How Much Does it Cost to Create an App?: Detailed Breakout

A Complete Guide to Create an App

Have you ever come across the phrase, “There’s an app for everything”? This statement, once worth millions, now seems more like a common refrain as creating an app trend surge. Recently, both the Play Store and App Store celebrated their 12th anniversary, with no sign of the app count slowing down.


Despite 35-36 billion app downloads from the Google Play and Apple App Store combined, there’s still space for more, urging companies to create an apps that transform how people engage with their business—appealing to Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Zs alike.

Typically, app development costs range from $20,000 to $200,000 on average, but complex apps can exceed $350,000.


However, this is a broad estimate. In general, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to a cost to develop an app. These costs are directly related to the quality of the product. Other factors vary and require careful consideration for success.

Unlike lengthy articles that consume your time and offer generic answers, our blog provides a closer examination to give you a clearer idea of the ballpark for mobile app development costs.

The Breakdown of App Development Cost

When clients consult a company for mobile app development cost with their app idea, they often have no prior knowledge. This may also include no information of the development process or the associated costs. While they may have clearly defined requirements and desired functionalities, this information alone is insufficient for a fair cost estimation.


The upfront cost quoted by the agency is just the beginning. App development is a complex process, and understanding the cost requires thorough research and a detailed understanding of app dynamics.

Breaking down app development based on complexity can provide a rough estimate:

  • Basic applications with simple features (e.g., simple games, social media, clocks) typically cost between $20,000 and $60,000
  • Mid-level apps with some complexity (e.g., eCommerce apps, chatting apps, food delivery apps) can cost between $50,000 and $200,000
  • Complex or high-end specification apps (e.g., enterprise apps, logistics and gaming apps, telehealth apps) can cost between $80,000 and $350,000

In summary, the cost of building an app is influenced by five key elements:

  1. Functionality: What the app will do and the needs it will fulfil for customers
  2. Complexity of features: Whether it’s a telemedicine app or a simple to-do list, feature complexity shapes development complexity and cost to develop an app
  3. Targeted devices and platforms: Choosing between native and cross-platform development impacts the cost
  4. Maintenance plan: Post-deployment technical support is crucial for consistent performance and improvement
  5. Third-party integration: Integrating services like location sharing or payment increases costs

Considering these parameters can help in setting a fixed budget for the project. Alternatively, you can use a simple formula as an app development cost calculator to estimate the project cost.

How Much Does It Cost To Create An App Based on Stages of Development?

You may have already used online calculators or researched the average cost to create an app to get a rough idea. However, it’s important to note that no matter how precise these numbers seem, they can often be misleading. The actual development cost depends on various factors such as the app’s features, technologies used, design complexity, development team location, and more.


To provide a clearer understanding, we’ll break down the cost structure for app development according to different stages of mobile app development. This breakdown will help you accurately gauge the cost of each phase and how it impacts your budget.

1. Cost of Discovery

Before diving into development, there’s a crucial initial phase that involves pre-research, planning, discovery, or strategy. This phase essentially revolves around market analysis, creating a business plan, and documenting the app’s requirements. A competent development firm will ask you numerous questions about your business and application goals during this phase. If they don’t, it could be a red flag.


Approximately 10% of the total mobile app development cost is allocated to this stage, which typically requires 20-200 hours to complete. The document containing mobile app development cost must have the following information.

  • Competitive analysis
  • Objective declaration
  • MVP concept
  • User and market research
  • A clear project roadmap

The estimated cost for this stage is near to $1,200 – $11,000 with a timeline of 2-4 weeks.

2. Cost of Design Stage

The next phase focuses on software prototyping, wireframing, user experience (UX) design, and visual (UI) design. The importance of this phase lies in creating a visually appealing app that captivates users from the start.


Investing in design is crucial, as it can significantly impact the success of your project. This phase typically consumes around 10-15% of the total cost of app development. The man-hours required may be higher for projects with intricate screens, custom components, and visual complexity. The estimated cost for this stage is around $2,500 – $10,000. And the timeline can go to 3-4 weeks.

3. Cost of Development Stage

This phase in creating an app represents the pinnacle of mobile app development, where the intricacy of functionalities dictates the estimated cost. The more complex the features, the longer it takes to develop them, thus increasing costs.

In addition to features, this stage requires attention to application architecture, data encryption and storage, user base, third-party integration, and more


Collaboration and meticulous attention from developers are essential during this stage, as the cost of coding and programming surpasses that of all other stages combined. Opting for cross-platform mobile app development frameworks can save a significant amount compared to creating separate apps for different platforms. The estimated cost of this stage is $3,000 – $60,000. The timeline may be around 2-6 months.

4. Cost of Testing and Deployment Stage

The next step is testing, which is crucial for ensuring the app’s quality. This phase significantly impacts the cost estimation of app development, as thorough testing reduces the need for post-launch bug fixing.


Comprehensive testing by the quality assurance team results in fewer inconveniences for customers, such as crashes, glitches, and lags. Releasing the app with minimal issues is key to ensuring user satisfaction.

The app development cost of testing and deployment depends on the complexity and features of your app.

App Development Cost Based on Platform App Type and Technology

When selecting a platform for your mobile app, it’s crucial to be mindful of your target audience. The platform you choose directly influences the overall development cost. You can opt for a specific platform like iOS, Android, Web App, or Cross-platform. Start-up owners with limited funding may initially consider a single platform and later expand to multiple platforms.

1. App Development Cost based on Type

The type of application you choose significantly impacts development costs. For instance, mobile apps often need development for both iOS and Android platforms, which increases complexity and expenses. Applications can generally be classified as follows:

2. Native App Development

Native app development focuses on creating an applications for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, using platform-specific languages like Swift for iOS and Kotlin for Android. As a result, the cost of native app development typically ranges from $10,000 to $250,000, depending on factors like complexity, features, and developer rates.

3. Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform app development uses modern frameworks like Flutter or React Native to create an apps. These apps can run smoothly on multiple platforms or devices with a single codebase. As a result, the cost for creating an app of cross-platform app development typically ranges from $20,000 to $150,000, which is often lower compared to native development.

4. Web app development

Web app development entails creating applications that can operate on web browsers across different devices. Consequently, the cost of building a web app varies from $10,000 to $100,000, with additional expenses for ongoing hosting and maintenance.

5. Progressive Web App Development

PWAs merge the capabilities of web and mobile apps, providing a native-like experience on web browsers. Therefore, the cost of developing a progressive web app (PWA) typically ranges from $15,000 to $100,000, with additional considerations for offline functionality and app-like features.

App Development Cost Based on Operating System

The development cost of an app can fluctuate based on its complexity and the operating system it targets. Below is a cost estimate breakdown per operating system:

iOS App Development

Developing an iOS app involves crafting applications for Apple devices, utilizing the iOS operating system and programming languages like Swift or Objective-C. The cost typically falls between $25,000 and $250,000, varying based on the app’s complexity, features, and developer rates. More to this, getting a tailored application can also increase the over cost of mobile app development services.

Android App Development

Android app development is centred around creating applications for devices running the Android operating system, using programming languages such as Java or Kotlin. The cost of Android app development can range from $20,000 to $250,000 or more for advanced applications.

Windows App Development

Windows app development is aimed at devices running Microsoft Windows operating systems. The typical cost of Windows app development ranges from $20,000 to $200,000 or more for comprehensive applications designed specifically for the Windows platform.

App Development Cost Based on Technology

Here is how much does it cost to create an app based on choice of technology:

React Native App Development

Developing React Native apps entails using the React Native framework to create cross-platform applications for both iOS and Android. Consequently, the cost of building React Native apps generally ranges from $20,000 to $150,000.

Swift App Development

Swift app development is centred around creating native iOS applications using the Swift programming language. The cost of Swift app development typically ranges from $10,000 to $250,000 or more for sophisticated apps with advanced functionality tailored for iOS devices.

Flutter App Development

Flutter app development typically ranges from $15,000 to $200,000, depending on factors such as project scope, target audience, and budget. For a Flutter app with simple and basic features, the cost may fall between $8,000 to $60,000. A Flutter app with medium complexity can cost around $60,000 to $120,000, while a high-complexity Flutter app with multiple integrations may cost between $140,000 to $200,000.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an App?

After deploying your app on the server, the journey doesn’t end there. Continuous monitoring and maintenance are crucial to ensure that your app runs smoothly, remains secure, and meets the evolving needs of its users.

The cost of maintaining an app can vary based on several factors, including the frequency of required updates, the complexity of the app, the technology stack employed, and the size of the dedicated development team.

Typically, app maintenance costs range from 20% to 45% of the app development cost during the first year after development. This includes bug fixes, feature additions, updates, and implementation of user feedback.

Furthermore, maintenance costs can be substantial for native Android or iOS apps. On average, you should budget around $500 per month to keep such apps running smoothly. For instance, if your mobile app development cost is $100,000, you can expect to spend approximately $20,000 annually on managing your app

In Conclusion

In conclusion, determining the cost of creating a mobile app in 2024 involves a careful evaluation of various factors, including the app’s complexity, features, platform choice, and development approach. While rough estimates can be derived from industry standards and averages, it’s essential to recognize that each app is unique and may require a tailored approach to cost estimation. By understanding the key components that influence app development costs, such as pre-research and planning, design, development, testing, and platform selection, businesses can make more informed decisions and budget accordingly.


Moreover, the increasing popularity of cross-platform development frameworks and progressive web apps offers cost-effective alternatives to traditional native app development, providing more flexibility and scalability for businesses of all sizes. Ultimately, the cost of creating an app in 2024 can vary widely depending on the specific requirements and goals of the project, but with careful planning and strategic decision-making, businesses can optimise cost to develop an app.

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