How Much Does it Cost to Build an App?

/ July 26, 2017 | 5 Mins Read

How Much Does it Cost to Build an App?

Do you know the actual cost of building an app? Here’s a look at some of the factors that affect the price of mobile applications.

Although mobile technologies ensure stable and effective communication with the client, most businesses still tend to ponder on the necessity of designing a high-quality mobile application. Not everyone yet realized the fact that the mobile-friendly website just can’t cover all clients, and many of the latter would feel much more comfortable if they had an easy-to-access, convenient and comfortable mobile app.

On the other hand, designing a high-quality application may cost the business a pretty penny, let alone the fact that prices are quite vague and the choice of the developer is a complicated process.

Nevertheless, a well-thought mobile application has all chance to become a magic wand for your business! At least, Lucy Adams from believes in it.

So, a perfect mobile app can:

  • Increase the customer base.
  • Increase the loyalty of your clients.
  • Create a brand community and become an independent communication source, both between users and between users and the company.
  • Provide extra income, or even become a business branch itself.

Questions to Ask before Hiring a Mobile Developer

Before making a final choice and starting negotiations, ask the following questions:

  • How cool will the design of the application be? Study the portfolios of potential contractors. If you are dissatisfied with the design or graphics that they used earlier, it’s better not to hire them: there are very few chances such companies will do something new and special for your project, especially if the price is moderate or low.
  • What are the relevant competencies of the developers? What exactly they are good at? If they are experts in your niche, you may consider yourself lucky: the cost may increase, but the app is more likely to be top-notch.
  • What are the technologies the developers work with? Whether you want to build an app on Andriod, iOS or a cross-platform product, make sure the contractor has relevant experience.

Once you get answers to these three basic questions, think whether you are ready to outsource the project or some parts of it. Outsourcing to Eastern Europe and India is an obvious way to cut costs, but you must be sure of the reliability of the developer.

Factors that Affect the Price of Mobile Applications

1. iOS, Android or Cross-Platform

Before deciding which platform your application will be designed for, it is worthwhile to understand how much time you have, what quality you need and how much complex the product will be.


If you need a quick solution, a cross-platform application is a good choice. It will cost you 30% less than two native applications, and it will take less time. However, it’s not indented for complex or advanced applications. Cross-platform development is all about simple applications without hardware interfaces that have some peculiarities on different platforms.

Although the paramount task is to reach as much of the audience as possible, you may need to test the app before launching it, and in this case, it’s better to focus on developing an app for a single mobile OS. To determine which OS to choose for MVP, take into account the next facts:

  • The full-fledged iOS app takes up to 30% less time due to a large number of Android devices complicating testing and debugging processes.
  • About 84% of users prefer Android to iOS (14.8%), but the latter group is of a higher paying capacity.
  • The popularity of operating systems has different indicators for different regions and professions.

2. Backup

One of the decisive aspects in determining the price is the need of a server. Most mobile applications are client interfaces that can interact with servers, that is, receive and store information on the server, synchronize all changes and personal data on various users' devices.


If the application has a backend, you will have to pay for the development of both the mobile part and the server one. If it is of a client-server type, you’ll need a multifunctional team in which the developers dealing with the client part can communicate effectively with those dealing with the server part. Hiring two different teams (from China and India, for example) may end in a total failure.

3. UI/UX

Interfaces play a key role. Nobody wants to use an app that looks awful; on the other hand, it’s quite costly to look good.


The design is usually about 20% of the total cost. Prices for UI/UX-design ranges from $10 up to $100 per hour, depending on the location of the team and its competence.

4. How to Save on Mobile App Development

The supply of IT services is constantly growing, and it would seem it’s nothing special in finding a team of developers. However, hiring a company always leads to taxes, which is sometimes undesirable. Also, you may not have enough resources to manage a big team so that unscrupulous developers may either intentionally or unintentionally misuse the money and time they have.

Given that, consider the following ways to reduce costs:

a. Freelancers

A team of independent performers will happily do the same job cheaper, but it’s always associated with risks due to inability to control the situation and effectively communicate.

b. Outsource Developers

A great option if you’re good in remote management. If you can’t do it well, consider hiring a third-party that organizes all the processes, including development, design, UX, testing, business analysis, etc., so that you will be responsible only for the key and final decisions.

c. Outstaffing

Unlike outsourcers, out staffers are focused solely on your project and are managed by local PMs of the company you contract. Managers will send you reports and manage the staff, but this does not prevent you from interacting with the team face-to-face.

In this case, you can save a lot because you do not have to pay for office maintenance, taxes, insurance and keeping accounts. Usually, it's only about the salary of the team members!

The Final Word :

Although out-staffing seems to be the most favorable option, in most cases the only thing you can play with is the level of risk, and the lower it is, the highest the price.

Saving on mobile app development is not recommended unless either you’re completely sure that you’ll get the perfect value for money or just feel lucky. If the budget is too low, but you can postpone the process, you should better do it in order not to lay an egg somewhere at the stage of release or so.

I wish you best of luck in business and mobile development!

Lucy Adams is a writing guru from BuzzEssay – a website that provides you the best essay writing assistance. Lucy is a generalist who’s always in touch with readers and ready to consider your craziest ideas. Don’t miss the chance to add some value to your blog at no cost! Ping Lucy with your suggestions and get an immediate response.