Understanding Mobile App Development Cost

App development is a top demand today. Whether it’s ordering food, reserving a cab, chatting with a friend, or booking a ticket, the one thing that inevitably comes to our mind is on-demand applications, because it simplifies our life. Startups always wonder about estimating the right cost for developing their app. High quality and low cost are what companies look for when engaging an app development agency. But there have been few blunders as well when companies went onto spending millions of dollars for apps that could have been developed for less.

As a leading mobile app development company, we can tell you that app development cost varies widely. In this article, we are giving you some ideas about mobile app development costs. Of course, there is no fixed rate for mobile apps’ development, and everything depends on the requirements and the granularity. That being said, some significant factors that can influence the development costs are:


Features and functionality


Technical complexity


Custom designs and animations


App engagement and marketing


Choice of technology


Maintenance costs

What Influences The Cost Of App Development?

Simply put, app development costs are multiple of development time and hourly rates. However, many factors can influence the time and rates, including the complexity of the product, and the experience of the team required to build the app. Let’s understand these in detail.

Check Out What It Takes To Build A Successful App Here

Features And Functionality That Form The Magic Beans Of Your Mobile App

Once you have the basic app idea, the layout, and color scheme, then you have to start thinking about things that make your app stand out. Small things that may seem obvious but may not have been accounted for. We call them the magic beans which do not make a difference when they are in the app but if they are not then, the user feels a miss. Let’s check them out


Faster speed in data retrieval


Good image resolution


Top security


Search that works


Push notifications


User feedback


Smooth updates


Flagging of content

All these things may have been missed in your list of features but they are the ones that make you like the apps that you like. Of course, they may creep in at some extra cost.

Development Team

Finding the right development team is a super important step. The right development team would do things the right way right from start. On the contrary, a wrong team could make you lose the whole opportunity altogether. Development teams come in all experiences, types, and costs. It is prudent to check their history, reviews, and most importantly if you feel comfortable with them.

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Technical Complexity

There are hundreds of small features in any app that add technical complexity to a specific project. For example, we built a platform for last-minute hotel room/flight bookings with an advanced search filtering algorithm that is connected with the real-time discounts. When we work on a project, we develop effective algorithms that sometimes take extra time to create and increase the app development cost. Some other common areas of technically complicated elements are:

  • Backend Solution:
    Launching a dynamic application requires the exchange of a large number of data in real-time and synchronization among all the platforms along with updates in the cloud. In this case, you need a backend solution to manage huge loads and work perfectly in any condition. This means you require more time to spend on building and designing a complex application architecture. You also need multiple programming languages to configure your mobile app’s backend development. It means you need to pay a substantial amount of price to engage with a diverse team of professionals.

Learn About Architecture That Supports Billion Of Users

  • Niche third-party integration:
    As we can see several third-party integration options are available today that can uplift your app development speed. But, third-party integrations, mainly niche ones, periodically have changes and upgrades. It takes extra time to puzzle out how to integrate them into your mobile app development process. In that case, you may have to pay an additional fee to utilize these services.
  • In-app purchases:
    It is extremely important to integrate with multiple online payment modes to accomplish the needs of business owners and users. You have to be prepared to give extra for additional payment options you apply in-app purchases like Google Pay, PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, etc.
  • Custom designs and animations:
    Customizable user interfaces are a bit complex to implement. The cost of a customizable interface is higher than the price of a user interface built from standard components. If you check our mobile app development landing pages you can understand the use and importance of custom designs and animations in your business.

Looking To Change Your Development Team. Here Is What You Need To Secure

Post-Release Expenses

After covering all ways of pre-mobile app development cost, now talk about the post-release expenses.

  • App Maintenance:
    As we all know, every mobile app needs maintenance that comes with costs. The standard price of maintaining software is around 15-20% of the original cost. Maintenance is required because with OS upgrades and new device releases make your application obsolete over time.
  • App Monitoring:
    It is an essential factor for any product because monitoring can help you to get the desired successes. Several tools can guide you to monitor your product’s performance in this competitive market. Invest in good analytics and monitoring integrations so that you are able to take the next decisions based on user actions.
  • Licenses:
    Many licensed technologies are available in the market that developers could use while building specific apps. Paying a certain amount for such licenses adds extra cost to your budget
  • App Updates:
    Mobile applications require frequent updates that make apps smarter. Also, it aids the applications to stay free from bugs. This process adds an extra cost to the factor of app development. Subsequent updates are essential as they include adding smart features to the app otherwise users may find something a miss in your app.
  • Application Engagement and Marketing:
    Mobile app marketing is one of the significant elements that drag the attention of targeted users. The app marketing and engagement plan again requires experts to build a milestone-based plan taking the application from a few hundred to thousands and then millions of downloads. Marketing costs could vary and may have organic and paid components to it.

All About Getting 100K Download For Your App

So What Is The Typical Cost Of App Development?

Well, basic apps cost around the range of $10000- $25,000. Anything less than that would mean too few features and that in turn means no real usefulness for the app. It is not a secret that the cost of mobile app development varies on geographical location. Here is a table depicting cost/hr for developers in various geographies:

App Development Cost Breakdown

Here we highlight the final application development cost breakdown. It is approximate and based on the hourly rate.
This app development cost is for Android and iOS platforms:

Are you thinking of mobile app development? But do you know how much time it will take? According to a survey, it can take nearly 18 months to develop a top-rated mobile app, with backend and front-end development processes. Of course, there may be releases in between but that is the time it really takes to start seeing an ROI on your efforts. Usually, app development agencies/companies charge per hour and the cost is a sum of the hours multiplied with the hourly rate.

Explore Our Work In Mobile App Development

To give you a clear idea we divide applications into three categories

  • A simple app:
    Simple applications include standard functionalities. The development processes don’t need to integrate to many third-party APIs, also a back-end infrastructure is not required here. To develop a simple app, a developer needs standard UI components, simple filters, a feed list, and map markers. A simple app may take less than 500 hours of work and may be budgeted in the range of $38,000 USD. CheckMarks is an excellent example of a simple app developed by Mindbowser.
  • A semi-complex app:
    A mid complexity app needs custom UI features, payment functionality, real-time chat, integration with APIs, tablet and handset adaptation, and a simple backend server. It takes nearly 1000 to 3000 hours to build such a mobile app, and the pricing starts at $80,000. Vesica, Smiling Mind, MMR market research app are examples of such apps.
  • A highly complex app:
    Highly complex applications come with advanced functionality like audio/video processing, custom animations, real-time synchronization, complex back-ends with several types of database relationships, integrations with third-party services, and many more. The estimated time frame for developing complex mobile applications is 3000+ man-hours, and the approx price starts at $15,000 — Mindbowser has built many complex platforms and apps such as Shortlist and Proofpilot.

Know More About Our Award Winning Process For Building Top Apps


Finally, the timeline, your app development team, cost-increasing mobile app features, and post-production cost are the key factors that decide- how much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

We hope that our article is helpful for you and provides you a clear idea of what to keep in mind to estimate cost for developing a mobile application. Good luck!

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Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on contact@mindbowser.com

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