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How Much Does App Development Cost?

Enquiring about the cost of mobile app development is a common question between a client and a mobile application development agency. Cost is always a concern for both start-ups and enterprise organizations, no matter how many zeros are attached to their budgets.

Several factors come together to define the mobile application development cost. factors that can only be known once we have a very in-depth understanding of how the app would be made, to its utmost exactness.

So, while we won’t be giving you an exact number in this blog post, “How much does app development cost?”, we will give you ways to get to that number, the factors that affect it, and then some insights into how to bring the number up or down to stay within your budget for the project.

App development services that require investment

Not all of the services you require to develop your mobile application will require investment. There are some aspects of this that you can do yourself. However, these are the mobile app services you should budget to pay for:

Technical Analysis

Analyzing an app on technicalities and features upfront is something that you should let your partnered agency handle. Being involved in several mobile app development processes, they will know the technicalities of the process better.

So, let them handle the technical analysis and scoping parts of the application, and in return, be ready to pay for the service. Let them look for the best technology set and approach that will go with your application development process.


While you might have a team of Photoshop and Illustrator experts in-house, don’t take the responsibility of designing the application on yourself. Because it is one thing to create unique images, it is quite another to create memorable experiences.

It takes a very in-depth dissection of the users’ minds to create flows that entice them to move as you want them to. Also, it takes a special skill set to design applications that convert viewers into loyal app users and even buyers of your offerings.


You will have to pay for the resources’ time. These resources will be both human-centric and technology-centric. Generally, both these elements are combined and denoted as one when the cost of app development is discussed.

The rule of thumb is that the more experience your preferred mobile app development company has, the greater the cost, and likewise, the more complex and unused the technology is, the greater the cost of hiring its experts.


The one obvious element that you will have to pay for is the development of the application. The amount that you will have to pay, however, will vary from one category to another.

For example, a native application will cost a lot more than the cost of a cross-platform application, which in turn would cost a lot more than a web application.


The next service that you would have to pay for is mobile app testing. ensuring the app is ready for its intended users, irrespective of how they use the application, at what time, and under what network conditions.

Usually, when you pay a mobile app development agency for their testing services, you pay for both automated and manual testing types, along with the various testing tools and platforms, all in one price bracket.


Publishing applications on the App Store and Play Store also comes with associated costs. You can either give the number of hosting applications to the app development agency and let them post the applications, or you can keep it under your control.

If you choose the latter, you will have to work on the optimization process on your own and pay the fees that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store charge for listing the application on their respective stores.


The last but ongoing cost that you will have to incur is the app maintenance cost. When we talk about maintenance, there are three processes that agencies usually offer:

  • App Update
  • App Bug Fixes:
  • Design Changes

How to Estimate the App Development Cost?

These are the factors that are usually considered when the development cost is estimated:

App Discovery

This is the process where your app idea is validated. Here, several steps are undertaken to ensure that the app will be accepted by the stores and the world full of users.

The steps that app development agencies take to validate an app idea include:

  • Doing market research
  • Creating a user persona
  • Market capitalization is being studied.

App Complexity

The next factor in the list of factors that decide the app development cost estimate is the complexity of the application. The estimation of what complexity level a given application belongs to depends on the multiple functionalities that are added to the application.

Here is the list of those functionalities to give you an idea of what counts as a complex application:

  • Deployment architecture model.
  • Third-party integration
  • Admin panel development
  • Use of device hardware
  • In-app purchase
  • Integration with other applications or devices

App Design

The choice of design has a great impact on deciding the app development cost. There are two types of design that agencies follow:

  • Individualized User Interface Design
  • Typical User Interface Design

In the case of standard UI design, there are design elements that are reused, saving the designer’s time that goes into designing UI and UX elements from scratch.

While in the case of custom UI, everything is made from scratch, keeping in mind the client’s specific requirements. As the general rule of thumb goes, the cost of designing custom UI elements is much greater than designing standard UI.

Platform Selection for Apps

The number of platforms you are planning to be present on also has a huge impact on the app development cost.

A native application, which is present separately on Android and iOS, will cost more than cross-platform applications, where a single app code runs on both platforms.

You can also go with a web application, which would cost a lot less than both native and cross-platform development approaches since the tech set and time required to develop them are a lot less.


Where there’s a will, there’s away. There are ways to not let money stop you from attaining your dream of becoming an app entrepreneur. Knowing places where you can save money by taking things into your control and places where you don’t have an option but to spend is a good starting point.

Another good starting point is entering the app development journey with a clear understanding of the factors that go into the app development cost estimation.

Identifying the factors that would help drive the cost very high or very low helps you create a clear budget for your app development project.

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