How Much Does It Cost to Build an App In 2024?

How Much Does It Cost to Build an App

Can you imagine a business without an app today? An application has become a primary need for business as most people prefer an app for its simple interface. 

With a paradigm shift from websites to applications, the need for apps has become significant. 

App development plays a role, whether it is a startup or a big enterprise. However, you will need to consider the cost of building an app. Understanding how much an app would cost is your first step toward building one. More so, it is even more important for startups as they have to consider the budget. 

Let’s dive deep to understand the cost of building an app so you can choose an app development company or develop it internally. 

Factors that Affect App Development Costs:

Factors that Affect App Development Costs:

In-house team or Outsourcing 

Both in-house development and outsourcing have pros and cons. In-house development can be time-saving, but outsourcing can save more money. 

Apart from being expensive, the hiring process for the in-house team can be tedious. 

With outsourcing, you can get special access to experts, and it’s more affordable. However, it lacks face-to-face interaction. Also, it lacks personal control, and there can be time zone differences. 

To make a final decision – you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of the two development processes. Ideally, most people prefer an app development company to save costs. 

Android vs iOS 

The platform you choose can impact the overall app development cost. Regardless of this, you will have to consider user segmentation and market. The app design prototype and app functionality of iOS is different from Android. If you consider the cost, developing an Android app is cheaper than iOS. 

Developers write Android applications in Java, and iOS apps are written in Objective-C or Swift. Objective-C developers tend to charge higher than Java developers, and the cost can increase. 

Beyond the spectrum of variables available, the final costing depends on the location, time frame, and adaption. You can work on both development types if you have a bigger budget. 

Location of the Company  

Another significant factor that affects the cost is location if you decide to outsource. Nearshore outsourcing is cheaper and more flexible as the time difference is less. 

However, outsourcing can bring challenges because of time differences. If you cannot communicate with the company due to the time difference – it’ll affect the delivery time of the app, which will affect the cost. 

North American companies charge more for app development compared to South Asia. The average cost of hiring a North American app development company is $70 to $125, and for South Asia – it is $15 to $50

Complexity of Design 

An app’s complexity is the same as the product idea. The features, usability, interface, and design play a critical role in app complexity, affecting the development cost. 

A simple app design and interface may cost approximately $5,000, and an average app design may cost about $50,000. However, unique and complex app designs may cost more than $10,0000. 

In addition, the UX designing of the app may cost extra. For instance, for 10 to 15 app screens – you will have to pay extra. The cost will increase for customized elements or complex parts in the design. 

Also Read – How to Reduce FontAwesome Load Time & boost Website Speed

Hybrid or Native 

Hybrid development cost depends on many factors. In hybrid technology, developers don’t have to use a single codebase and can write the app and optimize it for different platforms, which saves costs. However, the app’s scalability and features are also a point to consider here. 

Conversely, native development creates an app for a specific platform. Developers have to build different applications for multiple platforms, which affects the final cost. Hybrid development offers simple maintenance and affordability, but most startups still choose native app development for its accountability. 

App Development Cost Stages:

App Development Cost Stages:

There are different app development stages, so you must be aware of those to know about the pricing factors. Let’s discuss some stages and the effective costs. 

1. Research stage 

The research stage, also the pre-design stage does require efforts from the development team. However, the design team may spend less during this stage before moving to the final design stage. 

2. Design stage 

The design stage is critical as app development commences from the stage, and the actual coding of every feature depends on this stage. Ideally, developing an app code depends on the app type. More than thirty percent of money spent on this stage remains below $10k. 

3. Development stage

It is the core stage of app development. Plus, the development part is incomplete without testing and deployment. According to Clutch, 32% of respondents took less than $5,000 for testing. For the deployment part, the range was above $10k. 

Some Added Driving factors Affecting the App Cost:

Some Added Driving factors Affecting the App Cost:

Third-party Integration 

Third-party tools or integration can enhance the app functionally and improve design. Like websites, apps may also need a third-party integration, which can affect the cost. 

If developers consider third-party integration, it can increase the app timeline and total costs. If the project cost may include these services, you don’t have to worry about paying extra. 

Multiple Platforms 

Most often, a company that creates an app for Android also considers iOS. Rightly so, the reach of both platforms can provide visibility to businesses.

Multi-platform support is vital, especially after the app launches on one platform, but this affects the cost to an extent. Always plan the first version for the most popular platform and then scale up on other platforms. 

App Marketing 

Most businesses focus on building an app but forget about the marketing part. Marketing an app is equally important as creating one. The cost will increase if marketing is also one aspect of app development. Some app development companies include marketing aspects, but it may cost extra. 

Mobile App Development Costs by Region

RegionPrice (Hourly)
Eastern Europe$50
South America$50

How to reduce the App Development Cost?

How to reduce the App Development Cost?

Optimizing the app development cost can be transformational for startups and mid-size enterprises. Plus, the money you save on development can be used in the marketing of the app. Here are some quick tips to reduce development costs:

Plan the app features 

When creating an app, it’s essential to prioritize the app features. Plus, the app features can drive business for you in no time. If all the elements are in order, you can build a minimum viable product (MVP) and save on costs. 


It helps test the core functionality and market fit of your app. This reduces initial development costs and helps you gather user feedback early. Gradually add more features based on user feedback and business growth.

Choose to outsource 

Choosing an in-house or outsourcing team is subjective, but outsourcing companies can provide better scalability and affordability. Apart from access to a pool of exceptional talent, it helps to cut down office expenses and minimize workflows. 

Conduct thorough research and due diligence to find a reliable development partner.

Plan ahead 

Do you want to scale your app in the future? Then consider planning for cost optimization. For instance, if you build an MVP, you might want to change some features based on customer feedback in the future. 

With that, you need to consider long-term and short-term goals. App scalability can cost you extra, so consider planning. 

Open Source and Third-party Tools:

Leverage open-source libraries, frameworks, and pre-built components. They can significantly reduce development time and costs.

Use third-party APIs and services for common functionalities like payments, authentication, and mapping to save development effort.

Cross-platform development 

Cross-platform functionality is the need of the hour. For a company – it may be a tough decision to decide between native and hybrid development. Also, creating native apps may not be cost-effective. 

Cross-platform development works on Android and iOS, and you won’t lose a large chunk of the audience. Ideally, you can optimize the development cost by choosing cross-platform functionality. 

By implementing these strategies and maintaining a focus on cost-efficiency throughout the development process, you can reduce app development costs while still delivering a high-quality product that meets user needs and expectations.


The cost to build an app is influenced by various factors including the complexity of features, platform compatibility, design requirements, development time, and ongoing maintenance.

Hourly rates for app developers vary by region and experience level. In the United States, for example, rates can range from $100 to $250 per hour, while in countries like India, rates may start at $20 per hour.

To reduce app development costs, you can prioritize features, choose cross-platform development tools, outsource development to cost-effective teams, use open-source and third-party tools, etc.

Yes, there are hidden costs such as server expenses, app store fees, and post-launch marketing costs that should be factored into your app development budget.

TCO includes both upfront and ongoing costs, including development, maintenance, updates, hosting, and marketing. Calculate these costs to estimate the TCO accurately.

While there are DIY app builders and open-source tools available, professional app development typically comes with costs. Even if you’re building it yourself, there may still be expenses associated with hosting, app store fees, and third-party services.

Yes, building an app typically involves upfront costs such as initial design and development work, licensing fees for third-party software or APIs, and potential costs for market research or prototyping.

Apart from the initial development costs, ongoing expenses may include updates and maintenance, server hosting fees, integration with third-party services, marketing, and user acquisition, as well as potential future feature enhancements or platform updates.

Quick Recap 

Creating a sustainable app may require patience and an understanding of app functionality. However, the development factors depend on design, app complexity, location, and team. 

For customized design, you may have to pay extra. Custom apps are tailored to the needs of the clients. Also, determine the design, app screens, and features. 

Ideally, hire a professional team of developers to bring your idea to reality. Outsourcing development companies are reliable and cost-effective. However, prototypes and UX may affect the app cost. Lastly, develop a smart strategy to save on data storage and API integration. 

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