How Much Does it cost to Develop an app in 2023?

How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App in 2023

Kirtan Thaker This post was written by Kirtan Thaker

Imagine a scenario where you just got a brilliant and innovative idea to build a remarkable mobile app that will meet the demands of your target audience. And at the same time, you are left perplexed with a web of uncertainty to assess the financial terrain of app development.

If this situation resonates, consider this article your compass that will guide you through the intricacies of mobile application cost dynamics.

The ubiquity of mobile apps is shocking yet cannot be denied, as it shapes our experiences, interactions, and businesses. Behind every mobile app, there is a mastermind who is not only attracting users’ attention but also reaping better revenues. From $318 billion in 2020, mobile app revenue is projected to surge up to $600 billion by 2025.

And talking about the user potential, Sensor Tower predicts a whopping $270 billion of gross consumer spending worldwide by 2025. In addition, from 6.4 billion users in 2022, the number of smartphone mobile network subscriptions worldwide is forecast to rise to 7.7 billion by 2028.

Revenue of Mobile Apps World Wide 2016-2028 (Millions in u.s dollars)

Evident that mobile applications demand is soaring and owning one will bring a significant impact to your startup. Hence, app development cost is one important factor that you need to contemplate and then make an informed decision. So let us now delve into various factors and determinants that influence mobile application pricing and cost structure.

What are the factors that determine the cost of a mobile application?

Complexity of mobile application

To analyze Mobile app development cost in india or another country is just like planning for a house. If you want your house to have more amenities and luxuries like a swimming pool, home theater, or a big garden, the costlier it will get. The same goes for the apps. For a simple app made with a few functions, it takes just lesser time to create. 

On the other hand, if you want advanced features in the app like online shopping, interactive maps, and real-time tracking, get ready to spend more and keep patience because it takes longer time to build such apps as compared to developing simpler mobile applications. 

Based on the complexity level, here is a simple breakdown of mobile app development costs assuming the average cost is $40 per hour for the work:

factors that determine the cost of a mobile application

Design of the Application

The costs of design and development are deeply interconnected and interdependent. Adding templates to the app would cost lesser, whereas creating intricate designs with personalization will escalate expenses and time of development. The design phase has several important factors to consider such as User interface, User experience, Visuals, Branding, UX writing, etc.

In addition, various minor designs add value to the apps such as button placement or screen layout. With a better UI, you get a stunning app appearance that has elements such as bright colors, good typography, and shape choices. On the other hand, UX writing involves user engagement features, and copy creation and has several dimensions on which the entire app’s success is dependent.

Type of mobile app

Mobile apps can be developed in various types. Imagine if you want to eat an ice cream, you are compelled to choose from various flavors. Similarly, you need to choose which type of mobile application you wish to develop.

Native Apps

For example, you have two friends, and one speaks English while the other one speaks French. To ensure a smoother conversation with both, you must be able to speak both of their languages. In the same manner, native apps are like those friends who speak their specific phone language. Native apps are built by using specific codes that are meant to facilitate the functionality of those phones only.

Web Apps

Web apps are just like websites that are designed to work smoothly on your phone. A website will fit into the appearance of the device on which it is opened. So on a big computer screen, it will appear based on its screen size and pixel size. But on a phone, the same web apps will appear different in size. 

Hybrid Apps

Let us imagine the same example of two friends in a different way. If you could combine the language proficiency of both of your friend’s languages English and French, to create a brand new language, what would it look like? Maybe a new friend who can talk to everyone! Hybrid apps do the same. Mixing special phone languages and the web’s universal language and making it capable to work on many different phones. 

And there it goes. To make a native app you need to craft customized experiences that are suitable to that specific phone. Web apps can be built with flexible designs fitting to the phone screen. Whereas, hybrid apps will always try to make everyone happy.

The below table will give you a clear vision of how much it might cost by comparing app types and finding out which one suits your needs and budget:

cost by comparing app

Development Region

Mobile application development cost differs in many parts of the world. The difference is due to varied rates applied by programmers everywhere. There is no standard rate sheet. In case you want to build a virtual pet game app, programmers from India or Eastern Europe may charge $30-40 per hour to work on your app. Whereas, a programmer from UK, USA, or Australia will charge higher like $120-150 per hour.

Hence, the complete cost of making mobile applications in India and Eastern Europe would be around 1/5the of what it costs in the US, UK, or Australia. So saving a lot of money is a major concern, especially in mobile application development for a startup.

complete cost of making mobile applications in India

App development platform

We are breaking down the costs and options for developing a mobile app for Android and iOS, both are the two main platforms.

Estimated Cost and Time:

Android or iOS app is built in around 1200 hours of work. Cost may range from $50000 to $300000. The entire pricing is based on the kind of features and the complexity of the mobile app that you require. 

In addition, to clear your dilemma between choosing the platforms, consider the following factors:

  • Android’s market share is 86.2%, while iOS is used by 13.8%.
  • Android can function on many different devices, so you need to make sure your app works on all of them. While iOS devices have consistent and easy development strategies.
  • To put your app on the store, all you need is to pay a one-time fee of $25 plus 30% of purchases made through the app. And for iOS, the yearly fee is $99 plus 30% share.
  • Building an app on Android takes time because it has multiple devices, whereas iOS app development can be done 40% faster.

Making an app for both platforms? Then, choose to build a hybrid app that is less expensive rather than making separate apps for each platform.

Applied approach for mobile app development

If you think that cost doesn’t impact the way you develop the app, you would live with a misconception. The development approach has a big impact on the amount of money you spend to create a mobile app. We have found the following approaches that will help you build a mobile app as per your budget:

Approach of Development & cost estimation

While observing the table, enlisting a freelancer is the most budget-friendly choice. However, there are trade-offs in whatever decision you make. You may not get a flawlessly developed app here. Instead, the most pragmatic choice for the mobile app development process would be to engage app development company. With this choice, you can minimize costs and also get quality mobile app development services as the team would always work with the sense of great accountability.

What is the hidden mobile app development cost that you must know?

There are some additional costs you need to consider when calculating the final cost of developing a mobile application:

  • Functional costs that include third-party integration functionalities like geolocation services, push notifications, and payment gateways
  • Infrastructural costs such as content delivery networks, server payments, and app performance-related integration services
  • App maintenance costs such as bug fixing, updating, app store registration and subscription, cloud hosting services, infrastructure upkeep, SSL certificates, and server subscription fees. These costs are about the resources required to ensure the app remains functional, accessible, and efficient enough to deliver optimal performance. 
  • Marketing costs such as search engine ads, social media ads, copywriting, landing pages, customer relationship management tools, PR efforts, and email marketing expenses.

Cost-Estimation for Various Popular Mobile Applications:

Uber

A ridesharing app helping users reach their destination by connecting with drivers within proximity was funded with $510000 and currently runs with 118 million users. The average cost to build such an app is $80000 with a development timeline of 1200 hours. Uber comes with below features:

  • In-app payment and withdrawal portal
  • Location tracker
  • Push notifications
  • Routing and advanced route optimization
  • Profile page
  • Authentication and authorization feature

Ikea

Known for its stunning AR visuals, Ikea is a brand-based application with 3D model furniture photos. This app is costlier to maintain as it has new features, a lot of integrations, and security aspects. Such apps are developed with a cost of $45000 and take approximately 1000 hours. The app has below features:

  • 360-degree products view
  • CRM integration
  • Social media sharing
  • 3D visuals of products
  • Real-time dashboard analytics

Tinder

This dating app has won the hearts of over 67 million annual users with its geosocial networking capability. Simple UI yet powerful swipe images to the right or left helps users connect with prospective suitors. With a seed funding of $485000 in 2012, Tinder make a whopping $1.6bn in 2021. This dating app was created with a total cost of $100000 and has the features below:

  • In-app payment gateway.
  • User authentication, and authorization.
  • Push notification.
  • GPS location.
  • User profile.
  • In-app messaging.
  • Login pages.

Tiktok

Tiktok – a social media app is popular for its video-sharing feature. Such apps can be developed with a tentative cost of $75000 and can take around 1200 hours. It has below features:

  • Video calls
  • Image and video sharing
  • Multi-language support
  • Online messaging
  • User connecting

Twitter

When Twitter was created it was a kin unique microblogging and social networking platform developed by Jack Dorsey in 2006. The app currently is worth $44 billion and fetched a revenue of $1.2 bn in the 2022 second quarter. To build such apps, the estimated cost can be around $500000. The core features of this app are:

  • Timeline
  • Polls
  • Post publishing
  • Add, remove, and block connections
  • Related headline features
  • Headers
  • Audio streaming

Airbnb

With this app, you can connect with renters and people who need temporary accommodations for a specified period. This app progressed with a seed funding of $20000 and had a valuation of over $30 billion. This unique business model generated $6 bn in 2021 with a 78% increase every year. To build a similar app, the estimated cost can go up to $100000 and needs 1000 hours. Airbnb is developed with the following features:

  • In-app chat
  • Calendar
  • Reminder
  • Review and ratings
  • Filters for targeted search
  • Listings

Conclusion

We hope the above information helped you understand several nuances of estimating the cost of developing a mobile application. Whether it is an agency or an in-house team, when you choose a trustworthy mobile app development service provider, you must inquire about their readiness to create tailored solutions that can tentatively fit into your budget. Looking at the above charts, you now know that the cost of making an app in India is highly affordable without compromising on quality, delivery time, and scalability. Keeping in mind the overall mobile app development cost, you must choose best mobile app development services that can make an app that thrives with excellence and is optimally affordable to develop.