotes based on your customized project requirements.
User Related Features and Social Integration
User related features include a wide variety of implementation. These include user authorization through password storing, password recovery, biometric functionality, and access notifications.
Functionalities such as social network integration, email integration, and social sharing can also significantly increase the price of your app development.
Within the implementation of social networking, it is one thing to be able to see your feed, but to comment, like, share things directly from the app (which is the modern-day trend), is a complex procedure. Connected apps require a lot more time for development and consequently cost more as well.
Third-party tools and libraries are leveraged to make these things possible, and the use of these frameworks can increase the cost of mobile application development for your business.
In-App Purchasing and Support
In-app purchase support on a basic level means the integration of an E-wallet, PayPal, Google Wallet, or credit cards.
While these are simple integrations, leveraging modern technology such as geofencing, and iBeacons can be a very challenging task. These implementations are used to give businesses a competitive advantage but require developers to miss out on some extra sleep, and that increases the cost of development.
Map And Location-Based Services
Integrating Google maps or tracking systems is another advanced mobile app development task that consumes a lot of time and effort from developers.
Integrating Google Map’s API is not the challenging part, but if your app requires a custom-built tracking and monitoring system that utilizes GPS tracking, then that’s additional work that developers have to put in.
This is best suited for delivery apps or logistics apps and will boost the overall cost of your mobile app.
While it may sound easy, to begin with, pushing in ad spaces within the app is a complicated job. It requires the combined efforts of a designer and a developer to ensure the best possible outcome.
Ad spaces are used to monetize the app and require additional back-end development to allow users to access and change ads in the future. It also calls for additional analytics implementation without which users won’t be able to get the right data on their ads.
This increases the cost of app development, though, in comparison to its monetary benefit, it makes up for the cost it incurs.
Using Native Device Features
While technology 5 years ago only allowed the connectivity of your app with the basic native features such as calling, network, Bluetooth, and camera. Today, things are different.
Mobile apps can connect to the device’s native accelerometer, NFC chips, and Low-energy Bluetooth to provide extra value to the app’s users.
While some of these implementations can be done using existing APIs, often it requires developers to design and develop their custom solutions to integrate these functionalities within the app.
This drives up the effort and time taken to develop your app, which then affects the overall cost.
Enterprise Resource Planning is often implemented by corporations to manage their key business processes, all in real-time.
It requires a robust system and information pathway to be developed that ensures that changes to values within one section of the app are reflected throughout the system.
This ensures real-time monitoring and tracking of processes with precision, which is essential to process management.
For enterprise businesses, Customer Relationship Management is vital to ensure customer retention.
CRM integration allows businesses to analyze data about consumer history and behavior, giving them the necessary information to drive their sales revenue and retain customers and establish a robust client-business relationship using their mobile app.
Mobile App Cost Estimate: Breakdown by Complex Features
Now, the costs for complex features in mobile app development can drastically change depending on the factors we’ve mentioned above but also depending on the overall complexity of the app.
Businesses should approach and consult a professional app development company and ask for accurate pricing based on their requirements.
Customization Of Visual Design
The design of your mobile application is a key component of the user experience your platform delivers.
Most companies will provide you with a creative brief, once you complete the onboarding process, as a client. This creative brief will ask you to provide details on the kind of design you are looking for.
The more complex your design requirements are, the higher the cost of your overall project will be.
This includes the total number of screens since each screen has to be designed, including the background, colors, buttons, and animations (if there are any).
The level of work required in the design phase will also impact the cost of development.
When you decide to get an app developed, it is essential to figure out whether you want to create an app on iOS or you want to create the app on Android.
Maybe the answer is either of these or both of these platforms. Therefore, you should know the cost of creating an app on Android, as well as the cost of creating an app on iOS.
The choice of platform should ideally be decided by factors such as market penetration and share, device fragmentation, and the device trends within your target audience.
They require different Custom Software Development Kits (SDKs), libraries, frameworks, and leverage different development tools.
The question here then becomes, “Is there a price difference for developing an app between iOS and Android?”
The simple answer is, no, but it depends.
If you are creating an app for either one of these platforms, there is no significant price difference between iOS app development and Android App development. Although, if you want your application to support both the platforms, then you will have to for the native development on both platforms, which will double the cost.
However, there is one solution to that problem. If you want to develop both Android and iOS apps, then leveraging cross-platform development or hybrid development is the way to go for you.
The reason why the cost is doubled if you go for native development is that you have two different teams working on each platform’s version of your app.
In hybrid app development, you only have one team developing the app, and that can save you a lot of money.
Back-End Infrastructure and Admin Panel
The back-end of a mobile application is part of the app that deals with data storage and manipulation that deals with APIs to provide developers the ability to exchange data and manage the database.
Developers can use the back-end to track their users’ activities and analyze the app and its performance, with the help of analytics tools.
The cost of the back-end infrastructure and the admin panel is dependent on the number of parameters that you will use to track consumer behavior and app performance. The more specific your tracking is, the higher the cost of app development will be.
The admin panel is extremely useful for content management, users, and app statistics. You can leverage existing templates for your admin panel, but for custom app development, it is advised to create your admin panel that meets the requirements of your business.
Location And Structure of The Development Team
Let’s analyze the impact of the location of your app development team and its structure on the cost of your mobile app development project.
As mentioned earlier, the cost of an app varies from region to region, meaning that if you create an app in the US, the app will cost differently to that of creating an app in the other parts of the world.
|Mid-Level Developer||$50 – $100+||$15 – $40+||€50 – €100+||$10 – $30+||$50 – $100+|
|Senior Developer||$100 – $200+||$30 – $70+||€80 – €150+||$20 – $50+||$80 – $150+|
|Lead Developer||$150 – $300+||$50 – $100+||€120 – €200+||$30 – $80+||€120 – €200+|
|UI/UX Designer||$50 – $100+||$15 – $40+||€50 – €100+||$10 – $30+||$50 – $100+|
Based on these rates, you can only see the difference in the hourly rate and understand why there is a huge discrepancy in the cost of an app from region to region.
Similarly, an app development project involves a lot of experts apart from the ones mentioned above. These include:
- Project Manager
- Quality Engineer
- Business Analyst
- Mobile App Engineer
For all of these people and their teams, there is a difference in how much they get paid per hour for their work.
The accumulation of those differences between the members of the team responsible for your app development project is how the location of the team impacts your app’s cost. The higher they are paid, the higher the cost of the final product they make.
Secondly, the structure defines how many of these people are involved in the process. The more people involved, the higher the impact of their hourly rate on the overall cost of your app.
How Much Would It Cost to Get an App Built like Uber, WhatsApp or Facebook?
A lot of people are asking questions about the cost of developing an app like Uber, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
Here’s a short guide on how much it costs and why:
The estimated cost of developing an app like Uber is $50,000 – $70,000 for one platform depending on the company you choose to get the app developed from. For both Android and iOS, it will cost double the amount it costs for one.
The Uber app is based on 3 modules. One is the consumer panel, the other is the driver panel, and the third is the admin panel.
It offers the following features to its users and much more:
Basic Features to Build an App Like Uber for Customers
- Geolocation And Routing
- Payment Gateway Integration
- Registration And Data Management
- Call Or Text the Driver Right from The App
- Push Notifications
- Cost Estimation
- Booking A Ride in Advance
- Booking A Ride for Others
- Fare Splitting
Now, let’s take a look at the basic and advanced features which you can build in the app for drivers.
Basic Features to Create Uber App for Drivers
- Driver Reports
- Advanced Routes and Route Optimization
- Profile Editing
- Calls And Messages to Passengers
- Past Bookings and Earnings Reports
- Driver Destinations
- Time-Based Free Cancellations
- Demand-Based Heat Maps
Facebook is certainly the hardest app to give an estimate price for. This is because Facebook offers one of the widest variety of features and functionalities that you can find in an app. The cost to develop an app like Facebook is $100, 000 – $175,000. The cost to develop an app like Facebook in the US although it would be close to the $300,000 mark, as we’ve discussed previously that the cost changes based on the location of the development company.
Here are some of the features that make Facebook an industry-leading social media app.
- Video Call
- User Analytics
- Data Management
- Game Integration
- Creating and Managing Profiles
The list of features is endless, so we’ve decided to cut the list short. It’s important to understand that social media apps can be incredibly cheap as well.
Some developers will offer clones of these apps for $25,000 as well, but to achieve the quality and quantity of features alongside their optimization, apps like Facebook cost a lot.
If you’re looking to develop an app like Facebook, it’s also crucial to understand that for these apps, marketing is the key. If you’ve got a marketing plan that ensures the mass adoption of your social media platform, you can get your social media app developed and execute your strategy for success.
While WhatsApp might come across as a simple application, it is a complex one to build. The cost of developing an application like WhatsApp is around $70,000 – $90,000, again depending on who you get it developed from.
Some of the Basic Features Include:
- One-to-One- Messaging
- Group Messaging
- Image Sharing
- Video Sharing
- WhatsApp Call
Some of the more complex features include:
- End-to-End encryption
- Location sharing
- Live location update
- Network Authorization
An app like WhatsApp is complex but not impossible to make. There are a lot of clones in the market that haven’t found any success.
So, if you’re looking to get one for yourself, be sure to have a plan that ensures you can beat out the rivals and secure a market share that gets you a positive ROI.
How Much Does It Cost to Make an App: The Payment Breakdown
How much does it cost to get an app made from TekRevol? We provide our clients with complete mobile app development services, from planning to launch. Here is what our app development process looks like are:
Explore And Analyze
In this phase, we discuss our client’s requirements and suggest our ideas to finalize their product.
Documentation And Scoping
Our Project Manager works with you to create a Scope of Work (SOW) document, that entails project specifications and defines the boundaries of the project.
Designing And Wireframing
Our Designers work to create wireframes and the design screens which are shared with the clients.
Development And Testing
Our developers first create the Alpha and then the Beta version of the app. After QA testing and client testing, we finalize the product.
Our operations team deploys and launches your mobile application, making it live on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Depending on the requirements of our clients, this process sometimes changes to ensure timely delivery.
From development and infrastructural development to post-release services, app maintenance, and marketing, our team works to ensure that your requirements are met diligently.
Our Standard payment terms for app development projects are divided into 5 different phases, to ensure reliability and trustworthiness.
The table below shows the breakdown in detail:
|Document And Scoping||20%|
Depending on the project, we provide customized payment terms to clients looking for a long-term relationship. Our business analysts discuss the possible options with our clients and mutually decide custom payment terms for app development, depending on the client’s requirement.
Wrapping It Up
For businesses looking to make their mark in the digital world, mobile app development has become vital. There are numerous choices and hundreds of mobile app development companies out there to choose from.
The decision to choose between outsourcing vs. local app development is one that requires a thorough investigation of the companies you’re looking to work with.
It requires you to discuss your project requirements with a professional to assess their understanding of your business idea, vision, and goal.
We’ve highlighted all the information you need to understand the factors that affect your mobile app development project and the kind of features that increase it significantly so that you have a good idea of the estimated cost in the planning phase.
Now that you have all the necessary information that you need to make an educated decision on getting an app developed the cost of mobile app development, you can get in touch with a mobile app development company and get your project started.
Author : SHAH ANAS
Shah Anas is a Business Development Executive who believes in the responsibility of businesses to give back to society. Away from the office, Shah loves to talk about sports and politics and is always ready to post a long status on trending topics.
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