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July 9, 2020
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Mobile App Development Cost in 2019

by Aleksandra Bessalitskykh on 05/15/19 10:34:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


If you want to start a digital startup the first question is the cost of app development. Nowadays there is a lot of sense to launch an app startup, as the vast majority of the population utilize different mobile apps as part of their routine activities.

The following quotations for app development cost and timeline were provided by the most reliable mobile app industry studies:

  • The median app development cost is about $171,450 (at a rate of $150/hour), which represents 1,143 development hours. The total app price could even increase to $727,500 in the case of complex functionality implementation (Clutch Survey, 2015)
  • Average minimum app development project is between $5,000 to $10,000. The typical cost to create an app is likely to be far higher (Clutch Survey, 2017)
  • Enterprise mobile app development cost is an average of $140,000 (VDC Research, 2017)
  • Available app cost calculators state a price range from $267,000 to $360,000 for complex, multi-feature mobile apps
  • Concerning the app development timeline: over 80% of mobile apps take 3+ months to develop; 40% of apps are built in 6+ months (Outsystems Survey, 2018-19)

In general, the app development cost is influenced by your app idea with business and functional necessities.

Here are the most influential factors which determine the final cost to build an app:

  • Vendor type and location
  • Complexity and the number of app features
  • Back-end infrastructure and connected APIs
  • Complexity of UX/UI design
  • Inclusion of additional branded visual elements
  • Development approach (native, mobile web, hybrid, etc)
  • Number of platforms to be developed (iOS, Android, web, etc)

Mobile App Development Cost in 2019

According to up-to-date industry surveys, the cost to develop an app ranges from just $5,000 to $500,00.

Below you will see a detailed investigation on the cost to build an app that lists estimates based on widely used app features, design complexity, and software development stages.

So, application with a minimum set of features costs upwards of $22,000, while the complex mobile app development cost starts at $110,000.

Cost to Develop an App: Understanding the Basics

These elements will help you to understand the app development cost, and you will be able to influence the price range and set your project’s budget.

  • Native vs. hybrid app

A native app suits the guidelines of a specific operating system. In such a way, you can only build a native app for each system separately. Of course, the app development price increases in proportion to the number of platforms you want to target.

On the other hand, a hybrid or cross-platform app works with multiple operating systems, so you can save money by building only one application for all required platforms.

Although, because of the technical superiority and performance of native apps, the vast majority of app development companies advise this approach.

  • Android vs. iOS app

There is no difference in app development cost based on the platform. 

At present, the timeline of app development for Android and iOS apps is almost the same. Your applications can be built simultaneously if you target both platforms. It allows the apps to be launched at the same time.

  • Misconceptions about the mobile app development process

The most common mistakes within app development are:

1. You expect your app business to become another “Uber”

Many digital startuppers expect good outcomes at once. 

Advice: Don't copy someone’s success, because it is important to concentrate on bringing something new to the market. Nowadays you need to build habit-forming app products.

2. You can succeed without proper market research

It is highly necessary to evaluate the market and complete the pre-planning stage for your app concept. Do your homework carefully: study the market and find its pain points that your app idea can solve.

More details about the app development cost formation can be found here. In this article you will read about how to manage your app development budget effectively, reduce app costs, and pay attention to mobile app cost drivers upfront.

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