How much does it cost to build an app?

How much does it cost to build an app?

The most common question raised by most people is how much does it cost to build an app? The app development cost varies depending on the complexity and type of app. My question to you would be how many features do you need? Does your app have payment functionality? Is your app going to be web based or mobile? If it is a mobile app, will it be functional on iPhone and android?

Essentially, the more complex an app is going to be the more time a developer has to spend on development, resulting on more expenses. For any app development, initially time needs to be spent on ‘App Discovery’ and ‘Analysis & Scoping’ phases before you can estimate costs.

1. App Discovery

There are many things involved in app discovery phase like market research, competitor analysis, creating user persona and market capitalization. The approximate time this process can take is anywhere from 40 – 120 hours

2. Analysis & Scoping

This next phase includes documentation of what the smart app will do. At this phase the below tems become clear:

  • Feature Set
  • App Complexity
  • Deployment Architecture Model
  • Admin Panel Development
  • Third-Party Integration
  • In-App Purchase
  • Use of Device’s Hardware

Once you have gone through the above phases, you can now classify your app and estimate prices!

Apps can be classified into the following pricing categories:

1. Simple Apps: These come with basic features and require standard UI components.

2. Mid Level Apps : These apps have Custom UI, Integration with API, real-time messaging & a simple backend structure is what clearly defines a Mid Complexity App.

3. Complex Apps: These include high-level functionalities such as custom animation, real-time sync, media processing, complex backend, etc.

Here is a pricing estimate based on category of app and 2 kinds of hourly rates:

Other factors which can impact costs:

The cost to develop an app can also vary depending on the type of app. For example:

Cost to build App infographic for stand alone, M Commerce, On-demand,, social networking and enterprise mobile apps.


The above are estimated cost and the “complexity” of app, “number of features” and “clarity” of the app will determine the cost. The clarity of any app depends on good documentation from the project manager. If you are thinking of building an app, make sure to hire experts who follow correct phases, documentation and development standards.

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