Timeframe & Average Cost To Develop An Mobile App [Must Read]

 How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App?

The first question arises in everyone’s mind when thinking of taking their business to next level is by having a mobile app built. Then kicks-in is the reality what the app should focus upon, how it should look, what platform should we cover. Most of the time all of these question get answered with one statement of how much will it cost to develop an mobile app. Development cost of an mobile app ranges like buying smartphones from local market to branded smart mobile. In simple terms cost to develop an app increases with number of features needed by your business.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Mobile App?

Although there have been a huge number of agencies available for website development, not at all take up mobile app development projects as developing of mobile app require some actual coding knowledge which are not needed in designing a website using templates. This is also one of the main reasons the firms having mobile app are considered to be the trusted ones for creating your own app.

Well, are you looking out for app development experts to know the cost for developing an application? We bring to you app cost calculator. A simple way and considerations brief to know the exact cost for developing an app.

What is an App cost calculator?

App cost calculator is a simple tool that takes in all the inputs as in requirements and specifications of your project or the app you have in mind. This data is received by our app development expert teams, who analyze your specific requirement and will contact you shortly with an exact price quote as in the cost for developing the application.

What goes in to decide the cost to make an app?

On average with the industry terms and standards, most online application cost calculators show between $200,000 and $350,000. A firm backed by years of experience in building app charges between $100,000 and $500,000 based upon the dozens of features one may need. If cost is the factor that worries you, we can assure you to use our app cost calculator to get a realistic costing to develop an app. We as an application developing agency based out of USA are keener on the requirement based costing. So a small app with basic feature will cost you between $10,000 and $50,000; which is an opportunity for all type of business.

What goes in deciding the cost to develop an app varies on the following parameters:

  • Based on Screen size
  • Based on Device Platform
  • Based on UI Design
  • Based on Size of the business
  • Based on Usage of App
  • Based on Functionality

In simple words answer to this inquiry of cost to develop an app is not that simple. There are even more parameters like developers rate per hour, project complexity, time span taken to build the app and the number of screens.

To simply the mobile app building cost, we can segment apps into 3 categories based on complexity:

  • Simple
  • Moderate
  • Complex

App type

App specification Time (hrs) Cost at $50/hour

Cost at $100/hour

  • Standard UI
  • No API
  • No Backend
480 24,000 48,000
  • Custom UI
  • API Integration
  • Payment features
  • Phones and tablet adaptations.
480 – 1000 50,000 100,000
  • Multi-language
  • Custom animations
  • Backend and design
  • 3rd party integration
1000 – 2000 100,000


Time in hours for completing an application. Minimum developer cost per hour as $50 and maximum cost per hour at $100. We give you an estimate on how much it costs to develop an app approximately:

The above is just acts as an indication to how much funding and time span one needs to build an mobile application. Cost of making a mobile application is more like building a laptop, the more the specifications the higher will be the cost. One can’t pay more for an app after reading this post. But sure is the fact that better the app specification, higher will be the cost to build the application.


mobile app building cost types

The factors mentioned above are directly related in estimating the cost to build an app. So one can easily see the cost of the app is directly proportional to its features. Does this mean there can be hidden cost to fully complete an app? Well, yes! In many cases there are other indirect expenses that add to the total value of building an application.

Cost of developing an app is indirectly associated with the following criteria:

  1. APP Distribution platform Fee
  2. Data Storage
  3. Quality Testing
  4. Maintenance
  5. Changes in project

Let’s see how developers decide on the cost to build an app:

As a developer of an application, one categorizes apps into multiple types. Average cost to develop an app depends upon the type of app you choose to develop.

Basic Functionality apps:

As the name suggests, this type of app has minimum or basic features. They are developed fast and are mostly for personal use. Basic functionality app example would be a biography app which has list of topics and when clicked upon, one can view info about it. This type of app would cost anything from $5000 to $2000.

Mobile games also known as game apps:

Games can be simple as well as advanced based upon the requirement. The more advanced features like 3D graphics and physics, global ratings, AR support, social media integrated; higher would be the cost to make an app. This is one of the most profit making application when compared with others in app segments.

Firmware based apps:

Did u ever use an app that enhanced your phone performance? This is that type of app that is built to enhance the performance of the devices operated within. Basic examples of this type of apps are sound booster, display torch, etc.

Database driven apps:

These apps operate on complex data to be operated and stored directly into the server or the operating device memory. This type of app needs multi-level device access to operate like internet connection, access to gallery, phone contacts, camera etc. Mobile directory is one good example of database driven application.

Native apps:

This type of device use various API’s possessing wide range of features. With heavy features, the overall app size is huge aiming at best user experiences and quick functioning. Native apps usually are business apps, entertainment apps, education apps. With this entire setting, the cost of developing such app is high.

Hybrid apps:

Hybrid app build with a single code working on all platform costs less in development and maintenance. Hybrid apps are built to reach bigger audience with less API’s optimized. More precisely built for small and medium enterprise like communication apps, lifestyle apps and game apps.

Cost to development by key app features:

The cost of an app is fully based on the key app features. More API the app uses, more will be the work of the team and thus end result of high cost. The State of Application Development, 2018 said almost 47% of respondents said the average time to deliver a web or mobile application is five months or more.

Twenty-eight percent described their organization as unhappy or somewhat unhappy with the speed of application delivery. App development time and cost is based mainly dictated by set of features plus design. Here, let’s see some of the common app development features in terms of time and cost. The pricing shown by us are minimum $25 and maximum $50 hourly for estimating the cost. This will vary based upon number of factors like experience, location and more.

  • Customization

Customization in term of better user control and change in look. Eg: Full screen, switching from list to tiles, local language adaptation. The average time of work per screen for such customization is 20 to 25 hours. This can cost nearly $1000 to $1500.

  • Search bar

Android and iOS smartphones have their own search, which can be enhanced and made unique. Having such custom search functionality can help scale up user engagement significantly. The overall costing to develop such search functionality start between anything from $250- $500 with at least 10 hours of development time.

  • Cross-platform development

If you want your single app to be displayed for various screen sizes like mobile, tablets, kiosk, there cross-platform development costs will be applied. Mobile web apps are the only design which can’t be affected by these cross platform as they are responsive to all platforms.

  • User login

This functionality is required for many apps where users have to register and login to use it. Such registrations are done via email or phone number, even social media signing is one popular option. It takes a standard time of 20 hours which in terms of cost resembles to around $500-$1,000.

  • Development Tool

Integrated development environment is a software application which integrates visual programming, language support and Attitudes across different computing platforms. Usage of IDEs are necessary because of the debugger and code editor features. There are many open source development tools are available which are like boon to developers since many of them are available at free of cost. Although, we have to buy commercial license for some development tools like Accelerator, Basic4android, Smartface which is the most rated development tools which can be used over all device platforms.

  • Navigation

Navigation is all about the flow through-out the application. This is to be envisioned and designed before the development phase. Envisioning it means designing it how the user will scroll back and forth through-out the app. Scrolling, swiping, action buttons, arrows, icons and more forming an basic UX/UI architecture for a app to be built. Basic need is around 10+ hours, costing around $250-$500.

  • Media content

Navigation may be one part, media content is what an user will see by default. Some apps need images, videos, some apps need audio files support and most of the social networking and messaging apps needs all of it. Basic time needed is around 20+ hours costing around $1000-$1500.

  • Push notifications

One features that application in almost most of the apps. Push notifications are the real time updates that the user is kept updated about the apps. There are multiple types of notifications like simple text, the one with images, another with action buttons and also the time of such notifications sent. Basic time is around 20 to 200 hours costing around $1,000 to $10,000.

  • Chat/ messaging

This is one essential feature of many apps where the costing varies based on the kind of chat one needs. Type of chat by means, direct person to person or group chat, does it require media files to be sent, how about some smileys, what about notification about messages been delivered and things like that. Basic time needed is around 80+ hours to develop a chat, costing around $2000-$4000.

  • Payment integrations

Thinking about having in app purchases, there is a need for payment system integration. Multiple payment system options are available to choose from like Android Pay, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Stripe, PayPal, Intuit, Square, Braintree and many others which can be integrated through gateway APIs. Basic time is around 50+ hours costing around $2500-$5000.

  • Geo-location

One feature that is crucial for taxi apps, dating apps, restaurant apps, business apps, traveling apps and many more. This is more likely based on real time user locations based on geo-location service accuracy. Basic time needed is around 50+ hours costing around $2500-$5000.

  • Streaming

These are those video streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Now and more. The logic goes like data is sent to the server and transmitted in real time via record and send through a local file. Basic time needed is around 30+ hours costing around $1000-$1500.

  • Design

App Developer is only responsible for developing the source code and integrating. UX/UI designers are the ones responsible for the eye catching framework. It is important for an app to make it easy to access and designers play a vital role in making it user friendly.

Where can I get my mobile app developed?

One has multiple options to choose from when it comes to mobile app development after deciding upon the cost to develop the application. Hiring a professional agency may seem costly, yet think what an expert app building agency can do for you. Designers, programmers, developers all working as a team to build an app. So make the concept clear, have an understanding and realistic strategy, decide upon with whom you want to build the app and start building.

  1. Do it Yourself building platforms

Many free platforms with drag and drop features to build app software’s are available online. They can be used for small size minimum viable app. You can’t expect security updates, bug fixes, and there’ll be many problem rises with integrating third party app. If you want a decent app never go for these.

  1. Free Lancers

The cost of freelance app developers may depend on many factors however, maintaining communication with the team member becomes a difficult task on the long run. And also no guarantee future support. It will be tough for a freelancer to work with the source code of another freelancer. Most of the projects are not completed within the time slot.

  1. Agencies

They are suitable for startups and small, and medium sized companies. Their cost range varies from 30K to 350k based on the complexity and duration of the app. It is a huge responsibility to select a good agency as there are many fake websites and persons available. Usually connect with personal social account of the people if you want to make a deal online.

  1. IT Companies

They never fail to make your dream realistic but however the cost is so high that only big fish and corporates can claim a valuable quotation.

What if I decide to build my own developer team to create an app?

Firstly, it’s a team effort more than a individuals work. This is necessary to provide a better interface and experience. Team work helps to split up the work based upon expertise, resulting in quick and quality work. Development team members would be based upon the type of app. More complex the app, higher will be the number of members.

Minimum basic app development team should have:

  • Project manager
  • Programmer
  • UI/UX designer
  • QA engineer

More complex app development team should have:

  • 1 project manager:

Minimum cost to hire a project manager would be $20/hrs, which varies based on experience and location. Project manager is one important member to prevent miscommunication and misconduct within the team. He is the one to make sure the projects sticks to the timeline and is completed within the time-frame.

  • 2-4 app developers:

Minimum cost to hire an app developer would be $30/hrs, which varies based on experience and location. App developers are the source code writers of the app to integrate it with the data source and fix bugs.

  • 1 back-end developer:

Minimum cost to hire a back-end developer would be $25/hrs, which varies based on experience and location. Ensure the functioning of the app correctly by solving database and server communication errors.

  • 1-2 UI/UX designers

Minimum cost to hire an UI/UX designer would be $15/hrs, which varies based on experience and location. Build the user interface and interaction. Solve different optimization tasks.

  • 1 QA engineer

Minimum cost to hire a QA engineer would be $20/hrs, which varies based on experience and location. The one who monitors the app- controls code and design quality ensuring the end-product meets all project requirements.

As an inceptor of an app who is having budget to build own developer team can surely go ahead with their plan. However the above costing is based on average standard of the industry. Over and above the mentioned cost, there are multiple additional costs like infrastructure, recruitment, stationary, office equipment and more.

Well that’s a long list of things one needs to consider before thinking upon why my app cost so much. Like we were trying to explain – “Cost to develop an app” depends on various factors like Development charges, application size and complexity, more and more factors. Just keep in mind that we are always here to guide you better, when it comes to estimating the cost to develop an app and take your idea to the next level.

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