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How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

It’s not a secret that for most customers, the key question associated with mobile app development lies in its cost since we’re all interested in getting a high-quality product at a reasonable price.

This way, knowing the costs of making a mobile app is vital for both businesses and individuals, as expenses can differ based on various factors affecting the development process.

This article delves into the details of mobile app development costs, giving insights into the main factors, types of apps, ongoing expenses, and ways to save on development costs.

Factors Influencing The Cost

The main factors that need to be taken into account when creating a mobile app include:

  • Product type
  • Product complexity
  • After-release support
  • Hourly Rates
  • App development team

Let’s take a deeper view of each.

Product Type

The cost for app development highly depends on its type. Basically, you have two options: native or hybrid mobile app. While native apps are developed to work with one particular platform (iOS, Android, Windows phone, etc.), hybrid and cross-platform apps are created for all platforms altogether.

Usually, the price depends on the number of platforms and devices that need to be supported. As a rule, the custom app development for iOS is less expensive than for Android.

It’s because the number of iOS devices is much less than a wide variety of Android devices.

Although the main factor to consider is the client’s preferences, it is also important to determine devices/OS versions present in a particular market and define the market share for each Android device manufacturer and OS version.

Still, quite often, customers decide to support only the most popular Android devices, and in such cases, they can limit Android app development costs. But if a customer chooses to support some more devices, the app price exceeds exponentially.

Choosing additional models means more time spent on adapting the application for various screen sizes, resolutions, hardware specifications, and testing.

Product Complexity

The technical complexity of an application should be taken into account while estimating its development cost.

The more difficult the functionality, the more time required to implement it, and the more professionals are to be involved in the development process.

If we subdivide mobile apps by complexity, we’ll get the following types: simple, middle complexity, and complex apps. The picture below illustrates the difference between these three:

Product Complexity

Let’s take an average hourly rate on the development of $50.

According to the picture above, a simple mobile application might cost from $20,000 to $30,000; a middle complexity app will vary from $30,000 to $40,000; prices on complex mobile applications will start from $50,000.

The average time needed to develop an app starts at 400 hours. Still, note that development time also depends on the technical complexity of the desired app, the number of talents working on it, the number of devices and OS, custom designs and animations, and so on.

Also, quite often, but not exclusively, Android app development takes 10-20% more time than application development for iOS, meaning that the cost of an Android app often exceeds that of an iOS one.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

After-Release Support

One of the most important things to remember while planning a budget for an app is the after-release support. Usually, it is not included in the initial estimate but makes a huge impact on the product’s success.

After-release support may include the following:

  • Updates to the app
  • New features creation
  • Internalization
  • Extend to the next platform
  • Back-end server maintenance
  • Cloud hosting
  • Legal support
  • Marketing and promotion

Hourly Rates

The price of an app might vary depending on the place where it is developed.

In some countries, the prices of development are sky-high (US, Canada), whereas some others provide quite reasonable prices.

So, depending on the region, hourly rates vary from $10 to $250, as shown in the picture: