The Cost of App Development – A Complex Overview of the Key Factors

Cost of App Development

So your business is flourishing, that’s great! But you want to make it more visible for your customers. Don’t you? For this, you need to create an app for your business? But App development does not come easy; it has various aspects to consider along with the cost. And cost includes many tangible and intangible factors that affect it. 

Whether you have a small enterprise or a big venture, you must consider a few factors before jumping into app development. These factors will decide the cost of your app.

As much as we would like to figure the cost of app development, we can only come up with an estimate simply because each development process comprises different factors that collectively influence the final cost figure.

In this write-up, you will get an idea of the main factors that affect an app development cost. So, without waiting for anything, let’s start.

Structure of app development cost

Now you’d understand that there is no fixed app development cost; it can vary. Surveys show that the price range to make an enterprise app is most often from $10,0000 to $500,000. 

So the structural cost of app development depends upon factors that include:

  • The complexity of ideas
  • The complexity of the design
  • The complexity of user experience
  • Requirements in app development

Let’s understand each factor separately for a clear understanding of cost development.

Complexity of Idea

One of the most significant variables that affect the cost and time required to make a mobile application is the complexity of the idea. As we mentioned above, features and integration development are the main drivers for the app or MVP cost.

A simple mobile application can be made quickly, while complex mobile application development can take significant time to finish.

If you want to create a simple application that will consume less time and at the same time, it will cut down the cost, e.g., a calculator or alarm clock.

On the other hand, if you create a streaming-based application, it will add complexity to the development process, which needs time and raises the cost. Some high costs app examples are  Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. Apart from this, food delivery applications, taxi services applications are much costly because they need multiple interfaces and integration. When considering the cost of app development, it is essential to factor in the expenses associated with database management, which can be streamlined and simplified with the use of efficient MySQL GUI tools.

Streaming services like Netflix

The video is the most engaging type of content and is highly popular. Hence, Streaming services applications need to be more interactive, which needs more features, and consequently large databases, which definitely increases the cost. 

There are many other aspects that affect the cost of streaming services applications. These aspects include:

  • Social media integration
  • In-app purchases
  • Payment portals
  • Geolocation
  • User Profiles

And many more! More will be the integration; more will be the final cost. 

Calculator App

The calculator is a bit less complicated mobile application; thus, it comes in the category of a simple application. Basic features, three to four screens, simple functions, and no data storage. Calculator type applications do not incorporate advanced features such as login, signup, profile making and editing, search, notifications, messages, admin panel, and dashboard. Hence, it makes it less complicated.

Uber-Like App

Uber is a taxi service application. The total cost to make an application like this might go beyond your expectations. Factors that include in the cost of these kinds of application include:

  1. Rating system 
  2. Data synchronization with more than two devices 
  3. Native features 
  4. Online streaming 
  5. In-App calls 
  6. Messaging 
  7. Video chats

Such applications take much time to work on each feature; that’s why such applications increase the complexity and the end cost.

Complexity of Design

The design stage is an integral part of app development. The complexity of design comes from the elements, and when you add elements, the cost rises. The complexity of design is based on two main factors: 

1. Custom 

Making a custom made application means building an application from scratch. You may or may not do something like existing sites or applications. If you are going for a customized product, then the building cost is many orders of magnitude lower than building a custom application. More customization in the design means more will be the cost.

2. Based on libraries

Applications based on libraries will cost less because of the ready-made templates. Libraries add more functionality to an application. Adding library templates in the application reduces the cost. 

The Complexity of User Experience

The complexity of user experience includes four main points.

Number of roles

Several roles in an application also increase the cost. For example, food delivery applications are much costly because of the number of roles. Let’s understand this by taking Uber’s example; the number of roles in this application will be three or can be more than this. Viewer, participant, and administrator. The complexity of the app rises when the roles in an app increase and hence the cost.

Features of each role

Features of each role are essential to incorporate. For each role, features will be different.

A viewer (guest user) can have limited functionality and often presented with an option to become a registered user in an app.

Participants (registered users) are those users of the app who are authorized to take advantage of services and access the app through the login or other authentication methods. 

The administrator often has access to an app both as a user and manager of the application. Administrators can track the activities of viewers and participants.

Complexity of each feature

The complexity of each feature affects the cost too. In any application development process, roles can be developed and redefined according to the application specifications. If we add more features under any role, it can enhance the user experience, but at the same time, the process of app development becomes complex. The cost is sure to elevate in this case.

Number of integration

The number of integration in app development can be tricky but essential at the same time. Integration enhances the user experience and also enhances the functionality of an app. You will need more integrations if your app will be complicated or you are just making a high tech app. It also affects the end cost of an app; more integrations take more time to corporate. Some examples of app integrations are payments gateways, social media integrations, etc.

Requirements for team 

The final chainlink in how much it costs to make an app depends on the team you choose. Choosing the right team is always beneficial because it lowers the cost and gives you high quality. Moreover, it is also essential to choose the required tools to develop the app. So, if you want the value of your bucks, then choose a team wisely and invest in the best tools. For app development, requirements for the team include.

Tech Stack

No matter what mobile development process you are going or planning to follow, it will never turn fruitful until you get together a robust technology stack. The missing link between a splendid idea and a successful application can be a tech stack.

For app development, you need the latest technology, which includes:

  • G-suit
  • Balsamiq
  • Figma
  • AWS
  • jITSI ( For streaming), MySQL( Database), LoadNinja( Testing) 

For coding, you need

Development options

For app development, you can choose from the following options to hire a software development team:

In-house Team

If you want a completely transparent and trustworthy development process, then hire your in-house team. It might be shocking for you, but the in-house team’s price can be higher than other resources. Let’s see the cost that your in-house team will take: 

  • Full-stack developer: $ 98,000 per year 
  • Designer: $80,000 per year 
  • iOS or Android developer: $85,000 per year

But this is the wise option where you can bring new ideas to the table and can create an outstanding app.


To develop an app, the charges of a local agency will be higher. Depending on the country, a developing or designing team’s per hour rate can vary between $150 to $250 per hour per specialist. If the total time is 400 hrs and you are taking an average cost of $200, you will spend $80,000 for app development. 


Outsourcing can provide you quality and creativity. It depends upon the country to country. For example, in Ukraine, you can outsource as low as $30. They are not freelancers, and if you want to cut down costs, then outsourcing is the best option, Cost-effective, and quality offering. 

Calculator for no-code development

You hire professionals for coding, but apart from this, there are many no-code development softwares through which you can reduce the cost of an application to a minimum. It is easy and convenient. But no-code app development platforms allow you less functionality and customizability.