Understanding App Development Costs

With more people relying on their mobile phones for communication, entertainment, productivity, learning, and other functions, businesses are increasingly exploring app development as a branding and marketing strategy.

Whether you are developing an app for mobile devices or web applications, costs are one consideration at the back of the minds of most people. The cost of developing an application is widely variant. There’s no standard cost for how much the developers you hire will charge you for an app. Neither can a developer provide the cost, right after broadly describing your application.

While this can feel frustrating, many variables affect the ultimate price of any app development endeavor, some known, and others that arise during the actual project.

In this article, we will guide you through multiple factors that influence the cost of app development.

The Required Features and Functionality

When you hire an app developer, the first questions they will ask is the features and functionalities you need on your application. Some features require a lengthier and complex implementation. Some may require the developer to use third-party APIs or code from scratch.

Some of the common app functionalities include:

  • User login
  • Signup with social media or email
  • Navigation
  • Push notifications
  • Chat or messaging
  • Portrait of landscape view
  • In-app purchases
  • Payment integration
  • Geolocation
  • Maps integration

Applications with more features and increasing complexity cost more than those with basic features and functionality costs.

The Platform and Device

You can create a mobile application on iOS, Android, or both of these platforms. Developing an app for one platform or device is cheaper than developing for multiple platforms and devices.

For both iOS and Android platforms, apps developed for older versions typically cost more as they require more time and effort to develop.

The Type and Size of the App

The size and complexity of a mobile application influence the final price. Small apps with limited functionalities and components are cheaper to develop and are often pre-installed in most smartphones. These applications do not require API integration or backend development.

Moderate applications for single platforms with a custom UI and payment features are considerably pricier, as are multi-platform applications with simple features.

Large or complex apps with multiple and complex features take time to develop and require back-end development; therefore, they cost more than the simple of moderate mobile applications.

Location and Structure of the Development Team

The location of the app development team is a critical factor that affects the pricing of the app’s final price. The cost of developing an app in the US will be different from that of the UK or other regions.

A basic development team consists of a project manager, programmer, UI/UX designer, and QA engineer. A more sophisticated development team may include a back-end developer, app developers, and system administrators. The bigger the team working on your application, the more it is going to cost.


Now that you know what goes into determining the cost of application development, it’s time to look at your business needs, the features and functionalities you need in your application, and the size of that application. Once you have that figured out, you can look for a development team to help you with the development process.

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