Understanding the Cost to Develop An App in 2024: Detailed Breakdown, Factors, and Tips

Yogesh Pant
Apr 11, 2024


While having a mobile app for your business seems lucrative, the upfront cost associated with the mobile app development may push back many startups and SMBs to think again. However, it should be taken as a one-time investment that can yield significant long-term benefits, both financially and in terms of better customer service. But what’s the exact cost to develop an app in 2024? 

When you ask around for mobile app development costs, you will surely get a range of estimates. Some may suggest a figure around $30,000, while others might quote an amount as high as $200,000 or more. The massive difference in cost estimations gives nothing but a state of confusion. However, the variation in the estimated cost to develop an app is due to factors such as the complexity of the app, the platforms it will be developed for, and the experience level of the development team.

So, what should be an ideal budget for mobile app development? Let’s find out in this detailed guide to understanding “how much does it cost to develop an App?” This blog will decode the average and estimated cost associated with creating an app in 2024, covering all aspects of development. We will also outline the factors influencing the app development cost, different pricing models, and expert tips to save money. 

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Did You Know?

  • The Average cost to create an app ranges from $9,000 to $140,000 in India, while in the United States, it's between $20,000 and $200,000. (Source: Intelivita)
  • The development timeline varies based on the complexity of the app: a simple app takes 2-4 months, a moderately complex app takes 4-6 months, and a highly complex app can take 9 months or more. (Source: SPDLoad)
  • India holds a substantial portion of the global outsourcing market, with over 55% of Fortune 500 companies choosing to outsource their app development projects to India-based development companies. (Source: NASSCOM)
  • On average, the cost of app development in India is 30-40% less than in developed countries like the US and UK. (Source: Deloitte)
  • The revenue from IT outsourcing in India is projected to reach $330 billion by 2025, fueled by the increasing demand for outsourcing services. (Source: NASSCOM)


Factors Influencing the Cost to Make an App in 2024

As mentioned earlier, the cost of developing an application is determined by a variety of factors, including the nature of the app, the location of the development team, and hidden development costs. 

Here's a breakdown of each factor:

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1. Type of App

The type of app being developed can significantly affect the development cost. For instance, mobile apps often need to be developed for various purposes, which can increase complexity and cost. Apps can generally be classified as follows:

App Type

Estimated Cost

Social Media








Health and Fitness


Travel and Hospitality







2. Features and Functionality

The cost of creating an app is mainly dependent on the features and functionality you want in your app. The price for developing an app increases with the addition of new features. The more features you want to add, the more cost will be added to the development. Hence, it's recommended to focus primarily on the essential features in the initial version of the app. This approach can help you deliver a superior user experience at a reasonable cost.

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Here’s a breakdown of mobile app development costs based on features and functionalities: 


Average cost

User Login

$500 – $1,000

Profile Completion




Push Notifications

$1,000 – $1,200

Basic admin panel: User management








3. Design & Animation

The design of your app contributes greatly to the cost of your development. To ensure that your users spend time on your app, it's important to pay special attention to the design. When it comes to app design, there are typically two options - Custom and Standard UI. Custom UI is more challenging to design and implement than Standard UI, which makes it more costly.

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Here’s a breakdown of mobile app development costs based on UI/UX design: 

Design Process

Average Development Cost (Approx)

App design research


UX design


UI design (visuals)




Animations and illustrations


4. Platform Selection

The first step in the mobile app development process is to select a platform. Depending on your target audience, you have the option to develop an iOS, Android, web, or cross-platform app. If you're a startup with a limited budget, it's advisable to start with one platform and then expand to others over time.

Here are some of the most common app development platforms, along with their estimated development costs:

Type of App

Average Cost

Native apps (Android & iOS)

$50,000 to $100,000

Cross-platform apps

$25,000 to $60,000

Web apps

$15,000 to $50,000

Hybrid apps

$10,000 to $150,000

5. App Maintenance

It's important to note that expenses continue beyond the final stage of the mobile app development process. Businesses must continually update their apps to keep up with changing market trends and new device & OS versions, which incurs additional costs. What might affect your budget after app development?

  • Bug Fixes: No mobile app is completely free of bugs. In most cases, bugs only become apparent once the app is published. You'll need to be vigilant about fixing these bugs.
  • Design Updates: An app's design can become outdated and lose its appeal to users over time. It's crucial for a brand to keep its app design updated if it wants to retain its users.

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6. Hiring App Development Team

The cost of app development can vary greatly depending on the expertise and experience of the development team involved. Developers with a high level of skill and expertise generally command higher fees, but they can also deliver a superior final product. 

Conversely, hiring less experienced developers may be more affordable, but the end product may not be as refined. Here's how different hiring options can impact the cost of app development:


Estimated Cost

In-house Developers

$113,125 (Annually)


$13 to $60

7. Location and Size of the Development Team

The majority of your mobile app development cost heavily depends on who you choose for your project. As mentioned above, you can either hire a mobile app development company or a freelancer. 

While freelancers work independently and may have limited skills to work on every aspect of your app, the in-house app development team has a specialized team for every aspect of the project. However, the cost of hiring a development team is quite higher than that of freelancers. 

Development Team




Project Manager


UI/UX Designer


Business Analyst


QA Specialist


Solution Architect






Mobile App Development Cost: Different Pricing Models

If you think your app development will likely exceed its estimated budget, you really need to understand the different pricing models associated with it. Choosing the suitable pricing model for your app development can help manage the above cost-influenced factors and ensure your project remains under the budget. 

Here’s an overview of different pricing models for mobile app development:

1. Fixed Pricing Contract

The Fixed-Price Model is essentially a contract in which the mobile app development firm is responsible for completing the project within the agreed-upon budget. This model can be highly effective when project requirements, costs, and specifications can be accurately predicted. It's crucial for the client to communicate their vision of the desired product clearly to the development firm to ensure the end product meets their expectations.

This pricing model is most effective when project requirements are well-defined and deadlines are set. It encompasses creating a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and is particularly suitable for smaller projects with a limited scope.

According to Intelivita, the average cost to hire a mobile app development company in India ranges from $9,000 to $140,000, while in the United States, it's between $20,000 and $200,000. 

2. Hourly Basis (Pay-Per-Hour)

Also known as the Time and Material Model, this pricing model calculates costs based on the total hours spent on the project. This model is favored for its adaptability. It allows for modifications to be made even during the development process, ensuring the final product aligns with your evolving needs and tastes. 

You can actively participate in the development stage to improve the end quality of the app. As previously stated, the total cost is directly linked to the number of hours developers spend implementing various elements. The cost may fluctuate based on the progress of the development, potentially increasing or decreasing if you decide to exclude certain features or functions. The timeline for completing the work is also flexible.


The cost of hiring an app developer from India typically ranges from $20 to $30 per hour. Conversely, hiring an app developer from regions like North America, Europe, and Australia can range from $50 to $80 per hour.

So, How Much Does It Cost to Develop An App?

The cost to create an app can fluctuate greatly, influenced by factors such as the complexity of the app, the platforms it's designed for, and the specific features it includes. 

Here's a breakdown of the cost associated with mobile app development:

#1. App Complexity

  • For basic apps, like a calculator or flashlight, you can expect a budget ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 or more.
  • Medium apps, like social media or e-commerce platforms, could demand anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 or more.
  • Complex and fully functional apps, such as those used in banking or healthcare sectors, which have full functionalities and enterprise-grade features, can start at $500,000, and can even reach into the millions for the most sophisticated ones.


#2. Platform 

As said earlier, the platform on which you select your app to operate contributes greatly to your entire development cost. Here’s a breakdown of mobile app development costs for different platforms:

  • Native apps (Android or iOS) may cost between $50,000 to $100,000.
  • Cross-platform apps (Android + iOS) could range from $25,000 to $60,000.
  • Web app development might also fall within the $15,000 to $50,000 range.

It's crucial to remember that continuous maintenance, updates, and enhancements in your app will necessitate further investment of time and resources.

Comparing iOS vs. Android App Development Costs 

Every decision in life incurs a cost, whether it’s about choosing a car to purchase or determining the platform for a new mobile app. But, for now, let’s discuss the cost of mobile app development.

When beginning to estimate the cost of developing an app, it is crucial to choose between the platforms. For instance, you may want your app to operate natively for iOS, Android, or both. 


So, if you’re confused about whether to go for an iOS app or an Android app and cost remains your crucial concern, here’s a detailed comparison between iOS vs Android app development costs:

Cost of Developing an iOS App

iOS apps are specifically designed for the iPhone operating system and built to work with the device's core features. These apps are created using programming languages and tools, such as Swift, Objective-C, and Xcode. Depending on the complexity and uniqueness of the concept, the development cost for an iOS app can range from $50,000 to $100,000.

Cost of Developing an Android App

An Android app runs on Google's Android operating system. It leverages the system's features to deliver an optimal user experience. These apps are typically developed using Kotlin and Java. 

The cost to develop an Android app usually ranges between $30,000 and $300,000, with the exact amount influenced by factors such as the app's complexity, regulatory compliance, and other detailed aspects.

Cross-Platform App Development Cost

A cross-platform app is engineered to function efficiently on both Android and iOS devices. It uses a single codebase, which enhances productivity. These apps are developed using platforms like React Native, Flutter, and Ionic. The cost associated with developing a cross-platform app can vary widely, generally ranging from $15,000 to $50,000.

Hidden Costs in Mobile App Development 

While we have provided the estimated cost to develop an app, there are many hidden costs that shouldn’t be overlooked. These are indeed important factors to consider when budgeting for an app development project. 


Here's a brief summary of each factor that can add to your overall cost:

  • Backend infrastructure: This includes server hosting, database management, and other related expenses necessary for the app to work smoothly and efficiently.
  • Security features: Implementing security features such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and Mutual TLS verification can add to the cost.
  • Integration with third-party services: Many apps require integration with services such as payment gateways, social media platforms, or APIs, which can incur additional costs.
  • App Store fees: Distributing your app through platforms like Apple’s App Store or Google Play involves fees for app submission, updates, and hosting.
  • Maintenance and updates: Ongoing maintenance and updates are necessary after launching an app. This can include costs for engineering support time, server costs, and other related expenses.
  • Marketing: Getting users to download your app requires marketing efforts, which can add to the overall cost. Promotions and ads are crucial to reach your audience and make a successful app.

Remember, these costs can vary based on the complexity of the app, the specific requirements of the project, and the rates of the professionals involved. It's always a good idea to factor in these hidden costs to avoid any surprises down the line.

Tips for Reducing Mobile App Development Costs 

Developing an app can be costly, particularly if you're not aware of how to do it in a cost-effective and efficient manner. 

Here are some steps to help you minimize expenses while maintaining high quality:

1. Thoroughly Plan Before You Start

It's common for businesses to start with a clear vision of their final product. However, as development progresses, this vision may evolve, potentially leading to increased development time and costs. To avoid this, it's crucial to plan your product development using a Product Requirements Document (PRD). This helps ensure everyone is aligned and allows you to set your expectations and budget from the start. Here's what you should include in your PRD:

  • A comprehensive list of features your app needs
  • Requirements for the user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) of your product
  • Timelines for different stages of development
  • Cost estimates for each stage
  • The platforms on which your app will operate

2. Create Prototype

Creating a prototype of your app is an effective way to keep costs low. Your design team can use tools like Adobe XD or Figma to create a prototype that demonstrates your app's flow. This can be used to refine your user experience and determine whether you're ready to begin development.

3. Consider Outsourcing Your Development

If you're fortunate enough to have an in-house development team, you're halfway there. Simply share your PRD with them, receive estimates, and embark on your journey from concept to product. 

If you don't have a team or lack the necessary technical abilities, it's advisable to delegate your concept to a reputable mobile app development company like Mtoag Technologies. 

Outsourcing offers several benefits:

  • Lower development costs
  • Access to a worldwide talent pool
  • Eliminates the need for your own team
  • Ability to scale resources as needed

4. Develop an MVP

Constructing an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, allows you to gauge the market before finalizing your product. MVPs are simplified versions of your product, equipped with just enough features to meet the expectations of your target audience. 

Your MVP can help you launch on schedule, gather user feedback, and enhance your final product. Successful products like Groupon, Airbnb, Uber, and others started as MVPs. Adhering to MVP development best practices can help you create a streamlined, high-quality product.

5. Opt for Cross-platform App Development

Every entrepreneur looking to launch a mobile app faces a dilemma: Should they launch on just iOS, Android, or both? Developing native apps for both platforms isn't cost-effective. However, creating an app for just one platform could mean missing out on a significant customer base on the other platform. Cross-platform can help here as it incurs comparatively lower costs in comparison to native apps. 


Creating a mobile application involves thoughtful strategies and planning to manage cost-effectively. The nature of the app, its functionalities, geographical location, size of the development team, security measures, and user interface are all crucial aspects that can influence the overall cost to develop an app. Hence, it's essential to conduct thorough research and select options that best suit your requirements and financial plan.

To estimate the app development cost, you can use app development calculators. These tools offer a detailed cost breakdown for each feature. Moreover, studying case studies can offer valuable lessons on how to save time and money during the development phase. Or simply contact Mtoag Technologies to get a free price quote for your project. 

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