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App Development Costs: How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?

Marek Pałys

May 24, 20235 min read

Software developmentBusiness plan

Table of Content

  • Mobile App Development Cost: Hybrid vs. Native Mobile Apps

  • Building an App on a Budget

  • Large Scale App Development Company vs. Freelancers

  • App Development Cost Breakdown

  • Hidden App Development Costs to Factor In

  • App Development Process to Get Started

  • How Much Time Does it Take to Develop an App?

  • Conclusion

  • FAQs:

Having a mobile app for your business is no longer a luxury—it's a necessity. But, with the myriad of factors involved, how much does it cost to make an app? This comprehensive guide will shed light on every aspect of app development cost.

Mobile App Development Cost: Hybrid vs. Native Mobile Apps

When you're venturing into mobile app development, the primary decision you'll face is choosing between hybrid and native mobile apps. Hybrid apps are developed once and can be released on both Android and iOS. They offer low cost mobile app development but may not provide the refined user experience that native apps, designed specifically for Android or iOS, can offer. As a result, native app development can be more expensive, but it can deliver a more polished look and feel.

Building an App on a Budget

Being on a budget doesn't mean you have to compromise on app quality. By choosing the right app development team, using platforms with basic features, or even opting for a hybrid app, businesses can reduce the overall mobile app development cost.

Large Scale App Development Company vs. Freelancers

A common misconception is that hiring freelancers might be cheaper than engaging with a large scale mobile app development company. While initial costs might be lower, the expertise, infrastructure, and resources offered by established companies ensure timely delivery, quality assurance, and post-launch app maintenance.

App Development Cost Breakdown

  • User Interface and Visuals: A major chunk of your app development budget will be spent on creating a user-friendly interface. Custom graphics and animations can enhance the user experience but can also add to the cost.
  • Backend Development: The foundation of your mobile app lies in its backend. Complex apps might require a custom server, which can increase the development cost.
  • App Features and Functionalities: The complexity of your app directly influences the cost. For instance, a basic app with limited functionality will cost less compared to a social networking app with multiple features.
  • Design and Clickable Prototype: Before the app goes into development, a clickable prototype is designed. This step involves additional costs but is essential to map out the user journey.
  • Quality Assurance and App Testing: Post development, apps undergo rigorous testing. Ensuring it's bug-free requires time and adds to the mobile app development cost.

Hidden App Development Costs to Factor In

  • App Maintenance: Like any product, apps require regular maintenance. Updates, bug fixes, and new feature additions are inevitable, leading to ongoing app development costs.
  • App Marketing: Without a robust mobile app marketing strategy, even the best apps can go unnoticed. Allocating a portion of your app development budget to marketing is essential.
  • App Store Fees: Both iOS and Android app stores charge fees for app listing, which many forget to consider in the initial budget.
  • How Can You Reduce Your Mobile App Development Costs?
  • Develop a Hybrid App: As mentioned earlier, hybrid apps can be a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.
  • Outsource Mobile App Development: Sometimes, outsourcing mobile app development to countries with lower development costs can result in savings.
  • Prioritize Features: Start with a basic app version and gradually roll out additional features based on user feedback.

App Development Process to Get Started

  • Ideation: Every successful app begins with a unique idea.
  • Planning and Cost Estimation: This stage involves understanding the app's complexity, deciding on native vs. hybrid, and estimating the mobile app development cost.
  • Designing: A pivotal phase where the app's look and feel are crafted.
  • Development: The actual coding happens now.
  • Testing: Before launch, the app is rigorously tested for bugs and performance.
  • Launch: After approval from app stores, the app goes live.
  • Maintenance: Regular updates and fixes ensure the app stays current.

How Much Time Does it Take to Develop an App?

The time to develop an app varies based on its complexity. A basic app might take 3-4 months, while complex apps can take 6-12 months or more.


Mobile app development is a complex process influenced by various factors. Whether you’re considering hybrid or native mobile apps, understanding the costs involved will better prepare you for the journey ahead. Remember, while the upfront app development cost is a significant factor, it’s the value and ROI the app brings that truly matters.

For those still in the contemplation phase, our team has prepared an array of ultimate guides. If you're thinking about application development, we recommend that you read “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" to gain more insights.

Considering the journey of app development? Consult us to get a clearer perspective and accurate cost breakdown for your vision.


What are the main factors that influence app development costs?

The primary factors include the type of app (hybrid vs. native), its complexity, design, backend development, and additional features.

How do hybrid and native apps differ in cost?

Hybrid apps are generally more cost-effective as they are developed once for all platforms, while native apps, tailored for specific platforms, can be pricier.

Are there hidden costs in app development?

Yes, hidden costs can include app maintenance, marketing expenses, and app store listing fees.

How can I reduce mobile app development costs?

Consider developing a hybrid app, outsourcing development, or prioritizing core features for the initial launch.

Why do complex apps cost more to develop?

Complex apps require more intricate coding, advanced features, and undergo a more extensive testing process, increasing the costs.

How does the choice of platform (iOS vs. Android) affect the development cost?

Development costs can vary between platforms due to different coding languages, platform-specific guidelines, and testing processes.

Is it more expensive to maintain an app post-launch?

Maintenance can include updates, bug fixes, and adding new features, which can contribute to ongoing costs.

Does the number of app features directly affect the cost?

Yes, the more features an app has, the more complex its development process, increasing the costs.

How significant are design and user interface in determining the app's price?

High-quality design and user interface often require specialized skills, which can raise the development cost.

Do backend and administrative services add to the development cost?

Yes, backend infrastructure and administrative services play a vital role in app functionality and thus add to the development costs.

What is a clickable prototype, and why does it impact the budget?

A clickable prototype is an interactive model of the app which helps in understanding user experience and flow, impacting initial design and testing costs.

Is outsourcing mobile app development a good idea to save costs?

Outsourcing can be cost-effective, but it's essential to ensure quality and communication with the development team.

How do video streaming and social networking features impact the budget?

Such features require robust backend support and additional testing, leading to higher costs.

What are the cost implications of supporting multiple mobile OS versions?

Supporting multiple versions means additional testing and optimization, adding to the cost.

How does app marketing affect the overall budget?

While not a development cost, app marketing is crucial for visibility and user acquisition, adding to the overall budget.

How do I estimate the average mobile app development cost?

An estimate involves considering the app's type, features, design, backend, and the hourly rate of developers.

What is the significance of quality assurance in app development?

Quality assurance ensures the app's smooth functionality and user experience, making it an integral but cost-increasing part of the process.

Are there additional costs for apps that require data storage or cloud integration?

Yes, apps requiring data storage or cloud services might have additional infrastructure and maintenance costs.

How do push notifications affect app development costs?

Integrating push notifications can raise costs due to additional backend infrastructure and service subscriptions.

What factors should I consider when hiring an app development company?

Consider the company's experience, portfolio, client testimonials, communication skills, and their cost estimates.

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App Development Costs: How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?

Published on May 24, 2023


Marek Pałys Head of Sales

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