how much does it cost to develop a mobile app

Mobile apps are taking over nowadays, not only on social media but in business, commerce, and shopping as well. Businesses these days find it a necessity to invest in a mobile app to stay relevant. Investing in a mobile application is undoubtedly beneficial, but how much does it really cost? Let’s find out. 

How to Calculate Mobile App Development Costs?

The formula for the breakdown of cost is pretty straightforward: the number of hours times the rate per hour. Typically, a software app development company provides a rough cost estimate before the development begins. Furthermore, they use a couple of main approaches:

1. Fixed Charge

This is most applicable and mostly used for small development projects with a predefined work scope and strict timeline. This technique is preferable due to the clarity of the cost of app development. You need not wonder how much it will cost you to build a mobile app since you are aware of the price even before the development commences. 

2. Material and Time

This pricing approach varies from the first when it comes to flexibility. Furthermore, this approach is used for complex projects that may have unexpected turns. Usually, the price is based on an hourly rate as well as the time spent. While you may be uncertain of the cost, you can, however, consult any app development company like Saigon Technology or be free to change the work scope, and add or remove some features even in the middle of the process of development. 

How Much it Costs to Build a Mobile App in 2023?

In a nutshell, the tentative cost could range from $25,000 to $150,000 and may even exceed $300,000 for complex customized apps. Tentative because there are factors that could impact the entire cost of development. 

1. Complexity of the Mobile App

On average, the cost of a simple app is $5,000 to $50,000. This app comes with a set of basic features. The cost of a medium complex mobile application could start from $50,000 to $120,000 with a plethora of features that engage the users and boost app monetization. 

A complex mobile app could cost from $100,000 to $300,000 and even more. This kind of app is integrated with the latest technology, including AI, Machine Learning, and AR/VR. 

2. Functionalities and Features

Determining the cost of a mobile app also greatly depends on its functionalities and features. The base development price for the kind of app you want to build continues to increase with the addition of new features and functionalities. Thus, it’s a great idea to focus on the core features alone on the initial app version. 

The best option is to develop an MVP, which is the first version of your product with basic features. You not only get to save time and money but also help you gather valuable feedback from users as well. Roughly, the functionalities and features could cost you from $500 to $15,000. 

3. Category of the Application

When you move from category to category, many things will change, such as the functionalities, number of users, security, and so on. This will ultimately lead to different app development costs. Some of the categories include eCommerce or mCommerce apps, on-demand apps, social networking apps, and hardware-dependent apps. 

An eCommerce or mCommerce mobile app could cost you from $50,000 to $150,000. Social media apps could range from $50,000 to $300,000. Learning mobile apps could start from $60,000 to $225,000 while dating apps could be from $50,000 to $350,000. Gaming apps range from $60,000 to $250,000 or more. 

4. Animation and Design

In general, there are two options when deciding on the app design, the custom and standard UI. A customized User Interface is harder to design and implement than the standard, making it of course more expensive. Moreover, animation has become a popular way of making certain aspects of the app intuitive and interesting. 

Most often, social media and gaming apps employ animations to a great degree. The app design cost could range from $100 to $20,000. 

5. Platform

When getting started on mobile app development, choosing the platform is paramount. Depending on your target audience, you could opt for web, Android, iOS, or cross-platform. For a startup, the better option is to start with one platform and later on shift to several platforms. 

Native app platforms, such as iOS and Android could cost from $50,000 to $100,000. Web apps could range from $15,000 to $50,000. Cross-platform applications could be from $25,000 to $60,000. Hybrid apps start from $10,000 to $150,000.

6. Maintenance

Expenses do not end at the last mobile app development phase. Businesses continue to change their apps to stay ahead of the competition and meet new trends. App maintenance could include bug fixes and changes to the app. The cost of app maintenance every year is estimated to be 20 percent of the entire mobile application development cost. 

7. Location and Size of the Development Team

An experienced mobile development company could work wonders for our mobile app in terms of crafting high-end apps with top-notch functionalities and features. The location also plays a big role in estimating the cost. 

App developers could start from $30,000 to $100,000 and more. UI/UX designers could cost around $4,000 to $15,000. The cost to hire project managers could start from $5,000 to $15,000 and even more. QA specialists range from $8,000 to $20,000 and up. Business analysts start from $2,000 to $10,000. Overall, the total cost could start from $20,000 up to $100,000 and more. 

Another crucial factor to consider is the location of the app developers. Developers from India could rate from $20 to $40 per hour. The US ranges from $80 to $170 per hour. The hourly rate for Ukraine developers starts from $30 to $100. The rates for Australian developers range from $80 to $200, and Russia starts from $60 to $150 per hour.  


When estimating the cost of mobile app development, the first thing to do is to determine the location of the development team and the app’s complexity. These factors have a great impact on the overall cost of mobile app development. 

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