How much does it cost to make an app for your business in 2021

Reading Time: 9 minutes | Date: December 03, 2020 | Posted by: Admin | Category: Planning
How much does it cost to make an app for your business in 2021


The Prevalent Mobile App Market

All of us use apps for communication, games, lifestyle, business, food, sports, then there are some of us at the other end of the app spectrum creating apps for the rest of us.

Since the mobile app market is growing at a crazy rate people are naturally interested getting apps made and placing them on Android and iOS app stores, and want to know what it will cost them. The cost of developing an app involves several factors. No mobile app development team can give you a precise cost estimate without knowing the main factors of your mobile app, such as app business logic, features, development team location and composition, among other things.

The good news is – it isn’t really as expensive as most of us may think. Let’s get into the details of how to get your app development done and how much it will cost you.

App Development Cost Breakdown

The whole process has many different variables and mobile app development cost estimates in the USA can range from $5,000 to $500,000 depending on how intricate your app is to be. It’s difficult to approximate app development cost for Android or iOS because of the variables, but understanding the development process clarifies it better for us.

We’re listing here ways to estimating the average cost of creating an app

  • Ask the mobile app development team for a general price quote.
  • Select the number of mobile platforms you want your app deployed on.
  • To reflect your business idea, mobile developers and business analysts will create a list of necessary app functionality features for your mobile app.
  • Prioritize mobile app features to implement in MVP
  • Ask the development team to estimate your app’s main features
  • Ask mobile app developers to evaluate a list of must-have features that they will implement first and get a precise mobile app development estimated cost for only those.


App Life Cycle

A system development life cycle is composed of defined work phases. Developers must plan, design, build, test, and then finally deliver the finished product to clients.

Generally it the back-end of a native app (Android or iOS) takes about ten weeks to build. Adding basic functionality and front-end development takes another eight weeks approximately. One way of saving time from back-end development is by using cloud technologies for storage.

Mobile Development Phases

Phase 1. Planning & Business Analysis

Detailed preparation is always the base for the best projects.

A great app development company always ensures the product meets the client’s needs, that can only be ascertained through detailed discussion with the client. Thorough planning helps to understand what a customer wants and how to get there.

Having a good app idea isn’t enough, meticulous market research must be done to confirm if there is actually any demand for an idea. It pays also to scope out competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

Phase 2. Technical Specifications

Once the necessary information is planned out, functional requirements must be ascertained to help identify the appropriate software solution. A detailed report outlining project features is determined. It is also decided in this phase what platforms, operating systems and devices a customer would want to target.

Phase 3. Prototyping & Design

A prototype is first developed, this will be a basic working model of your product and helps you to test if the idea or startup is viable. At this stage of the process, stopping and restarting from scratch if required will save both time and money. This phase includes the following processes:

Creating a sketch: A draft version of the app to show the number of screens and logic with which they interact with each other.

Creating wireframes: The visualization of the draft app structure, a website service is designed at structural level to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content is added.

Creating a clickable prototype: This helps find underlying issues and solve them before coding. It shows where the interaction logic breaks and gives an understanding of how to improve it.

Designing app skins: Collecting all the wireframes and assembling them to improve the design.

Phase 4. Development

App development is divided into two parts: front-end and back-end development. The ten weeks back-end development process includes creating a strategy, planning and analyzing, UI/UX design, and more. The eight weeks for front-end development are used by a developer to take website design elements and mockups and converts them into CSS, JavaScript (JS), or HTML code. As the designer comes up with graphics and illustrations, the front-end developer translates it all into the code and builds the experience users have with the app.

Phase 5. Testing/Quality Assurance

Every part of the product must be tested manually and automatically at every stage of development. There is often a separate department dedicated to quality assurance. The testing/quality assurance stage includes requirements, compatibility, interface, security, and so on.

QA engineers check the app or web project for bugs, UX functioning, scalability and accessibility across multiple platforms.

Phase 6. Publishing & Maintenance

Once your app is ready, it needs to be submitted to app stores. This can be done by the business itself or you can ask your app development company to assist you.


Work on an app by a good agency doesn’t end after the app has been deployed, most apps encounter bugs after deployment and in real time user experience; thus it will need updates and customer support. Post-release maintenance may or may not be included in the initial cost of mobile app estimates.

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

Development Price Factors

Several other factors influence mobile app development pricing.

Labor Costs – the size of your team influences the total cost of your final bill.

A core development team for a mobile app includes:

  • A project manager to liaison between client and developers.
  • UI/UX designer(s) for app structure and visual appearance.
  • Mobile developer(s) for coding the app, you will need at least one developer per platform (iOS or Android).
  • Quality Assurance (QA) engineer(s) and manger(s) to monitor every phase of the software development process and ensure the products are bug-free.
  • Back-end developer(s) to creates the back-end infrastructure and API integrations.
Number of Platforms and Devices

The main factor behind the final price estimate is the complexity of your project.

Apple iOS apps reach more solvent users: an iOS app should support both previous and the latest versions of iPhone and iOS versions.

The Android platform has a broader penetration among middle-income users. Android devices are cross OEM and so are manifold.

Hybrid apps reach the maximum users possible since they work on both iOS and Android. The more devices you choose, the more time the team needs to adapt the app for various screen sizes.

Often, Android development takes longer development time than iOS because Android powers a wide range of different devices with different screen dimensions. iOS powers only Apple devices and follows the same build for all apps.

App features estimation

You can add so many different features to your app. Their number and type raise or lower the technical complexity of the project. You can use any of the following at your will:

Third-party integrations. Using third-party libraries, frameworks, and services makes an app perform faster. A ready-made solution is cheaper than developing a custom solution.

In-app purchases allow users to buy items, products or services from the app. In-app purchases usually add technical complexity to a project.

Admin panel development makes in-app operations easier. You can manage users and content, view analytics, statistics, and in the case of having a content-driven website, the admin panel is where you would add content.

Custom designs matters as much as the functionality of the app, sometimes even more. A customized user interface comes at additional costs.

Does a mobile developer’s location on the globe effect app development rates?

Yes, if chosen after careful deliberation even lower priced developers can give you the same result as a high end developer would. Also a higher hourly rate does not guarantee a high-quality outcome.

Developer locations definitely influence pricing.

Canada and the USA: $50 to $250 per hour

Australia: $50 to $150

UK and Western Europe: $35 to $170 per hour

Eastern Europe: $30 to $150 per hour

App Complexity

The estimated cost of launching an app depends on the number of hours the project will take. In other words, the more functions are added, the longer time development stage takes.

Let’s divide applications into three categories; simple apps, moderately complex apps and complex apps:


Simple apps have basic essential functions without third-party API integration and back-end development. Their basic functionality may consist of:

  • Standard UI components
  • Social login
  • Push notifications
  • Personal profile
  • Feed list
  • Map markers

A simple mobile app could cost around $10,000 to 25,000.

Medium complexity apps include a third-party integration that may provide it payment features or real-time chats. Medium complexity apps may consist of:

  • Customized UI features
  • Integration with APIs
  • Simple hosting server

A app of medium complexity could be charged at $35K to $50K.

Complex apps

Complex applications include advanced functionality and as many features as you wish, such as:

  • Audio/video streaming
  • Online chats
  • Real-time data synchronization
  • Custom design and animation
  • Third-party services integration
  • In-app purchases
  • Complex back-end

Complex app development costs start at $60,000.

The size of the development team depends on project complexity and is directly connected to the time required to develop the project. Hence complexity calls for team size, which equals to time taken to develop an app. The number of hours spent on development leads to the final cost.

App Maintenance

Once you have decided upon your App Development Agency and got a price estimate, you work has progressed. App development is important but just as important is keeping your app viable after it has been deployed. There is much more to an application than deploying on and letting it reach users. Everything in the physical world needs upgrades and maintenance to stay relevant, especially apps. The people who install your app, and use it regularly will expect systematic updates, or they’ll simply uninstall your app.

Once your app is published, you will still need to track its performance, create new content, and let your users know what’s new. If your app relies on a server to store information like user records, or payment history, you’ll also have to pay to manage this information.

Ongoing maintenance and content updates for an app keep users happy, engaged, and coming back for more. Depending on the complexity of your app, you can also incur additional costs for servers, emergency maintenance, push notifications, payment processing, and more.  Your app look and feel great to begin with, but is that application maintainable over the long term? If yes, how much does it cost to maintain an app?

It would be fair to say this depends on how your app was built. Saving developments costs by going with a cheaper developer will cost a lot more in the long run, if your app isn’t designed to scale. It is a good idea to plan for 20% of the cost of initial development when calculating how the cost to maintain software. If your initial development costs are $100,000, you can reasonably expect to spend about $20,000 per year to maintain your app.

The Appedology Advantage

At Appedology, we are one of the fastest growing development companies in the US paradigm because we provide clients with a transparent, no hidden charges cost estimation. We offer the best price-quality ratio. We will also try to find the best solutions to reduce the app’s cost and provide cost-effective services, but never at the cost of quality. Creating MVPs or minimum viable products will save you money and time in the initial stages of your project.

It is a version of your future product with initial functionality and fewer features. MVPs help fasten the development process and identify possible problems, allowing you to change product strategy or even the app’s functions if required.

To receive a precise estimation, start working on a list of all of the proposed app’s functions and business goals you envision for your app and come talk to us. We’re always ready to serve you.

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