Before you start imagining the cost to make an app in your head, the answer to this simple question is, “Not as much as you think”. That’s right!!! Many entrepreneurs often get overwhelmed wondering how much it costs to make an app but all that worry is needless. Getting the wheels of your business up by creating its app is not as big of an injection to your wallet as you might think!

Let’s take a quick background to understand the factors responsible in defining the cost of a mobile app!

cost of mobile app

Mobile app development is changing the framework of technological advancements in the app development industry at a rapid pace. Businesses from different verticals are continuously finding themselves at cross ends unable to progress further without investing in and switching to mobile apps.
Whatever cannot encompass itself within the screen in the palm of your end user is at the risk of gradually phasing out from business. Thus the need for innovative mobile app development is ever increasing.

With 3 billion smartphones out there with every strata of economy and more than 5 million mobile apps of different types, mobile app development is not going away any time soon. It is playing a significant part in turning the economic wheel and keeping economies stable.

With this ever increasing demand, the cost of making an app is a question that pops into the mind of every entrepreneur at some point! Let us discuss in detail below:

Before getting into the mobile app development cost estimate, it is vital to understand the standard by which estimated quotes are established.
Essentially the app cost is calculated by:

Development Time (Features) X Hourly Rate = App Cost

The average industry price is $20-$50 per hour. The median time required for app development is from 6 to 8 months. Based on this time duration, the average industry overall cost falls around $50K approximately, it can vary on numerous factors such as the type of app, the platform of the app. For example, iPhone app development cost and Android app development cost can vary. Other features which can contribute to the cost of an app are:

  • App concept and design (basic, individual, custom)
  • App type (native, hybrid etc.)
  • Functional complexity
  • No.of Screens
  • 3rd party integrations
  • REST API Development
  • Content management system
  • Analytics
  • Mobile payments
  • Ecommerce integration
  • Performance optimization

Let’s try to comprehend the variations and types of mobile apps being developed in the market currently and how they directly and indirectly affect the cost.

Complexity Of An App

The first and foremost thing which is directly proportional to the cost of making a mobile app.


A simple app will have no API integration and no back-end. It will consist of standard UI components and will include simple features like email subscription, social login, calendar, etc.


A moderately complex app will comprise of custom UI features and payment features. It will include API integration, headsets and tablets adaptation, and back-end server.


This is the highest level of complexity in app development. It has multi-language support, 3rd-party integrations, custom animations, complicated back-end, professional design, real-time features.
The more complex is your choice, the higher will be its cost.

Key Market Players

Another game changer here is the two key market players in the world of mobile app development.

Mobile App Development Agencies

Mobile app development agencies are the pricier option between the two but the merits of choosing a company outweigh the drawback of being more expensive. Choosing an agency brings you a one stop solution to all your needs and business requirements. You do not have to micromanage each and every individual responsible for your project and the results are more reliable.

Freelance Developers

Whereas with freelance developers you do not have the luxury to rely on one particular project manager to coordinate with everyone. You personally have to keep tabs and hire other freelancers for design, programming and testing. But this will definitely cost you less.

So depending upon how much you’re willing to spend, and how much your budget allows you can make the right choice.

Unconventional Options

App Template Kits

Some people often resort to reusing a source code if their app idea is similar to an existing leading app. While the license won’t cause much, it is $20-$25 approximately however a designer might be needed to change the look and feel of that app to differentiate it from the inspiration. And that can substantially increase the overall cost.

Online “App Makers”

A seemingly simple idea to skip the coding part and take over the construction can later prove to be a hiccup as these generally do not provide a seamless experience. The subscription cost varies from $50 – $5000.

Types Of Apps And Their Cost

Native Apps

For business, education and entertainment sectors, large and heavy apps are required in order to provide an end product that promises maximum optimization and swiftness. Various APIs are used and meticulous UI and UX is planned to complement a wide range of features. Owing to this, native apps cost the most.

For example: Data driven apps like mobile dictionaries or encyclopedias

Hybrid Apps

When it comes to hybrid or cross platform apps, they are a relatively cost effective and low maintenance option ideal for lifestyle or game apps which aspire to reach a bigger audience right from the beginning. The biggest convenience is that one code can be used for various platforms. However they won’t be compatible with using APIs or a native experience.

For example: Mobiles games like Angry Birds, Candy Crush etc. They are usually the most profitable out of all types!
Point to remember here is that if you keep on adding complexity the cost will continue to increase.

Basic Function

When considering the mobile app development cost, this one is the lowest. As the name suggests, these kinds of apps usually have a single basic purpose like storing some data. These are made for personal use generally and include any feature and are extremely easy and quick to develop.

App Maintenance

One expense that gets clouded in the excitement of developing and launching the app is the app maintenance cost. It is said this app maintenance is about 20% of the development cost per year. This also has a direct relation to the complexity of the app as the more complex and number of features an app has, the more would be the maintenance cost.

True potential of the apps will be realized as new technologies will propel the mobile app industry and dominate the market trends. We can already see Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning revolutionizing the industry of app development making it a need of businesses to invest in order to expand and rule their respective verticals.

Keeping this in mind the more feature-friendly your app is, the better chance it has to knock the competitors out in the market. If you want to create a great app Origami Studios can help you devise a development plan as per your budget without compromising on the quality of your app. Get in touch with us today.

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