How Much Mobile App Development Cost?

Building an app is like a building a house. If your budget makes you smile in contentment, your fantasy is the only limit. You may have a huge Victorian mansion with a large living room, an elegant balcony with a view and three bathrooms on each floor. Alternatively, if you’re short on funds, your house will contain only the basic rooms and non-designer furniture. The same rule applies to the creation of mobile apps. Multiple options define the eventual price: the app’s complexity, custom features, ecosystems the app will need to run on, etc.

So, for this part, the main cost factors include:

  • The type of app
  • Number and complexity of features
  • The level of design
  • The amount of work
  • The platform

But firstly, let’s take a look at the most popular mobile applications in 2016:

Since the apps above contain a number of features which are pretty common to a wide range of applications, it may be useful to understand what has an influence on their price. Of course – there’s no open data on the actual costs of these apps, so it’s only possible to make a guess. A commonly known in the industry, the most adequate way to estimate the cost of an app is to use this equation: (features x time) x hourly rate = cost.

The important factor here is, obviously, the difference in hourly rates across countries. For instance, the median cost of iOS development in the USA is around $150/hour while the cost in Eastern Europe is $50/hour.

Let’s take American rates as the reference and try to estimate the costs:

  • WhatsApp: In total, it will take somewhere around 1500 hours to create the same app. This way, WhatsApp’s clone will cost something like $225,000.
  • Facebook: If we multiply 3000 hours by $150/hr, the total cost would be around $450,000. Here’s what Ben Schippers, co-founder of HappyFunCorp, said: “If you asked me to build for you, I would quote you $500,000 and nine months of development and design time.”
  • Uber: The total development time will take approx. 1100 hours resulting in  $165.000.

According to Enterprise Mobility Exchange, the most common budget size for the next year will be around $250,000–$500,000 chosen by 29.1% of respondents — followed by 25.3% whose answer was “over $1.5 million”. 

The size and the status of the mobile development company play a major role too resulting in additional 40%-60% to the cost. Let’s have a rough estimation:

Applications developed by big players on the market will cost you around 500,000 to $1,000,000. Medium ones – between $150,000 to $450,000 while apps built by smaller companies (or even individuals) will cost you around $50,000 to $100,000.

Surely, the price may be important criteria to take into consideration when picking your mobile app development partner, but it’s not the crucial one. All that really matters is the quality and time of development.

It’s always important to for any development company to be aware of each and every technical aspect to implement your app the way it should be. After all, you want it to be engaging and user-friendly for your future customers, don’t you? Make a detailed list so no feature will be lost during the development stage. For this purpose, we prepared a special questionnaire covering all the questions which may arise.


The development of an app is a complicated process. It goes far above “sticking a screen or two together”. In order to obtain great results, you must understand what features and functionality are truly necessary and what are the ones to skip. As mobile devices are becoming the shopping weapon of choice, make sure you have a well-designed app. It could be the game-changer for your business.

If you’d like to get a free project estimation by our team, just drop us a line and we’ll discuss all the details.



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