true price

Predicting app development cost can be quite tricky as the sum can vary from $15,000 to $250,000 plus for one single platform. For a very basic project, the minimum budget will cost you around $10,000 and the price can increase up to $50,000 for the first simple version of the app. Factors like app type, complexity, features, IT Vendor, location, sales, and marketing form the reason for this price fluctuation.

As per a study conducted by out systems and Clutch, a potential project cost with decent resource investment can range between $5,000 to $500,000 and time duration of 1 to 10 months. A research conducted by Good Firms shows that it will cost around $70,000 to $100,000 and $40,000 to $60,000 for an app of complex functionality and for an app with a minimum feature set respectively. 

In this guide, you will get to know all the necessary details regarding the cost of developing an app from scratch. So here we start!

Stages of App Development 

There are six stages or benchmarks that you need to cross in order to successfully accomplish your app development cycle and ultimately launch your dream app. These stages are as follows:

  • Research 

This is the first and the most important step in which you need to conduct thorough research on every aspect related to app development to set a well-defined blueprint of your app. 

  • Wireframing

Wireframing is the process to develop the initial prototypes of the initial element with the help of basic designing. 

  • Designing 

This process will decide how your app will look like. In this stage, you have to sit with your designer to analyze and apply the overall app design

  • Development 

This is the most crucial stage of designing and developing a mobile application. The coding part needs to be accurate and free from bugs so that the app can run smoothly. 

  • Testing 

Prior to the release of the app, it is very important to find out all the flaws or bugs the app contains. This is the second last stage of all the steps of app development. 

  • Launch 

After the successful completion of all the steps, now it is time to launch your app for the users. There are two popular options for registering your app – Google Play Store & Apple App Store.

The dynamics of Development

The main factors that contribute to mobile app development are as follows:

  • Pre-Development
  • UI/UX Designing 
  • App development
  • Testing 
  • Support and Maintenance 

Expenses of a Mobile App

Mobile Application Development is not an easy task as it comes with a great amount of time and effort invested for days, weeks, and months. Also, the critical element that needs to be taken care of is the expense element that comes along with it. These expenses can be categorized mainly into two categories – Pre-Release Expenses and Post Release Expenses. 

Pre-release Expenses:

  • The Project’s Complexity
  • Type of OS – Operating System 
  • Design and Animation 
  • App Testing 

Post-release Expenses:

  • Maintenance of the App
  • Monitoring of the App
  • Licensing 
  • App Updates
  • Marketing and Promotion

Type of Mobile Apps

  1. Native Apps: 

Single Platform Apps. If developed for multiple platforms then the cost can go higher than hybrid and web.

  1. Hybrid Apps: 

They usually cost low and are web applications in the native browser but require high-end skills for development.

  1. Web Apps: 

It’s a client-server computer program that runs in a web browser and includes an online auction, webmail, and online retail sales. $Due to its single code base, it costs the lowest.

Mobile App Categories

Based on the features and functionalities, there are eight categories of mobile apps that can be developed: 

  1. Basic App – Takes almost a month to develop and costs around $15,000. Some common examples are the camera app, clock app, calculator app, etc.
  1. Data-Driven Apps – For these apps, developing takes a month or two and the developing cost will be around $15,000. Some examples include weather app, map app, calendar app, etc.
  1. Authentication Apps – They cost around $30,000 and the time taken for development is generally around 2 months. Google Drive app is a good example. 
  1. E-Commerce Apps – Cost around $35,000 to $170,000 and the time taken is 6 months. Some examples are Flipkart, Amazon, and Alibaba, etc. 
  1. Social Networking Apps – Costs around $22,000 to $120,000 and the timeline would be around 3 to 4 months. Examples – Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. 
  1. IoT & Hardware App – Cost: Around $30,000, Time Duration: 3 to 5 months. Some examples include Amazon Dash Buttons, Beacons, and more. 
  1. On-Demand App – Cost: Around $50,000 to $60,000, Time: 6 to 12 months. Some popular examples can be Zomato App, UberEats App, and many more. 
  1. Marketplace App – Time taken to develop such an app is generally more than 7 months and the cost incurred is around $115,000. Some examples are, TripAdvisor, etc. 

Hourly App Development Rates around the world

  • US and Canada – $50 to $250 per hour
  • Australia – $50 to $150 per hour
  • Western Europe and the UK – $35 to $170 per hour
  • Eastern Europe – $20 to $150 per hour 
  • India – $10 to $ 80 per hour

India due to its low cost and high efficiency is proving to be a favorite destination of mobile app development.

The cost incurred depending upon the complexity level

As far as the complexity is concerned, the app development scenario is divided into three categories – Elementary apps which are quite basic with no third party integration, a bit complex apps which require a basic UI/UX, and lastly high tech apps that take much more time and investment in the development process. A chart depicting time and cost element associated with these is mentioned below:

Hiring a Company vs. Hiring a Freelancer – What’s the cost difference

Sometimes we often get confused while choosing between a company and a freelancer. Your choice to opt for a company or a freelancer will decide the overall cost and time to create your app. The cost would vary considerably depending upon the choice of choosing between the two options. Here is a list of the mentioned points:

  • Large Size App Development Companies: Cost – $500,000 to $150,000
  • Middle size App Development Companies: Cost – $150,000 to $450,000
  • Small Scale Companies: Cost – $30,000 to $150,000
  • Freelancers: $2000 to $30,000

Feature-wise cost bifurcation of Mobile App Development 

A mobile application can be developed by integrating multiple features. Adding more features will eventually add up to the overall cost and time element to develop the app. The table mentioned below will show the bifurcation of time and cost element concerning the app feature:

FeatureCost (in US Dollars)Time (in Hours)
User login500 – 100020+
Chat/Messaging2000 – 400080+
Push Notification1000 – 10,00020 – 200
Geolocation1250 – 2500050
Streaming Videos1500 – 300030+
Payment Integration2500 – 500050+
Offline Mode1200 – 200040+
Data Encryption500 – 100020
Search250 – 50010+
Phone sensor usage250 – 50010+


From the above discussion, we can conclude that app development directly depends on the app’s functionality and several features. Every app has its functionality and s a set audience. As far as the cost element is concerned, it can range anything from $20,000 to $700,000. But it is just a rough estimation as there are a lot of factors to determine this, for example, app type, target audience, app platform, app complexity, number of features, and, choice of vendor. One more important thing to remember is that if you are developing the app from scratch then the cost to build app will increase. Last but not the least; app development is a very long and tedious process. Hence, you got to be patient throughout and keep faith in your developer. Hope this article will be of some value for you. All the very best!

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.