App Development Cost Breakdown “What You’re Paying For”

App Development cost breakdown what you are paying for

When you consider kick starting or expanding your business through a mobile app, the first question you ask yourself is, “how much will the app development cost?” This is a pressing question for many, especially when you’re looking to expand your base as a business. Many factors, including the type of app, complexity, platform, location, and more, influence the cost for building an app. Let’s investigate the app development cost breakdown to understand what you’re paying for.

As businesses strive to reach more customers, the need for a cross-platform presence becomes paramount. Hybrid apps, which can function on Android and iOS platforms, are popular, allowing you to hit two targets with one arrow. Moreover, they are often quicker and more economical to develop than native apps. Hybrid apps development tools such as React Native and Flutter allow developers to use a single codebase for both platforms, saving both time and money.

However, have you ever wondered about the cost of developing and maintaining these apps? The truth is app development costs can vary significantly based on several factors. On average, the cost of developing an app falls within the range of $30,000 to $100,000, depending on the complexity of the application.

Is It Worth Investing in a Custom App Development?

Investing in custom app development can be a worthy endeavor for businesses that need a unique app with specific functionalities. A custom app that meets your business’s unique requirements can set you apart from competitors and provide a superior user experience. However, the higher level of complexity involved in custom app development does come with a higher price tag. The cost will depend on your specific requirements, but you should be prepared for an investment that could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives, with the average person spending over 2 hours and 51 minutes on their devices daily.
  • The app ecosystem caters to a wide range of needs, offering various apps in categories like gaming, entertainment, and productivity.
  • The global mobile app market is projected to reach a remarkable revenue of $935 billion by 2023, highlighting its booming nature.

Cost For Building an App and their Types in 2023

App Development Cost Breakdown “What You’re Paying For”

Android App Development Cost

Android app development focuses on creating applications specifically for the Android operating system. The cost of Android app development varies based on factors such as complexity, features, design requirements, and the location of the development team. On average, businesses spend around $20,000 to $80,000 for Android app development. Costs may increase for more complex applications with advanced functionalities.

iOS App Development Cost

iOS app development involves creating applications exclusively for Apple’s iOS platform, which powers iPhones, iPads, and iPods. Like Android app development, iOS app development costs depend on factors like app complexity, features, design intricacies, and development team location. On average, you can anticipate spending around $30,000 to $80,000 to build a high-performing iOS app for your business. Costs may vary based on the project’s requirements and scope.

Web App Development Cost

The web app development cost is usually less than native apps due to their simpler structure and lower complexity. According to research, 40% of businesses opt for web apps due to their cost-effectiveness and wide reach. Web app development typically ranges between $10,000 and $60,000, depending on the complexity and features required.

Hybrid App Development (iOS + Android)

According to StatCounter, Android has a global market share of 67.56% as of May 2023, while iOS has a market share of 31.6%. The cost of Android and iOS app development depends on factors like the complexity of the app, the number of features, the design intricacies, and the development team’s location.  On average, businesses can expect to spend around $30,000 – $1,20,000 on Android and iOS app development, with the possibility of higher costs for more complex applications.

“The Google Play Store boasts an impressive collection of over 2.8 million apps, while the Apple App Store offers a staggering 1.96 million apps.”

Hidden Costs for Building an App in 2023!

It’s important to remember that the initial development is only part of the total app development cost. Many businesses underestimate the ongoing costs associated with maintaining and updating an app. Maintenance costs can include server costs, emergency maintenance, third-party services, and any necessary updates or enhancements. According to a study by Apptentive, the average cost of maintaining an app is 15-20% of the initial development cost per year. This includes bug fixes, new features, security updates, and marketing costs. The maintenance cost can vary depending on the complexity of the app, the number of users, and the frequency of updates.

Some hidden costs for building an app in 2023:

  • App Store fees: When you submit your app to the App Store or Google Play, you must pay a fee. For example, the App Store charges a $99 annual fee for individuals and a $299 annual fee for businesses. Google Play charges a one-time $25 fee to submit an app.
  • In-app purchase fees: If you plan to sell in-app products or services, you must pay a commission to the app store. For example, the App Store charges a 30% commission on all in-app purchases. Google Play charges a 15% commission on the first $1 million in revenue generated from in-app purchases and a 30% commission on all subsequent revenue.
  • Marketing and promotion: Once your app is developed, you must market and promote it to attract users. This can be costly, especially if you use paid advertising.
  • Customer support: Once your app is live, you must provide customer support to users with problems with it. This can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you have many users.
  • Security and compliance: As your app grows in popularity, you must invest in security and compliance measures to protect your users’ data. This can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Investigating these hidden costs is important when budgeting for app development. By doing so, you can avoid financial surprises down the road. Moreover, marketing your app to reach your target audience can significantly reduce costs. While the marketing cost can vary dramatically based on the size and scope of the campaign, businesses should be prepared to invest a substantial amount in this area to ensure their app’s success.

Platform to look out for Cost-effective app Development in 2023!

App Development Cost Breakdown “What You’re Paying For”

1. Flutter App Development

Flutter presents an enticing option for businesses seeking cost-effective app development. With its shared codebase across platforms, Flutter app development costs can reduce by 30-40% compared to native app development. This advantage has led 30% of companies to consider Flutter for their future mobile app projects.

2. React App Development

React, a widely adopted JavaScript library offers an extensive ecosystem for building robust and efficient applications. While the cost for building an app can vary depending on project complexity, leveraging React’s reusable components and efficient rendering can help optimize development time and reduce overall costs.

3. Appy Pie App Development

Appy Pie is a platform for app development that operates on the cloud, allowing users to design personalized mobile applications even without any coding expertise. By offering a diverse selection of features and templates, Appy Pie streamlines the process of creating apps, ensuring accessibility for both individuals and businesses. The affordability factor is also noteworthy, as monthly plans start at just $19.

4. GoodBarber App Development

Like Appy Pie, GoodBarber is a popular cloud-based platform offering various features and templates. With its user-friendly interface, GoodBarber caters to individuals and businesses with no coding background. The pricing starts at $29 per month, making it an affordable choice for app development.

5. Thunkable App Development

Thunkable is a drag-and-drop app development platform that enables users to create custom mobile apps without coding knowledge. It’s intuitive interface and extensive feature set suit individuals and businesses of all experience levels. Thunkable offers plans starting at $19 per month, providing a cost-effective solution for app development.

6. Xamarin App Development

Xamarin is a framework for app development that offers cross-platform capabilities, empowering developers to create native iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps using the C# programming language. It offers the advantage of creating apps for multiple platforms while maintaining a single codebase. Xamarin is free to use, but there are paid plans available that offer additional features and support.

Considering your unique requirements and budgetary constraints is essential when selecting a cost-effective app development platform. If you lack coding experience, opting for a cloud-based app development platform such as Appy Pie or GoodBarber can be a favorable choice. Alternatively, if you possess expertise in C# and have substantial experience as a developer, Xamarin could be a viable choice. Nevertheless, irrespective of the platform you ultimately select, it remains crucial to perform a comprehensive evaluation of features and pricing, enabling you to make a well-informed decision.

Factors Determining the Cost for Building an App

Approximately 39% of small businesses have a mobile app, with the average cost for building an app between $15,000 and $50,000. But why such a large range? The answer lies in the varying factors contributing to the cost. Here are the key variables:

  1. Mobile App Complexity: The complexity of your app is a crucial factor in determining the cost. Apps with basic functionalities and simple user interfaces are less expensive to develop than complex apps requiring advanced features and intricate functionalities.
  1. Mobile App Category: Your app’s category also impacts the cost. Different app categories, such as e-commerce, social networking, gaming, or enterprise solutions, have varying levels of complexity and development requirements. Each category may involve specific features and functionalities that affect the overall cost.
  1. Animation and Design of App: Your app’s design and user interface (UI) can significantly impact costs. The development cost may increase if your app requires custom, visually appealing designs with complex animations and transitions. High-quality design work often requires more time and resources.
  1. App Features and Functionality: The number and complexity of features you want to incorporate into your app affect the development cost. Apps with advanced functionalities, such as real-time data synchronization, push notifications, geolocation, or integration with third-party services, require additional development efforts and may increase the overall cost.
  1. App Maintenance: App maintenance is an ongoing process that involves bug fixes, performance optimizations, and compatibility updates. It is important to consider the cost of maintenance when budgeting for your app. Regular maintenance ensures your app remains secure, functional, and compatible with new OS versions.
  2. Code Reuse: The ability to reuse existing code components or frameworks can significantly reduce development time and cost. Utilizing pre-built libraries or frameworks that suit your app’s requirements can save time and money during development.
  3. Size and Location of App Development Team: The size and location of your app development team can affect the cost. Hiring an in-house development team or outsourcing to different regions may have varying hourly rates. Additionally, the team size required for your project depends on its complexity and timeline.
  4. App Platform: The choice of app platform, such as iOS, Android, or cross-platform development, can impact the cost. Developing an app for multiple platforms may require additional resources and time, thus affecting the overall development cost.

By understanding these factors, you can start comprehending the app development cost breakdown.

The Role of Developers in Determining the Cost for Building an App

A significant portion of your app development budget goes to the app developers. There’s no talent shortage, with 1500 app developers for every million people, but the rates vary significantly. In the USA, A mobile app developer with intermediate experience may expect to charge $47 per hour on average. According to Glassdoor statistics for the USA, the hourly wage ranges from $31 to $70/hr. Their expertise, experience, and location can impact your overall app development cost.

The role of developers in determining the cost for building an app:

1. The complexity of the app

Developing a complex app will take more time and effort and be more expensive. Simple apps are less expensive to develop than those with a complex user interface, many features, or a backend server.

2. The platform(s) the app will be developed for

Developing an app for multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, will cost more than developing an app for a single platform. This is because the app must be coded for each platform separately.

3. The developers’ experience and skill level

Those with proven track records will charge more than those with less experience. This is because experienced app developers are likely to deliver a high-quality product on time and within budget.

4. The location of the developer’s

App development costs will differ depending on the developers’ location. A developer in a developed country, such as the United States or Canada, will charge more than one in a developing country, such as India or China.

To sum up, understanding the app development cost breakdown helps you make informed decisions about your app project. Consider the factors like the complexity, platform, design, location of the app developers, and maintenance to make the most out of your investment.


Navigating the landscape of app development costs can initially appear overwhelming, but understanding the cost breakdown clearly can empower you to make informed decisions and effectively plan your budget. Whether your objective is to develop a straightforward web app or a sophisticated custom app for Android and iOS, comprehending the associated costs will enable you to devise the most suitable strategy to accomplish your business goals. It’s crucial to consider the app developers’ fees, the platform selection, and the ongoing costs related to app maintenance and marketing. You can ensure that your app will succeed and be profitable if you consider all of these factors.