The Real Cost of Developing Mobile Apps

The market for mobile app development is expanding. Both the App Store and Google Play have already completed 10 years of operations, but for all we know, they’ve just begun, as the rate of growth continues to rise. Each application store launches well over a thousand new apps every day, and the possibilities seem limitless.

The moment to develop mobile applications for business growth is now. Before approaching this profitable app industry, it’s recommended to first establish a mobile app financial plan.

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app? When beginning an application development initiative, this seems to be undoubtedly among the first questions that app companies and programmers need to have a detailed insight on. The most fundamental but important part of just about every app-building project is an estimated cost. The dilemma about how much it would cost to build an app for a business by contracting a mobile app development company versus how much it would cost to make an app using internal sources for business owners is rather frequent.

Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine both in a bid to gain some clarity on each of their impact on the cost of an app’s development.

After being in the biz for some time, app development firms can acquire the essential skills to proficiently take on multi-platform functionality. App development projects are frequently quite challenging and may require cutting-edge mobile technology, such as Machine Learning to control complex computation, virtual reality, as well as IoT, Blockchain and much more.

On the other hand, getting the apps developed through in-house programmers has its benefits. The project happens to stay in the hands of employees with whom you already share a professional relationship. This ensures a faster communication channel among the developers as well as the owner. In-depth knowledge about the ongoing challenges is readily available to be worked upon. And the most important benefit of developing a mobile app in-house would be, comparatively lower costs.

Factors to consider while calculating the cost of mobile app development 

In general, you may determine the price of building a mobile app by looking at the rates the developers charge. For example, if an app would cost $20,000 for a project that requires 500 development hours at a rate of $40 an hour. It’s quicker said than done to forecast how long it will take an organization to build an app. It greatly varies depending on the number and type of elements in the app. 

The budget for building a mobile app can be estimated using the following factors:

1) Development Rates, Knowledge Base and Skills

When hiring an app development team, prices and knowledge typically go along. Here’s a broad classification of developers available:

  • Beginner Level

If you’re prepared to provide them with some on-the-job learning, beginner-level programmers can assist in working out bugs, application upkeep, coding records, and the basic features desired.

  • Intermediate Level

Most app design initiatives and additional feature demands can be completed by intermediate-level programmers as they possess the general competence necessary.

  • Expert Level

Seasoned developers are available to oversee your mobile app development initiatives or incorporate cutting-edge app functionalities.

Although experience is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the right team of developers for building a mobile app, prices also fluctuate depending upon the expertise of a developer with certain specific technologies.

2) Android OR iOS

One of the most primary decisions to make would be deciding which platform you’d like to develop the app on, iOS or Android. Both Apple and Google have a strong hold over the technology market, which makes them both equally profitable. We’d recommend you choose the one that fits your needs in the most wholesome and economic way. Given below are the key points to remember while making the decision:

  • Android

Google created the open-source Android OS for smartphones, which seems to be built on Linux. Smartphones like Samsung, MI, and Realme are a few examples of Android-powered products. Mobile app development ecosystem for Android includes Kotlin, Android SDK and more.

  • iOS 

Apple created the iOS OS solely for its lineup of smart gadgets, which include the Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone. The ecosystem for Android includes Swift, Objective-C (for legacy apps), iOS SDK and more.

It’s crucial to remember that a skilled team or mobile app developer may bypass the majority of the technical restrictions of choosing one ecosystem over another. The platform that the majority of your customers enjoy using is particularly vital. The battle between Android and iOS has been mostly mindset based. To identify which technology better suits your market distribution, proper research must be conducted.

3) Technologies for Smartphone Apps 

The technology you pick as the foundation for your mobile app development eventually dictates the set of people you engage to develop the application. There are multiple technologies that you can base your application development upon:

  • Web applications

Practically put, these are more smartphone-compatible websites than an app. These are known for fluid and user-friendly designs on gadgets with displays ranging from smartphones to tablets. For many small companies, this is without a doubt the most reasonable pick.

  • Native applications

When an application is created using a programming language that is exclusive to the platform or device’s OS, it is termed to be native. That implies using Kotlin or Java for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS. That implies using Kotlin or Java for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS. Improved performance is native apps’ biggest benefit. The primary downside is that you’ll need to specially develop your app for every OS if you need it a cross-platform functionality. Increased mobile app development fees are one inevitable outcome of such a repeated effort.

  • Hybrid applications

These apps provide you with a blend of steady performance and cost savings. Such mobile apps are built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript through frameworks that include Cordova, Ionic and more. It could be said that these are apps that contain a browser within them.

  • Cross-platform applications

Frameworks such as Phonegap and Xamarin let you develop the app in a single code which has multi-platform accessibility. Though they are not at par with Native apps when it comes to performance, they’re really useful for many business models.

  • Next-gen JavaScript frameworks

There has emerged a new group of cross-platform mobile app development services that use frameworks like React Native that enable native-like efficiency and combine the capabilities of cross-platform and hybrid apps.

4) Type of Features

The kind of features that you choose to have in the mobile app decide how time-consuming, challenging or costly the development is going to be.

  • User Profiles

The addition of user profile functionality may require anything between 15-60 hours depending upon the type (Email/social media/SSO). We recommend getting SSO to ensure additional security with seamless connectivity.

  • In-app Functions

These kinds of features include everything from maps, events, catalogues, audio or video streaming, push notifications and more. Adding these could cost you anywhere between 10-250 hours, depending upon the size and complexity of the features selected.‍

  • Application hardware unifications

This category covers all features that revolve around making use of the existing hardware and making it interact with the mobile app. Features such as filters for the camera, voice navigation, facial recognition, activation of gyroscope for gaming, Bluetooth connectivity and more. The development hours required for such unifications may range from 20-40 hours.

  • Additional Aspects

You might want to keep in mind factors such as APIs, infrastructure as well as maintenance while deciding the app development budget.

5) Need For More Resources

The ability to shepherd an app through the development cycle requires more than just developers. A typical mobile app development company would assign at your disposal a Project Manager, a UI/UX Designer, a Mobile Developer, a Backend Developer, and a Quality Assurance specialist. Even if the majority of the cost of app development may be linked to developer hours, it’s crucial to include agile methods and QA testing bills in the estimate.


These statistics are simply approximations, so the actual costs of your mobile app development project may differ. In reality, hourly engagements will probably fluctuate each week based on the needs of the project. The amount of time contributed each week can impact how long the project runs.

You could also consider using independent developers for the project. An excellent choice for micro-businesses on a budget, contracting freelancers allows you the opportunity to assemble your ideal team and modify the total cost of the job. A worldwide talent pool is also available to businesses. The trick is to make that your business is capable of addressing the obstacles associated with managing this extra agility.