What affects the cost of app development?

how much does it cost to develop an app

If you are wondering how much it costs to develop a mobile app, do not expect the exact numbers right away.

The experienced IT specialists will probably ask you more questions regarding project functionality, platforms technologies, etc. Then after gathering project requirements and deciding on the pricing model, you can get the final estimation. Sounds quite complex?

Imagine you want to create a movie. After all, you need to take into consideration a large number of factors such as decorations, actors, quality of technical equipment, etc.  Same in application development. 

It takes some time and requires a mutual understanding of the project to estimate the whole work. 

According to various sources, the average cost for app development services can range from 3 000$ to 300 000$. This information isn’t very helpful if you want to set up a budget for your project.

So why is there such a difference? 

To better understand this, let’s take a glance on the main factors affecting the cost of app creation.


One of the first factors that affect the cost of software development services is the location. The wages of developers significantly vary depending on where do they based. 

For example, the most expensive development services are in North America and Australia, the least ones –  in India and some other Asian countries. 

Over the past decade, Eastern Europe has become a hot IT outsourcing destination for many western businesses. Countries like Ukraine, Poland, Romania offer a wide range of benefits – from access to a thriving talent pool and high technical expertise to cost-efficiency and good tech education.  


It is obvious that the engineer’s hourly rates can differ depending on the level. Usually, programmers are divided into three categories based on knowledge, skills and working experience. These are Junior, Middle, and Senior software engineers. 

Junior developers can perform small tasks or develop simple apps. For more complex projects with features like payment or map integrations, you’ll need more skilled engineers. Otherwise, you may end up fixing inexperienced developer’s bugs, and it will eventually cost more.

This is another reason why IT outsourcing is so popular nowadays. You can get a more experienced team, spending 20 % – 50% less.


The functionality and complexity of its implementation are the biggest cost drivers in app development. The difference between simple and complex apps can be tremendous. For example, some features are easy to implement, but some require a significant amount of time and effort.  Among the popular features that increase app complexity and cost are: in-app purchases, location-based services, various kinds of user interactions and integration with third-party libraries, chats/video calls, image recognition, and processing, synchronization of data using Bluetooth, etc. If you want to reduce the cost of development, then you can exclude such complex features (in case it’s not the core functionality of your project)  from the first version of the application. 


Most smartphones in the world work on one of two operating systems – iOS or Android. Both platforms give access to large customer bases. The main factor that determines which platform to develop is the audience you want to reach. 

Despite the two platforms are very different in terms of technical implementation, the development costs for each are about the same. If you decide to make an application for one platform, it will certainly be cheaper. But if you want to launch your product on both – get ready to spend twice as much.

A lot of businesses start with the one that best suits their needs and then moving forward with another platform. 

The popular option for first MVP’s and relatively small projects is cross-platform solutions. You can learn more about Native and Cross-platform approaches in our blog. 


Design matters a lot. A beautiful and user-friendly design is often a very important factor that helps to stand out from competitors. It does not only influence the whole process of developing an app but also can play a key role in project success. 

If you use the standard guidelines and design components for iOS and Android, then your application will be easier to develop. But if you want a custom design or unique animations,  it often takes much time. 

The more complex the design, the longer it takes to program it.

Testing and Maintenance 

Other factors that affect the cost of software development are testing and maintenance. 
Any software contains a number of bugs. Sometimes it’s impossible to detect all of them. To minimize issues with app quality, and ensure it will perform well, having a QA engineer to test your app is a must.  

You can also integrate different services to better track bugs and errors.  It simplifies the search for issues and reduces bugfix time.

The modern world is constantly changing, as well as user demands and business needs. So if you want your project to be long-term, plan a budget for future support such as upgrading to the latest OS versions, adding new features and code improvements. 

Final thoughts

As you see, app development cost varies based on the number of factors such as the complexity of the features, location of the vendor, team experience, etc. Paying attention to those factors, you can get the idea of the approximate budget for your project. 

So if you plan to create an app and want to know how much it will cost, let’s get in touch. 

Putting together all the requirements, and your project needs, our highly-skilled team will propose the best solutions and prepare a detailed estimate.

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