How To Estimate The Costs Of Building A Mobile App?

How To Estimate The Costs Of Building A Mobile App

The costs of building a mobile app might vary by dozens of times, depending on what you want and who you hire. From this article, you'll get to know about the factors that influence the price of mobile app development.

The price of building a mobile app can vary approximately from $20,000 to $250,000. The exact cost depends on the complexity of the app and the region where the developing company is located. From this article, you'll get to know how much developers charge per each task and why it might be wiser to outsource professionals rather than hire an in-house team. After reading this text, you should be able to optimize your expenses and plan a reasonable budget for the app's maintenance.

The Factors That Affect the Price of the App

Here are the average rates that a web and mobile app development company might charge in different parts of the world:

  • North America — from $50 to $150 per hour for Android / iOS development

  • UK — starting with $71 per hour

  • Australia — from $35 to $150 per hour

  • South America — from $22 to $55 per hour

  • Eastern Europe — from $25 to $50 per hour

  • India — around $25 per hour

  • Indonesia — a maximum of $35 per hour


Apart from the hourly rates, the prices of mobile app development services might differ depending on the following factors:


  • Project type

  • Features and functionality

  • Customization of visual design

  • Platforms (iOS / Android)

  • Backend infrastructure and app administration

  • Location and structure of the development team

  • App maintenance and additional services


When comparing the prices of multiple teams, you should ask them to estimate how much time they will need for each task. If a team that charges a bit more works faster than the one that is cheaper but works slower, you might want to opt for the former.

Mind that some teams specialize only in iOS or Android development. In this case, you might need to pay the full price of building the app twice if you want it to be compatible with both operating systems.

The Costs of Features

Here is the list of the most common features that a mobile app might need and their average costs.

  • Login with email or social media, log out, retrieve lost passwords — $1,400

  • Upload photos and video, view photos and play videos — $1,000

  • Add customers' personal info and photos in their profiles, set the region — $1,040

  • Edit profiles, change emails and passwords — $2,180

  • Basic search with suggestions — $624

  • Basic messaging, sending media files and documents, conversation details, statuses (typing, online/offline, read/sent) — $6,600

  • See the list of users through the admin's panel, add, edit, block and delete users — $3,120

  • See payments through the admin's panel, refund payments — $1,340

  • Check the payment balance through the customer's panel, check the list of transactions, add a card or PayPal account — $2,760

  • Send custom push notifications — $440

  • Receive push notifications — $1,140

  • Detect user's location, search on the map, set pickup point on the map — $3,720

  • Start, stop and views broadcasts, switch between broadcasts — $4,600

  • Carry out audio and video calls, create lists of contacts — $12,440


These calculations were made under the assumption that the developer charges $40 per hour.

Cost of Maintaining an App

Once your app is up and running, you should be ready to maintain it. It doesn't matter whether you're planning to expand its functionality or not. Even if you don't want to change anything or scale the app, you'll need maintenance to achieve the following goals.

  • Fix bugs

  • Improve stability and performance

  • Optimize the code

  • Add support for the latest versions of the operating system

  • Support the latest versions of third-party services


Each year, you'll need to pay from 15% to 20% of the initial app development cost for the maintenance. Not all developers offer ongoing support, so you should discuss this aspect with the team you outsource before you sign a contract.

To Hire or to Outsource?

If you need to build a mobile app just once, the answer is obvious: it would be more reasonable to outsource the developers. But if you need to build and maintain several products (such as your corporate site or some custom software), you might consider hiring an in-house team. At first sight, hiring might seem like a more cost-efficient option. But if you thoroughly break down all the expenses that it involves, you might see that it's costlier than you expected.

  • To hire a team, you'll need to spend a few months searching, interviewing, onboarding and training the candidates. To fulfill this task, you might need to hire a person who knows how to filter the right professionals.

  • You might need to buy new software and hardware for your in-house team.

  • You should pay for your team's ongoing education.

  • You won't be able to benefit from the difference in prices in your country and other regions of the planet.


If you outsource, you'll be able to find an optimal team in a couple of weeks. They will have all the necessary tools at their disposal and they won't ask you to cover any additional expenses from your pocket.

When outsourcing a development team, you should pay attention not only to their specialization, skills and rates. You need to make sure that they speak good English. Plus, you should glance through their portfolio of released apps and read other clients' feedback. You can look for feedback on profile platforms or get in touch with the clients directly. There is nothing wrong with asking the developers to share the contacts of their previous customers with you.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article came in handy and now you can estimate the approximate costs of building a mobile app. To cut down expenses, you might want to outsource a remote development team with a solid portfolio rather than hire an in-house one. Professionals from other regions of the planet might have excellent skills but charge considerably less than their colleagues from your country. Make sure to ask the developers in advance whether they provide support for their products — you'll need it even if you're not planning to scale your app.

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