how much does app development costs and what affects the pricing

Key Takeaways

  • The mobile app market generated $932 billion in revenue in 2023.
  • Typically, smartphone owners use 10 apps each day and 30 apps each month.
  • Android accounts for 70.93% of the global market share, while iOS holds 29.07%.
  • The cost of building an application typically ranges from $30,000 to over $350,000, depending on complexity and region of development.
  • App type and platform choice are key factors affecting custom application development costs.
  • Mobile applications can amp up customer engagement, streamline employee workflows, gather valuable user data, drive sales, and facilitate communication.

With the mobile app market bringing in $932 billion in revenue in 2023, modern businesses can’t help but wonder, “How much does app development cost?”. In the digital era, people are used to accessing solutions to their daily and specific needs in a few taps. On average, smartphone owners use 10 apps daily and 30 apps monthly.

Whatever business niche you’re operating in, a mobile app lets you stay closer to your customers or smoothen workflow for your employees. It can be your tool for gathering valuable user data for future offer customization, driving sales, and facilitating communication with your users and teams.

In this post, we will break down factors that form the average cost of developing an app and share tips on optimizing your future expenses for mobile app development.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile Application in 2024?

It’s essential to understand that the average cost of developing an app varies with the complexity of the solution you want to create. Also, keep in mind that making applications from scratch and modernizing legacy systems require different approaches and are thus priced differently.

App ComplexityAverage Price (Approx.)
Basic$30,000-$60,000
Average$60,000-$150,000
Complex$150,000-$350,000+

Your app’s simplicity or complexity depends on factors such as the number of features, integrations, programming languages, and other elements:

  • Development process
  • Size and expertise level of the dedicated team
  • Quality assurance phase
  • Design complexity and number of screens
  • Quantity and complexity of functions and features
  • Database complexity
  • Number and depth of external integrations
  • Support of security protocols like HIPAA or GDPR.

When cooperating with a software outsourcing company, make sure to request their app development cost breakdown before signing the contract to avoid any hidden cooperation costs.

Factors Affecting the Average Cost of Developing an App

how much it costs to develop an app based on app type

Custom mobile app development pricing is also determined by the core functionality and platform of your future product, as well as the dedicated team’s location.

For example, building healthcare apps or biotech software would require robust security and compliance protocols, which will substantially affect the price tag.

At the same time, you’d be offered IoT and other automation technology to develop a comprehensive transportation management system that implies tangible spending. With social media apps, you will need to implement ML-based data and image-processing technology to please your users with smooth functionality.

Take a look at the average price to develop an app by type and primary purpose.

App Type

Here’s the markdown table based on the information you provided:

Retail app$50,000-$150,000
Ecommerce app$60,000-$200,000
SaaS-based app$60,000-$150,000
Cryptocurrency app$60,000-$200,000
Logistics app$60,000-$250,000
Healthcare app$50,000-$300,000
Food delivery app$40,000-$150,000
Taxi app$50,000-$400,000
Video streaming app$80,000-$300,000
Social media app$60,000-$350,000

Platform Choice

When choosing between popular development platforms, consider that Android holds 70.93% of the global market share, while IOS holds 29.07%.

Cross-platform apps generally imply fewer expenses than Android and IOS app development costs. Plus, they are faster to develop since only one developer is needed instead of separate iOS and Android engineers.

Platform ChoiceAverage Price (Approx.)
IOS app$55,000-$300,000
Android app$50,000-$300,000
Cross-platform (hybrid) development$40,000-$150,000

Region

The average cost of developing an app is also determined by the location of specialists or theoffshore development team. However, a high price doesn’t necessarily mean a high-quality product. In fact, it reflects the varying salaries of programmers in different countries.

Here are the average price ranges for mobile development in various regions*:

Region of App DevelopmentHourly Rate Range
United States$33–$55
Western Europe (France, Germany, Sweden)$29–$52
Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic)$25–$35
South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia)$12–$25
Asia (Philippines, India, Vietnam)$10–$16
Australia$22–$39

*The developer pricing data was taken from the Glassdoor website, converted to an hourly rate in USD, and calculated as an arithmetical mean between countries from each region.

App Development Team: Outsourcing vs. In-house

Hiring an in-house full-stack team for app development entails higher expenses compared to outsourcing to an agency. This is primarily due to the recruitment costs and the need for knowledge transfer, which do not affect the costs associated with outsourcing.

Imagine that you want to build a SaaS app, but your internal team expertise is not enough to handle the project. Apart from investing in cloud technology and hiring, you will also need to pay for:

  • IT administration
  • CTO and project managers
  • Equipment and office space
  • Benefits and leaves.

Custom App Development Benefits

Sthe average cost for developing an app and benefits of custom development

By investing in custom app development, businesses can achieve a solution that meets their current needs and adapts to future requirements. While off-the-shelf options are ready to install, tailored apps ultimately provide significant cost savings and value over time.

Some vendors even offer custom development as a subscription to help businesses benefit from tailored products at a comfortable monthly rate.

Tailored Solutions

Custom apps are designed to address specific business challenges and requirements, ensuring that all functionalities align perfectly with operational processes. This tailored approach contributes to better efficiency and productivity, reducing long-term operational costs and reducing time to market.

Scalability

The beauty of tailored apps lies in their built-in scalability, enabling businesses to expand functionalities and add new features as they grow. Scalability will enable you to avoid needing a complete overhaul or replacement.

Enhanced Security

Custom apps, primarily when provided by certified outsourcing partners, offer advanced security features to protect sensitive business and customer data. This way, you will minimize the risk of data compromise and eliminate expenses for recovery and legal liabilities.

Compliance

Businesses can ensure their custom apps comply with industry-specific regulations and standards, avoiding fines and legal issues. That’s why adherence to such rules is one of the most influential factors influencing custom app development costs.

Seamless Integration

Custom mobile app development pricing also varies based on the desired integration capabilities. Your app can be designed to integrate seamlessly with existing business systems and software to reduce the costs and inefficiencies of using multiple, disjointed systems.

User-Centric Design

Bespoke apps focus on providing a superior user experience to reach a better level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Happy customers are more likely to regularly engage with your application and make repeat purchases, boosting revenue. Furthermore, personalized experiences foster user engagement and retention.

Long-Term Savings

Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, custom apps eliminate the need for ongoing licensing fees, which can accumulate over time. The one-time development investment can be more cost-effective in the long run.

Maintenance and Updates

Custom apps can be designed for easier maintenance and updates, reducing ongoing costs and ensuring the app remains up-to-date with minimal disruption.

How to Reduce the App Development Cost?

app development cost breakdown and tips for cost reduction

Building a mobile app is a significant investment for any business. Nevertheless, there are several strategies to manage and reduce application development costs without compromising on quality and functionality.

By planning thoroughly and enabling decision-making, you can ensure the development process remains cost-effective. Here are some practical tips to help you reduce the app development cost:

1. Define Clear Requirements and Objectives

Identify your app’s purpose, target users, and primary key features it should include. Having a detailed software project scope and well-documented requirements can prevent scope creep and avoid unnecessary revisions during development.

2. Prioritize Essential Features

Develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first. Identify and prioritize the core features of your app’s functionality and user experience. By launching an MVP, you can test the market and collect user feedback to know which additional features to develop later.

3. Choose the Right Development Approach

Consider using cross-platform development frameworks like React Native or Flutter and BaaS solutions. Such frameworks allow for building apps for both iOS and Android, cutting up the time and cost of developing separate native apps. Additionally, open-source libraries and pre-built components can accelerate development and reduce costs.

4. Optimize Design and User Experience

Investing in a well-thought-out design upfront can prevent costly redesigns later. Work on an easy-to-navigate interface and smooth user experience. Before starting development, use wireframes and prototypes to visualize the app’s layout and flow. It will help you proactively identify potential issues so that the final product matches user expectations.

5. Leverage Dedicated Teams

Hiring offshore or nearshore dedicated teams can significantly reduce labor costs. Many countries, like Poland, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic, offer highly skilled developers at lower rates than the US and Western Europe.

However, choosing a reputable development partner with well-established communication channels is crucial to ensure quality and timely delivery and eliminate outsourcing risks. Remember to ask about the company’s pricing to identify how much it costs to develop an app with them and what their development processes comprise.

6. Regular Testing and Feedback

Integrate regular testing and feedback loops into your development process. Frequent testing helps identify and fix issues early, reducing the time and cost associated with extensive bug fixes later. Encourage stakeholder and user feedback throughout the development cycle to ensure the app meets expectations and functions smoothly.

7. Plan for Future Scalability

Design your app with scalability in mind. Planning for future growth and potential feature additions during the initial development phase can save significant costs later. Scalable architecture and modular design allow for easier updates and expansions without requiring a complete overhaul.

8. Efficient Project Management

Effective project management practices can keep development on track and within budget. Use agile methodologies to manage your project, allowing for flexibility and iterative progress. Regular communication and updates with your development team ensure alignment and timely issue resolution.

How Acropolium Can Help You Optimize Application Development Costs

App development has many technical moving parts that can be challenging and costly. However, partnering with an experienced vendor can substantially lower these costs while ensuring a high-quality product.

Acropolium brings years of experience in the app and web development industry, having worked with a diverse range of clients and projects. Our teams take a fundamental approach to data security and privacy. We specialize in developing GDPR-compliant software, ensuring your app adheres to stringent data protection regulations.

At Acropolium, we follow ISO-certified processes that guarantee the highest standards of quality and efficiency. From initial planning to final deployment, our structured approach minimizes errors and maximizes productivity, leading to significant cost savings.

Final Thoughts

With the ever-increasing global use of smartphones, knowing how much mobile app development costs is the first step toward an advanced digital strategy. Mobile applications serve as practical instruments that sharpen businesses’ competitive edge and make services even more accessible to users.

Whether you want to embrace fintech, retail, and hospitality tech trends or enhance your logistics management and elevate your healthcare operations, we’ve got you covered.

Beyond our technical expertise and compliance focus, Acropolium offers comprehensive cost optimization strategies for app development. We work closely with you to define clear requirements, prioritize essential features, and use agile methodologies to manage your project effectively.

Let’s chat: we offer a flexible subscription-based cooperation model where the services are arranged with your budget in mind.

Sources of Information