If you’re thinking about building a mobile app, you’re in good company. Millions of apps are available on the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play Store, with an estimated 38 billion app downloads per quarter. In addition, people spend more time looking at apps than watching TV (which is saying a lot these days!)

So, now is a great time to build an app. However, whether you want to develop an app to generate revenue for your business, for internal communications with your team and customers, or to improve business processes for your startup, it’s going to cost money. 

How much money it will cost to build a mobile app depends on several factors. But, really, it all comes down to how much time it will take to develop your app. The more advanced your app, the more it’s going to cost. The more basic the app, the less it’s going to cost.

Elements of Building a Mobile App

Here’s a breakdown of some specific elements that will impact the final cost you’ll pay for a mobile app. Keep in mind that once your app is built and launched, there will still be costs associated with upkeep and maintenance.  

Development team

To start with, different developers have different price points. There are even some companies that will let you build a cookie-cutter app with no developers. If you have a very minimal budget and need the cheapest possible solution, that might be your best bet. 

Of course, you get what you pay for here. By skipping out on paying developers, you miss out on the knowledge and experience they bring to your app, which will impact your app’s quality. The same is true if you decide to work with an individual freelancer who may not have the right experience to deliver the app you need.

If you’re building an app for monetization purposes, you should go with someone who is experienced. However, paying for professionals doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune. For example, at Confianz, we have teams of qualified offshore developers who are available at a lower cost than domestic developers. In addition, our developers have experience working with a range of industries. We can help you build a team that matches your specifications based on your industry. 

iOS vs. Android

The next thing to consider is whether you want your app built for iOS, Android, or both platforms. Building for both platforms will cost more upfront, but you might be able to make that money back by getting more downloads. 

Features

You’re probably not surprised to learn that adding more features to your app means paying more money. So, if you want to save on costs, limit the number of features your app has. Remember that it’s possible to add more features later, as your app gets downloads and starts generating revenue. There’s a careful balance, though, between saving money on features upfront and ensuring that you have enough features to give your users a positive experience.

The category “features” is somewhat all-encompassing, so let’s break it down even further. Features include everything from sounds and animations to user registration, login, and search. Each of these individual features takes time to develop, which adds on to the overall cost. This remains true as you start adding more advanced features, like chat, messaging, and push notifications.

For example, E-commerce apps will cost more than other basic apps because they need features like a shopping cart, secure checkout, and payment integration. It can take around 50 hours to add these features, which will be reflected in the final cost. Another example is social media apps. Adding the messaging features required of social media apps can take 80 hours or longer, which will, again, be reflected in your total price.

Pricing Model

You have a few choices when it comes to pricing your app. First, you can charge for an initial download and then keep the rest of the app content free. This gives you money every time someone downloads your app, but you miss out on in-app purchases. 

The other option is the opposite, in which users can download your app for free and then buy in-app purchases. You can also get ad revenue from a free app. 

Your app will need to be built according to your monetization model, which will affect your cost.

Design

It’s a good idea to work with a professional UI/UX designer, especially if you plan on monetizing your app. A professional designer will be able to make your app look visually appealing while ensuring that it is accessible and functional for users. 

So, How Much Does it Cost to Build a Mobile App?

Let’s get to the real reason you’re here. You likely want to get a better idea of how much you should expect to spend on a mobile app so you can budget appropriately and make sure that you aren’t getting ripped off by a company in the process.

Unfortunately, there’s not one good answer because there are so many different variables involved in building an app. It’s like asking someone how much a car is. The price will vary depending on the make, model, mileage, features, and more. 

Just like there isn’t one set price for buying a car, there’s no one set price for building a mobile app. An app with all the bells and whistles, plus a killer design and logo, will cost significantly more than a cookie-cutter app that only performs basic functions.

Because there are so many factors involved, the cost to build a mobile app can range from under $15,000 to over $100,000. To narrow it down, you can use our app cost calculator to get a good idea of how much an app will cost you based on things like whether users will need to register a profile, how they will log in, design choices, and more.

Are you thinking about building a mobile app? We want to hear all about it! 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.