A detailed guide to mobile app development cost in 2023

A detailed guide to mobile app development cost in 2023

11 January, 2023 by img Rahul Panchal in Mobile App Development
A detailed guide to mobile app development cost in 2023

Since mobile app development is so popular, it should be no surprise that every digital business invests in it. The cost of the app is one of the most important and pressing questions in mobile development that is asked at the beginning of the process. This question is not surprising, given that almost everything has a price. If you want to start a new app, you need to know how much money to spend so that your solution meets the standards and is liked by the audience.

Several significant factors influence the cost of developing a mobile app in  2023. You will get the best return on your development and be able to make the most cost-effective decisions if you are aware of these cost-affecting factors. Additionally, it will assist you in remaining within your budget. So, let’s get into the main factors that affect the overall mobile app development cost.

What major factors influence the cost of developing your app?


Several important factors determine a mobile app’s development cost. You can make more cost-effective decisions and give the best return on your investment if you understand these cost-affecting factors. It will also help you stay within your spending limits. Let’s now examine the main factors influencing the overall cost of developing a mobile app.

1. Complexity of a mobile app

The cost of creating a straightforward app can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. A dashboard, user profile facility, login system, and limited administration are some of the basic useful features of a simple application. A medium-complex app can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000 if you want something more involved. These kinds of apps include numerous features for app monetization and user engagement.

These apps include a payment gateway, user privacy controls, social media integrations, video/audio streaming, and basic features. Depending on the features you want, a complex app could cost anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 or more. Artificial Intelligence and augmented and virtual reality are the most recent technologies used in many apps. Additionally, they may include advanced data logic, support for multiple languages, and other unique features.

2. Features and functions of the app

The features and functions you want in your app will determine how much it will cost to develop. The initial cost of developing this app increases when new features are added. As a result, for the apps initial version, it’s best to concentrate on the most important features. It will assist you in providing an excellent customer experience at a reasonable cost. Developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the best option. It is a product’s initial version with a basic set of features. A Minimum Variable Product can save time and money, which will also help you get useful user feedback.

3. App category

The price of making a mobile app varies greatly from category to category. Many things change when we move from one category to another, like the number of users, the features, the security criteria, etc., which ultimately results in varying app development costs. Let’s take a quick look at the most important areas of app development:

  • M-commerce apps/ E-commerce: Due to their extensive feature sets, which enable real-time performance, millions of concurrent users, and robust security, e-commerce and mobile commerce apps like Amazon, Nykaa Fashion, Flipkart, and Myntra have gained popularity. For instance, CloudTrains developed an application for “Forever21,” which has received funding totalling $10 million and is currently serving thousands of customers.
  • Social media apps: Third-party integrations are used to build apps using hardware features like cameras and audio recorders. They can simultaneously accommodate millions of users, making them highly scalable. Because they require more time and effort to develop, social media apps frequently cost more than simpler mobile apps.
  • On-demand apps: There are three versions of on-demand apps: one for users, one for service providers, and one for businesses. Metromile and other on-demand insurance apps offer drivers affordable insurance coverage. Digital Risks, on the other hand, make it possible to cover losses caused by cyber, public, and employer liability.
  • Hardware-dependent apps: Apps that rely heavily on hardware devices to function properly are known as hardware-dependent apps. Because they frequently rely on devices like sensors and controllers to extract data or send commands, IoT-based applications are a prime example of this. The eScooter app “Moo” is a well-known illustration of an IoT application that is hardware dependent. Moo is entirely hardware-based because it is made to manage transportation at a micro level.

4. Complexity of the visual design

We have already mentioned design as one of the most important factors that affect the cost of developing an app. The situation is the same as in the block before: The more screens and features you add, the more money you will need. Consider the following aspects of the designing procedure:

  • User experience (UX): The process by which users navigate through your app is the responsibility of user experience design, also known as UX design. The primary objective of user experience design is to assist users in carrying out the desired action with the least amount of time and effort. The app’s cost will be based on user engagement and design complexity. Your development costs will be influenced, for instance, by the placement of buttons, the size of elements, the user flow, and the use of templates.
  • User interface (UI): The user interface is here to make the app look good and easy to understand. Every one of the visual components counts here:

Layout, icons, colour palette, fonts, button shapes, animations, and many more. If your app is visually appealing, users will have a better time using it and spend more time there. Plus, an accurately picked variety of topics and a recognizable logo will assist you with making major areas of strength for a character.

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5. App platform

When choosing a platform for your mobile app development processes, there are a few things to consider, like your target audience and whether you want to build an Android, iOS, cross-platform or web app. It’s best to start with one platform if you’re a startup with a small budget. Later on, you can always switch between different platforms. You can select from the following popular app development platforms:

  • Native app platform (Android & iOS): The platform for native apps (Android and iOS): iOS app development uses Swift and Objective C, whereas Android app development uses Java and Kotlin. It’s cost range between $50,000 to $100,000.
  • Web Application Stage: Web app platforms like Progressive Web Apps outperform native apps cost-effectively. Web apps typically have much lower development costs, ranging from $15,000 to $50,000.
  • Cross-Platform: The new trend that saves money is developing apps simultaneously for the iOS and Android platforms. The platform offers several advantages, including using a single code and reduced development time. Currently, the cross-platform industry is split between Flutter and React Native. It costs range between $25,000 to $60,000.
  • Hybrid app platform: Hybrid applications combine web and native applications. It runs in a web view component even though it is installed like a native app. It’s cost range between $10,000 to $150,000.

6. Maintenance of the app

Certainly, costs continue beyond the end of the development process for mobile applications. To keep up with the ever-evolving market trends and new device and operating system versions, businesses will need to keep updating their apps, which comes at a cost. The cost comes in the form of the following:

  • Bug fixes for the app: It’s critical to update your app with the most recent design updates and bug fixes. Changes to the app’s design can help keep it looking fresh and inviting to users, but bug fixes are essential to running your app smoothly. Make sure your app is always in top shape by keeping an eye out for both!
  • Changes in design: An outdated design is one of the main reasons users stop using an app. It is essential to regularly update your app’s design to keep users engaged.

The annual app maintenance cost typically amounts to 10-15% of the cost of developing a mobile app.

7. Security and app hosting

The issue of cybersecurity is more pressing than ever. Every day, more and more cyberattacks occur. Businesses of all sizes should pay attention to how they protect their users’ data because they can target both small and large corporations. What data you collect, where you store it, and how you use it will impact your security costs. The most widely recognized instances of safety efforts are start-to-finish message encryption and an SSL testament.

8. Infrastructure for the backend

The backend is what happens “under the hood” of a mobile application. These processes are invisible to users and inaccessible to them. Backend tasks include the following:

Processing files, running scripts, storing and updating databases, decrypting and encrypting data, and processing user input from the frontend are all functions that require a backend if you want to build an application that will have millions of users, collect their data, incorporate AI and ML, support the Internet of Things, and offer live streaming.

9. Size and location of the development team

The cost of developing a mobile application is heavily influenced by the developer you choose. A competent app development company, a local team, an internal team, or a freelance developer are all options. Another important factor in determining the overall cost of app development is the location of the developers or the mobile app development services company you are choosing.

What Hidden Factors Affect the Cost of Making a Mobile App?


The most common hidden costs of mobile app development projects we will be discussing now in this section. Knowing these will help you save time and money while also lowering risks. Let’s get into the specifics of each one:

1. Quality assurance

Depending on the size of your app, you may also need to hire a project manager or quality assurance agent. Business analysts might also be needed to help you keep your app development costs low and within your budget.

2. Costs of infrastructure

Data storage, data delivery, and app hosting are all examples of infrastructure costs. A project’s cost and complexity are both increased by all of this. Servers, data storage, and development tools and libraries are examples of infrastructure cost items.

3. IT support costs

You can only make an excellent application with IT support administrations and persistent specialized help. However, over time, support costs may rise. Services like updating iOS and Android, fixing bugs, and maintaining APIs are examples of IT support services.

4. App publishing cost

When creating apps, developers keep in mind the requirements of the app store. The app store fees are insignificant. You must pay a one-time $25 fee when introducing an Android app to the Play Store. In contrast, Apple charges $99 per year. Joining the Apple Developer Enterprise Program and distributing your app through the App Store will cost you $299 per year if you only want to distribute your app within your company. The service costs nothing through Google Play.


Now let’s get back to the main question: how much does it cost to make an app in 2023? Various factors determine the cost of developing a mobile app, so the answer to this question is complex. Depending on the factors mentioned above such as the complexity, features, app category, visual design, platform, maintenance, security and hosting, back-end infrastructure, quality assurance, IT support, app publishing, size and hosting of the app, the cost may rise or fall.

The most important takeaway is that the final budget is always contingent. You should keep in mind that the mobile app development cost depends on your industry, your project’s scope, your team’s composition and the mobile app development services company you choose. There are also chances of out-of-the-blue events that can increase additional costs. However, from the above estimations, if we create a rough consideration, developing a mobile app in 2023 can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000. Developing a mobile app typically costs around $50,000.



Rahul Panchal

Rahul Panchal is a Founder and Managing Director of Rlogical Techsoft Pvt. Ltd, a web & mobile app development company India specialized in Hybrid, Native, Android and iOS App development.

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