February 12, 2021

How Much Does It Cost to Develop An Application?

Are you looking for creating a new app for your business and wondering what the cost will be? You have come to the right place. Here we will discuss the many factors that can influence the cost of mobile app development. We will explain each parameter in brief so that you get a better picture of the market. It will help you create an estimate of how much you will spend on your next project.

Highlights Of The Content

  • What Are The Factors Affecting App Development Cost?
  • How Much Does It Cost to Develop An App For Different Project Types?
    1. Mobile Game App Development Cost
    2. Social Media App Development Cost
    3. On-Demand App Development Cost
  • How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Mobile App Developer?
  • Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown By Location
  • How Much Do App Developers Charge Per Hour?
  • Simple Features Vs Complex Features
  • Android Vs iOS App Development Cost
  • How Much Does It Cost to Build an App By Complexity?
  • TechnoScore – Your Ideal Partner
  • Conclusion

Let us discuss how many businesses or entrepreneurs may have to spend on creating a mobile application…

What Are The Factors Affecting App Development Cost?

Here we list some essential parameters that can influence your cost of developing a mobile application:

  • Type of the project (on-delivery, gaming, eCommerce, social media, etc.)
  • Vendor type (freelancers, in-house professionals, a third-party IT agency)
  • Location of the Vendor (Country)
  • Cost per hour of the Vendor
  • Complexity and number of features
  • Number of Platforms (Android, iOS, Web)
  • Design complexity (basic, custom, or use of animations)

There may be a lot of points here that require further explanation. Some terms may be new to you while others seem obvious. Continue reading to find out more.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop An App For Different Project Types?

There are three popular types of mobile apps available in the market in 2021. The list includes mobile games, social media apps, and on-delivery applications. Here we will discuss the cost breakdown of each type in detail.

Mobile Game App Development Cost

Here is a rough estimate of the investment you need to make to create a mobile game application for your business.

Complexity Simple Mobile Game Small Mobile Game Medium-level Game Large Mobile Game Complex Mobile Game
Cost Range $25k to $50k $50k to $80k $80k to $120k $120k to $250k $250k to $1MM+

The high range largely depends on the features, complexity, game genres, designs, and graphics.

Social Media App Development Cost

There are many social networking apps available on the internet. To compete with them you need a reliable mobile and web application development company. One that can create something in the lines of Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter.

You can also consider dating apps as a part of the social networking category. Each app contains social interactions using photos, text, videos, and enable users to befriend others. Here is a cost estimate of creating a social networking app:

  • Type: Dating, “Matching”, or Social Networking
  • Cost: $150,000 — $500,000

The cost difference is based on unique factors such as the design, features, and data limitation.

On-Demand App Development Cost

On-demand apps are the wave of the future. Many startups are looking to create similar apps to introduce services to meet the needs of their users. You can also create a great application just like Uber, GrubHub, and others.

An on-demand app has many features similar to a socializing application like login, chats, calls, etc. Each app usually merges two divisions that work separately from each other. For example, a rider and client app in Uber.

  • App Cost: $50,000 to $60,000
  • Timeline: 5-7+ months

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Mobile App Developer?

The cost of your project varies according to the solution you choose as a company. You can either go with freelancers, a third-party IT agency or hire in-house professionals. The table below describes each option. Here is the cost breakdown of mobile app development by vendor type:

Solution Description Average Hourly Rate
Hire A Freelancer The mobile app developer will be attentive, communicative, and available at affordable prices. But there is also the question of reliability, data security, accountability, exclusivity, and transparency. $50 – $150/hr
Hiring in-house Require time, effort, and money to search, interview, select, recruit, and professionals. You will also have to offer them compensations, week-offs, bonuses, and other benefits. The average monthly salary of a mobile app developer is around USD 68,478
Hiring an agency They handle your project of any size. You can trust them to be available in your time zone, be accurate, and offer post-development support. You can even ask them for deployment, licensing, and testing at any time. $25 to $49/hr

In many countries, leading agencies have a highly-skilled and experienced pool of talent with years of domain experience. You can also benefit from getting all the professionals under a single roof.

With a third-party firm, you get programmers, designers, project managers, working with the latest technologies. This is a challenge for in-house teams that work with limited resources to create high performing apps. Even the developers that you hire hourly may lack the experience and skills you need for your industry vertical.

A basic mobile or web application development team includes the following members:

  • A dedicated project manager will cost $18 to $30 per hour
  • Two or three app developers at $35+ per hour
  • A back-end developer at $20+ per hour
  • A couple of UI/UX designers at $15+ per hour
  • A Quality Assurance and Testing engineer at $20 per hour.

Mobile App Development Cost Breakdown By Location

The cost of hiring an app developer varies according to the region where you choose to hire. Western countries charge more for the same quality of work as compared to developing nations in East Europe and South Asia.

According to Statista, there is a wide gap between what developers charge in countries in North America and the Indian subcontinent. You can expect this gap to influence a lot of your decisions while creating a budget for your mobile app.

According to this report, it is a good idea to outsource your mobile or web application development project. Any communication that can be done face-to-face through a local vendor can also be done using video conferencing. This way you end up saving a lot of money that you can invest in marketing your product.

Think of it this way, if you hire locally, your choices are limited. But if you consider widening your search parameters, you can get a lot of options to choose from different countries. Each brings their own talent and expertise that justifies the cost.

Many outsourcing companies want to establish themselves in the market. So they make sure that their workers have the best tools in the industry to keep a client. They will be competing at a global level and making sure they deliver on every promise and provide high-quality services.

You can even leverage the time difference between you and a foreign company. You will get delivery of your work the very next day as your team is working while you are sleeping. Many of your competitors are likely saving money by offshoring their projects. You too can benefit from the advantages and create a cost-effective budget for your company.

How Much Do App Developers Charge Per Hour?

The budget of a project may also differ on the cost per hour of the developer. You need to be aware of this even though you are creating something from scratch or are replicating features of another application. Here is a table dictating the app developer’s hourly rates in different countries:

Region iOS (Avg. $/Hr) Android (Avg. $/Hr) Cross-Platform (Avg. $/Hr)
The USA 110 – 150 110 – 150 110 – 150
Canada 90 – 130 100 – 130 90 – 130
The UK 60 – 75 60 – 75 55 – 75
Europe 35 – 55 35 – 55 30 – 50
South Africa 45 – 80 40 – 80 40 – 80
Ukraine 30 – 35 30 – 35 30 – 35
Australia 90 – 120 90 – 120 90 – 120
India 20 – 30 15 – 25 20 – 30
Southeast Asia 35 – 45 30 – 45 30 – 45
Asia 25 – 35 20 – 30 25 – 35

The cost may differ because of the experience of the developer as well. There are many technologies, frameworks, and programming languages for creating a mobile app. The success of an app depends on how a developer uses these technologies to create the best look and feel of the application.

Different app developers have unique sets of responsibilities that make them more costly. The table below will explain more about what we are talking about. It will help you understand factors that influence the cost of a developer.

Type of A Mobile Developer Description Average Hourly Rate
Basic/Intermediate iOS Developer
  • Skills in basic programming languages like Swift, Objective C, Xcode IDE.
  • Experts in frameworks and APIs like Cocoa, Foundation, and UI Kit.
  • Experience as an iOS developer
$15+ per hour
Basic/Intermediate Android Develope
  • Having experience with programming languages like Java, Android SDK, and the Android Studio IDE.
  • Familiar with frameworks like Material Foundations, Corona, and Ionic.
  • Can handle complex projects
  • Efficient bug tracking skills
$18+ per hour
PhoneGap Developer
  • Skills with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Experiences in tools like Ionic, BackBone.js, and jQuery Mobile
  • Knowledge of Swift, Java, and related UIs
$18+ per hour
XAMARIN Developer
  • Great programming language skills with C#, .NET framework, Xamarin, or Visual Studio
$25+ per hour

Simple Features Vs Complex Features

The complexity of an app defines the time it will take to build each feature and thus, increase the overall project cost. The following table shows how much time it takes to create something from scratch.

Complexity Features Time
Basic Version ( 1 Platform) login, simple design, and email subscription ~3-6 months
Medium App ( 1 Platform) Payments, analytics, integrations ~4-9 months
Large App (Few Platforms) Offline mode, data encryption, video-streaming 9+ months

Complexity is an important matter to consider while creating your app. Users may abandon your application if it has too many functionalities and hangs frequently because of it. You should decide on features according to your project’s budget allocation and necessity.

Here is a list of core features that many applications use widely for their digital applications. It also mentions the hours it would take to create that functionality. You can calculate the cost by assuming the cost of a developer as $65/hr.

  • User Login and Registration: Via the phone number, email, or Facebook with verification. Usually allows access to the app and takes around 20-25 hours to create.
  • Chat: Can be individual or group chat with emojis, offline mode, chat backup, and history. All these elements take more than 80 hours to implement
  • Search: To look for contacts, information, goods, or services from within the app. Takes approximately 12 to 15 hours to build this.
  • Push Notifications: Alerts, warnings, SMS notifications all make communication with the user simpler. This may take a mobile app developer 12 to 15 hours to create.
  • Payments: Implement a payment gateway within 50-65 hours
  • In-app Purchases: Monetize your app through subscriptions and more by developing such functionalities within 20 to 30 hours.
  • Analytics: Collect user activity and data about the app through integrated services. This will take 2 to 5 hours to create.

More complex features include the following:

  • Geolocation Tracking: 32 to 48 hours
  • Google Maps Integration: 32 – 40 hours
  • Ads – 8 – 16 hours
  • Offline Mode: May take longer than 80 hours
  • Data Encryption: Usually takes 16 to 24 hours
  • Video/Audio Streaming: Can be done in 56 to 72+ hours

Android Vs iOS App Development Cost

This is one of the most important factors while creating a mobile application for your business. The decision between iOS and Android mostly depends on the audience you want to reach. The image below describes the market share of Android Vs iOS in 2021.

As per the survey, devices now run only on these two leading mobile app development platforms. Any good market analysis will justify this.

The cost is comparable if you are opting to develop on a Native platform, i.e. on either iOS or Android. But if you are thinking of moving across the platforms, be prepared to spend more money.

How Much Does It Cost to Build An App By Complexity?

The duration of your project largely depends on the design, features, integrations, testing, deployment, functionality, and maintenance of the app. This helps determine the budget and time you will allocate to the project. Here is a more detailed analysis of the average cost per hour of creating a mobile application based on its complexity.

Complexity Description Avg. Cost Per Hour (Android) Avg. Cost per Hour (iOS)
Simple App Bug fixing, adding additional features, testing, updating design in an existing app $18 – $55 $15 – $50
Medium App Updating design, OS update, alternative version, resubmission to OS $25 – $75 $20 – $70
Large App New application with API integrations, app security, database implementation $30 – $120 $25 – $100

TechnoScore – Your Ideal Partner

Now that you know the factors that influence the cost of your mobile app development, you can start working on a budget. If you decide on hiring a third-party firm, the best alternative is to go with TechnoScore. They are a leading IT outsourcing firm that believes in delivering quality services at affordable prices. They make for an ideal partner to team up and start building something new and innovative. Here are some of the other advantages of hiring TechnoScore:

  • ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certification
  • 20+ years of experience in the field
  • Reduce overall cost by 60-40%
  • Flexible teams and pricing model
  • Over 1500+ full-time employees
  • Round-the-clock availability
  • Dedicated managers and team members
  • Scalable teams according to requirements


Hopefully, this post contains all the relevant information you need to create a budget for your next project. It will guide you through each factor and explain them briefly so that you get an approximate cost of mobile app development. If you still have doubts or want a free consultation, you can reach us at info@technoscore.com. We will get back to you in 24 hours to discuss your requirements.


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