How much does it cost to build an app?

How much does it cost to build an app is normally the first question that clients ask after giving a brief about their idea.

The combination of Low Development Cost and High Quality is something that everyone looking to develop a Mobile app hopes to achieve. This is more of possibility in Eastern Countries like India, with $25 – $80/hour Range as compared to the Western Nations which have a chargeof $100 – $350 / hour. 

Cost to Build an App – The Formula

Formula of Cost to build an app

The answer to how much does it cost for mobile app development depends on the calculation of the number of hours it would take for every single step of the development process and multiplying it to the billable hours of resources.

Factors that decide the cost to build an App:

App Discovery

Before the team start preparing for the mobile app development and much before the rough estimate of cost to build an app is shared with your clients, the app idea is confirmed. There are various methods for app development companies apply to validate the idea, such as looking at the competitors, analyzing the user persona, and checking the marketing capitalization.

  • Market Research

From looking for the devices that the app’s user work on to analyzing the features they love to use and leave in the apps falling in the same category as the client’s. The major part of this stage is made of competitor analysis as well.

  • User Personas

The analysis of user personas is fundamental as many factors such as App size, App UI/UX, features, etc. varies from one user demographics to other, which gives its study on mobile app development cost breakdown structure.

The time taken for app discovery is 40 – 80 hours.

App Cost Factor Analysis

Analysis and Scoping

The most important part in determining the cost to build an app is scoping the work. This includes the identifying features the app would have and the technology stack. The major thing to determine in the scope of the project is the app complexity. The meaning of app complexity lies in the number of features it includes and about hundreds of various cost impacting features.

The app complexity is dependent on Backend and Front end Architecture, a number of features in the Admin Panel to control the app.
When it comes to backend development, there are two options – Custom or BaaS. In Custom, clients get their architecture while in BaaS, they get a readymade backend architecture. Custom Backed gives feature flexibility but is complex to implement and hence, costs extra.

Admin Panel helps to manage the app-keep track of the activity, view stats and update the content without the need of involving developers. Now, we can either have basic backend or data-rich analytics-driven Admin Panel. With each type of data point captured in Admin Panel, the time to develop the admin panel increases and hence, the cost to build an app also increases.

The app complexity is also dependent on the number of 3rd party libraries an app has to interact with. Though 3rd party libraries ease the process of development they also introduce long term risks in the system which need to be managed.

Hence, all these factors need to be accounted for to estimate the cost of the app. Thus, depending on the App complexity, a rough cost estimate can be taken like this:

Simple Apps – up to 600-900 hrs

Mid-level apps – up to 900-1600 hrs

Complex apps – more than 1600 hrs       

App category

When you ask how much does it cost to build an app, the answer to your curious question is it varies greatly from type to type. Moving from one category to another, a lot of things change like security, functionalities, the number of users, etc. that leads to varying cost to develop your app. Simple apps like a clock or calendar will cost less but a complex app like Facebook will cost alot

Stand Alone Apps – Cost somewhere around 600-900 hrs

Social networking apps – cost around 1800-2500 hrs

eCommerce Apps – costs around 2000 and above hrs

On-Demand Apps like Uber – 2000 and above hrs

App Design & Animation

cost to design a app is also part of cost of the app

“People ignore design that ignores people.”

The design is a significant factor that adds the answer to how much does it cost for mobile app development. The app design makes the user invest their valuable time in your app. when you decide on the app design, Custom and standard UI are the two options. Customized UI are difficult to design and implement than the standard UI that makes it more expensive. 

The app design cost varies from 150 hrs to 400 hours for a complex one.

App Platform

Target OS for the app affects the cost to build an app

The direct answer to how much does it cost to build an app is also dependent on app platform and the number of OS versions

  • Native Apps (Android and iOS)

Android is an expensive one as there are several devices with different OS version involved. Something that is barely ever an issue in iOS as the app development happens on objective C and swift. You can read through our guide of Android vs iOS to choose the right platform for your app.

  • Hybrid app development

The app developed for both Android and iOS comes with a single code use and less development effort. This might lower the initial cost of development by 15% but we don’t recommend the use of Cross-Platform Technology for the long term. You can read a technology comparison of Native vs Hybrid apps here and decide for yourself.

App Deployment

The developed app needs to adhere to the specific guidelines of both the play store and app store. When you submit an Android app on the play store, the one-time payment fee of $25 should be paid. On the other hand, Apple charges $99 per year.

App maintenance

The cost to build an app does not come to an end. Businesses will have to continue modifying their apps to keep up with the changing market trend and new OS versions, that comes with a cost. Your apps need an update, bug fixes, and design changes, which are calculated yearly at the valuation of 25% of the total mobile app development cost.

Code Reuse

The primary factor that brings the cost slashing down is code reuse. If you decide to reuse the code of an existing app and just change the branding elements, the mobile app development cost becomes much less up to 20-30% lesser than the cost of an app that is coded from scratch. That is where mobile app development companies come in to be very cost-effective.


“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” …

Depending on the team who is developing your mobile app, whether an individual, freelancer, or big corporations, the cost to make an app would vary.

It costs around $450,000 – $1,500,000 for large app development companies with a team size of cost 3000+ developers

The apps developed by mid-cap app development agencies cost $50,000 – $2,00,000 with a team size of 500-1000 developers

mobile app development company structure

Small and Growing Companies with a team size of 10-50 developers costs around $2000 – $40,000.


The location plays a significant role in deciding the cost to build an app. From the west to the east, the cost for app development changes drastically.

Here are per hour cost range of different countries.

cost to build an app per country

How Do We Estimate Your App Development Cost

After understanding your requirements and expectations, we create a scope of work document for the app. Once, you approve the scope of work, we create a detailed proposal for you with all the costs associated to build your app.

So there you have it. The answer to How much does it Cost to Build an App. You can also read our guide on how long does it take to build an app to estimate the cost?

Android vs iOS: 5 factors to choose the right platform for your business

When it comes to building your mobile application choosing Android vs. iOS is a daunting task.  Nowadays, mobile has become the core of a user’s life, owing to which the user’s expectations have also risen drastically. But when it comes to deciding whether to build a business app for Android vs iOS depends on 5 major factors: The target audience, project timeline, desired app features, app maintenance budget and revenue goal.

The Target Audience

When starting any project, you first need to think about the customers who will use your product. To make your app work, you have to know exactly who your target audience is, where these people live, what revenue they have, and what platform they prefer. However, there are key differences in users Android, and iOS attract. Android devices have the most considerable global market share, but the apple dominates the app store for customer spending.

“Knowing your audience is key to marketing success.” 

Android has a more significant increase in developing countries like Asia, South America, and Africa. Whereas in developed countries like US, UK, and Canada, iOS has a more massive hold in this market. Therefore, once you know who your target audience is you need to figure out which platform to choose.


Target Audience for Android vs IOS


The Project Timeline

Another major factor to consider is the project timeline. How fast would you like to get your mobile application to the market? Always you must remember that longer the development duration, the higher the price of development will be.

It is faster, cheaper, and easier to develop for iOS, whereas for Android, it takes 30-40% longer duration. Building an app, that is compatible with numerous range of Android devices takes more time. The android devices have different ranges of screen sizes or OS versions running. Apple’s closed ecosystem contributes to faster development of the application.

Here, mobile app developers play a crucial role in the project timeline. Hence, make sure that they have the right skills, knowledge, and expertise to speed up the release process sooner.

Timeline for Mobile App Development

Desired App Features

“Tech will transform from something we actively use to a more seamless integrated experience that is ‘on’ all the time.”

One of the most important factors is to dissect the features incorporated into it before you jump on a final decision of a mobile app development platform. You may be wondering about what features to offer through your business app? Because Android is open-source, and there is more flexibility to customize your app, where you can build the features and functionality that your audience wants. But there is no doubt that the open environment means Android is more susceptible to malware and pirated apps.

Generally, Apple is perceived as being more secure because of its closed nature. This is the primary reason why iOS has a broader audience in the enterprise market.

Ensure that a good platform is always, easy-to-learn, instinctual, smooth handling of endorsement, and supporting collaborative workflows. Also, make sure that your app owns test-driven features such as supporting hassle-free debugging, hosting, and deployment that helps in maintaining the app throughout a complete lifecycle. Moreover, your project must also include robust features such as authentication, data storage, push notifications, and easy integration with third-party services.


Project Timelines for Mobile Apps

App Budget                                                   

Budgeting the app is one of the deciding elements that influence their choice to choose a specific platform to start the mobile app development process. Developing an application for Android vs iOS is less of the cost that doing both the platforms together.

The longer it takes to build an application, the costlier the application. Going by this, android apps are more expensive when compared to iOS applications. However, this doesn’t mean Android applications are more expensive.

“Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget.” 

The development time can be minimized by using the MVP approach and taking advantage of the large android user base as a beta tester for android apps. But beta testing by iOS users may not always be as effective since the user base is not as large as Android user base.

Therefore, developing an app on the iOS platform is multiple times less time to consume as compared to developing a similar app for an Android platform.


Revenue Goal

Developing and maintaining the app is a costly affair so would  also want to monetise it. There are some primary platform differences to be aware of.

Android users tend to be less willing to pay for apps than iOS users, so free apps with in-apps ads are more common in the Android platform. Android is said to have about 69% of the market share with iOS having about 30%. This is due to more downloads for android applications than iOS applications, which then translates to more revenue to be made from advertisements.

However, for iOS, there are more paid apps in comparison to Android apps. Therefore, one can make money by having users pay for the applications instead of making revenue through ads.

If you are willing to begin with a free application or plan on supporting your app with ad revenue, Android might be the better option. However, if you need to charge for your mobile app, then iOS will be the best platform.


Revenue Goals with Mobile Apps


Android Vs iOS: which one is the best?

Let’s have a quick look at which should you choose between android vs. iOS.

Choose Android

  • To reach a wider audience
  • If you have regular PCs and don’t want to incur additional investment in hardware
  • To customize the app
  • If you prefer a shorter wait time to the app to the Play store

Choose iOS

  • To set a higher revenue per user
  • if you prefer a less complicated development process
  • To reduce the risk of pirate sites and malware
  • if your priority is the privacy and security of user data
  • if you want an application with a better user experience


Android vs iOS is a tough nut to crack. Both the operating system have made tremendous contributions to mobile app development. While each of them has pros and cons, yet both are highly favoured platforms when it comes to mobile app development. For business app development, you must highly depend on your target audience and experience. Picking a platform that takes your business to the next level with great success is beneficial.