How Much Does it Cost to Make An App in 2024 – A Detailed Guide

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How Much Does it Cost to Make An App in 2024

What is the Mobile App Development cost? The big question, right? But before answering that, let’s get into some fact-checks!

key Takeaways:

  • The average cost to make an app at the standard rate of $150/ hour is estimated at $37,000 to $170,000. 
  • The minimum budget for app development starts from $5,000 to $10,00; it can vary depending on the app. 
  • Building for both iOS and Android platforms is more expensive than choosing one platform. 
  • A Minimum Viable Product ( MVP) is a cost-effective way to test the app idea. 

When we inquire about mobile app development, the first query is probably, “How much does app development cost?”. Let us give you the straight answer: it ranges from $10,000 to $500,00+, shocking, right? Well, it depends on many factors and varies accordingly. 

There are some amazing mobile app stats, which makes them more interesting. 

  • Mobile apps are most likely to generate over $935 billion in 2024.
  • The Apple store has 1.98 million apps available. 
  • There are over 2.87 million apps available in the Google Play store. 
  • The mobile app market was $228.98 billion in 2023. And expected to grow at 14.3% CAGR from 2024 to 2030.

App development costs vary from app to app; let’s differentiate these apps into three basic categories and prices, each with its own price.

Type of App Cost
Simple App $5,000 – $50,000
Moderate App $50,000 – $150,000
Advanced App More than  $300,000

Much of the time, the costs of developing an app will increase normally to $50,000 for the principal, straightforward application form.

“Developing apps like Uber, Instagram, or WhatsApp is a strong financial commitment, as it ranges from $100,000 to $500,000+”. 

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App? 

The most common question in mobile app development is this- How much does it cost to develop an app, or what is the average app development cost? To answer these questions, we need to take a deep dive into the mobile app development features, factors, etc. But to give an estimate, it ranges from $10,000 to $500,00+., depending on the complexity of the app. 

The app development cost ranges in number depending on complexity, timelines, and hours. Here are a few tables to guide you through the app development process. 

App Complexity TimelineEstimated Costs
Simple3 to 5 months $5,000 -$15,000
Medium 4 to 7 months$15,000 -$30,000
Large6 to 9 months  $30,000 – $40,000
Complex7 to 10 months$70,000-  $85,000
Enterprise8 to 12 months<$90,000

For any project, small or big, the app development cost mainly depends on developers’ hours at each stage and hourly rates’ pricing depending on their geolocation.

RegionHourly Rates 
USA$100
Western Europe$80
Eastern Europe$60
Australia$90
India and Southeast Asia$30

For the mere illustration, how much does it cost to make an app? It is considered the hourly rate of the average mobile app development team for their specific role. 

Development Role Hourly Rate Estimated Cost Timeline
Mobile App Developer$50 – $120$30,000 – $150,000+ 3-12 months
Backend Developer$60 – $150$45,000 – $200,000+4-12 months
Front-end Developer$40 – $100$20,000 – $100,000+3-8 months
Q/A Specialist $40 – $80$10,000 – $20,0001-2 months
Project Manager$60 – $120$20,000 – $100,000+3-6 months

All of these are estimated costs that vary depending on the developers’ location, project complexity, project scope, etc. 

Another famous mobile app development method is the Agile methodology. It is iterative and flexible, aligning with dynamic and evolving mobile app requirements. Here are the steps in which Agile methodology works: 

  1. Planning and Scooping
  2. Sprints
  3. Daily Work Status
  4. Continuous Integration and Testing
  5. Iterative Development 
  6. Demo and Feedback 
  7. Retrospective
  8. Continuous Deployment 

The agile methodology makes mobile app development easy to adapt to quick changes, promptly respond to feedback and more. 

Building an app with an agile methodology can cost around $50,000 to $500,000 on average, depending on the project, and take up to 6 months to 12 months

| Additional Read: Agile Methodology: Why Is It Important For Your Start-up?

Breakdown of App Development Costs 

The scope of elements of an application can be from the mobile application methodology, which is an essential factor in evaluating the mobile app development cost breakdown.

Let’s elaborate on the App Development Cost in 3 stages:  

A. Pre-development costs ($5,000 – $20,000, 1-2 months)

1. Idea Validation and Market Research 

In any app development process, it is important to understand your target audience, app feasibility, competitors, and more. 

  • Cost: $5000 – $20,000
  • Timeline: 1 -2 Months 

2. Wireframing and Prototyping

In this stage, there is a visual planning of the app layout and the user flow before the actual coding and process starts. 

  • Cost: $1,000 – $5,000
  • Timeline: 1-2 weeks

3. UI/UX design

Building a user-friendly and visually appealing interface is essential, and it is done through these steps to appeal to the app interface. 

  • Cost: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Timeline: 2-4 weeks

B. Development costs ($30,000 – $150,000+, 3-12 months)

1. Front-end development 

The development is used to build the user-facing part of the app, which interacts with the users. 

  • Cost: $10,000 – $75,000
  • Timeline: 3-8 months

2. Back-end development 

This stage of development creates the server-side functionality that powers the app data storage and logic. 

  • Cost: $15,000 – $100,000+
  • Timeline: 4-12 months

3. Third-Party Integrations

It connects the app with external services such as payment gateways, social media logic, etc.

  • Cost:$1,000 – $20,000+
  • Timeline: 1-2 months

4. Quality Assurance and Testing

The last stage of development identifies and fixes bugs for a smooth user experience. 

  • Cost: $5,000 – $15,000
  • Timeline: 1-2 months

C. Post-development costs ($1,000 – $20,000+, 3 to 12 months)

1. App launch and deployment 

It includes submitting the app to Play or Aoo stores and giving it a launch. 

  • Cost:$1,000 – $5,000
  • Timeline: 1 – 4 weeks

2. Maintenance and updates

This is a constant process of fixing bugs, adding new features, and keeping the app up to date with security measures. 

  • Cost:$5,000 – $20,000+
  • Timeline: Ongoing/ every year

3. Marketing and User Acquisition

It includes prompting the app to gain users with marketing strategies.

  • Cost: $5,00 -$20,000
  • Timeline: Highly Variable

These are all estimated costs and timelines, which can change depending on the app’s complexity, project scope, and development rates. 

There is no fixed cost of building an application as it relies upon various variables, including application highlights, functionalities, UI/UX configuration, building up a group’s aptitude and their geolocation, tech stack, and the sky’s the limit from there.

More than all of these, the types of applications matter the most in calculating the mobile app development cost. Here is a rundown of some of the most curated apps and its estimated cost and timeline.

App Type Time Estimate for DevelopmentCost Estimated
On-demand6-8 months$60,000-$400,000
E-commerce8-12 months$40,000-$500,000
Social Media10-12 months$50,000-$500,000
Travel and Hospitality6-8 months$30,000-$300,000
Education4-6 months$30,000-$250,000
Gaming6-12 months
(depending on the type of game) 
$10,000-$500,000 or more (depending on the type of game) 
Data – Driven8 – 10 months$40,000-$120,000

| Read This: How do we Optimize Mobile Applications for Better Battery Life?

Key Factors Affecting App Development Cost

In what capacity can you precisely appraise the mobile app development cost? Or how much does it cost to make an app? The primary application cost driver is the application’s highlights.

Key Factors Affecting App Development Cost

1. App Complexity 

a) Simple Apps 

  • Complexity: Simple, Basic. 
  • Design and User Interface: Basic
  • Pricing: $5,000 –  $20,000
  • Timeline: 4 to 6 months 

b) Moderate Apps

  • Complexity: Moderate
  • Design and User Interface: Custom
  • pricing: $20,000 – $80,000
  • Timeline: 4 to 8 months

c) Complex Apps

  • Complexity: Complicated
  • Design and User Interface: High-End
  • Pricing: $80,000 0  $300,000
  • Timeline: 8 to  12 months

These estimates numbers are based on different industry types, projects, and more. All the app’s prices vary because of external factors. Additionally, these timelines can be affected by these factors in mobile app development. 

2. Platform

The application can be opened over a few stages, such as IOS, Android, Windows, and Web, or all together. The response to this relies upon where the client is.

Android and Apple IOS have various interfaces and frameworks, and applications created for these stages are certainly unique. 

a) iOS Development  

The iOS development mobile app involves the iOS operating system, which is built using Objective C or Swift programming language and Xcode IDE.  

  • Average cost: $25,00 to $150,000+
  • Timeline – 4 to 8 months. 

b) Android Development 

Android development focuses on building apps for devices running on the Android operating system, Kotlin or Java programming languages, and Android Studio IDE.

  • Average Cost: $30,000 to $150,000+
  • Timeline – 5 to 10 months

c) Windows App Development 

Windows App development creates apps that work on Windows operating systems using technologies like UWP, .Net, and WinUI. 

  • Average Cost: $30,000 to$150,000+
  • Timeline – 5 to 10 months. 

d) Progressive Web Apps – PWAs

The PWAs are web applications that use modern web technology to provide a better experience on various devices and platforms. 

  • Average Cost:$,20,000 to $100,000+
  • Timeline – 3 to 6 months.        

3. Development Team

The major consideration in mobile app development cost is the team you choose to build the app with. Choosing the correct development team is essential as it has many benefits. It gives higher quality projects, so here is some expert guidance in choosing the development partner. 

a) In-house Team 

Make an in-house team of app developers who work directly with your company. The company paid a salary for it, and the app was built as per the instructions from management. 

The cost of hiring a house team varies on many factors, and the cost contradicts the same.  

  • Full stack developers – $180,000 yearly. 
  • Designer – $160,000 yearly. 
  • Native mobile app developers – $170,00.

b) Freelancer 

You can opt for freelancers for quick app development for a small project. Communication will be needed to manage the project and guide through proper project conditions. 

There are two ways to hire freelancers: First, on a Contract Basis, and Second, on an Hourly Basis. 

The average app development cost is calculated on the hourly price of a freelancer, depending on the country. Here are some of the examples: 

Region Cost/Hour
UK$110
USA$130
South America$60
Western Europe$70
Eastern Europe$60
Australia$100
India$50

c) Outsourcing 

For outsourcing mobile app development, you can contract with a company that helps create your app from scratch and manage the overall architecture. 

Outsourcing app creation is a great help, mainly for MVP development. It benefits cost-effectiveness, high-quality products, quick delivery, a transparent development process, and adherence to compliance laws. 

The future app development stages are used for proper execution from the discovery phase to the app live stage. Again, each factor may vary based on the development team that may proceed directly with the app development.

4. Design

UI/UX design is an important feature for interaction with customers. It’s all about the user experience and how the users feel on a platform. It will help users to get: 

  • Easy sign-up or log-in 
  • User-friendly experience
  • Fascinating design of the product 
  • The overall cost is around $5,000 – $20,000
  • Timeline: 4-8 weeks.

Before a mobile app development phase starts, dependable programming advancement firms, as a rule, give you a harsh, versatile application improvement quote.

app development cost

These things are introduced as product excess. A product excess is a rundown of the highlights, changes to existing highlights, bug fixes, framework changes, and more. 

Here is the Breakdown of how much it costs to make an app by development phase

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App Based on Development Phase?

1. Project Scope and Strategy

Pre-research, discovery, planning, and strategy are involved in this Phase. It takes around 10% of the mobile app development stage and mostly takes around 20-200 hours. The estimated cost and time in this Stage is $1000 -$11,000, with a timeline of 2 to 4 weeks

2. Design Stage 

The second Phase involves software prototyping, wireframing, user experience design, and UI design. It takes around $2,500 – $10,000 with a 3 to 5 week timeline. 

3. Development Stage

The development stage is an expensive and complex stage of mobile app development, where the functionality defines the cost. It involves features, functions, storage, third-party integration, etc. This Stage takes 2 to 6 months, estimated at $3,000 – $60,000.  

4. Testing and Deployment Stage

This phase is important in estimating the cost of making an app without unnecessarily spending resources on post-lung bug fixes. It is estimated to cost more than $5,000 in a timeline of 2 to 4 weeks.

Mobile App Development Costs by App Types

There are many kinds of mobile applications, and each type of application is different in development, and pricing and timeline depend on the same. Here is an overview of some of the most well-known app developments. 

1. Marketplace App

The marketplace app development can vary widely depending on the platform, features, backend, integrations, etc. The average development cost ranges from $50,000 to $200,00+.  The app development can take a timeline from 4 to 12 months

2. Social Media App

Social media apps are fun to engage with but complex to develop. It involves functionalities like profiles, news feeds, messaging systems, users, engagement, etc. Social media app development costs range from $50,000 to $500,000+. The app usually takes 6 to 18 months to develop. 

A great example of a social media app is ” A social networking platform connecting fans with Youtubers.” 

3. Healthcare App

The healthcare app requires compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA, and it involves telemedicine, health record integration, appointment scheduling, fitness tracking, and more. The cost of developing healthcare apps ranges from $80,000 to $300,000+. The development time takes around 6  to 18 months

There are many great healthcare apps, such as “Healthify Me,”  which help track your fitness goals’ progress.

4. Entertainment App

Entertainment apps encompass various types of content, such as multimedia content, gaming apps, streaming platforms, etc. The cost varies depending on features, ranging from $40,000 to $500,000+. Also, the timeline depends on the type of app, and its complexity ranges from 4 to 12 months, or for more high-quality apps, it takes around 6 to 18 months

We have built one such app for “Event Booking & Live Streaming App – My Event Advisor”, For easy access to events and live-streaming fun.

5. Game App

The game app development involves designing the gameplay sound effects, user interfaces, graphics, and backend services like in-app purchases, multiplayer support, etc. The game apps’ price range varies mostly, from $ 20,000 to several hundred thousand dollars for high-end titles. 

Again, the development time ranges from 3 to 12 months for simple games and 6 to 24 months for more complex games.

We have developed a fantasy game,” Gaming PWA with Crypto Payment Functionality.” 

On-Demand Service App 

The On-demand service apps need special features like secure payment processing, user ratings, real-time tracking, algorithms, and more. The On-demand service app costs range from $80,000 to $300,000+. And the development takes around 6 to 18 months

Platform and Technology Based App Development Cost

The application requirement and the data gathering normally additionally characterize the stages on which the application must be made accessible.

The choice of platform, iOS, and Android, for the technology stack significantly impacts the mobile app development cost. 

  • In iOS, the initial cost might be higher than the initial cost for specialized skills and tools. Average development cost: $25,000 to $150,000+.
  • Android has lower initial development costs and gives more flexibility with more widely used technologies. Average development cost: $15,000 to $150,000+.
  • In Cross-Platform – iOS and Android can use many frameworks, which is cost-effective compared to developing different native apps. Average development cost: $40,000 to $200,000+.

The Technology stack also plays an important role in calculating mobile app development costs.

  • Native Development: Build apps using languages and tools such as Swift or Objective-C for iOS, Kotlin, or Java for Android. Average cost: $25,000 to $200,000+.
  • Cross-Platform Development: It uses frameworks like React Native, Flutter, or Xamarin and allows code sharing across platforms. Average cost: $40,000 to $150,000+.
  • Backend Infrastructure: The choice of backend infrastructures like Server-side technology, cloud services, databases, etc, impacts costs. Average cost: $5,000 to $50,000+

“Added to this is the assortment of gadget types, goals, and working framework forms to be upheld. Moreover, data usage applications require a lightweight laborer for headway and lead to the answer of how much it costs to make an app.”

  • As per the Buildfire research, in a day, 21% of Millennials open an app more than 50 times, whereas 49% of the audience opens the app more than 11 times.                                                                               
  • On a standard basis, users download 30 apps each month, and it comes from a mobile app where it consumes  57% of all digital media usage

Types of Applications

A mobile application, in layman’s terms, is a product created to program explicitly on your smartphones and tablets.

At present, are all mobile apps the equivalent? Undoubtedly not. There are three kinds of versatile applications – Web, Native, and Hybrid.

1. Web Application 

The web app is accessed by web browsers and cannot be downloaded. It functions like a website but has more interactive features. The web app’s only drawback is that it relies entirely on the internet for functionality. 

  • For basic apps: $15,000 – $25,000 
  • For Complex apps: $60,000 – $300,000+
  • Estimated Time: 2- 6 months 
  • Examples of Web apps: Google Docs, Netflix, Trello 

2. Native App 

The apps are developed for particular operations on each platform, iOS and Android. It offers the best performance and user experience. It gives full access to device features for smooth performance and optional functionality. However, separate development is required for both platforms. 

  • For Basic App: $10,000 – $50,000
  • For Complex App: $50,000- $300,000+
  • Estimated Time: 4 – 12 months
  • Examples of  Native apps: WhatsApp, Uber, Angry Bird

3. Hybrid App

Hybrid apps combine the elements of web and native apps. It was developed using native app packages and web technologies. Hybrid apps work cross-platform on a single codebase. However, the app has limited access to some devices compared to the native and slow user experience. 

  • App Cost: $40,000-$200,000+
  • Estimate Time: 4-8 months
  • Examples of Hybrid apps: Instagram, X ( Twitter), Evernote

Functionalities of the App

When questioning how much it costs to make an app, the answer depends on the functionalities, including design, user interface, app complexity, and more. 

As mobile applications are becoming increasingly better in class, there is no restriction to what an application can do for all intents and purposes.

Along these lines, the expense can begin at two or three hundred dollars and go soaring to more than thousands. Consider the accompanying kinds of App:

The functionalities of mobile app development significantly impact the development timeline and cost.

1. List App 

The List app is the basic application that allows users to view, manage, and create lists. It has functions like adding, deleting, and editing list items and categorizing lists with search options. 

  • Cost: $10,000 to $40,000+. 
  • Timeline: 2 -4 months.

2. Dyanamic App 

The dynamic app is more complex than the list app. It includes real-time data updates, user interactions, and integration with external services. For example- Social media apps, eCommerce platforms, etc. 

  • Cost: $60,000 to $300,000+.
  • Timeline: 4-12 months. 

Here’s a table summarizing the key differences:

Feature List App Dynamic App 
Description Easy List ManagementReal-time & User Interactions
Pricing $10,000 to $40,000+$60,000 to $300,000+
Timeline 2 to 4 Months4 to 12 Months

How to Reduce App Development Costs

Until now, we have discussed the average app development cost,  which is surely high, so let’s discuss how to reduce app development costs. It involves strategic planning, leveraging cost-saving techniques, and efficient resource allocation. 

1. Clear Requirements: 

The clear requirement list can save up to 10-30% or more by avoiding scope creep and unnecessary features.

2. Cost- Effective Technologies: 

Having precise chosen technologies can help to save 10-50%. The open-source tools eliminate licensing fees, and cross-platform development reduces code duplication for iOS and Android versions. 

3. Outsource Wisely

The savings can vary significantly based on location. Outsourcing to regions with lower development rates can save almost 30-70% compared to in-house development in high-cost areas. 

4. Start with MVP

Developing the app with the properly chosen MVP can help save 20-50% compared to building the fully featured app upfront. It can add features later based on user feedback. 

5. Implement Agile Methodology

As mentioned, Agile practices can save 10-20% by promoting efficient resource allocation, faster iteration based on feedback, and minimizing rework due to changing requirements. 

Hidden Costs in Mobile App Development

As we have gone through the cost of app development, there are still some hidden charges in building the app. Let’s decode these unsaid charges, which will be a constant in the app development process. 

1. Maintenance

After app development, the app requires ongoing maintenance and updates to stay functional and keep pace with the latest technology. It also includes adding new features and fixing bugs. It is expected to spend 15-20% of your initial development. 

2. Security 

The additional charge in app development is app security. The apps need a proper security plan in place all the time. There should be proper testing and security checks from time to time to ensure the app works effectively. 

Simple apps may require a one-time security audit that costs around $2,000-$5,000, with ongoing vulnerability scanning around $500-$1,000 monthly.

3. Testing and Debugging 

As the app development is finished, one must test it thoroughly to ensure it works properly. Testing costs can range from 10-20% of your development cost. It involves proper testing on various levels, like platforms and devices, as it takes a significant time. 

4. App Publishing costs 

After developing the app, it was placed on the Play Store for Android and Apple Store for iOS apps with proper charge. This part also includes the extra charge for building the mobile app. Google Play Store has a one-time registration fee of $25, while the Apple App Store has an annual fee of $99.

5. Marketing and Promotion

One of the important things post-app development is getting the app downloaded by users. For that, proper social media exposure marketing strategies are required, impacting the overall cost of app development. Marketing costs are highly variable depending on your chosen strategies. 

| Also a Good Read: What Should a Startup Focus on While Developing a Mobile App?

Final Words: Planning for Cost-Effective App Development

Building a mobile app development is an exciting venture, but it’s vital for an approach to realizing mobile app development costs. We have highlighted key factors that impact app development costs, from app functionality, development approach, hidden charges, etc. 

Remember, budgeting and planning are paramount. Openxcell helps clearly define your app goals, prioritize features, and explore cost-saving strategies like cross-platform and agile development. We can significantly reduce the development cost without giving up on quality.

One can achieve a successful and cost-effective mobile app development journey by understanding these factors and prioritizing value over unnecessary features. 

Frequently Asked Questions for App Development Cost

1. What factors influence app development costs?

There are several factors that influence the app development costs, including the complexity of platforms, features, designs UI/UX, development approach, type of team, integration of third-party services, maintenance, support, and a few more things. 

2. What is the average start-up cost for app development?

The average cost of start-up app development varies widely depending on the project’s complexity and scope. The basic app with limited functions can start at a few dollars, around $20,000, while more complex feature-rich apps can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, around $500,000+.

3. Are there ongoing costs after the app is developed?

Yes, there are ongoing costs after the app is developed; it includes updates, maintenance, support, and hosting. These costs are important to ensure that apps remain functional, up-to-date, and secure with growing technology and user expectations. 

4. Can I estimate app development costs accurately before starting the project?

It is hard to provide the exact estimated cost upfront; you can estimate app development costs by analyzing the project requirements, discussing with development teams, and other factors such as integration, platforms, design complexity, etc. However, you can go through our blog to see the estimated costs of your project requirements. 

5. How long does it take to develop an app?

The time required for app development depends on various factors like features, platforms, design requirements, complexity, etc. Simple apps with basic features can developed in a few months, while more complex apps take up to one to two years from start to finish.                                                                                                                                                                

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Manushi Khambholja
AUTHOR

Manushi, a former literature student, now crafts content as a writer. Her style merges simple yet profound ideas. Intrigued by literature and technology, she strives to produce content that captivates and stimulates.

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