Mobile App Development Cost: A Detailed Breakdown
July 2, 2024

With an ever-growing user base of approximately 6.7 billion active smartphone users globally, mobile apps have become an integral part of our modern existence and digital transformation. Recognizing their omnipresence and revenue-generating potential, it becomes imperative not to overlook their significance.

Nevertheless, one of the initial queries posed by clients while presenting their app concepts to us revolves around understanding the app development cost. The ballpark figure for developing a mobile app by an app development company typically falls within the range of $30,000 to $150,000, with some projects even surpassing the $300,000 mark.

But, it's crucial to note that the term ‘ballpark’ is key here, as numerous criteria, including app type, functionality, complexity, chosen vendor, and the development approach, play crucial roles in shaping the final cost.

What exactly varies the cost to develop an app? How much does it cost to make an app? Let’s read along, as today, you'll gain insights that provide a definitive answer to all your queries.

An Overview of App Development Cost

Once a comprehensive understanding of the various factors is gained, estimating app development costs can be achieved approximately using the standard calculation formula.

No need to worry, we've done a thorough examination of all the important factors that affect the cost to create an app.

And, once you get the hang of these factors, you can figure out how much it costs to build an app using a straightforward calculation. Now, the answer to the question of how much it costs to create an app involves calculating the hours needed for each development step and multiplying it by the billable hours of resources.

formula to calculate app development cost

So, how much can your potential app cost? Let’s read it ahead to find out.

How much does it cost to make an app?

The cost to create an app is contingent on several factors inherent in the process. A breakdown based on the complexity of app development is presented in the following table:

App Type Estimated Cost
Simple App Development $25,000 to $50,000
Basic App Development $50,000 to $150,000
Complex App Development $150,000 and more

Additionally, the cost can fluctuate based on the app's specific type, such as iOS, Android, Web, and other platforms.

Factors influencing mobile app development cost

The cost to develop an app hinges on various crucial factors that significantly impact the overall financial investment. Grasping these influential elements is essential for making cost-effective decisions, ensuring optimal returns on your development investment, and maintaining budgetary constraints.

Let's delve into the key factors that shape the mobile app development cost.

1. Complexity of the App

Creating a mobile app can be a balancing act between desired features and budget constraints. The complexity of your app significantly influences both development time and costs. To navigate this decision-making process, consider the following questions:

  • How many features are you planning to integrate into your app?
  • Does the application involve complex business logic?
  • How many screens, buttons, and functions will the app encompass?

Understanding the correlation between complexity and cost is crucial. Here's a breakdown based on three levels of complexity:

Simple Apps

  • Essential features such as profile creation, search, notifications, and messaging.
  • Basic functionality with fewer screens.
  • Examples: Calendar, calculator, or camera apps.
  • Development Time: 2-3 months
  • Estimated Cost: $40,000-$60,000

Average Apps

  • Essential features plus in-app purchases and payment portals.
  • Allows API integration and features a custom UI.
  • More screens than the basic version.
  • Example: McDonald’s Loyalty App.
  • Development Time: 3-6 months
  • Estimated Cost: $61,000-$150,000
Common Features of Mobile Apps

Complex Apps

  • Multi-functional apps with advanced features like real-time synchronization.
  • Includes UI animations and media processing.
  • Examples: Uber, Instagram.
  • Development Time: 9 months or more
  • Estimated Cost: $300,000+

Therefore, it's crucial to strike a balance, as packing your app with excessive features can lead to exceeding your budget. Assessing the level of complexity aligns your expectations with development timelines and ensures a realistic financial plan for your app development project.

2. Type of the App

Mobile applications can generally be categorized into three types: Native, Web, Hybrid, and cross-platform. Each type possesses distinct characteristics based on specific requirements, business logic, and functionalities.

Native apps are constructed using programming languages native to the operating system of a particular device, such as Objective C or Swift for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android.

Web apps are essentially mobile versions of websites designed with responsive features to ensure a seamless user interface across diverse screen sizes, ranging from tablets to smartphones.

Hybrid apps, on the other hand, amalgamate web and native technologies, making them well-suited to cater to a broad audience.

Whereas, cross-platform app development aims to create applications that can run on multiple operating systems with minimal modification.

To facilitate a better understanding of the costs associated with building different app types, here's a comparative table outlining the distinctions between Web, Native, Hybrid, and Cross-platform mobile application development.

Aspect Web Native Hybrid Cross- platform
Cost $70,000- $150,000 $50,000- $200,000 $40,000- $300,000 $50,000- $250,000
Performance Depends on internet connectivity and browser performance Highly efficient with access to native device features Inefficient performance because of limited access to native device features Moderate, depends on the cross-platform framework
Code Maintenance Low: Same code across all platforms High: Similar code cannot be used for all devices Moderate: Single code can be transferred to all major platforms Moderate: Code can be shared to some extent, but platform-specific code might be needed
Distribution Channel Directly available on the web Hosted in the App store of the OS Hosted in the App store of the OS Typically distributed through app stores or web
Required Skills HTML, CSS, JavaScript Objective-C, iOS SDK, Java, Android SDK HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Mobile Development Framework React Native, Xamarin, Flutter
Used For Apps with low- performance requirements and limited resources Apps requiring high optimization levels, such as Games or consumer-focused apps with emphasis on performance and user experience Apps with moderate performance requirements but needing full device access Apps where development time and resource efficiency across multiple platforms are crucial

This breakdown aids in understanding the distinct characteristics and considerations associated with the cost of building an app.

3. Development Country

In the changing landscape, the cost of building an app can vary significantly based on the geographic location of development teams. So, let’s look into the country-wise differences in app development costs.

United States

The U.S. is renowned for its tech expertise, but it comes with a higher price tag, the average cost of app development here can range from $150-$200 per hour, reflecting the skilled workforce and the demand for quality.

United Kingdom

Similar to the U.S., the UK offers high-quality development but at a slightly lower cost, ranging from $100 to $200 per hour. This makes it an attractive option for businesses seeking a balance between quality and budget.


India is a hub for outsourcing due to its cost-effectiveness. App development costs can be as low as $20 to $40 per hour. While this presents significant savings, it's crucial to note that India is gaining popularity for app development due to skilled developers and expertise.

Eastern Europe

Countries like Ukraine and Poland provide a middle ground in terms of cost, ranging from $90 to $100 per hour. They offer skilled developers at a more competitive rate than Western countries.

app development cost in the world

Platform of the App

Providing an estimated breakdown for mobile app development on Android and iOS.

Mobile App Type Estimated Development Time Estimated Cost
Android App 1,200 hours $50,000-$300,000
iOS App 1,200 hours $55,000-$300,000

Remarkably, the difference between the cost to develop an app in the two platforms is marginal. You have the flexibility to choose between Android and iOS or even opt for a staggered approach, launching on one platform first and expanding to the other later. A classic example is Instagram, initially introduced on iOS in 2010 before making its way to Android users four years later in 2014.

However, the platform choice involves careful consideration. Here are some factors to ponder-

- Mobile App Type 

Android or iOS

- Market Share 

Android: 70.77%, iOS: 28.52%

- Development Complexity

Android operates on numerous smartphones and tablets, posing challenges due to diverse device specifications.

iOS, limited to Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod), streamlines development with a majority of devices running the latest iOS 11.

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- Publishing Charges

Android requires a one-off $25 payment for app upload plus 30% of in-app purchases.iOS involves a $99 annual fee along with a 30% share of in-app purchases.

- Development Time

Android development tends to be more time-consuming due to the intricacies of diverse devices.iOS development is reportedly 40% faster than its Android counterpart.For those targeting both Android and iOS simultaneously, a hybrid or cross-platform app presents an economical alternative to building native apps concurrently. This approach significantly reduces costs compared to simultaneous native app development.

5. Development Approach of the App

You'd be mistaken to disregard the significance of the development approach, as it plays an important role in determining the cost to develop an app. Therefore, it's imperative to factor in the chosen development approach when embarking on the journey of building a mobile app.Let's explore various development approaches along with their estimated costs:

- Hire a Local Agency

If you hire a local agency, the hourly rates for a Development & Design Team range from $80 to $150.For a total development time of 500 hours, the cost to develop an app would be $40,000-$75,000, not overlooking maintenance and operational expenses.

- In-House Team

Hiring an in-house team involves higher costs, including salaries for team members:

  • Full stack developer: $98,000 per year
  • Designer: $85,000 per year
  • iOS or Android Developer: $85,000 per year.

Moreover, operational and maintenance costs add to the overall expenses.

- Hiring Freelancers

Average hourly prices for freelancers vary by country:US: $50/hourUkraine: $25/hourLatin America: $20/hourAsia: $15 to $25/hourFor a total development time of 500 hours, costs range from $7,500 to $25,000.Examining the options, hiring a freelancer appears as the most cost-effective choice. However, it comes with a trade-off - a lack of accountability. With no guarantee of the quality of the app, opting for an app development company emerges as a more viable solution. It proves to be less expensive than hiring an in-house team or a local agency, providing accountability for your app development project.

6. Category of the App

If you're curious about the expenses involved in creating various types of apps, refer to the table below for approximate examples:

Type Features Development Cost Timeline Examples
Dating App Social login/signup, User profile management, Likes and dislikes, Live chat, Notifications, Feeds $50,000 4-6 months Tinder, eHarmony, Woo
Audio & Video Streaming App Social login, User profile management, Live announcements, Broadcasts feed, Followers stats, Push and message notifications $70,000 5-7 months SoundWire, Twitch, Vimeo
Messaging App Sign up & login, Security preferences, User profile management, Auto syncing of contacts, Audit, video, location, contacts sharing, Backup creation, Notifications, Voice calling $80,000 5-8 months WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger
Social Network Sign up & login, Live feed, Profile management, People search, Share photos, videos, content, Send photos, videos, content, and Messaging $100,000 5-13 months Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn
E- commerce User Authentication, Product Catalog, Shopping cart, Payment Gateway, Order tracking, Wishlist, Notifications, and Reviews $50,0000 4-6 months Amazon, Flipkart, eBay

Note:The provided figures are estimates for the initial app version. Depending on project requirements, ongoing development may extend beyond these timelines.

- Features of the App

Determining the cost of app development hinges on the features integrated, with expenses escalating as functionalities expand. Focusing on core features initially is recommended, ensuring an optimal customer experience within budget constraints. Examining average development costs and time estimates for fundamental and complex features, consider the following breakdown:

- User Login

Login with social media, email address, forgot password, and logout optionsApproximate Time: 30-42 hoursAverage Cost: $500 – $1,000

- Profile Completion

Adding basic info, photo, and setting regionApproximate Time: 30-40 hoursAverage Cost: $900-$1,000

- Messaging

Online/offline status, typing status, media file/document sharing, and read/sent statusApproximate Time: 170-180 hoursAverage Cost: $3,000-$5,000

- Push Notifications

Push notifications and reminders for usersApproximate Time: 25-32 hoursAverage Cost: $1,000 – $1,200

- Basic Admin Panel

Viewing user list, deleting/blocking user, creating new user, and editing userApproximate Time: 66-90 hoursAverage Cost: $3,500-$4,000Strategically managing feature implementation ensures cost-effectiveness, making it essential to strike a balance between functionality and financial considerations in the app development journey.

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- Complexity of App Design

Similar to application development, increased customizations in your app design contribute to higher costs. For a comprehensive understanding, consider the following factors:

  • User Experience: The app cost varies based on user engagement intricacies, including factors like button placement, color psychology, and understanding users' eye patterns.
  • User Interface: Visual elements such as layout, screen design, color schemes, and typography significantly influence the overall cost of mobile app development.
  • Branding: Creating a distinctive app that stands out among numerous similar brands requires additional investment to ensure a unique and memorable user experience.

How can Antino help you mobile app development within your budget?

Determining the exact cost of creating an app is not a straightforward endeavor. However, a comprehensive consideration of all influencing factors can guide you toward a reasonably accurate estimation for bringing your innovative app idea to life.

Moreover, securing a trustworthy app development company in USA can pose challenges, given the multitude of factors to consider, often causing overwhelm. Yet, at Antino, our seasoned mobile app development professionals are poised to assist you in creating a secure and scalable mobile app within a budget that suits your needs. Reach out to our experts to explore cost-effective app development solutions tailored to your requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • With a user base of around 6.7 billion smartphone users globally, mobile apps have become integral to modern life.
  • App development costs by a professional company typically range from $30,000 to $300,000.
  • Various criteria such as app type, functionality, complexity, chosen vendor, and development approach play pivotal roles in shaping the final cost.
  • Understanding the factors influencing costs allows for an approximate estimation using a standard calculation formula.
  • The complexity of app development is categorized into Simple, Average, and Complex apps, with corresponding development times and estimated costs.
  • Native, Web, and Hybrid apps each have distinct characteristics and cost considerations, offering flexibility based on specific requirements.
  • App development costs vary by country, with the U.S. and the UK having higher rates, while countries like India and Eastern Europe offer more cost-effective options.
  • Choosing between Android and iOS involves considerations such as market share, development complexity, publishing charges, and development time.
  • Hiring a local agency, an in-house team, freelancers, or an outsourcing partner each comes with its costs and considerations, impacting overall accountability.
  • Different app categories, such as dating, streaming, messaging, and social networks, have varying development costs and timelines based on their features.
  • The complexity of app design, including user experience, user interface, and branding, can influence costs, emphasizing the importance of balancing customization with budget considerations.


What's the average cost of app development?

The average cost of app development varies widely based on factors like complexity, features, and the development approach. Simple apps may cost around $25,000 to $50,000, while more complex ones can exceed $150,000. For a more accurate estimate, it's recommended to consult with app development professionals.

How long does it take to build an app?

The time required to build an app depends on its complexity and features. Simple apps may take 2-3 months, while more intricate ones can extend to 9 months or more. Collaborating closely with the development team, having clear project specifications, and prioritizing features can help streamline the timeline.

Does Antino provide AMC after the app is delivered?

Yes, Antino provides Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC) after delivering the app. An AMC ensures that your app remains up-to-date, secure, and functional post-launch. This includes ongoing support, bug fixes, updates, and enhancements (if needed).

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Vartika Mangal
(AVP- Technology, Antino)
With over 5 years of expertise in Flutter App Development, Vartika has been instrumental in leading a team of over twenty professionals. Her proficiency encompasses Dart, Flutter, Firebase, Android native, JavaScript, Node.js, and SQL servers