How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?

How much does it cost to start an app?

The question is fair enough. After all, not less than 85% of startups are app-oriented (to a varying degree). According to statistics (, the number of downloads of mobile applications had reached $ 44.4 billion in the first two quarters of 2017. In comparison, over the past year, users have launched about $75.7 billion Android and iOS apps. You cannot ignore such dynamics, for it means the market is growing rapidly.

If you want to get a slice of this "cake", you should create an app which really solves the problems of your potential users. But, of course, you'll be faced with difficulties during the process... Among others, you're likely to be interested in answers to the following questions: how much does it cost to make an app? And how to choose the team of skilled developers?

Let's discuss the issue in detail, step by step!

Popular types of mobile apps

Today, more and more people prefer to take advantage of applications. In a rapidly developing environment, it has become really convenient to get information using mobile devices: no matter whether we’re standing in a queue, drinking coffee in a cafe, or doing business.

how much does it cost to make an ap

As you see, the game is worth the candle, but what is the average price of such a game? We mean, how much does it cost to build a smartphone app?

However, before moving on to the main issue, let's look at what types of applications there are and how you can make a profit with their help.

Mobile app types

#1. Native applications

This is the most common app type. Such mobile applications are written in programming languages approved by software developers for each specific platform, so they can be organically integrated into the operating systems. These apps meet all the requirements of App Store or Google Play.

Native applications can work fully or partially even if there is no Internet, so users are less dependent on the quality of the wi-fi connection.

Of course, the process of making an app requires the developer to have special knowledge and skills to work in a particular development environment. In fact, he has to create a separate product for each platform. As a consequence, the app cost is higher.

#2. Web applications and mobile version of the site

These apps are based on web technology so that they’re able to work seamlessly on a mobile device. The main and undoubted advantage, in such a case, is cross-platform property. It means one should create an app just once, and it will operate on different platforms.

However, there are also drawbacks. For example, these apps don’t allow you to use the camera or geolocation features of your smartphone, and you cannot download the mobile program from the application stores.

#3. Hybrid applications

A hybrid (or cross-platform) app is similar to a native one. It is something between a native application and a web one. Such programs can be installed through official stores, they have limited access to the hardware of smartphones and tablets, and allow you to configure push notifications (as opposed to web applications). Also, they are usually cheaper than native applications, so the cost of making an app can be greatly reduced.

The quality and capabilities of hybrid applications depend on the framework used by the app developer.

Choose the type of a mobile application (or, rather, the development approach) based on your main goals. Be careful: in the end, you don't want your clients to get negative impressions and delete the program shortly after installation. Agree, it'd be difficult to persuade them to download your mobile app again, even if you have significantly improved it.

Ways to monetize your app

In addition to the question of “How much does an app cost (to make it)?”, you’re probably interested in possible ways to monetize your mobile service. We offer a few simple but effective options:

  1. Paid applications, the most obvious way to earn on apps, but not the most effective one. Only very promoted mobile services might use such a monetization option in their favor.

  2. Light and Pro versions. You create two app versions: a simple and a complex one (the Pro version should have extended functionality). Users must pay a subscription to access additional app features. And your task is to persuade them to take this step.

  3. In-app purchases. Another way to make money on mobile applications is to offer users built-in purchases: some special features, interesting vivid stickers, and so on.

  4. Advertisers, a very demanded monetization way which satisfies everyone: users are happy to have a free mobile service, advertisers are promoting their products, you're getting money… The only problem is the necessity to force potential sponsors to choose your program as an advertising platform.

It's up to you to decide which monetization method to opt for. Of course, it’s an important factor, which should be considered when developing a mobile application. So take your time and think the matter over.

And in the meantime, we’ll proceed to the next important issue, namely…

What does the cost of application development depend on?

How much does it cost to build an app and what affects the final price? What experts do you need to successfully work on the project? Is it possible to save during the app development process? What factors should you consider choosing development agencies? Surely, these questions are very interesting to you, so let's try to answer them.

The cost of developing an app for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone is determined by the following criteria:

  • The executor, namely, a development company. Say if you live in the US and order an application from local app development companies, the total cost will be 2-3 times higher than if you had employed specialists from Eastern Europe. Though, we’ll talk it through a bit later.

  • The level of app complexity. The more features the app has, the more expensive the service is.

  • App design. Further, in the article, we’ll explain to you why the design factor is so important.

  • The choice of the platform. We advise that you cover all platforms when building the app. Such an option is more expensive, but it is also more profitable  (taking into account future earnings).

  • App promotion. In addition to the cost of building an application, there are also costs for its promotion.

Let's take a look at some of these points in detail.

A development firm

A high price doesn’t always indicate a high quality if it concerns mobile application development. It becomes obvious if you compare the rates of agencies from around the world.

Rates of app developers of the same qualification for 1 hour of working time:

  • USA ($ 100-150 and more). The cost of a simple application: from $10 000 - 20 000.

  • Great Britain (£ 100-180). The cost of simple application development: from $18 000 - 20 000.

  • Western Europe (80 -150 €). The cost of creating an app of a simple level: from $18 000 - 19 000.

  • Eastern Europe ($ 20-70). The cost of a simple application: from $5 000 - 8 000.

  • Ukraine (about 30-50 $). The cost of making an app of a simple level: from $ 5,000.

  • India ($ 10-30). The cost of a simple application: from $ 5,000. The price is rather low, but the code quality is quite depressing

Analyzing these data, we can conclude that the cost of application development is highest in the USA and Great Britain, and the best ratio of quality and price is offered by app developers from Ukraine.

The level of app complexity

The actual cost to build an app depends on the amount of work the team fulfills. Here are the parameters which affect this factor and, accordingly, the mobile development budget:

  • Number of screens;

  • Custom controls;

  • Types of devices;

  • Screen orientation modes;

  • Security;

  • Supported OS versions;

  • A number of languages supported.

Of course, we gave you just a brief overview. The more complex your application becomes (the more app features you want to add), the more time and money the development agency would need.

By the by, what experts should you hire in order to build an app?

What kind of specialists do you need?

The key question of our article (how much does it cost to build an app?) should be put to those who will participate in your project. But who are they, these people?

Let’s see!

On average, about 7-15 experts should work on developing a mobile application: project managers, marketing specialists, UX/UI designers, developers (iOS, Android, Backend), QA engineers, art, and technical directors.

Why do you need them?

  • Marketers with designers under the guidance of the art director are elaborating on the app logic and searching for a suitable graphics solution.

  • Developers led by a technical director are implementing the app idea.

  • Finally, the application is being tested and sent to the client (with whom the experienced project manager cooperates during the development time).

Such a scheme clearly demonstrates why you must hire so many people to create a competitive application. Obviously, you won’t be able to cope with the task at a high level on your own.

App design

How much does an app cost, to design it?

Don’t forget to find out the answer to the above question because UI/UX design is another extremely important part of the app development process.

Competent design is an intuitive guide to helping a user solve his problem. The program interface should be simple, clear, intuitive, and user-friendly: in other words, make sure your customer needs only a few taps to achieve his goal.

Speaking of the cost to build the custom design, it all depends on the number of screens and the orientation of the image.

app development cost

We’ve told what affects the average cost to develop an app and now would like to discuss the ways to reduce it.

How can you reduce costs when building an app?

Suppose you asked a question (how much does it cost to create an app?) and got your answer, but you didn't like it, the price seemed too high. What should you do in such a case? What must be envisaged in the development process and how can you save?

We'll figure it out point by point.

Foresee all possibilities

In order to avoid overpaying, you must foresee all possibilities when making an app, namely:

  • Analysis. Preliminary market research would help you avoid a lot of risks: say, you won't release an application, which has no demand. Thanks to analysis, you’ll be able to find out the needs of your future customers.

  • Prototype. It's better to create an app prototype to make sure your mobile service meets your expectations. Having a quality, well-designed prototype gives you a clear understanding of the final product and speeds up the work at all other stages.

  • Technical design brief. The most important document is the technical design brief which allows you to define your app requirements and indicate each deadline.

What can you save on?

What are the options for reducing mobile phone app development costs? We propose to consider the following ways to save:

  • Minimal functionality. Start by creating an MVP model. Remove all secondary app features and leave only the most significant ones. Later, you’ll get your chance to diversify the functionality of your mobile product - if you find it necessary, of course.

  • The location of the development firm. This factor we’ve already mentioned and described how you could use it in your favor.

  • The size of the company. The larger the company, the higher the cost of its services.

    • Small development agencies (about 2-3 persons): you’ll need about $30,000 - $150,000 to develop an app;

    • Medium-sized companies. The mobile app cost will be from $200,000 to $500,000.

    • Giants of mobile development. App costs may exceed $500,000.

mobile application development

If you want to reduce your cost of application development, don’t be guided by the size of the company. When choosing an agency, focus on the quality of pieces you see in its portfolio.

Mobile app cost by a real example

You may be wondering about the cost of the already built apps - programs, which have proven their usefulness and high demand. We can unravel a mystery and tell you the average cost to develop an app of the Uber model. Believe us, the scheme used to create the Uber app would come in handy not only for taxi service but also for product delivery, medical online consultations, etc.

The creation of the Uber-like application will take about 400-700 hours. The back-end development will take another 300-400 hours. Of course, you still need to consider the time required to build the admin panel (about 50-80 hours). As a result, we have 750-1180 hours for the entire development process.

Taking into account the hourly rates of mobile development (mentioned earlier), we can calculate the approximate cost of making an app in different regions:

  • US: $ 50,000 - $ 250,000;

  • Canada: $ 50,000 - $ 250,000;

  • Australia: $ 45,000 - $ 150,000;

  • Western Europe: $ 50,000 - $ 180,000;

  • Eastern Europe: $ 30,000- $ 150,000;

  • India: $ 10,000- $ 75,000.


how much does it cost to create an app


As you see, specialists would answer the question "How much does it cost to develop an app?" in different ways, depending on their location.

And now it’s time to look at the cost of creating an app in stages.

How much does it cost to make an app?

Estimation of the mobile app development cost is a creative process, for each project is unique, and there are always a few ways to implement the functionality you need. But our experts are experienced enough and able to make an approximate appraisal of the required budget.

First of all, we always divide the project into stages, such as:

  • Analysis and specification of requirements and tasks;

  • Estimation of the cost of…

    • developing prototypes;

    • design development;

    • project development;

    • testing;

  • Risk assessment.

Our experts analyze each stage and give an initial estimate of the likely costs.

However, to give you a more accurate answer about future expenses, let's see what stages the app development process includes.

Stages of the app development process

The process of making an app consists of several consecutive stages. Deadlines at each stage may vary depending on the complexity of the task.

  1. Free cost estimate

  2. A detailed study of the problem, market exploration, analysis of the competitors

  3. Prototyping. Writing a technical project

  4. Application design

  5. Coding process

  6. Testing

  7. Release

Now that we understand the way of building an app, we can get a better idea of our future costs.

Mobile app development cost estimate

We’d like to provide you with a kind of app cost calculator. It'll come in handy if you need to plan your development budget.

  • Simple applications - about 250-400 hours of work.

  • Applications of medium complexity - about 500-700 hours of work.

  • Complex apps - no less than 700 hours.

Having such data and knowing the rates of agencies around the world, you’ll get your final answer. Of course, we suggest that you focus on the cost to build an app in Eastern Europe. Such an option is affordable in price and impressive in quality.


So you had a simple question: how much does it cost to make an iPhone/Android app? Hopefully, we've answered it. But let's summarize:

  • To be popular, your future mobile application must meet the needs of your target audience. If your customers don’t get a solution to their problem, the app is unlikely to bring you any benefits (even if the app code has been perfectly written and custom design is just excellent). Therefore, the customer's wishes come first.

  • Be responsible when hiring the outsourcing team of app developers. Evaluate the price offers in the selected location, pay attention to projects from the portfolio of chosen development agencies. Try to find the best combination of price and experience.

  • Discuss in detail the future project with your development company: business logic and functionality, the region in which you plan to launch the product, a monetization system, and analytics.

  • Decide on your preferences regarding the design of your mobile application.

  • When all the above points have been resolved and approved, move forward to success!

We offer our mobile application development services and guarantee you a full cycle of building an app. It includes analysis of the competitive environment, functionality and design creation, competent testing, and subsequent product support.

How much does it cost to make an app
Interested in our expert help? Contact us right away!



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