How Much Does It Cost to Make an App In 2024? [Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown]

Published On: December 31, 2019
Last Updated: June 24, 2024
How Much Does It Cost to Make an App In 2024? [Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown]

The question “How much does it cost to make an app?” is more relevant than ever as mobile applications become essential tools for businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs in 2024. However, the initial phase of business often demands a close examination of the costs involved in app development.

Developing an app provides many advantages, especially for new startups and entrepreneurs.

The cost to develop an app can vary widely depending on various factors. Some apps may cost as little as $5,000, while others can exceed $1 million. The price of the app is greatly affected by its complexity. The more features and functionality needed, the higher the cost.

It is always a great idea for the new startups or businesses to get information about their app development costs. It can help streamline their business processes.

Here, In this article, we will explore several key topics related to app development costs:

  • The average cost to develop an app
  • Factors that affect the cost of making an app
  • Hidden factors that can increase app prices (based on project requirements)
  • App maintenance cost
  • Costs associated with different phases of building an app
  • Real-world mobile app development cost breakdowns
  • Whom should you choose when it comes to app development?

If you are venturing into app development for the first time, it’s important to consider this fact.

  • According to GrandViewResearch, the mobile app development market size was valued at approximately USD 261.72 billion, with a projected growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% until 2030.

So, finally, let’s start with the cost breakdown and explore what you need to know to develop your app efficiently and cost-effectively.

How Much Does It Cost to Build an App In 2024?

The average cost to build an app is USD 40,000 to USD 200,000 and more. It can vary depending on several factors, from application type to the features and functionalities of the app. The complexity of the app is what most affects the price factor.

Here is an example of the average cost of developing an app based on its types are:

Complexity Features Cost Range
Simple App Development Apps have basic features such as user login, simple interfaces, and limited functionality. $40,000 to $60,000
Average App Development These apps include more advanced features like database integration, API usage, and custom user interfaces. $60,000 to $150,000
Complex App Development It includes advanced functionalities such as real-time updates, third-party integrations, custom animations, and high-end security measures. $200,000 or more

As you can see from the table, the average cost for developing an app. However, the best way to know the cost of developing an app for your project is to talk with industry experts directly.

Discover the Cost of Your Next Project with Industry Experts!

Contact us today for a free consultation on your mobile app development project. Get a detailed estimate and start your business today.

After looking at the average price for an app development project, let’s dive deep into the factors that affect creating an app.

Top 7 Factors That Impact Mobile App Development Cost

Here are the essential factors to consider when deciding the mobile app development cost. Let’s review each of them in detail.

1. Type of App Platform According to Your Project Need

You can choose to develop an iOS, Android, web, or cross-platform application, depending on your target audience. Here are the different options for choosing the platform:

Native App Platform (Android & iOS)

You might want to build a native app for one of the platforms, Android or iOS. Android app development involves Java or Kotlin, while iOS development includes Swift and Objective C. The cost of application development ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. The prices for both platforms don’t vary much, as the timeline is the same for both types of development.

Web App Platform:

It is quite a cost-efficient option compared to native apps to develop Progressive Web Apps and other forms of web apps. The cost ranges from $15,000 to $50,000.

Hybrid/Cross Platform:

It is the most effective way for businesses to go. Developing a mobile app in iOS and Android through a cross-platform framework saves costs. Certain frameworks, such as Flutter, Xamarin, and React Native, are available in the market. They speed up your mobile app development process because developers need to write single code, and they work on multiple operating systems.

The cost of developing a cross-platform app ranges from $25,000 to $60,000. Compared to native app development, it saves approximately 10-30% of your budget.

Types of App Estimated Cost
Native App (Android & iOS) $50,000 to $100,000
Web App $15,000 to $50,000
Hybrid/Cross Platform App $25,000 to $60,000

2. Types of Mobile App Complexity

The complexity level of an application depends on the features & integrations you choose and the app development process. Here, we have classified it into three types, simple, medium & complex.

Simple Mobile Applications: A simple app comprises basic user features with MVP functionality & UI solutions. The cost is low as it takes less development time. The average cost of simple app development is $5,000 – $30,000.

Example: Calendar App, Calculator

Medium Mobile Applications: Developing a medium complex app includes multiple user engagement and monetization features. These apps include API integration payment gateway, basic features & custom UI. The average cost of a medium-complexity app is $50,000- $100,000.

Example: Uber, Google Drive

Complex Mobile Applications: Highly complex apps integrate highly advanced features, UI animation, the latest technology, and heavy usability. Such apps also include features like multi-language support, high-end data logic, and more. A complex app could cost $100,000 to $200,000 and above.

Example: Facebook, Amazon

App Complexity Timeline Estimated Cost
Simple 2-3 months $5,000 – $30,000
Medium 3-9 months $50,000- $100,000
High 10+ months $100,000 to $200,000

3. App Features and Functionalities

The overall mobile app development cost depends on the features and functionalities you want to incorporate into the app. If you need advanced and more complex features, the development cost will increase, as will the time and effort required to execute them.

The cost of developing an app with basic features, including login, registration, profile management, and push notifications, ranges between $5,000 and $10,000.

In integrating advanced features the cost ranges between $10,000 and $50,000. It includes social media integration, geolocation, & in-app purchase.

Integrating third-party services will cost you $2,000 and $10,000, depending on the complexity of the integration. It includes payment gateways, SMS gateways, and cloud services.

Make sure to estimate the cost of developing your app better by understanding these factors and getting the best out of your investment.

However, here we mention the cost of the particular features and the time it takes to develop them.

Simple Features

Feature Approx. Time for Development Average Cost
User Login 30-40 Hours $800 to $1,000
Profile Management (Admin or User Panel) 70-80 Hours $3,500 to $5,000
Messaging 140-160 Hours $3,500 to $5,000
Push Notification 28-30 Hours $800 to $1,000

Complex Features

Feature Approx. Time for Development Average Cost
Location Tracking 80-100 Hours $3,000-$4,000 (can be higher)
In-App Payment 60-80 Hours $2,000-$3,000
Camera and File Allow 40-60 hours $1,500-$2,000

However, this advanced feature requires experience and expertise in a particular niche industry. So, whenever you’re hiring professionals for your project, remember to ask about the development team’s expertise.

4. Development Team and Its Location of Development

To build a successful app, you need a dedicated team that can efficiently handle the tasks and processes within a set timeframe. Here is an approximate range of costs for different roles in mobile app development, whether you hire in-house or outsource the work.

Team Composition Average Hourly Rates of Developers
Project Manager $50 – $100 per hour
UX/UI Designer $40 – $80 per hour
Front-end Developers (iOS and Android) $50 – $100 per hour
Back-end Developer $50 – $100 per hour
QA Tester $30 – $60 per hour
DevOps Engineer $60 – $120 per hour

However, The location of app developers is another factor that decides the overall app developer cost. Below is the table with the different geographical locations and the hourly rate of app developers.

Region Cost (Hourly Rate)
United States (USA) $120-150
United Kingdom (UK) $100-120
Australia $100-120
Western Europe $80-100
Eastern Europe $30-50
India $20-30

The hourly rate of the development team varies based on the different locations you choose. The hourly cost in the US is $120-150, which is more than in any other country. India is a preferred country for outsourcing IT projects due to the availability of highly skilled & talented resources and hiring a developer that costs $20-30.

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Look no further than Guru TechnoLabs! We have successfully delivered hundreds
of mobile apps for businesses across multiple industries.

5. App Design & Animation

The application design stage is integral to development as it ensures users invest their time in your app. When designing, we usually have two options – custom and standard UI. Similarly, like development, more customizations in your app design lead to higher costs.

For a detailed overview, you must look at the following aspects:

User Experience: The UX goal is to make the application work easy for the end user. The cost of an app design is around $2000 to $8000, which will vary as it depends on engagement levels and complexities of user experience. It includes button placement, color psychology, and the user’s eye pattern.

User Interface: Designing an application starts with creating mockups that provide a visual hint of the solution depending on your goals. Different applications need different design solutions. The optimal cost for UI is $10,000-$40,000 as it relies on the visual elements used. Visual elements that impact mobile app cost are layout, screen, color, and typography.

Branding: Branding is part of your business model. Brands like Apple and McDonald’s have invested in branding, as their icons and names stand out from thousands of similar brands. So, to create a brand identity, you need to create a unique icon and include marketing efforts. The cost will be around $5,000-$20,000.

Animations & Illustrations: Animations make any application interesting and intuitive. It enhances the user experience and improve the app’s usability. Depending on your needs, the cost starts from $1000 to $20,000 or more. Gaming and social media applications use animations extensively.

App Process Approximate Time for Designers Average Cost for Design
User Experience 4-8 weeks $2000 to $8000
User Interface 2-6 weeks $10,000-$40,000
Branding 2-4 weeks $5,000-$20,000
Animations & Illustrations Depends on quantity, complexity, and style $1000-$20,000

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user experience in mobile apps.

6. Different App Types

The cost of an app varies from category to category. Several factors, like functionality, number of users, and more, change the cost of developing an app. Let’s take a glance at different types of mobile app development.

eCommerce App: E-commerce applications have abundant features such as shopping cart integration, product catalogue, order tracking, and more. The cost of developing an E-Commerce app ranges from $20,000 to $100,000, or even more. Popular examples are Amazon and Wayfair.

Social Media App: Social media apps include complex functionality like user profiles, notifications, messaging, and more. They are developed with third-party integration. The cost of developing a social media app can range between $30,000 and $200,000. Popular examples are Facebook and Instagram.

On-demand App: On-demand apps satisfy specific needs. The product consists of two different sector apps with totally different experiences. Their functionality also differs, for example, rider and client apps in Uber. The on-demand sector relates to transportation and travel apps, food and grocery delivery services, laundry or salon services, etc. The average cost of developing an on-demand app ranges from $70,000 to $100,000.

There are many such categories, like apps, available, and every category is unique. Here is an estimated cost of app development based on its type.

App Types Average Cost
eCommerce App $20,000 to $100,000
Social Media App $30,000 to $200,000
On-demand App $70,000 to $100,000

7. Backend or Backendless Architecture

If your app will work offline, then backendless architecture will work. Here, data gets exchanged between the users through an offline database.

However, if your purpose is to build an app that reaches millions of users, allows them to exchange data, and syncs data across devices & on the cloud, you will require a backend to manage app operations.

To monitor user activity & check the performance of the application, a backend supported by analytics. The cost will vary depending on the number of benchmarks and the tracking you want.

Developers have to put extra effort into designing and developing a backend along with APIs that work in various conditions. Hence, this will undoubtedly increase the cost of creating an application.

Nowadays, you can also create an application without a backend. However, it still uses the cloud with the help of cloud servers like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.

Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost

When planning your app development project, consider extra expenses that may affect your budget. Here are some important factors to keep in mind.

App Maintenance Cost

After an app is launched, it needs to be maintained. Apps need to be kept up-to-date and function well. Here are some important factors to consider when estimating app maintenance cost:

Bug Fixes and Updates

After launching, you’ll probably run into bugs and issues that need to be fixed right away. It’s crucial to regularly update and fix these bugs to keep your users happy. It can cost between $500 and $1,000 per month. These updates make sure your app works with new operating systems and devices and take care of any problems that users have reported.

Feature Enhancements

As more people use your app, they expect more from it. To keep your app up to date and interesting, you may need to add new features based on what users want or what’s popular. The cost of adding new features can vary from $1,000 to $5,000 per update, depending on how complex and extensive the new features are.

Performance Optimization

For a smooth user experience, it’s important to keep improving performance. It means making load times faster, enhancing the look and feel, and ensuring the app works well on different devices. It can cost around $1,000 to $2,000 per month, but it’s worth it to keep your users happy and interested.

Third-party Services and Integrations

Adding third-party services and integrations can improve your app’s performance, but it can also increase the overall cost of developing and maintaining it.

API Services

Using third-party services like Google Maps, online payment systems, or social media connections can increase your business. But they come with ongoing expenses! These services usually range from $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on how much you use them and how many times your app calls on them.

Server and Hosting

Remember, having a dependable server and hosting services is important for ensuring your app runs well and stays online. Cloud hosting platforms like AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure offer flexible solutions, and the cost can range from $200 to $1,000 per month, depending on your app’s traffic and storage needs.

Licenses and Certifications

To make sure your app meets industry standards and legal requirements, you’ll need to get different licenses and certifications. The costs for these, like registering your app in app stores, usually come to around $200 to $500 per year. Also, putting your app on platforms like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store involves fees, such as $99 per year for Apple and a one-time $25 fee for Google Play.

Marketing and Promotion

Effective marketing strategies are really important for your app to be successful. They can help you reach more people and get more people to download your app.

Digital Marketing Campaigns

Initial digital marketing efforts, like using paid ads, working with influencers, and creating content, can cost between $5,000 and $20,000. These campaigns are important for making your app more visible and bringing in new users.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

Using ASO techniques can improve your app’s visibility and ranking in app stores. This involves optimizing keywords, creating attractive screenshots, and writing compelling descriptions. ASO efforts can cost between $500 and $2,000 per month, but they can greatly increase how easily people can find and download your app.

Data Storage & Security

It’s really important to make sure that data storage is secure and trustworthy in order to keep user information safe and maintain their trust.

Data Storage

Cloud storage is important for keeping user data, media files, and app-related info. Prices can vary a lot depending on how much data you have and which storage provider you use. Usually, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 per month for regular use.

Security Measures

It’s really important to have strong security in place to keep user data safe from cyber attacks. This involves using encryption, regularly checking for security issues, and making sure we follow data protection rules. Depending on how much security we need and how complex our app is, this can cost between $500 and $2,000 per month.

Understanding these hidden costs will help you plan your budget more accurately and avoid unexpected expenses during your app development journey. By factoring in these ongoing expenses, you can ensure your app remains competitive, secure, and user-friendly in the long run.

Mobile App Development Cost in the Different Development Stages

Understanding the costs associated with each stage of mobile app development can help you plan your budget more effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the key stages and their associated costs.

1. Planning and Requirements Gathering

The initial stage involves defining the project scope, identifying user requirements, and creating a roadmap. This phase is crucial for laying a solid foundation for the project. This first phase mainly works under the project manager, responsible for planning and gathering information for your app business. The cost to develop an app during this stage is primarily driven by the project manager’s fees.

  • Project Manager: 80 hours x $75/hour = $6,000

2. Design

In the design phase, the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are created. This includes wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to ensure the app is user-friendly and visually appealing. The cost to build an app can be significantly influenced by the design complexity.

  • UX/UI Designer: 200 hours x $60/hour = $12,000

3. Development

Development is typically the most resource-intensive stage, involving the creation of the app’s front-end and back-end functionalities. This stage is divided into iOS, Android, and back-end development sub-stages. Understanding this development cost can help you plan your budget more effectively.

  • iOS Developer: 320 hours x $75/hour = $24,000
  • Android Developer: 320 hours x $75/hour = $24,000
  • Back-end Developer: 320 hours x $75/hour = $24,000

4. Testing and QA

Quality Assurance (QA) testing ensures that the app is bugs-free and performs as expected. This phase involves rigorous testing of all functionalities.

  • QA Tester: 160 hours x $45/hour = $7,200

5. Deployment and Launch

DevOps engineers handle deploying the app to app stores and setting up the necessary server environments. This stage ensures that the app is ready for public use.

However, After launch, ongoing support and maintenance are essential to address user feedback, fix issues, and update the app. This phase ensures that the app remains functional and relevant.

  • DevOps Engineer: 80 hours x $90/hour = $7,200
  • Ongoing support (assume 6 months): 20 hours/month x 6 months x $75/hour = $9,000

5. Deployment and Launch

When adding up the costs from each stage, the total estimated cost for developing a mobile app is Total Estimated Cost: $113,400

Understanding the expenses linked to every stage of development allows you to allocate your resources more effectively and guarantee a seamless development process. Proper planning and budgeting for each stage will help you avoid surprises and keep your project on track.

Breakdown of Real-World Example Mobile App Development Cost

Mobile app development has become an essential aspect of business growth in today’s digital world. However, the primary concern for businesses is the cost of developing a mobile app. Fortunately, they can reduce costs by following a few industry practices.

Here are some tips on how to reduce overall custom app development costs.

Konnected Lives

The development of the Konnected Dating App by Guru TechnoLabs involved meticulous planning and execution across several stages.

The total cost to develop an app like this professional dating app was approximately $100,000 to $120,000.

This cost covered all phases, including planning and requirements gathering, design, front-end and back-end development for both iOS and Android, testing and QA, deployment and launch, and post-launch support and maintenance over six months.

This comprehensive approach ensured the app was well-designed, fully functional, and maintained to meet the client’s objectives and deliver a high-quality user experience.

Looney Trips App

The development of the Looney Trips App by Guru TechnoLabs involved creating a comprehensive travel booking solution for both Android and iOS platforms.

The total cost to build an app like this user-friendly and intuitive app was approximately $120,000 to $140,000.

It included the planning and requirements gathering, design, front-end and back-end development for both platforms, testing and QA, deployment and launch, and post-launch support and maintenance over six months.

The App enables users to book flights, hotels, and cars effortlessly, helping travel businesses thrive in the post-COVID-19 landscape.

Whom to Choose When It Comes to App Development?

Choosing the right team for your app development project can be a critical decision that can impact the success of your app. Here are the common options when it comes to app developer costs:

It is crucial to choose the right team for your app development as it can impact the success of your app. Here are a few options when it comes to hiring:

Hire a Local Agency

Hiring a local agency can be beneficial if you want constant communication with developers. It is easy to make changes, as you can have face-to-face interaction, which results in high-quality outcomes. They have a team of developers, designers, and a project manager who work together to build your app.

However, the development cost of a local agency is quite high, ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 or more depending on the type of app, agency location, experience & expertise.

For example, the development and design team’s hourly rate is $120 to $150 per hour. If the work is for around 500 hours, then the average price is $120 * 500 = $60,000. You also need to consider maintenance and operational costs.

Hire Freelancers

Hiring freelancers is a cost-effective option for businesses and individuals with a limited budget, as they offer services remotely. You can hire dedicated developers on a contract or hourly basis.

However, working with freelancers is risky as they might lack the expertise and experience to develop a high-quality app. The cost of hiring freelancers starts from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the complexity of the app and the freelancer’s experience and location.

You can find freelancers for app development on websites like Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, Toptal, and so on.

Hire In-House Development Team

Building an in-house team for app development will give you complete control over the development process. You have a dedicated team working exclusively on your project.

All the team members will have close contact and seamless communication. You can rest assured that your team has the necessary skills and experience to deliver a high-quality app. But it is an expensive option to hire a group of people to complete the task.

The average cost of application development is around $16,000 to $48,000. However, building an in-house team will cost you around $500,000 annually, and it differs depending on the size of the team and every new employee you hire.

You also need to maintain the team’s salary, taxes, accounting costs, office space, and maintenance.

Outsource App Development Company

Outsourcing a third-party company can be a viable option for many businesses when it comes to app development. It provides access to a larger pool of talent and at a lower cost than building an in-house team.

The average cost for application development ranges from $10,000 to $150,000. However, the cost of outsourcing app development can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the app, the location of the outsourcing company, and the experience and expertise of the development team.

However, it’s important that you choose a reputable mobile app development company that aligns with your business goals.

Are You Looking for the Best Mobile App Development Company?

Benefits of choosing an In-House Development Team:

  • Complete control over the development process
  • Seamless communication with dedicated team members
  • High-quality, tailored solutions for your app needs

Ready to get started on your app development journey?
Contact us today and let our expert team turn your vision into reality!

Whom to Choose When It Comes to App Development?

Mobile app development has become an essential aspect of business growth in today’s digital world. However, the primary concern for businesses is the cost of making an app. Fortunately, they can reduce costs by following a few industry practices.

Here are some tips on how to reduce overall custom app development costs.

Early Feature Prioritization

When creating an app, it’s important to prioritize necessary features early to ensure you are not overspending. Identify the important features of your app that start driving business value as quickly as possible. Keep the nice-to-have elements for the later stages of development.

This approach can reduce the app developer cost significantly. And also ensure you deliver an app that meets your user’s needs.

Quality Assurance From the Start

Any application is prone to bugs and errors, so you need to address them early before they become a huge issue. Involving QA professionals right from the start is cost-effective as they can identify serious problems. It saves a lot of money and time in the long run. A well-functioning app with few bugs is important to make an app successful, and it should satisfy users.

Future-Proofing of App Development

The application developed today might look totally different in the future. For example, you have started by developing an MVP and now want to change a few features on the basis of customer feedback. So it’s important to plan for the future when building an app.

Think about the scaling of your app, traffic increased, and new features added over time. As time passes, your target market evolves in a new direction, forcing you to change your product as well.

Plan short-term and long-term goals, so you can save money on development costs by building a scalable app that can grow with your business.

Cross-Platform Compatibility Considerations

Creating native apps for Android & iOS is not cost-effective. But if you create an app for one platform only, you might miss out on a huge audience base on other platforms. Consider cross-platform development so you can save money by developing an app that runs on both platforms.

Popular technologies for developing cross-platform apps, including Flutter, React Native, & more, help you reduce development costs and time.

However, it’s important that you choose a reputable mobile app development company that aligns with your business goals.

Create MVP

Developing a minimum viable product (MVP) that involves publishing a product with the minimum features is wise. You can test your market potential and the satisfaction of users while keeping development costs low. Once you have finally tested your app, add more advanced features at a later stage based on user feedback.

Bottom Line

We hope you have now understood that different factors contribute to the average cost to develop an app. It is a complex topic that needs careful consideration of several factors. If you are still confused, you can contact us.

We provide you with an estimate of your app development. It is good to work with an experienced development team, as you can ensure that your app will be delivered with the highest quality standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

The timeline to develop a basic app can be developed in as little as 2-3 months, while a more complex app can take 6-12 months or longer. It varies depending on the complexity and structure of the app. The advanced features, integration of third-party, and uniqueness of design can cost you more. To know more details, check out here: How long does it take to build an app.

The average cost to develop a mobile app for a small business with essential features will cost somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000.

For an accurate estimate of your app development, consult with an experienced development company. They will provide detailed information about the project's features, functionality & design requirements.

The cost to hire someone to build a mobile app varies widely, ranging from $5,000 to $200,000, depending on factors like complexity, developer expertise, and location. Freelancers are on the lower end, while local agencies and in-house teams can be more expensive.

Designing a phone app typically costs around $12,000, covering wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to ensure a user-friendly and visually appealing app.

Building an iOS app can cost approximately $24,000 for the development phase alone, excluding design, testing, and deployment costs. The total cost will depend on the app's complexity and features.

The cheapest way to make an app is by hiring freelancers or outsourcing to a third-party company, with costs starting from $5,000. Prioritizing essential features and using cross-platform development tools like Flutter or React Native can also help reduce costs.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.