How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?


Find out what influences the price for making a mobile app and check how much it can cost to create a great app

Isn’t it unquestionable that all brands and companies make sure that they can reach (or can be reached by) customers in their phones? When it comes to a point whether to make an app or get by with a good mobile version of your site, you might doubt: mobile app pricing might look quite vague and choosing the right contractor to outsource it to could be perplexing. However, if you feel that the mobile app can be a game-changing extension to your business or it can actually BE your business, you should definitely go for it… and we will try to map it out for you

Points to consider before choosing an app development company

Before choosing a mobile app developing company and negotiate cost of creating an app, you need to consider the following questions:

  1. How nice should it look like? You need to see the portfolios of possible contractors. If you don’t like the design or graphics they’ve used for their previous works, it’s better not to start cooperation with them. The chances that they will do something absolutely different are low.
  2. You should also see what expertise possible contractors have. What exactly are they good at? Keep in mind that if they are professionals in your area and have a long customer history, the cost of creating an app will be higher, but the product will most probably be successful
  3. Next question to consider is what technologies they work with. If you want to develop a cross-platform solution, you need to find a team that deals with it and has a vast experience. If you want to develop a native application on iOS and/or Android, check what experience your contractor has in each of them
  4. You should understand if you are ready to work with an offshore team. If you say “Yes!” to that, you will probably outsource a project to a country where mobile app development cost is not that high. You can find out more about outsourcing to Ukraine

There are more questions to answer, but these are the key ones to take into account. So let’s see what exactly affects average app development cost and how you can optimize it.

What things influence the cost of making an app the most


Android, iOS, both or cross-platform solutions?

Before answering these questions, you need to know how much time you have, what quality you expect and how complex the app will be.

If you need a quick solution, you should go for a cross-platform app. It will cost you 30% less and take less time to develop it compared to two native apps. However, you need to remember that it can not be used for a complicated/advanced apps, just for simple applications with no hardware interfaces that usually have their own peculiarities for different platforms.

Are you in two minds about choosing Android, iOS or both of them?

Surely, you need to reach bigger audience . However, if you’d like to test how feasible the product will be , it’s better to focus on an application developed for one OS first. To understand which operation to choose for MVP, you should take the following points into account:

  • Development for iOS usually takes 30% less time. The reason why Android developers need more time is that there are a lot of devices and versions of this operation system, which makes the process of testing and debugging more complex;
  • Android market share. 84% of mobile phone buyers have chosen Android device and only 14,8%- have opted for iOS ones;
  • iOS users are wealthier and have higher capacity to pay;
  • Popularity of operation systems differs on geolocation;
  • Preferences among the users of different professions.

Client or client-server app?

Another thing that would influence how much it will be to make an app is the fact if your application will have a back-end (server) part or not. Today the most mobile apps are client interfaces that interact with servers: get and store data, synchronize all the changes and personal information on a variety of user’s devices.
When it comes to a client-server app, you will have to pay not only for the mobile part, but also for the server part. So, if you’re going to make a client-server app, you will definitely consider hiring a full-stack team in which the client and server developers work well together and can interact effectively.


User Interface

The UI (user interface) means a world today. Nobody wants an ugly app, and it’s not cheap to be pretty.
Design makes near 20% of mobile app development cost. You can expect the prices for UI/UX design to vary from $10 to $150 for an hour. It mostly depends on an expertise and location of a team. We’ve already talked about how to create an effective mobile app design and how much it can cost in one of our previous posts.

How can you reduce cost of making your mobile app?

Does it look easy for you just to find a team of developers? You are right- it’s not a rocket science as there is a growing supply of IT specialists on the market now, but it can cost you quite a lot as apart from their salary you will have to pay the taxes. Besides, you need to make sure you have resources to plan the process through and manage a team.


Working with freelancers

To cut costs, you can hire a few freelancers who will be happy to do the same work for less money. Unfortunately, it can be risky sometimes as the self-employed can be difficult to control and even to communicate productively.


Hiring a team of developers or outsourcing your product

The good advice to reduce costs here is to consider outsourcing your product. There are a few choices how you can build outsourced development process. First, you can hire a developer/developers and pay for their work only; this will fit perfectly well if you are able to organize and manage their workflow remotely . Second, you can hire a company that will organize all the processes (development, design, UX, testing, business analysis etc.) for you so that you have a final say without a need to keep all things under your control.


Organizing a dedicated team (outstaffing)

In case you are about to start a long-term project, you can also hire a company that will organize a remote team to meet your requirements. This team will work as a part of your project and be dedicated to its final goal, but it will be organized by local project managers. They will send you the reports and take care of all the processes, which won’t mean that you can’t interact with a team directly. You can save a lot by not paying taxes, insurance, office maintenance somewhere in San-Francisco or accounting (you remunerate salaries only).

Mobile apps price estimate

Let’s have a look at some approximate rates of some well-known mobile apps (provided by Kultprosvet sales team)
If you wanted to develop an app similar to a famous multinational transportation network Uber, it would cost you near $14 000 for a client version of an app (the price is for both Android and iOS). As for Uber for the driver (which apparently you couldn’t get along without),it would approximately cost you $8200. Both prices include UI design. Backend part would cost $15000
Another famous application we can give estimates for is a popular online travel planner- Kayak. It can help you to find the best rates for a hotel, flight tickets and car rent. You can imagine how much information Kayak gets from all these travel sites and best fare rates databases- it requires a really sophisticated backend. Kultprosvet estimates such an app at about $9000 (for both Android and iOS versions), including UI design. Backend part would cost near $8500.