How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

Sketching a rough estimate of the cost involved in building a mobile app from ground up

Mobile App Development - a decade ago, this was not even recognized as a recognized form of occupation. But today, it is a massive marketed that is estimated to grow as big $77 Billion by 2017.

While our lives increasingly become mobile reliant, and the count of mobile apps keep increasing by millions, one cannot help but wonder how much does it cost to build a mobile app from ground up.

Of course, there are tons of templates and reusable codes available online, but the real thing of building a custom-mobile is an entirely different ball game - cost wise, tasks wise. We break down into simple terms, the factors and the corresponding costs involved in building a mobile app.

                                                                                 Grab a note & a calculator for Convenience.


The Various Factors that Make up the Cost of a Mobile App

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

Among the several factors that determine the final cost of mobile app development are the platform of choice, the desired timeline, manpower and equipment resources, app testing and launch.

Let’s delve into the fine details of each factor and how an approximate cost can be measured.


According to Entrepreneur, iPhone and Android are the leading mobile app development platforms. Others like Windows, PhoneGap, Blackberry trail behind with modest market share.

Android mobile app development tends to be expensive since it takes a longer duration compared to building iPhone apps. Ken of App Savvy says, the cost of building an Android app can be 2 to 3 times that of an iPhone app because of design intricacies involved.

  Secondly, the final cost of the app will vary from your choice of companies.

        1. Big companies - Anywhere in between $500,000 to $1,000,000

        2. Agencies - $150,000 to $450,000

        3. Smaller companies/Startups - $50,000 to $100,000


If the apps are of enterprise-grade with several integrations and design requirements, then it may span longer for months together. Depending on the timeline adhered, the cost of app development will also vary indifferently.

How long will it take your app to be launch-ready? There is no definite timeline for mobile app development. It is always dependent on the choice of your development company or agency. However, be informed that any form of app development will take range from 2 to 3 weeks or even longer duration.

The timeline required for the app is dependent on its type. Broadly, apps can be classified as Simple, Middle or Complex.


The cost to have someone build an app includes service costs for app developers, UI designers, software testers or even a project manager depending on the size of the project.

Basically, there are two types of development teams you will have to choose from: Basic & Advanced.

Types of Apps

The cost to create a mobile application is largely dependent on the cost of type of mobile app desired too. That said, we can classify mobile apps into 3 categories: SImple, Middle and Complex.

        1. Simple - Simple mobile apps basically require API integrations, have basic UI/UX and are enabled with a simple search functionality.

        2. Middle - Middle mobile apps on the other hand are compatible with tablets, have social channel integrations and also geopositioning capabilities.

        3. Complex  -  sophisticated mobile apps that are integrated with every imaginable feature for communication, search and searches.

        4. Post - launch Maintenance

The cost to develop a mobile app is of inclusive of the cost for maintaining it post launch. Frequent upgrades will have to be rolled out to meet the parameters set by the app store and also to keep the app secure from hacking attempts.

Secondly, the cost to create an mobile app will also be inclusive of additional features that will have to be incorporated into the app as it grows in user base and popularity.

Rate Across the World

      The cost to develop a mobile application ranges widely across the world. In US and Canada the hourly rate ranges from $5 to as high as $240. However, in third world countries like India, the hourly rates are as low as $5 to $70. In other parts of the world like Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Australia, etc. the hourly rate ranges from $40 to $180.

      Hence, it can be inferred with clarity that mobile app development price never remains constant across the world. It is highly dynamic and changes based on various socio economic factors like population, taxes, technology, etc.

      How Much Did it Cost Them?

      Some mobile apps managed to have our eye balls pop out with their acquisition numbers. Remember Instagram? Facebook took it over for a massive $1 Billion. WhatsApp for $22 Billion. And there are plenty of other apps that Facebook did not buy but had other buyers who paid in Billions for acquisition.

      Do you know how much it cost the app developers to develop apps like these?

      These are approximate cost figures, but we are certain that the real figure cannot be anything distant.

                                      Wondering about the budget of your app?
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      This PPT explains in detail the cost required to build a mobile application. Build any kind of mobile app of your dreams and estimate required to calculate it.

      Lisa Lauren 5 d ago · #6

      Thanks! This article concerns the current interests of businesses, indeed! Everyone tends to develop their app to boost business. You did mention all the important things that have to be taken into account.
      But there are so many technologies that you can use to develop your app and make it work properly. You can dive deeper into this where the major technologies for each type of platform are described.

      Harikrishna Kundariya Aug 27, 2019 · #5

      First of all, thank you for this post. You have penned down this post very well. One should know all these factors affecting app development. The cost of a mobile app is an outcome of the number of features required to be built into the app and the number of hours needed by the resources to build each app with the hourly rate of the resources working on the project. So, for this, a proper app development cost should be calculated. We have also just recently published blog about app development cost.

      Maryna Bobrovskaya Dec 21, 2018 · #4

      The user has deleted this comment

      Jassica Deean Jun 8, 2018 · #3

      Nice Post and Details Description for development of App. Thank you so much.its Help me lost

      Vibhor Gupta May 16, 2017 · #2

      Am very interesting and useful details collect from this post. Already i am analyzing developing a online bookstore for my client purpose. Great details man!!

      Suresh Nathanael May 16, 2017 · #1

      I am quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here about cost details for mobile app!!!