The Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Mobile App Development Cost in 2024 (July)

Yogesh Pant
Jul 02, 2024

So, you have finally decided to have a mobile app for your business. The idea seems promising, and you’re excited to launch your own business app. But remember, everything comes at a cost, and in terms of mobile app development, it is pretty high. However, having a mobile app development cost estimate in advance will help you set up a realistic budget for the project and will ensure you won’t run out of money in the middle. 

But the real problem starts now; as soon as you search the internet for mobile app development costs, you will get overwhelming information. The internet is filled with a lot of content on mobile app development cost estimations. And why not? Mobile apps are the present and the future of the digital world. As a business owner, who wouldn’t want to leverage this high-potential market? 

So, if you’re serious about developing a mobile app but unsure how much to invest, this ultimate guide to mobile app development costs is all you need. So, let’s get started!

Key Statistics on Mobile App Development Cost

  • 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)
  • 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)

What Factors Affect the Cost of Mobile App Development?

If we consider all the factors that could potentially affect mobile app development costs, the list might get lengthy. So, instead of bombarding this guide with unnecessary information, we have included the top 5 factors that greatly influence the cost of mobile app development. 

1. Operating System

The smartphone market is predominantly ruled by two operating systems:

  • Android, which holds approximately 71% of the market share
  • iOS, with about 28% of the market share

These two platforms are quite distinct. Android is a versatile operating system used by many smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung, Google, OnePlus, Nokia, and more. Conversely, iOS is solely used by Apple's range of smartphones.

The cost of mobile app development can fluctuate depending on the chosen platform. If you want an app compatible with both Android and iOS, then cross-platform development is the way to go. For those interested in the technical aspects, here are some key points:

  • Android applications are typically developed using Java or Kotlin
  • iOS applications are primarily built using Objective C or Swift

IOS developers generally command a slightly higher fee than their Android counterparts. However, there are instances where the cost of developing an Android app can surpass that of an iOS app. This is because Android developers have to ensure their apps are compatible with a vast array of devices and manufacturers, which can add to the complexity and, subsequently, the cost of app design.

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

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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

2. Type of Application

The type of application you want to develop significantly impacts its cost. For instance, gaming apps require more resources and demand a higher price compared to simple educational apps. The popular app categories on app stores include: 

  • Social Media
  • eCommerce
  • B2B Apps
  • Educational Apps
  • Gaming Apps
  • On-demand Apps
  • Direct-to-Customer (D2C) Apps
  • Business-to-Customer (B2C) Apps

Each category has unique features and requirements. For instance, social media apps prioritize user engagement, content creation, and fostering a sense of community. In contrast, educational apps focus on personalized learning experiences, interactive quizzes, and gamification elements.

The cost of developing a mobile app varies depending on its type. Developers must understand the target audience, identify necessary features, and plan their coding tasks accordingly.

3. Complexity Level

Now, let's talk about how app complexity can influence its cost. The complexity of an app significantly impacts the following:

  • Development Time: More features and integrations mean more time spent on coding, testing, and quality assurance.
  • Team: Complex apps require a diverse team of developers, designers, testers, content creators, and marketing experts.
  • Debugging: Ensuring a feature-rich app functions correctly requires thorough and rigorous testing.

These factors increase the cost of designing an app. In some cases, a complex app is necessary, as a very basic app might not be enough to stand out in today's competitive market.

Popular complex apps include Genshin Impact, Mint, Pokemon Go, and WeChat. In general, the more complicated an app is, the higher the development cost will be.

4. Tech Stack

In layman's terms, a tech stack is a set of tools and technologies used to build a mobile application. This includes:

  • The platform on which the app will run
  • Frameworks that provide structure for the app
  • Databases for storing data
  • Programming languages for writing the app's code
  • APIs for integrating with other services

To effectively use these tools, you need skilled developers who are experts in these areas, and they often command high costs. If you opt for cross-platform development frameworks like Flutter, you can save on costs. However, it may have some restrictions in terms of functionality.

Therefore, selecting your tech stack wisely before starting an app development project is crucial, as the cost of developing a mobile app can vary greatly depending on this choice.

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5. Development Partner

The last factor affecting the app development cost is your app development partner. Here are some factors related to your development partner that can influence your mobile app development cost:

  • Geographical location: IT service providers from countries with a lower cost of living can offer services at more affordable rates.
  • Engagement model: Fixed-cost models provide predictable pricing, while hourly contracts offer more flexibility but can be harder to manage.
  • Experience: Professional mobile app development companies with a lot of experience tend to charge more. However, they can develop your mobile app more quickly and deliver high-quality results.
  • Team structure: A well-organized team can help avoid project delays, allowing you to control the mobile app development cost and benefit from a quicker time-to-market.
  • Post-launch support: While maintenance and optimization can add to the cost of app design, these services are valuable and contribute to maintaining a positive brand reputation.

What are the Pricing Models for App Development?

The cost of hiring a mobile app development company contributes around 70% of your total project cost. But that’s not the case every time. Nowadays, mobile app development companies have started offering different pricing models that cater to diverse clients’ needs. 

Here are 3 main pricing models for mobile app development: 

1. Fixed Pricing Model

The fixed pricing model is a common and most favored pricing model for businesses due to its cost predictability and clear project completion path. The app development company commits to building your app for a set, predetermined price. This cost usually includes the entire development process, from initial planning to development, testing, and launch.

Advantages of the fixed pricing model:

  • Cost Assurance: The total cost of the project is known from the outset, facilitating easy budget planning.
  • Predictability: A set price allows for cash flow forecasting and managing project expectations with stakeholders.

Disadvantages of the fixed pricing model:

  • Restricted Flexibility: Once the scope is finalized, this model offers little room for changes. After the contract is signed, altering features or functionalities may result in extra costs.
  • Not Suitable for Complex Projects: Fixed pricing is ideal for projects with clearly defined requirements and functionalities. Estimating the cost of complex apps with detailed features or integrations can be difficult.

2. Hourly Rate Pricing Model

The hourly rate pricing model is a flexible approach that works best for projects with changing needs or unclear scopes. In this model, the mobile app development company will bill you based on the total hours they dedicate to your project. 

While the company usually provides a rough timeline based on the project plan, the final cost depends on the actual hours spent on development.

Advantages of the Hourly Rate Pricing Model:

  • Adaptability: You will be billed based on the total hours spent on your project, allowing you to modify the project scope and features as necessary during development.
  • Suitable for Unclear Projects: This model is particularly effective for projects where the app's scope isn't fully determined at the beginning or where there's a significant amount of uncertainty regarding the features.

Disadvantages of the Hourly Rate Pricing Model:

  • Budget Instability: Predicting the project's total cost can be difficult, as it's challenging to accurately estimate development timelines.
  • Reduced Transparency: This model necessitates a high level of trust with the agency, as you depend on their time management and project administration to ensure resources are used efficiently.

3. Time & Material Pricing Model

The Time and Material (T&M) pricing strategy is quite similar to the hourly rate model but with an added dimension. 

It charges you based on the actual time the agency spends on your project and also takes into account any materials or resources needed for development.

Advantages of the T&M Pricing model:

  • Cost Control: You are only charged for the time and resources used on your project. By keeping track of these, you can oversee the progress of the project and pinpoint potential areas for cost reduction.
  • Suitable for Agile Development: Agile development employs iterative cycles, enabling you to incorporate new features as the project evolves. The T&M model can adjust to these changes in real-time.

Disadvantages of the T&M Pricing model:

  • Budget Uncertainty: Similar to the hourly rate model, forecasting the final cost of the project is challenging due to possible fluctuations in development time and resource requirements.
  • Active Management Needed: This model requires your active participation as the business owner. Regular interaction with the agency and close supervision of time and resource consumption are crucial for effective cost management.

When calculating the cost of app development, it's essential to decide on the platforms. For example, on which platform do you want your app to operate? iOS, Android, or both? Below is a detailed cost comparison of iOS vs Android app development. 

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Cost Breakdown for Different Types of Mobile Apps

The mobile app development cost greatly depends on its type. The more complex and feature-rich app you want, the more investment it will demand. So, to help you get the cost estimations for different types of mobile apps, here’s a breakdown: 

Cost of Mobile App Development Based on Complexity Level

Level of complexity

Mobile app development costs 


$20,000 – $50,000


$50,000 – $80,000


$80,000 – $200,000

Cost of Mobile App Development Based on Types

Type of App

Mobile app development costs

Social Media

$80,000 – $250,000


$60,000 – $150,000


$50,000 – $250,000


$60,000 – $200,000


$80,000 – $250,000

Cost of Mobile App Development Based on Stages


Mobile app development costs 

Design and Ideation

$200 – $300

UX Design

$1,600 – $4,000

UI Design

$10,000 – $40,000


$10,000 – $30,000

Animations and Illustrations

$4,000 – $12,000

iOS vs Android App Development Cost: Detailed Comparison

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 to Consider While Developing a Mobile App

Developing an app involves more than just design and programming. The additional costs associated with the development may not be immediately visible but are crucial for building a strong, functional app that reaches its intended audience. 

Here are some of these hidden costs to consider in mobile app development:

  • Security Measures: Incorporating security measures like encryption, two-factor authentication, and Mutual TLS verification can increase costs.
  • Operational Costs (Third-party integration fees): Integrating third-party services like System email (Mailgun), SMS (Twilio), App administration (Forest Admin), and Chat ( can cost between $5,000 to $20,000 per year.
  • Backend Infrastructure: This includes server hosting, database management, and other necessary expenses for the app to operate seamlessly and effectively.
  • Maintenance Expenses: These include bug fixes, updates, and server fees. Maintenance costs typically amount to about 20% of the app development costs annually.
  • Marketing Costs: Your marketing spend will depend on your strategy, which is influenced by factors like your industry, target audience, and desired results. To ensure your app gets ample exposure, you should invest significantly in marketing. These costs can range from 20% to 50% of the development costs.

6 Practical Ways to Reduce Mobile App Development Costs

Above, we discussed the factors influencing the overall cost of mobile app development; now, it’s time to share some practical tips to reduce the cost and ensure cost-effective development. 

Strategic Planning

Every new venture you start, it all starts with strategic planning. From deciding on the resource allocation to outlining the development stages, every aspect requires careful planning. The planning stage is where you break down the entire development process into manageable phases. For instance, you might launch a basic version of the app with limited features in the first month. 

In the subsequent phase, you could introduce an AI feature to enhance the app's intelligence. By segmenting the process, you can efficiently utilize developers, cut down on development time, adopt a faster approach, and, ultimately, reduce costs.

Selecting the Ideal Tech Stack

Selecting the right technology stack is a proactive step towards decreasing both development time and cost. The tech stack includes the front-end and back-end technologies, along with the necessary tools and frameworks for your business app.

With the ideal tech stack, you can mitigate risks, streamline development processes, boost task efficiency, and automate various development aspects. It enables you to adhere to standard development practices while maintaining optimal resource utilization.

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Start with an MVP (Basic Version)

To save cost, prioritize developing a basic version of your product, often referred to as a minimum viable product (MVP). This approach can significantly cut down costs. When you're in the initial stages of development, it's uncertain which platform will be the best fit for your app. You might be considering multiple platforms, but it's possible that users on only one platform will end up using your app.

The MVP helps you identify the most appropriate platform for development and facilitates the launch of your solution. Consequently, you avoid the potential costs associated with launching your app on multiple platforms. This strategy also ensures that your business stays aligned with its engagement and revenue objectives.

Thoroughly Test Your App

The cost of testing an app can exceed the initial development costs. You might find yourself investing a significant amount of time in modifying the app and improving its functionality for your business. However, these costs and time can be saved if you dedicate sufficient time to testing the app.

It's crucial to thoroughly test the app, assess its performance and load capacity, fix any bugs, and then launch it on the app store. This approach results in a more streamlined and efficient app that meets the requirements, reducing the need for support and revisions. Ultimately, this protects your company's reputation.

Deciding on the Strategy - In-house or Outsourcing

Choosing between the in-house team or outsourcing may help you save significantly on the mobile app development cost. A hybrid approach could be beneficial if you have an in-house team and the necessary infrastructure. This approach allows for a faster development process, with part of the app being developed in-house and the other part by an offshore development company.

Let's say you're planning to develop a native app for multiple platforms. In this scenario, you might consider outsourcing the parts that your team is not proficient in. For instance, you could outsource the Android app development if your in-house team is skilled in iOS development.

Plans After Launch

Once your app is live and there are still some aspects to be worked on, it's essential to have post-launch plans in place. You should be prepared to answer questions about support, maintenance, upgrades, and the addition of new features. Having a solid post-launch plan can help you maximize your app's potential after its launch.


That’s all in this guide! Hope, this blog has helped you understand the factors influencing app development costs and an idea to set up a realistic budget for the project. However, if your app development cost exceeds your budget, it is always better to start with an MVP and scale it. 

No matter what type of mobile app you want, we will build it within your budget. At Mtoag Technologies, we specialize in creating advanced and functional mobile apps according to clients' needs and budgets. 

Connect with us and tell us your requirements and budget, and we will get back to you with an advanced and cost-effective business app solution. 


Can I Build an App for Free?

Yes, you can build an app for free using low-code platforms like Zoho Creator and Mobiroller. These platforms offer drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built templates, making it easy for those without coding skills.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop an AI App?

The cost of developing an AI app varies greatly, depending on the complexity and features. It can range from $15,000 to $40,000 for startups and up to several million dollars for large-scale projects.

How Much Does App Development Cost?

The cost of app development can range from $5,000 to $500,000. Factors influencing the cost include the complexity of the app, the experience of the developers, and the development time.

How do you Calculate the Cost of a Mobile App?

The cost of a mobile app is calculated by multiplying the total development time by the hourly rate. Factors such as the complexity of the app, the platform it's developed for, and the design costs are also considered.

What is the Minimum Budget for App Development?

According to a survey by Clutch, the minimum budget for app development can range from $5,000 to $10,000. However, the typical cost to create an app is likely to be far higher.

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