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How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App

How much does it cost to develop an app?

If you ever ask any company that develops mobile applications, what is the most frequently asked question they hear from clients, without any doubt they will tell you, it is a “How much does it cost to make a mobile app?” question. And this is logical, as a client first and foremost takes interest in the funding for a startup.

If you try to google the cost of developing an app most likely you will find more questions and headaches. And your ideas to develop an app might fade.

Of course, there is a variety of online services that count average cost of developing an app, but unfortunately, this is simply a marketing trick to bait clients.

Mobile application development cost can range from $5,000 and up to $250,000 +

In this article we will talk about:

  • What kinds of mobile applications are offered on App Store and Google Play?
  • What OS to choose for your app?
  • What affects the cost of app development?
  • How much does it cost to create a mobile app in total?

We won’t waste your time and will get straight to the tips. Let’s go!

Mobile app Universe

Let's discover the endless space of Mobile apps together!

Among millions of applications published on App Store and Play Market we can mark the following categories:

  • Music. Enjoy your favorite tracks, discover new ones and share them with your friends with the diversity of players with various features and custom design.
  • Social Media. Mobile clients for FB, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, messengers and online snaps won’t let you go offline for a while.
  • Business. Here are represented finance and retail apps, starting from trading platforms and delivery up to mortgage services, real estate and mobile banking. They will save you from actual visits to these institutions.
  • Entertainment. Hundreds and thousands of games, pranking apps, and just funny stuff are here to amuse you.
  • Education.You can take foreign languages or science courses straight from your mobile, listen, read and perform interactive tasks right from your smartphone.
  • Health and Fitness. Haven’t you ever dreamt about having a personal doctor, coach or nutritionist? Your phone can easily become all of them. Online medical consultations and knowledge bases, customized workout setups and personalized diets are at your service.

Each category has special aspects and functionality, and we will tell you more about them in the following articles.

We are 99% sure that while going through this list you have pictured your favorite app for each category, and probably you have already chosen the one for your app but waver to take an action, because still not sure how much does making an app cost and wether you can to manage its funding.

A few things you need to know before you start…

First of all, you should know which mobile platforms exist since your decision will affect a how much does it cost to develop an app issue. As the statistics for the first quarter of 2016 shows that 95% of mobile market is taken by iOS and Android. So let’s take a closer look at them.

You should think about which Mobile Operating System to choose. For instance, your app can only be compatible with iOS 9 and the latest iOS 10, or it can also support older versions, like iOS 6 and 7. However, Apple does have great support of the previous devices to increase their compatibility.

The situation with Android is more complicated. There is a great variety of OS versions supported by Android devices. In May 2016 the most popular OS versions were:


The more OS versions you choose to support, the more it will increase the prices of development as more time will be required for development and testing. So think carefully or ask the experts what is best for your project.

There are several aspects and features that can considerably affect mobile apps development costs:

  • Server backend
  • Social media integration
  • Integration with third-party services
  • Admin panel
  • Hardware usage
  • Monetization

Mobile app development cost breakdown

It’s almost impossible to tell the exact iPhone app development cost straight away or explain why Android app development costs differ from iOS, even for highly skilled professionals. All that's can be said that i Phone app development cost might turn out to be lower than Android's because of code length.

As we have described above, mobile application development costs depends on many circumstances.That’s why the uncertainty about stating a price is absolutely normal and unavoidable at the initial stage of a project when even the hourly rate is being discussed. The supplier can only provide rough estimates according to the initial planning.

Based on our experience we can divide all apps into 3 general categories:

Small application. This type includes plain design, has few features, and a couple of APIs integrated. The average timeframe is two months: 50-70 hours is dedicated to design creation; 400-500 hours consumes the development and QA. To develop a mobile app it generally requires $15,000 - $20,000. Let’s take Peak Time for instance. It is small and elegant productivity tracker with an activity feature and a chart with personal stats.

To develop such project you require:

  • Designer
  • Full Stack Developer / Frontend + Backend Developers
  • QA Engineer

Medium application.These apps include more features, have custom UI animations, strong backend with several side services integrated, like payment gateways, location services and so on. The development can last from 2 -4 months: 100-120 hours for design and up to 900 hours for development and QA phases. Average cost to develop an app is from $30,000 to $45,000. You can check Smart House as an example of an app with custom UI elements and connection to KNX tools to control gadgets.

A standard team set up for such project is:

  • Project Manager
  • Designer
  • Frontend developer
  • Backend developer
  • 1-2 QA Engineers

High complexity application.It includes advanced functionality, such as audio/video processing, hardware usage, complicated backend solution, integration of various third party services, libraries, real-time synchronizations and so on. A project of this type is the most time consuming: 150-170 hours are spent only on design and the development and QA phases last 1000+ hours. The prices for this start at $50,000.

Do you have a question?

Lafka is a grocery delivery service, and it illustrates a long term project. You will be surprised, what stands behind client's comfort and simplicity in usage. To develop a really challenging and massive project you will need the full capacity of the team:

  • Project Manager
  • Designer
  • Mobile department (min 3)
  • Backend department
  • QA department

Still have questions about “How much does it cost to build an app?” or “How to create an app?” Then contact us and together we will answer all your questions ;)