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A Comprehensive Guide on Costing of the Mobile App Development Cost In 2023

11 September 2023


The usage growth of mobile devices is exponential, and Statista presents support through acceptable figures.

Mobile usage growth from 2020 to 2025

According to Statista, the number of mobile devices in 2020 was 14.02 billion. The experts predict a steady increase of it up to 18.22 billion in 2025. Thus, the world will experience a steady growth of mobile owners and the usage of mobile devices worldwide.

Revenue of mobile apps worldwide

The same trends follow in mobile app revenue growth in different app categories. For instance, the mobile app revenue in the gaming and social media app categories is steeply increasing, and app owners are most likely getting high ROI.

Such trends in mobile app revenue growth lure many entrepreneurs to invest their fortunes in the development of mobile apps. Today, I am going to present different factors influencing mobile app development costs with essential details.

Let's explore it.

How To Estimate the Cost of Mobile Application Development?

As per the standard procedure, mobile app development companies used to provide a ballpark estimation of development cost by calculating estimated hours they are likely to spend on the development work and multiplying those hours to the rates of each team member. Therefore, the hourly rates of each mobile app development team role are a must.

Hourly Rates of Each Role in the Mobile App Development Team

It is well-versed that hourly rates for different roles in a mobile application development team differ based on the team's skills, experience, and location. Let's learn about the hourly rates of each role in a team.

Mobile App Developer:

The range of mobile app developer hourly rates is wide. In the USA, it may be $35 per hour in New York for a junior app developer and $70 per hour for a senior developer in California. However, the average hourly rate for a mobile app developer is $47 per hour.

UI/UX Designer:

For a junior UI/UX designer, it is $30 per hour in the USA.

For a senior UI/UX designer, it is $60 per hour.

Thus, the average hourly rate for a UI/UX designer is $40 per hour in the USA.

QA Engineer:

For a junior QA engineer, it is $30 per hour in the USA.

For a senior QA engineer, it is $50 per hour.

Thus, the average hourly rate for a QA engineer is $35 per hour.

Project Manager:

For a junior project manager, it is $40 per hour in the USA.

For a senior project manager, it is $70 per hour.

Therefore, the average hourly rate for a project manager is $50 per hour.

Mobile Application Development Cost for Each Development Phase

A typical mobile app development process consists of the following phases. Let's learn the estimated mobile app development cost of each phase.

Planning and Conceptualization:

The estimated cost of the planning and conceptualization phase is $1,000 to $10,000 or more

The planning and conceptualization phase involves the following activities:

  • Gathering requirements
  • Defining the app's goals and features
  • Preparing a project plan

UI/UX Design:

The estimated cost is $2,000 to $20,000 or more for UI/UX design.

UI/UX design phase is important for creating visual design and associated user experience in the app. It includes

  • Sketches creation
  • Wireframe development
  • Mockups preparation
  • The final design of app screens, icons, and user interactions


The estimated cost of mobile application programming is $10,000 to $100,000 or more.

During the development phase, app developers

  • Accomplish programming for the app's functionality
  • Implementing app features
  • Integrating APIs
  • Creating server infrastructure, if required

Testing and Quality Assurance:

The estimated cost of testing and QA is $2,000 to $20,000 or more.

During this phase, the QA team work on

  • Testing the app for bugs
  • Usability issues
  • Performance factors
  • Compatibility across different devices and platforms

Deployment and Launch:

The estimated cost of the app deployment phase is $1,000 to $10,000 or more.

This phase includes

  • Preparing the app for release
  • Submitting the app to the App Stores
  • Setting up the necessary backend infrastructure for app distribution

Post-Launch Support and Maintenance:

The estimated cost of the post-launch support and maintenance phase varies.

This phase involves

  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Updates
  • Bug fixes
  • Feature enhancements

Thus, the cost can vary based on the level of support needed.

It's important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary significantly based on your app's specific requirements and complexity.

 Additionally, these costs may not include expenses such as project management, marketing, or server hosting, which can add to the overall development budget. It's advisable to consult with a professional app development company like Jeel Techsoft to get a more accurate estimate based on your unique project requirements.

Average Cost of the Most Popular Apps

It is interesting to know the development cost range of the most popular apps in the market.

  • Uber – The cost of an Uber-like app could be $30,000 to $100,000.
  • Netflix – The development cost of a Netflix-like app could be $25,000 to $200,000.
  • WhatsApp – The development cost of a WhatsApp-like mobile app may be from $30,000 to $70,000.
  • Snapchat – The cost of a Snapchat-like app may be $45,000 to $100,000.
  • Tik-Tok – The cost range for a Tik-Tok-like app may be $60,000 to $100,000.
  • Coursera – The cost of a Coursera-like app may be $60,000 to $120,000.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Mobile App Development

It is a fact that many different factors have an influence on the estimated cost of mobile apps. Let's discuss some significant factors here.

Mobile App Complexities

The complexities in mobile app development arise due to the following:

  • Features
  • Functionality
  • Design
  • Integration of third-party applications or software and services

Let me present some general guidelines on how complexity can impact the cost of app development:

Simple Apps

 Simple apps have

  • Basic functionality
  • Limited features
  • Straightforward user interfaces

Features & Functionality

  • They involve static content
  • Primary forms
  • Simple data display

Estimated Cost

can range from $5,000 to $20,000.

Moderate Apps

Moderate apps have

  • More features
  • Complex UI/UX design
  • It might require integration with external services or APIs

Features & Functionality

  • They involve user authentication
  • Push notifications
  • Basic database functionality, etc.

Estimated Cost

can range from $20,000 to $50,000.

Complex Apps

They require a team of experienced developers, designers, and testers.

Features & Functionality

  • They involve advanced features
  • Intricate UI/UX design
  • Animations
  • Real-time data synchronization
  • Complex backend systems

Estimated Cost

can range from $50,000 to $200,000 or more.

Mobile App Features & Functionality

The complexity of app features and functionality is a significant factor in determining the cost. More complex features require additional development time and effort, which translates to higher costs. For the sake of simplicity, we can divide the complexities of features & functionality into two categories: Simple & Advanced.

Simple Features & Functionality

User Login

  • What It Includes:
    1. Login with social media & email.
    2. Forgot password.
    3. Log out.
  • Estimated Time: 32-40 hours
  • Estimated cost: $500 - $1,000

Profile Completion

  • What It Includes:
    1. Basic info.
    2. Photo.
    3. Region.
  • Estimated Time: 30-40 hours
  • Estimated cost: $900 - $1,000

Push Notification

  • What It Includes:
    1. Push notifications.
    2. Reminders.
    3. Alerts.
  • Estimated Time: 25-32 hours
  • Estimated cost: $1,000 - $1,200


  • What It Includes:
    1. Online/offline status.
    2. Typing status.
    3. Send media files & doc.
    4. Read/sent status.
  • Estimated Time: 140-180 hours
  • Estimated cost: $3,000 - $5,000

User Management

  • What It Includes:
    1. List of users.
    2. Block/delete users.
    3. Create & Edit Users.
  • Estimated Time: 60-90 hours
  • Estimated cost: $3,500 - $5,000

Advanced Features & Functionality


  • What It Includes:
    1. Check balance.
    2. Add debit/credit card.
    3. Add more payment gateways.
  • Estimated Time: 60-80 hours
  • Estimated cost: $2,500 - $3,000


  • What It Includes:
    1. Detects the user's location.
    2. Set pickup point.
    3. Set destination point.
  • Estimated Time: 100-120 hours
  • Estimated cost: $3,000 - $4,000


  • What It Includes:
    1. Audio calls.
    2. Video calls.
    3. Contacts.
  • Estimated Time: 300-400 hours
  • Estimated cost: $14,000 - $15,000

You can plan and prioritize the features and functionality of your mobile app based on your budget and target audience's needs. You can consider a phased approach for additional functionalities. It can help you manage the development cost-effectively.

Mobile App Type

The cost of mobile app development can vary depending on several factors, including different types of apps.

Here's a general overview of the cost considerations for different types of mobile apps:

Web Apps:

Web apps are accessed through a mobile device's web browser and do not require installation from an app store.

The primary factors influencing the cost include

  • Design
  • DevelopmentPre-Development Phase
  • Testing
  • Ongoing maintenance

Cost Estimation:

can be between $50K - $100K.

Hybrid Apps:

Hybrid apps are built using web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and wrapped within a native container, enabling them to be distributed through app stores.

The cost of hybrid app development can be slightly higher than web apps due to the additional effort required for building and testing the app across multiple platforms.

Estimated Cost:

can be between $10K to $150K.

Cross-Platform Apps:

Cross-platform apps are developed using frameworks like React Native, Flutter, or Xamarin. These frameworks allow developers to write code once and deploy it on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android.

However, Cross-platform app development can be more cost-effective compared to native apps as it reduces development time and effort on different OS platforms.

Estimated Cost:

is generally between $20K to $150K or more.

Native Apps:

Native apps are built specifically for a particular platform (e.g., iOS or Android) using platform-specific programming languages (Swift or Objective-C for iOS, Java or Kotlin for Android).

Of course, Native app development tends to be the most expensive option due to each platform's need for separate development efforts.

Estimated Cost:

can range from $30,000 to $250,000 or higher.

Mobile App Category

The mobile app category can influence the cost of mobile app development. It is because the different app categories impact the development cost differently. For instance,

  • Complexities
  • Requirements
  • Functionalities

Here are a few examples:

Simple Utility Apps:

These apps typically have limited functionality and straightforward features.

Estimated Cost

can range from $5,000 to $20,000.

Content-based Apps:

Content-focused apps often involve

  • Integrating with external APIs
  • Implementing CMS
  • Supporting various media formats

Estimated Cost

can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more.

E-commerce Apps:

E-commerce apps involve

  • Complex features like product listings
  • Payment gateways
  • Order management
  • User profiles

Estimated Cost

pending on the scale and customization requirements, it can range from $20,000 to $100,000 or higher.

Social Networking Apps:

Social networking apps require extensive functionality, such as

  • User profiles
  • Messaging
  • Media sharing
  • Notifications
  • Complex algorithms

Estimated Cost

ranges from $50,000 to $250,000 or more, depending on the specific features and customization needed.

On-Demand Service Apps:

On-demand service apps involve

  • Real-time tracking
  • Location-based services
  • Payment integrations
  • User/provider communication

Estimated Cost

ranges from $30,000 to $150,000 or higher, depending on the complexity and scale of the app.

Gaming Apps:

Gaming apps are more complex and resource-intensive due to

  • Graphics
  • Background
  • Gameplay mechanics
  • Multiplayer functionality

Estimated Cost

pending on the game's complexity and platform compatibility, it can range from $50,000 to $500,000 or more.

Mobile App Design & Animation

The estimated mobile app development costs can vary based on the design and animations required. Here are some factors that can influence the cost:

  • UI/UX Design
  • Custom Animations
  • Motion Graphics
  • Performance Optimization

UI/UX Design:   

The estimated cost of UI/UX design in mobile app development can vary depending on various factors, such as

  • App's complexity
  • Number of screens
  • Level of customization required
  • Designers' expertise

Here are some rough cost estimates to provide you with a general idea:

Basic UI/UX Design:

A simple mobile app has a primary user interface and limited screens.

It generally includes

  • Wireframing
  • Creating a visual design concept
  • Delivering design assets

Cost: UI/UX design costs range from $2,000 to $10,000.

Medium Complexity UI/UX Design:

For apps with moderate complexity, such as e-commerce or social media apps with multiple screens and more intricate interactions,

It includes

  • More detailed wireframes
  • Interactive prototypes
  • User testing
  • Iterative design improvements

Cost: UI/UX design costs range from $10,000 to $30,000.

High Complexity UI/UX Design:

For complex mobile apps that involve

  • Unique features
  • Custom animations
  • Highly interactive interfaces

These projects may require

  • Extensive user research
  • Advanced prototyping
  • Usability testing
  • Focus on delivering a highly polished user experience

Cost: UI/UX design costs can exceed $30,000 and reach $50,000 or more.

Custom Animations:

The cost of custom animations in mobile app development can vary based on

  • Complexity
  • Number of animations
  • Level of customization required

Here are some general cost estimates to give you an idea:

Basic Custom Animations:

For simple custom animations, such as

  • Basic transitions
  • Subtle motion effects
  • Small interactive elements

These animations are typically less complex and require less time and effort to implement.

Cost: It can range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Medium Complexity Custom Animations:

For more involved and intricate animations, such as

  • Animated illustrations
  • Complex transitions
  • Interactive gestures

These animations may involve more detailed design work and additional coding and require more time to implement and test.

Cost: It can range from $5,000 to $20,000.

High Complexity Custom Animations:

For highly complex and advanced custom animations that involve

  • Intricate movements
  • Physics-based interactions
  • Real-time visual effects

These animations often require specialized skills, advanced coding techniques, and extensive testing to ensure smooth performance across devices and platforms.

Cost: It can exceed $20,000.

Motion Graphics:

Here is a breakdown of the factors that can affect the cost of motion graphics design:

The complexity of the animation:

  • The more complex the animation, the more time and effort it will take to create, and the higher the cost will be.
  • For example, a simple animation of a logo bouncing on the screen will be much less expensive than a complex animation of a character walking through a city.

The number of screens involved:

  • If your app has a lot of screens, each screen will need to be animated individually.
  • It will obviously increase the cost of the project.

Experience and skill level of the designer:

  • The more experienced and skilled the designer, the higher the cost.
  • It is because experienced designers are able to create high-quality animations more quickly and efficiently than less experienced designers.

Cost: You can expect to pay between $100 and $500 per hour for motion graphics design services.

Performance Optimization:

Optimizing performance in a mobile app involves

  • Identifying and addressing bottlenecks
  • Improving code efficiency
  • Optimizing resource usage (such as memory and CPU)
  • Reducing network latency
  • Enhancing overall responsiveness and user experience

Here is a breakdown of the factors that can affect the cost of performance optimization:

The complexity of the app:

  • The more complex the app, the more time and effort it will take to optimize.
  • For example, an app with a lot of features will require more optimization than an app with a few simple features.

A number of features:

  • The more features an app has, the more code it will have, and the more likely it is to be slow.
  • For example, an app with a lot of animations and graphics will be more likely to be slower than an app with a few simple screens.

Platform(s) on which the app will be developed:

  • The platform(s) on which the app will be developed can also affect the cost of performance optimization.
  • For example, apps developed for iOS are generally more demanding than apps developed for Android.

Cost: You can expect to pay between $5,000 and $50,000 for performance optimization services.

Mobile App Deployment

The estimated cost of mobile app deployment depends on several factors

  • Platform(s) on which the app will be deployed
  • Size of the app
  • Features included

Cost: You can expect to pay between $500 and $5,000 for deployment services.

Here are some cost considerations related to mobile app deployment:

App Store Developer Accounts:

Both Apple's App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android) require developer accounts, which come with annual fees.

  • Apple charges $99 per year for an iOS Developer Program membership
  • Google Play Store charges a one-time fee of $25 for a Google Play Developer account

App Submission and Review:

  • Submitting your app to the app stores requires following their guidelines and going through an approval process.
  • The process is typically included in the development cost, but it's essential to factor in the time and effort required.

Regular Updates:

  • After deployment, you may need to regularly update your app to fix bugs, improve functionality, and support new operating system versions.
  • The cost of regular updates should be considered over time.

Additional Services:

Depending on your requirements, you may need additional services

  • Push notifications
  • Analytics integration
  • Server setup
  • API integrations
  • Other features

These services can vary in cost based on their complexity and implementation.

Size of Mobile App Development Team/Company

The cost of mobile app development teams or companies can vary based on several factors. Here's a rough breakdown of different sizes of mobile app development teams and their estimated cost ranges:

Individual Freelancer:

  • A freelance mobile app developer works independently and handles all aspects of the development process.
  • Cost Estimation: It can range from $5,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the complexity and features of the app.

Small Development Team (2-5 members):

A small development team can include

  • A combination of developers
  • Designers
  • Testers

Cost Estimation: It can range from $30,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the team's experience and location.

Medium-Sized Development Team (6-10 members):

A medium-sized team usually comprises

  • Developers
  • Designers
  • Testers,
  • Project managers
  • Specialized roles like UX/UI designers or backend developers

Cost Estimation: Depending on the team's expertise and location, it can range from $100,000 to $500,000 or more.

Large Development Company (10+ members):

Large development companies may have extensive resources and expertise. They offer a full range of services, including

  • User research
  • Designing
  • Programming
  • QA testing
  • Project management
  • Ongoing maintenance

Cost Estimation: It can range from $500,000 to several million dollars, depending on the complexity and scale of the app.

If you need a more granular approach, I'm giving you a cost estimation of individual team members based on their roles.

Business Analyst              

They conduct user research, prepare user persona, plan business, and development strategies, plan development stages, and resources.

  • Simple app: $2-3,000      
  • Moderate app: $5-8,000               
  • Complex app: $8-10,000

UI/UX Designer

They prepare sketches, wireframes, prototypes, and final designs for UI & UX.

  • Simple app: $4-5,000      
  • Moderate app: $5-7,000               
  • Complex app: $10-15,000


They program the app, do integrations, and manage all development-related aspects.

  • Simple app: $30-40,000 
  • Moderate app: $50-60,000          
  • Complex app: $100,000+

QA Specialist 

They run frequent testing and ensure the app's quality by establishing quality credentials.

  • Simple app: $8-10,000   
  • Moderate app: $15-20,000          
  • Complex app: $20,000+


They manage various development operations, including server setup, app backend preparation, application analytics, and submission.

  • Simple app: $2-4,000      
  • Moderate app: $5-7,000               
  • Complex app: $10,000+

Solution Architect

They prepare app architecture.

  • Simple app: $1-3,000      
  • Moderate app: $5-8,000               
  • Complex app: $9,000+

Project Manager

They follow the app development process, set the app development strategy, and follow the progress by providing regular reports.

  • Simple app: $5-7,000      
  • Moderate app: $10-15,000          

Complex app: $10,000+

Mobile App Security

Mobile app security involves a lot of various activities, including:

Code Review:

  • A code review is a process of checking the code for potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Estimated Cost: It can vary depending on the app's complexity. It may be around $1,000-$5,000.

Penetration Testing:

  • Penetration testing is a process of simulating an attack on the app to identify and exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Estimated Cost: It can vary depending on the app's complexity. It may be around $5,000-$10,000.

Data Encryption:

  • Data encryption is the process of converting data into a format that unauthorized users cannot read.
  • Estimated Cost: It can vary depending on the type of data that is being encrypted. It may be around $500-$1,000.

Application Sandboxing:

  • Application sandboxing is a technique that isolates an app from the rest of the system, making it more difficult for an attacker to gain control of the system.
  • Estimated Cost: It can vary depending on the app's complexity. It may be around $1,000-$5,000.

User Authentication:

  • User authentication is verifying a user's identity before they are allowed to access the app.
  • Estimated Cost: It can vary depending on the type of authentication used. It may be around $500-$1,000.

Malware Protection:

  • Malware protection uses software to scan for and remove malware from an app.
  • Estimated Cost: It can vary depending on the type of malware protection used. It may be around $500-$1,000.

Mobile App Maintenance:

Here are some common maintenance steps and their associated costs:

Bug Fixes and Issue Resolution:


  • Reported bugs
  • Crashes
  • Other issues in an ongoing maintenance

The cost will depend on the complexity of the bugs and the time required to fix them.

  • Simple bug fixes: $200 - $1,000 per bug
  • Moderate complexity bug fixes: $1,000 - $5,000 per bug
  • Complex bug fixes: $5,000 - $10,000+ per bug

Compatibility Updates:

As new versions of operating systems (iOS, Android) are released, ensuring compatibility with these updates may be necessary. It involves reviewing and updating the app to work seamlessly with the latest OS versions.

  • Minor compatibility updates: $500 - $2,000
  • Moderate complexity compatibility updates: $2,000 - $5,000
  • Major compatibility updates: $5,000 - $10,000+

Feature Enhancements:

Adding new features or improving existing functionality may be part of app maintenance to keep the app relevant and competitive.

  • Minor feature enhancements: $300 - $1,500
  • Moderate complexity feature enhancements: $2,000 - $4,000
  • Major feature enhancements: $5,000 - $8,000+ per feature

Security Updates:

Regularly addressing security vulnerabilities and updating security measures is crucial for maintaining the app's integrity and protecting user data.

  • Minor security updates: $400 - $1,200
  • Moderate complexity security updates: $1,500 - $4,5,000
  • Major security updates: $5,000 - $9,000+ per update

Performance Optimization:

Optimizing app performance, such as reducing loading times and improving responsiveness, can enhance the user experience.

  • Minor performance optimization: $800 - $2,000
  • Moderate complexity performance optimization: $2,500 - $6,000
  • Major performance optimization: $7,000 - $12,000+

Location of Mobile App Developers

Different geographies have different economies. So, the cost of living and hence the wages of mobile app developers vary. Therefore, the hourly rates of mobile developers in different economies are different. 

High-Cost Regions:

    United States, Canada, Western Europe, & Australia.
    Developers in these regions tend to have higher rates due to the higher cost of living and wages.
    Hourly Rates
    Hourly rates can range from $100 to $250 or more, depending on the expertise and experience of the developers.

Moderate Cost Regions:

    Eastern Europe, South America, & Southeast Asia.
    Developers in these regions often have more competitive rates than the high-cost regions mentioned above.
    Hourly Rate:
    Hourly rates can range from $30 to $100, depending on the specific country, developer skills, and experience.

Low-Cost Regions:

    India, Philippines, and other low-cost regions.
    These regions are known for more affordable development rates.
    Hourly Rate
    Hourly rates can range from $15 to $40 or lower, depending on the specific country and the developer's skill level.

Mobile App OS Platforms

Mobile OS platforms are not equal. Their features, functionality, and support for various integration are incredibly different. Thus, the mobile app development cost on different operating systems (OS) can vary.

Here's an overview of some popular mobile OS platforms and their associated costs:


  • Developing an Android app ranges from $10,000 to $500,000.
  • The exact price will depend on the app's complexity, the features and functionality required, and the development team you hire.
  • Learn more in our blog on Android app development costs.


  • Developing an iOS app ranges from $15,000 to $750,000.
  • The exact price will depend on the same factors as Android app development.
  • Learn more in our iOS app development cost blog.

Windows Phone:

  • Developing a Windows Phone app ranges from $20,000 to $1,000,000.
  • The exact price will depend on the app's complexity, the features and functionality required, and the development team you hire.


  • Developing a cross-platform app ranges from $25,000 to $500,000.
  • The exact price will depend on the app's complexity, the features and functionality required, and the development team you hire.

How To Reduce the Cost of Mobile App Development?

It is vital to cut the cost of mobile app development for many businesses and individuals.

Here are some strategies that can help you minimize costs without compromising the quality of your app:

Define Your Requirements Clearly:

Define your app's core features and functionality right from the beginning. It will reduce the chances of scope creep and unnecessary development work. Thus, it will keep costs in check.

Conduct Thorough Market Research:

Before starting mobile application development on any platform or framework, you must research your target audience, competitors, and market trends. Thus, you will make informed decisions. You can prioritize features. Moreover, you can avoid costly rework.

Choose The Right Development Approach:

Native app development can be expensive. It is because it requires separate codebases for each platform (iOS and Android). Alternatively, you can think of cross-platform frameworks like React Native or Flutter if you have ways to compromise with native experiences. Thus, you can build apps for multiple platforms using a single codebase. It again helps you reduce development time and cost.

Prioritize Features:

You can focus on the essential features that provide value to users and address their needs by prioritizing app features in the development strategy. You can avoid adding unnecessary bells and whistles that can inflate development costs. You will have room to incorporate additional features in the subsequent updates based on user feedback.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP):

If you think of building a fully-featured app from the start, it may prove costly when your users find many features and functionality useless. Thus, decide wisely and consider launching an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with the core functionality. Thus, you will have ample scope to validate your app idea, collect user feedback, and enable the team to make informed decisions for subsequent development phases. Thus, you can cut initial costs.

Outsource Development Wisely:

Besides startup and small software development companies, many graphics, animation design, and marketing companies suffer from a talent crunch. Thus, if you don't have an in-house development team, consider outsourcing to reduce costs. You can find a reputable development agency like Jeel Techsoft with relevant experience and a proven track record. I prefer it and enjoy exemplary communication, availability of talents, and cheaper quotes.

Optimize App Design:

User experience matters more than anything else in app success. Therefore, you need to create a well-designed app. So, it can enhance the user experience and reduce development time and cost. Moreover, you can use pre-designed templates or themes and leverage existing design patterns to streamline your mobile app development process.

Reuse Existing Components:

Building various components from scratch in app development may prove a time-consuming and costly affair. Therefore, try to leverage third-party libraries, open-source frameworks, and pre-built components whenever possible. It will help your mobile app developers save their development time and effort. Moreover, you can utilize well-tested and maintained solutions available in the market rather than reinventing the wheel.

Rigorous Testing and Quality Assurance:

Rigorous testing and QA practices are essential to ensure high-quality outcomes for your app. It may help you recognize and fix many issues well in advance in the development cycle. Moreover, it can avoid costly rework later. Thus, you need to Invest in comprehensive testing, including functional, usability, performance, and security testing. Hence, you can ensure a high-quality app that minimizes post-release expenses.

Continuous Improvement and Updates:

In the end, you can release your app with the core features. It will help you gather user feedback. Thus, you can recognize areas for improvement. In short, regularly updating an app based on user input and market demands can help your app stay relevant. Thus, you can ensure high efficiency without incurring significant redevelopment costs in the later stages of the app lifecycle.

Pre-Development Phase

The following stages should include in the pre-development phase.

Defining App Goals and Objectives

It is true that you can't decide on the app features and functionality without defining your mobile app goals and objectives. It also helps you calculate the app development budget and timeline.

Some common goals of your mobile app should be:

  • Boost the sales of your products or services through the app.

  • Enhance customer loyalty.

  • Generate more leads for your business.

  • Build your brand awareness.

This step will cost you nearly $500 for a small and straightforward app, while for a complex and large app, it may go to $5000 or above.

Market Research and Competitive Analysis

  • App market research helps you to know the app's target users and prepare a user persona.

  • App competitive analysis helps you prepare an app business strategy and acknowledge the team regarding gaps left by your competitors.

The following factors determine the cost of app market research and competitive analysis steps.

  • Numbers of research and analysis team members.

  • The amount of data you need for accurate research and analysis.

  • Complexities in the target audience and app's market.

  • How many details do you need with research?

The cost may be $500 for a simple app, but it can go up to $5,000 for a large and complex app.

Target Audience Identification

When you want to prepare an app that meets the requirements of your target audience, the target audience identification step becomes inevitable. Although it may cost you little, from $500 to $2,000, it is worth spending. The cost may depend on the following factors.

  • Size and complexities of your target audience.

  • What type of research do you carry, and how much data do you want to collect?

  • Experience level of your research team.

  • How much time and effort are needed?

App Platform Selection (iOS, Android, or Both)

You need to weigh each platform's pros and cons when you think of native mobile app development. The known platforms are:

  • iOS

  • Android

  • Windows Phone

  • Blackberry

  • Web

The following factors may influence the cost of the platform selection process.

  • The platform you want to target because iOS apps usually cost higher compared to Android apps.

  • Experience level of your team.

  • The complexity level of your app.

  • Time and effort are needed.

Creating A Feature List and Scope Definition

The cost may vary depending on the complexities of your app and the number of features & functionality you want to include. It may be as little as $500.

Development Phase

The overall cost of the app development phase depends on the following additional aspects.

Choosing the right development approach (native, hybrid, or cross-platform)

The followings are the most common mobile app development approaches:

  • Native

  • Hybrid

  • Cross-platform

  • Web app

We have discussed these in the Mobile App Type section above.

Backend infrastructure requirements

The following factors may affect the process of determining backend infrastructure requirements.

  • The types of backend infrastructure requirements.

  • The security features you need.

  • The level of redundancy you want in your app.

Development time estimation

The development time estimation step in the mobile app development process is relatively small but worth doing. It gives you an app development timeline and helps you prepare pre-release marketing efforts. The following tools and techniques help you in due course.

  • Gantt chart

  • Work breakdown structure

  • Expert judgment

Cost Components

App Development Team Composition

In a previous section, we have seen the team composition. A typical team of Android application development consists of team members with different roles, such as:

  • Business analysts

  • Business & app strategists

  • UI designers

  • UX designers

  • Mobile programmers

  • Application architects

Testing and QA professionals

  • App marketers

  • Project managers

In-house Team vs. Outsourcing

The following pros and cons reveal the best option for you.

Pros of Outsourcing Mobile App Development Team

  • Cost saving: If you select the best team with the best rates, you will save a lot in the end.

  • Speed to market: The outsourcing team has adequate resources and trained professionals to deliver your app on time.

  • Access to expertise: Many integrations and application of upcoming technologies in an app requires expected expertise, and the outsourcing team has everything you need.

  • Flexible: When you look for flexibility, an outsourcing team can provide you in terms of size, scope, time, and pricing.

  • No overhead: Outsourcing team saves you from various overhead charges you need for an in-house team working on payroll. For instance, regular increments, incentives, insurance, and physical infrastructural facility provisions.

Cons of Outsourcing Mobile App Development Team

  • You have to face communication and cultural barrier issues with an outsourcing team.

  • You may not have 100% control over the team in some aspects.

  • You may face security issues.

  • You may face legal and regulatory problems.

Pros of In-house Mobile App Development Team

  • You will have complete control over the app development's design, features, and quality aspects.

  • You will have the opportunity to foster a positive culture in your team to gain innovation and collaboration.

  • You can save a lot in the long run with a trained team.

Cons of In-house Mobile App Development Team

  • You must devote time and money to hire a good team, train them well, and manage them to achieve good productivity.

  • Developer retention is a headache.

  • Constant skill development is a big challenge.

Development Time and Effort

The following factors are affecting mobile application development time and efforts.

Hourly rates for different team members

We have already discussed it before.

Time required for each development stage

The average time frame for each mobile app development stage has been given in the following table.

Stage Average Time
Ideation 1-2 weeks
Requirements gathering 1-2 weeks
Design 2-4 weeks
Development 4-6 months
Testing 2-4 weeks
Deployment 1-2 weeks
Post-launch Ongoing

Third-party Integrations and APIs

Third-party integrations and APIs play a crucial role in determining the cost of mobile app development. They affect each other through the following ways.

  • The cost of APIs: Many APIs are free of cost. Some APIs are available on a subscription basis. Some APIs need investment. Thus, they add in the cost. Developers can select free APIs and cut the cost.
  • The complexities of integration: some APIs or third-party applications/software are complex to integrate and likely consume more time and resources.
  • Familiarity: When an app developer is unfamiliar with a particular API or software, they likely consume more time, adding to the cost.                                                                              
  • Numbers of APIs: The more APIs or software you are going to integrate with the app, the more cost you need to pay. So, try to minimize the integration of APIs, third-party services, and software to keep the cost at bay.
  • Managed APIs: The managed APIs save additional maintenance costs and regular updates. That can cut the cost.

The Complexity of Features and Functionality              

We have discussed it before in length.

App Maintenance and Updates

Many factors determine the cost of app maintenance and updates. For instance,

  • Complexities of the app.
  • Frequency of the updates.
  • Support of mobile OS platforms.
  • Third-party integrations.

There are multiple ways to minimize app maintenance and update cost.

  • Apply agile development methodology.
  • Use the modular architecture for each frequent update.
  • Use CI/CD (continuous integration & continuous delivery) pipeline.
  • Use the cloud-based platform.

Additional Considerations

 The following considerations also play a vital part in determining a mobile app's cost.

App design and branding

The app design and branding process influence the app development cost in multiple ways.

  • Complexities in app design and branding.,
  • Each app platform has different requirements and guidelines for app design and ways to do branding.,
  • The region of the app development team determines the cost. Developed nations have higher rates compared to developing regions.,
  • The experience and expertise of the app development team decide the cost considerably because their rates are higher.,

You can cut costs by applying the following suggestions in your app design and branding efforts.

  • You must know and understand your target audience.
  • You can use pre-made templates for designing the app.
  • Outsource your design and branding process to an expert yet cheaper team.
  • Take more time to do designing and branding to be more creative.

App security and data protection

App security and data protection measures have profound impacts on the app development cost because:

  • The more complex the app, it requires stringent measures of security and data protection.
  • How many securities and data protection features you include in the app decides the development cost.
  • Which specific security regulations and compliance do you follow to decide the app development cost? For instance, the cost of implementing GDPR is always higher than other regulations/standards.

The cost of the security team is based on their experience and their rates.

Scalability and future-proofing

  • The capability of an app to handle traffic and respond to requests is called scalability.
  • The capacity of an app to adapt to upcoming technologies in the coming days is called future-proofing.

Applying the following tips and tricks can reduce the app development cost for scalability and future-proofing.

  • You must have a clear understanding of your traffic and demand project.
  • Use scalable cloud services to meet your growing demand.
  • Use modular architecture to add new features and functionality by adding upcoming technologies.
  • I prefer open-source technology options.

Post-launch marketing and user acquisition

Post-launch marketing and user acquisition costs are ongoing costs. They can influence the overall cost based on the following factors.

  • The marketing channels: Many marketing channels are costly and many cheaper. For example, advertising, paid promotions, and partnerships are costlier than organic marketing techniques.
  • Ongoing Marketing: Social media marketing, PR, email campaigns, and influencer marketing techniques are ongoing marketing and cost high in sum.
  • Analysis & optimization: Using your app's latest user monitoring and analytics tools can demand more investment but give good results.
  • Adding features, functionality, and content: If you are going to add new features and functionality and refresh your app content frequently, you will spend more.
  • Support service: A growing customer base demands more support service staff and tools to satisfy them.



Q: 1 – How does mobile app development cost differ when developed with a us-based team and an offshore team?

A:1 – Here is the mobile app development cost analogy with different teams.
App type US-based team Offshore team
Offline standalone app $50K $5K
Moderate online connectivity $80K $12K
Chatbot app $90K $19K
IoT or Wearable app $1,350K $28K
Messaging app $300K $35K
AR/VR app $400K $45K
On-demand app $800K $50K
M-commerce app $600K $40K
Social networking app $350K $50K
Enterprise app $500K $60K

You can see how offshore team remains cheaper!

Q: 2 – What is the percent share of app development cost per phase?

A: 2 – The app development cost per phase is:
  •  Business analytics – 10%
  • Design – 15%
  • Development & QA – 60%
  • Project management – 15%

Q: 3 – What time it takes to develop different scales of mobile apps?

A: 3 – Mobile app development time differs for different scales of apps.
  • MVP- 2-3 weeks
  • Small app – one month
  • App with advanced features – 2-3 months
  • On-demand scalable app – 4 months and more

Q: 4 – What time it takes to develop different complexities of mobile apps?

A: 4 – Mobile app development time differs in different complexities of apps.
  •  Simple app – 2-3 months
  •  Moderate app – 3-9 months
  •  Complex app – 10+ months

Q: 5 – What is the cost of mobile app development with different levels of features and functionality?

A: 5 – Mobile app development cost varies with changing its features and functionality.
  •   Basic features - $5K-20K
  •   Custom design - $5K-30K
  •   Advanced features - $20K-100K
  •   Ecommerce features - $30K-150K
  •   Advanced functionality - $50K-500K

Q: 6 – What are the potential risks and challenges in mobile app development cost?

A: 6 – The following are potential risks and challenges in mobile app development costing.
  •   Project scope changes.
  •   Unpredicted technical complexities.
  •   Delayed timeline.
  •   Complexities in third-party integrations.
  •   Resource availability.

Q: 7 – How hiring an offshore mobile app development team proves beneficial?

A: 7 – Hiring an offshore mobile app development team comes with certain benefits, such as:
  •   Cost saving
  •    Fast development
  •    Access to a a large talent pool
  •    Uninterrupted development

Q: 8 – How to reduce mobile app development costs?

A: 8 – Some tips for reducing mobile app development costs.
  •     Define your requirements clearly
  •     Conduct thorough market research
  •     Select the right development approach
  •     Prioritize features
  •     Create minimum viable product (MVP)
  •     Outsource development wisely
  •     Reuse existing components
  •     Rigorous testing and qa
  •     Continuous enhancement and updates

Q: 9 – What is the estimated iOS and Android app development cost?

A: 9 – The estimated cost of iOS and Android apps with similar complexities and features are:
  •      App for iOS platform - $75K-500K
  •      App for Android platform - $50K-500K

Q: 10 – What are the hidden costs in mobile app development?

A: 10 – The following are the main hidden costs in mobile app development.
  •       Third-party integration cost
  •       Administration and management cost
  •       Infrastructure cost
  •       Support and maintenance cost


Indeed, mobile app development is a costly affair. Therefore, one must be careful in selecting the right development partner. Jeel Techsoft is an unbeatable choice to get highly competitive market rates for assured high-quality mobile app development. Please check our mobile app development portfolio and consult our previous clients to know their honest opinions in our testimonial section.