Detailed Breakdown For App Development Cost in 2024

Relia Software

Relia Software

Ngoc Den

Relia Software


The average cost to build an app based on complexity level: Simple: $10,000 – $20,000; Medium: $20,000 – $50,000; Complex: $50,000 – $100,000. Read more here!

How Much Does It Cost to Build An App?

Table of Contents

App development can be lucrative, but it demands initial expenses. How much does app development cost? App development costs vary greatly depending on its size and complexity. 

This article will discuss the average costs of app development, from original creation to App Store or web launch. We'll also discuss the elements that affect app development cost and how to keep costs low while meeting requirements.

Factors That Significantly Affect the Cost of Building An App

App Complexity

Developing a more simple app will save you time and money. Adding sophisticated functionality to your mobile app, however, may lengthen the development process and increase the associated costs. That is why you must seriously consider the following questions:

  • How many features are you planning to include in your app?

  • Does the application have complicated business logic?

  • How many screens, buttons, and functions will your app have?

App Type

There are three main types of mobile applications: native, web, and hybrid. The needs, business logic, and features of a certain app type make it distinct from all others.

Native App

In order to create native applications, developers use programming languages that are intrinsic to the operating system of the device. For example, Android developers use Java or Kotlin, while iOS developers use Objective C or Swift.

  • Performance: Highly efficient as they can access native device functions.

  • Code Maintenance: High: All devices cannot utilize one code.

  • Distribution Channel: Located in the OS App store.

  • Best Uses: Games and consumer apps that need high optimization for performance, graphics, and user experience.

Web App

Web applications are essentially a streamlined version of a website that has been responsively designed to work flawlessly on a wide range of devices, from tablets to smartphones.

  • Performance: is dependent on internet connectivity and browser performance.

  • Code Maintenance: Low: All platforms utilize the same code.

  • Distribution Channel: Directly online.

  • Best Uses: Apply to apps with low performance needs and limited resources and funds.

Hybrid App

The needs of a big audience can be best met by hybrid apps, which are developed utilizing a mix of web and native technology.

  • Performance: Low performance due to limited native device features.

  • Code Maintenance: Moderate: One code structure works on all major platforms.

  • Distribution Channel: Located in the OS App store.

  • Best Uses: Apps that need full device access but not high performance.

>> Read more: What is The Difference Between Native and Hybrid App Development?


Functionality is paramount. It requires more time and effort for the software to complete more functionalities. The usual development cycle is lengthened due to the incremental release of features.

The price of a basic file upload or form will be lower than that of more complex features like social feed algorithms, augmented reality, or the synchronization of IoT devices.

Supported Platforms

You can have the option of developing an app either in Android or iOS. In terms of price, these two platforms are very similar. Developing an app first on one platform and then porting it to another is just one example of the many possible approaches. Take Instagram, for example. It debuted on iOS in 2010, but it wasn't until 2014 that Android users could use it.

But there is a programming language barrier between iOS and Android app development. The time and effort required to create an app that works on both platforms is higher than the cost of building for only one. 

In order to make the app work on both Android and iOS, a native coder will have to construct the front end in two different languages: Java and Swift/Objective C. Since the back end will probably be shared, it just needs to be written once.

Using a cross-platform framework, such as React Native, is a more economical option than creating the front end from scratch. Consequently, your developers only need to write code once to create native apps for all of your platforms. The expense of developing the app's front end is cut in half.

Geological Location

>> Read more:

The main reason for the variable cost of an app in various countries is programmer hourly rates.

The location of the development team might affect the cost of building an app because labor costs vary globally. North American and European developers demand higher salaries than Asian and South American developers.

Employment taxes and laws vary widely among countries and regions. Some governments charge developers for taxes, insurance, and benefits, which might raise app development cost.

Location also affects development team infrastructure costs. Some regions have greater office rent, utilities, and other overhead expenditures. The average cost to build an app can also depend on local talent. Finding the proper expertise for a given technology or skillset may be harder and more expensive.

Finally, collaborating with a development team in a distant time zone may slow development and increase coordination and communication costs.

App Design Complexity

App design adds to the cost of building an app. App design must be prioritized to keep users engaged. 

App design typically involves Custom or Standard UI. Customized UI is more expensive because it's harder to create and install. 

Customizing your app design increases costs, much like application development. Please consider the following for a complete overview:

  • User Experience: Engagement levels and intricacies of user experience like button location, color psychology, and eye pattern affect app pricing.

  • User Interface: Layout, screen, color, and typography also affect mobile app pricing.

  • Branding Design: To distinguish your app from hundreds of identical companies, you must invest more.

  • UX Writing: Native English-speaking UX designers cost more than non-natives.

Other mobile app design elements are wireframe and animation.

  • Wireframe: Developers utilize wireframing to generate user experience features and maps. MARVEL, Balsamiq, and Photoshop are some examples.

  • Animation: Animation is a common way to make applications more engaging and straightforward. Gaming and social media apps use animations extensively.

>> You may be interested in: Top 9 Best React Animation Libraries for Web Developers

Type of Collaboration

App builder platforms like Buildfire or Apps Builder are likely the cheapest, fastest app creation solution. With $10-150 per month tiered membership rates, app makers can be cost-effective for simple layouts with minimal features. 

If you want full customizability and want to use a mobile app for your business, you need a developer. Some common development methods:

All methods have benefits and downsides and different costs. Selecting the correct development partner is crucial. Hire freelance app developers or a corporation to construct your app?

>> Read more:

Hire freelancers to construct your own team and reduce app development costs, making it ideal for small businesses on a budget. 

However, hiring freelancers requires finding them for all project components. You may also need to handle the team alone. Freelancers are cheap, but often don't deliver excellent work on time.

Otherwise, professional app development companies have advantages over freelancers. Local app development partners offer several perks. The key benefits of hiring a mobile app development service are:

  • Assurance of quality.

  • Effective project management.

  • All-encompassing services.

  • Plan and discipline.

  • Deep commitment.

  • Clear communication and accountability.

Freelancers cost less but take longer, whereas local development firms pay more but deliver better and faster outcomes.

>> Read more about types of app development collaboration:

App Development Cost Breakdown Based on Distinct Factors

App Complexity

Complexity Level



Average Cost


  • MVP Functionality 

  • Basic UI

  • 1 Platform

2 – 3 months

$10,000 – $20,000


  • Sophisticated Features 

  • Custom UI

  • 1 Platform

3 – 6 months

$20,000 – $50,000


  • High-level advanced features

  • Bespoke UI

  • 2 Platforms

6 – 9+ months

$50,000 – $100,000

App Type

App Type

Average Cost

Native App

$50,000 – $300,000

Web App

$60,000 – $300,000

Hybrid App

$40,000 – $200,000

Cross-Platform App

$40,000 – $300,000

Low Code/ No Code App

$1,500 – $2,000

App Field

App Field

Avg. Development Hours 

Average Cost


1,200 – 1,400

$50,000 – $150,000+

Social Networks

1400 – 1600

$50,000 – $300,000+

Food Delivery

900 – 1,200

$30,000 – $100,000+



$60,000 – $250,000+


1,400 – 1,600

$60,000 – $400,000+


1,200 – 1,400

$50,000 – $300,000+

Video Streaming

1,400 – 1,600

$90,000$ – 150,000+

CRM Software

1,500 – 1,700

$30,000 – $300,000+


1,200 – 1,600

$75,000 – $250,000+


1,200 – 1,400

$50,000 – $150,000+

Augmented Reality (AR)

1,400 – 1,600

$100,000 – $250,000+

Hotel Booking

1,400 – 1,600

$60,000 – $150,000+ 

Location-Based App

900 – 1,200

$45,000 – $150,000+


700 – 1,250

$160,000 – $300,000+

Real Estate


$80,000 – $100,000+


600 – 1,300

$60,000 – $220,000+

Supported Platforms 


Avg. Development Hours 

Average Cost



$50,000 – $300,000



$55,000 – $300,000



Avg. Development Hours 

Average Cost

User Login

30 – 42

$500 – $1,000

Profile Completion

30 – 40

$900 – $1,000


170 – 180

$3,000 – $5,000

Push Notifications

25 – 32

$1,000 – $1,200

Basic Admin Panel

(User Management)

66 – 90

$3,500 – $4,000


60 – 78

$2,500 – $3,000


100 – 120

$3,000 – $4,000


300 – 400

$14,000 – $15,000

Geological Location


Average Cost (Hourly)

United States of America

$120 – $150

United Kingdom

$100 – $120


$100 – $120

Western Europe

$80 – $100

Eastern Europe

$30 – $50

India & Southeast Asia

$20 – $30

App Design Complexity

App Design Process

Avg. Development Hours 

Average Cost

App Design Research 

Based on niche and available resources.

$100 – $350

UX Design

  • Simple: 10 – 14 hours 

  • Medium: 50 – 60 hours 

  • Complex- 150+ hours

$2,000 – $8,000

UI Design

  • Simple: 14 – 20 hours 

  • Medium: 80 – 90 hours 

  • Complex: 100+ hours

$10,000 – $40,000



$5,000 – $20,000

Animations & Illustrations

Based on level of animations.

$1,000 – $20,000

How Much Does it Cost to Develop An App Based on App Development Stages?

Creating a successful app is more complex than it seems. It requires a well-planned and executed development process, which includes five main stages: Planning, Design, Development, Testing, and Deployment. Each stage is mandatory and contributes to the overall success of the app. 

Knowing how much different stages of app development may cost helps organizations budget their venture capital across the mobile app development life cycle.

Also cited in this piece is research from 2017 by Clutch, a B2B analytics firm that detailed information gathered from over a hundred app development firms. For each step of development, it gave a percentage for how much money businesses spent.

Stage 1: Discovery

The Discovery phase (analysis and planning) is crucial to identifying tech and commercial requirements before proceeding with app development cost. In this phase, business analysts, UX/UI designers, solution architects, and product owners work together.

During this stage, app features, functions, and needs are determined. A clear and succinct app concept that everyone can understand is crucial during development. Planning also incorporates competitive research and app value proposition determination.

Based on research,  define requirements, breakdown and specify features, set a timeframe, and create a project execution plan. Preventing costly scope modifications and development misunderstandings requires thorough planning. Thus, business and needs analysis affects app development cost.

The final document should include:

  • Competitive analysis;

  • Goal statement;

  • MVP idea;

  • Market and user research;

  • Project roadmap clarity.

A rough estimate for the planning phase is about 10% of app development. This stage can cost $5,000 to $25,000 and take 2 – 5 weeks.

According to Clutch, 51% of organizations claimed pre-research costs up to $5,000 to come up with a first concept and do research. 22% spent over $5,000 to $10,000 or more and 14% spent $10,000 – $25,000. Discovery is clearly the least expensive app development step.

A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Discovery stage.
A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Discovery stage. (Source: Clutch)

Stage 2: UX/UI Design

Without a competent UI/UX designer, building a fantastic product is nearly impossible. This phase models the application's operation. 

The design team defines user scenarios, visualizes features and functionality, and plans the user journey. Before coding, UI/UX designers construct an app prototype to test the solution's feel, look, and capabilities.

App design costs depend on project complexity, screen count, design type, and design team experience. Estimated design costs are 15% of app development cost. The design process can cost from $5,000 to over $50,000, and take from 3 – 4 weeks

Only 9% of app development teams venture to spend over $50,000 on app design, while 32% spend less than $5,000. Most (60%) say $5,000 – $50,000.

A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Design stage.
A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Design stage. (Source: Clutch)

Stage 3: Development

This is the most crucial and costly stage when making a mobile app. The app is constructed at this point. Coding, debugging, and feature integration are all part of building the software. 

The amount of features, the platforms it will be built for, and the development team's skill level are a few elements that can impact the time and money used during this stage. The time and money needed to build features is directly proportional to their complexity.

The cost of coding and programming is far more than all other phases combined, hence this step requires close collaboration and meticulous attention from your developers. You can save a ton of time and effort when using a cross-platform mobile app development framework compared to making separate apps for each platform.

60% of the overall cost to build an app is likely to go toward development. There is a wide range in the app development cost, from $3,000 to $60,000 (with the timeline of 2 – 6 months).

Just 9% of people who took the survey spent less than $5,000 on app development, while 33% spent between $5,000 and $10,000.

A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Development stage.
A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Development stage. (Source: Clutch)

Stage 4: Testing and Deployment

It is important to test the app extensively after development to find any problems, flaws, or bugs. The amount of features utilized in the app, the testing tools employed, and the size of the testing crew can all impact the cost of the testing stage.

>> Read more about testing:

Deploying an app or website to the public or targeted audience means it is now ready for usage after testing has successfully completed. This phase's budget could change depending on the app's hosting platform and the strategy for launching the app. 

In the same vein as with the complexity and feature set of your software, the cost of testing and deployment will vary. Roughly 15% of the whole app development cost goes into testing and deployment. There is usually a timeframe of 2 - 4 weeks and an anticipated cost of less than $5,000.

In order to test and release their software to the market, 32% of respondents spent less than $5,000. Another 31% spent between $5,000 and $10,000, and the remaining spent more than $10,000.

A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Testing and Deployment stage.
A percentage for how much money businesses spent on Testing and Deployment stage. (Source: Clutch)

App Maintenance Cost After Launching

The cost of building an app includes app maintenance cost, just like other software. On average, the cost to maintain software is about 15% to 20% of the cost to build it. You may break down the cost of sustaining your process into the following: hosting, monitoring, engagement and marketing, updating, and licensing apps.


The type of data that a mobile app processes—text, media, or audio—is the determining factor in the cost of storing the app's backend data. Higher CPU web servers with more RAM and disk space are ideal for media-rich apps. 

A web server for app hosting may cost anything from $70 to $320 per month. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are the top web hosting solutions.


The success of a mobile app depends on its monitoring. Signing up for mobile analytics services allows you to track an app's performance. The sheer variety of apps out now, each catering to a different demographic, makes it impossible to generalize about how much it will cost to keep tabs on all of them.

Marketing and Engagement

There are a number of moving parts to the total cost of mobile app marketing, which encompasses all the efforts used to attract and retain app users. The first step in engaging with a mobile app is installing it. 

The cost per install for app marketers varies by country, platform (iOS/Android), and ad unit. The Cost-Per-Install (CPI) for iOS apps was $3.6 in 2021, whereas the corresponding figure for Android apps was a meager $1.22. 

It is necessary to issue updates for every single mobile app that has ever been released on an app store, regardless of whether it is for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or another platform. It's true that it's unrealistic to expect to create a flawless app in version 1. It's also true that updates are a terrific way to keep users engaged with your app over time. 

The time it takes to produce an update varies greatly and is dependent on the complexity of an app. Nevertheless, the actual publication on an app store can take roughly one hour.


The total cost of building an app could go up a notch if the design of the app makes use of technology for which the developer is required to pay a license. For instance, if you have fifty devices, the annual license charge might be as high as $120,000.

App Development Cost Calculators

In a competitive sector with millions of mobile apps, attracting target users and satisfying ROI goals is difficult. Therefore, businesses are in high demand to estimate app development cost. App developers created several online calculators to address this issue. Only the most popular will be highlighted below.


This calculator will walk you through 10+ questions to determine an app development price tag for an app similar to the current ones or a custom mobile app based on specific criteria. As you choose and answer questions, development time is also estimated in hours.


The seven-step calculator leads you through filters to determine mobile app development cost. They are Platform, Features, Users, Integrations, Monetization, Hosting, and Buildfire Services.

Estimate My App

This calculator lists all price tag filters on one page. The filters include app size, UI complexity, account features complexity, user-generated content complexity, mobile-specific features like Apple Watch support, Cloud Syncing, dates & locations, social & engagement, billing & eCommerce, admin & feedback & analytics, External API, and Security.


This calculator estimates both desktop and mobile software prices. It provides a price tag estimate range at each price calculation phase, unlike the others.

How Much to Make an App

Like Inoxoft, the eight-step calculator estimates prices at each stage. To build the app, fill out the contact form on the final screen.


An easy-to-use shopping-cart-style calculator displays an app development price tag on the right when all options are made. Platform, Quality, Number of Screens, Custom Controls, Device kinds, Screen orientation modes, Security level, Supported OS versions, Languages supported, Deployment, and Special functionalities determine the cost.


This seven-step calculator guides you through the 27 questions, starting with choosing an industry for a mobile app. In addition to app development price tags, the calculator summarizes all choices made. After cost computation, the program presents a contact form for app development price tag estimates.


A five-step calculator that estimates app development cost and time. An available .PDF estimate is ready to use and download. Web/mobile/both, app user profile, MVP features, income generation (recurring payments/upfront fees/shopping cart system), and high-tech features (Artificial Intelligence, IoT, VR/AR) are used to estimate.

>> Read more:

Tips for Reducing App Development Cost 

Select the proper platform: Multiple platforms increase development time and expense. Consider your audience and app kind while choosing a platform. Building a cross-platform project with React Native or Flutter framework can save money by reaching more people with a single codebase.

Keep design simple: It's crucial to have an attractive and engaging design, but too many intricate aspects can raise development time and cost. Keep your design simple and clean while meeting your user needs. Save time and money by using pre-built design templates or hiring a competent design expert.

Using third-party APIs or services: Consider using third-party APIs or services instead of unique solutions for every functionality. These reduce time and money on development while delivering comprehensive functionality. Assess third-party solutions to ensure they match your goals, which are well-documented, and have a robust developer community for support.

Scalability optimization: Plan for app scalability. Building an app that scales to more users and features will reduce major rewrites and upgrades, saving you app development cost. To scale your app, use cloud-based solutions or microservices architecture.

Have an experienced development team: Developers with experience can advise on lowering development expenses without sacrificing quality. Look for a company that has built successful apps within your budget. Save time and money by working with a development partner who handles design, maintenance, and upgrades. Relia Software may be your best choice.

Prepare for upgrades and maintenance: Building an app is just the start. Plan for regular app upgrades and maintenance to keep it working smoothly. Modular development lets you upgrade or replace functionality without disrupting the program, making future updates cheaper. Consider hiring a development partner or creating in-house expertise for affordable continuous support.

App Development Cost of Globally Current Popular App



Average Cost



$30,000 – $100,000

Tik Tok


  • $60,000 – $100,000 / 1 platform 
  • Up to $150,000 for hybrid development


Show-and-movie streaming

$25,000 to $200,000


Social media

  • $45,000 – $100,000 / 1 platform
  • Up to $200,000 / 2 platforms



$60,000 – $120,000



$30,000 – $70,000


To reduce expenses, mobile app development takes careful planning and consideration of numerous elements. App type, features, area, development team size, etc. affect app development cost. Therefore, it's important to investigate and choose solutions that fit your goals and budget.

App development cost calculators can estimate how much does it cost to develop an app by breaking down feature costs. Case studies can also help developers save time and money.

When budgeting, consider development stages, app maintenance costs, and developer salaries. Consider all of these elements to make informed judgments and assure app development success.

>>> Follow and Contact Relia Software for more information!

  • Mobile App Development
  • Designing an application
  • development