How much does a mobile app cost?

Post by 
June 8, 2021

efore we jump to "How much does it cost to develop an app", let's talk about how app development cost is determined. In our opinion, below are the major factors that collectively influence the cost and your answer to “how much does an app development cost? ”

·      Native vs cross-platform

·      Development Company Geography

·      Complexity of an App

·      UX/UI Design – Interactions – Animation

·      Ongoing Support and Maintenance Need

·      App Development Company Portfolio

Native vs cross-platform development

If you plan to build for a single platform, then it's the native route or if you shall be using native controls with high performance UX on a specific platform, then you should choose native apps. However, if there's need for limited functionality, single code base handling & building for both platforms, then cross-platform development can be the answer.

Bottom line, if you need full capabilities of both platforms, without compromising on speed, UX & quality, then you should be building native apps.

Development Company Geography

It isn’t a secret that developer costs vary with its location. For instance, a developer based in the US will cost much higher than the one based out in Israel.

Let's have a quick look at the Mobile App Developer average annual salary in 2021

Source : Business of Apps

Complexity of the app

For ease of understanding and calculations, lets divide the app in three broad complexities:

·       Simple

·       Medium

·       Complex

The cost for a simple app with basic UI / UX and set of must-have features will fall between $27,000 to $54,000, whereas, a medium complexity app development will cost anything between $60,000 to $120,000 and, finally, a complex app, that would require custom controls and a great UX could cost upwards of $120,000.

However, these are just ballpark numbers and should not be drawn conclusive. These numbers aren’t inclusive of any support / maintenance post GO-LIVE, which is covered under a separate maintenance agreement.

Here is a quick look at the graph to reflect the rate basis location and complexity

Source : Business of Apps

UX/UI Design - Interactions – Animations

The entire UX/UI cost is determined by two broad factors:

·       Tools used

·       Designer location

Depending upon the type of tool being used, a Designer based in India, might come in dearer, compared to the one in US, solely because of non-usage of premium tools. But, this isn't the only factor, while determining the actual cost of creative.

On the other hand, you would generally see a Design company in US charging around $200-250/hr, whereas the one in India could potentially be doing the same stuff in $100-$150.

Ongoing Support and Maintenance Need

Like any software, mobile applications cost also has an imperative maintenance element.

The average cost to maintain a software is roughly around 15-20% of its original development cost. We can breakdown the maintenance cost into hosting, monitoring, engagement, marketing, updates, and licenses etc.

App Development Company Portfolio

Clients usually overlook this aspect when it comes to determining “how much an app development will cost?” Remember that a tier 1 company or a company with a bigger portfolio would always charge a much higher premium than a start-up or a budding company, within the same service space.

If you aren’t engaging the app development company for a B2B, we would highly recommend giving a start-up or a small size company a chance over big houses. Do not forget, they spend hefty amount on marketing and branding, and where do they get all this money from, obviously you.


Q: What is the Cost of Designing Logo and App Icon?

A: A logo is any brand's identity, which becomes a part of branding / creative initiatives. We provide for this service as complimentary, while we build the complete UX/UI of the app.

Q: How much does independent UI designers charge?

A: The designer chargers are mostly location driven. A designer housed at USA or Australia would come costlier ($150 – $180 per hour) vs a designer based out of Eastern Nations (80$ - $110).

Q: How to reduce the App Design Cost?

A: Since you cannot cut down on the must have functionalities and features on the app, we personally recommend trying various things:

·       Identify no of screens & try reusing components

·       Build MVP for 1 platform and then adapt & change

·       Minimise animation or extreme designing elements

·       Use templates wherever possible

We at, The Approid Consulting, would love to help you out with our customised approach, to bring your mobile application development ideas to LIFE. Contact Us

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