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Mobile App Development Costs – Busting the Myths

So, you have a brilliant app idea and you are on the verge of translating it into life, but mobile app development costs have kept you from pursuing it?

Like you, many aspiring app entrepreneurs are dealing with the question ‘How much does it cost to develop an app?

For starters, app development costs can be surprisingly affordable at $5000 and also capable of making you sweat with its mouth-dropping price that can cross a 1 million figure. Plus, without a clear understanding of the aspects involved in developing an app, one can feel like navigating a dark tunnel.

Don’t worry! This blog serves as your guide that will sail you through your app-building journey. 

Through this post, you will learn major misconceptions about app development cost, factors impacting its price, and the cost breakdown of mobile app development.

By reaching the end of the blog, you will gain a solid understanding of ‘how much does it cost to develop an app’ and will make an informed decision to bring your app idea to life!

How Much Does It Cost To Build An App: Cost Breakdown!

How much does it cost to develop an app? The precise cost of mobile app development depends on many factors such as type, integration, complexity, etc. For instance, the cost of developing simple apps having basic features like login, registration, user interface, etc. ranges between $30000 to $50000. 

Whereas, developing a complex app with advanced features such as real-time updates, push notifications, and third-party integrations requires more time and skills, so its development costs fall between $100000 to $250000 and even more.

Additionally, if a business opts for developing an advanced app with complex features such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the cost of app development can go beyond $1000000. Examples of advanced apps include financial apps, healthcare apps, and enterprise applications.

Complexity/Simplicity of App

So, now you have understood the simplicity/complexity of an app contributes towards its cost. The table shows the average cost of developing the three different types of apps and the timeline required to create them.

Type of ApplicationAverage CostTimelineWhat Do You Pay For?
Simple apps$40000 to $1200002 to 3 monthsBasic UI (user interface), MVP functionality, and one platform.
Complex apps$120000 to $2000003 to 6 monthsMore features, compatible with one platform, and custom user interface details.
Advanced apps$200000 to $350000 and more6 to 9 monthsMore advanced features, customized user interface, and compatibility with multiple platforms.

These figures give you a rough idea of how much it costs to develop an app based on the complexity and the included features. 

Mobile App Development Stages

Here are the different stages of application development along with its cost. 

Mobile App Development Costs - Busting the Myths

Discovery Phase

In this phase, the fundamental features of the product are decided. The discovery phase includes competitor analysis, market research, determining app requirements, buyer personas, etc. Its cost ranges between $5000 to $50000.

Design Phase

This stage includes converting a rough sketch and specs of the app into a design. Activities such as visual designing, UI/UX designing, usability testing, and prototyping are involved in this phase which costs between $5000 to $25000.

Development Phase

The development phase includes API integrations, coding the application, database development, and implementing features. Its cost ranges between $30000 to $500000 and even more.

Testing and Deployment Phase

This phase includes activities such as app performance testing, bug testing, app store submission, and launch monitoring. The cost of the testing and deployment phase ranges between $5000 to $25000.

Maintenance and Support

Maintenance and support include releasing updates, fixing bugs consistently, and providing constant support to the app users. Although the exact cost of maintenance and support depends on the ongoing cost and app needs, its average cost is 15% to 20% of the original app development price.


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05 Common Mobile App Development Costs Myths: Busted!

Apps have completely revolutionized the world. It has transformed the way we interact, conduct business, gain knowledge, and whatnot! By 2027, the global app revenue is projected to mark $673.80 billion

Aspiring app entrepreneurs and developers who are seeking ways to penetrate this highly rewarding industry often start their endeavor with a few misconceptions that are not good for their app success.

There are many misconceptions surrounding mobile app development costs. These myths lead to budgeting issues and unrealistic expectations. Therefore, you need to be aware of all these myths before they impact your mobile app development process.

Myth 1: Developing All Types of Apps is Expensive

Not all types of app development are expensive. The major factors that drive the cost of mobile app development depend on features, functionality, development path, etc. Simple apps with less intricate features are cheaper to develop than one that has more complexities. 

The cost of simple apps with straightforward features can cost less than $10000. However, the cost of apps packed with advanced features can exceed $300000. Therefore, the cost of apps varies based on their type and the complexities involved. 

Myth 2: Android App Development Is Cheaper than iOS

This is another big myth in the app development industry. However, there is no truth to it. Whether you are developing an iOS or Android app, the cost of development is more or less the same. The average cost of developing an Android app can range between $20,000 to $30000 whereas for iOS it is $35000 to $50000 depending on the complexities. 

The actual factor that impacts the cost of app development is the level of expertise. Prices vary depending on the developer’s skills, proficiency, and requirements of the project. Every developer has different hourly charges based on their skills and experience.

Myth 3: DIY (Do-It-Yourself) or App Builders Can Save Money

If you think that do-it-yourself or app builders will decrease your mobile app development costs, then remember convenience always comes with a cost. App builders might make the app development budget-friendly but it applies to only such apps that are very simple having basic features.

Also, to unlock advanced features and customizing options, you will be required to switch to the premium version which comes with a huge cost. Complex features, more intricacies, and customization of an app require professional intervention which an app builder or DIY cannot match. 

Myth 4: App Development is a One-Time Expenditure

App development doesn’t come with a one-time expense because it requires ongoing maintenance, updates, bug fixes, and marketing efforts to make it successful. Many people think that once the app is developed, it will start proliferating without further effort. However, this is not true. 

Apps that are not maintained are prone to hacking, bugs, or even becoming redundant. So, you need to factor in all these costs whenever you are budgeting for app development.

Myth 5: Unique Ideas are Successful

Not all brilliant ideas translate into success. Many unique apps are developed with a full bang but plummet to the ground due to a lack of market research, and not understanding the target audience and user feedback. 

If you have a unique idea and you are confident about it. Before moving forward, you need to do detailed market research and understand your target market. Therefore, whenever you prepare a budget for your app development project, you need to include all these expenses to get the right idea of the mobile app development costs.

Factors Impacting Mobile App Development Costs

Several factors contribute to mobile app development costs. Here is the breakdown of major impacts on the cost of app development.

Outsource Vs. in-house App Development

The cost of developing an app in-house and through outsourcing varies. If you want to develop the app in-house, the major advantage would be having complete control over the team and direct communication. 

Whereas, outsourcing mobile app development has its own set of advantages too. To pick one, you need to analyze both options and see which suits your needs and budget. 

Choice Of Platform

You won’t be able to answer ‘how much does it cost to build an app? without deciding which type of app you want to develop. You can either opt for a single platform (Android or iOS) or multi-platform (Android, iOS, Windows, etc).

Building an app for one platform like native apps is comparatively more expensive than hybrid app development that works seamlessly across multiple platforms. This is because building native apps for Android and iOS platforms separately increases the overall mobile app development costs.

The Complexity of Visual Design

The visual design of an app helps in making a good impression on users. On the flip side, it is among the major factors that can lose you customers. So, businesses invest a lot in this factor to increase engagement. 

Simple and less intricate designs cost less than apps with custom designs with intriguing animations and interactions. Depending on the complexity of the design, mobile app development costs can be higher or affordable.

Backend Infrastructure

The backend infrastructure is the system that runs in the background of the app including the database, servers that manage the process, and APIs (application programming interface) that enable easy interaction between UI and core functionality. 

A simple backend (user management and data storage) comparatively costs less than an infrastructure needing intricated integrations, real-time processing, and scaling. 

Location of Development Team

The structure and location of your team also impact the mobile app development costs. If you pick outsourcing you need to select a region to hire developers that suits your requirements and budget. For example, in the United States or Western European countries, developers charge more for app development than in other countries. 

On the other hand, in-house app development is comparatively cheaper and offers more control over the project. Many businesses opt for freelance developers to save costs but professional agencies offer more expertise, support, and the finest results. 

Feature and Functionality

How much does it cost to develop an app? You cannot find the right answer to this question without knowing the features and functionality that your app will provide to the users. Some features can take a lot of time to get implemented and some features like push notifications can increase your mobile app development cost to thousands of dollars more.

Hardware features or native device features can take a lot of time in development ranging from 30 hours to 100 hours. Payment gateway integration requires 20 to 200 hours. So, depending on the features, functionality, and its complexity, the mobile app development cost can go higher or less.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Does it Cost to Develop An App

What is the average cost of developing an app?

Although many factors play a role in estimating the precise mobile app development costs, the price ranges from $30000 to $300000 depending on the complexities.

What factors play the biggest role in app development cost?

The complexity, choice of platform (Android, iOS, or both), custom design, hiring agency or freelancing developers, etc. plays a major role in mobile app development costs.

How much does it cost per hour to develop an app?

The cost per hour differs depending on the experience of the developer, location, and company size. However, you can expect to pay between $20 to $250 per hour and multiply this figure by the app development timeframe to get a rough idea of the cost.

How can I save money on app development?

You can consider choosing low-cost locations for outsourcing the development, starting with a simple MVP (minimum viable product), using pre-built templates, and choosing a feasible platform (Android or iOS).

What is the cost of developing a simple app?

A typical app with basic features can cost between $10000 to $40000.

How much does it cost to develop an app with advanced features?

Apps with advanced features, extra complexities, integrations, and custom design can cost $150000 or more.

What are the hidden costs of app development?

Maintenance, server costs, application store fees, and marketing are some of the hidden costs in mobile app development.

In a Nutshell: How Much Does it Cost to Develop An App?

The major elements that contribute to the development cost of an app are:

  • Functionality: What app is all about and what requirements does it fulfill? 
  • Platform: Is the app developed to work on multiple platforms or just for one? Choosing between native and cross-platform app development also contributes to the final cost.
  • Complexity: The more complex the apps, the higher the cost, so app intricacies shape the cost of app development.
  • Third-party integrations: If your app requires third-party integrations like payment gateways or location-sharing, the mobile app development costs will rise.
  • Maintenance plan: Technical support after the app deployment is required to ensure that it works properly and is improved whenever needed.

This was a debrief of major factors driving mobile app development costs. By now, you have gained a solid understanding of application cost, factors determining the price, and common myths in the app development industry.

Always remember that cost is just one aspect of mobile app development, you need to gauge the target market, keep your long-term goals in mind, and analyze your value proposition before coming to a decision. 

Weigh all factors carefully and plan strategically, this way you can develop a top-notch app that accomplishes your goals and fits your budget!

Want to Hire a Mobile App or Web App Development Company?

Don’t worry, we are here to help you. Let’s book a free consultation call with our expert and let us understand your business and what you want to achieve.

FYI, JoomDev has been offering custom mobile application development services for more than 7 years.

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