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What Are The Factors Affecting The Cost Of Mobile App Development?

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Businesses today are increasingly mindful of their investments and expenses to ensure better returns and resource consumption. While expenses like marketing campaign budgets are negotiable, mobile app development costs are non-negotiable.
Indeed, an application has transitioned from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for businesses. Users now prioritize easy-to-use, accessible, and interactive applications, acknowledging that such apps can be expensive.

Nevertheless, these applications can be considered investments, as they can yield significant ROI and enable businesses to reach a broader audience. Understanding the factors influencing app development costs can help businesses save a considerable amount of money. By planning the application and its functionality effectively, costs can be reduced. To learn more about the key factors affecting the cost of mobile app development, continue reading this blog post.

Estimating the cost of mobile app development

The price of building a mobile app may vary significantly based on a variety of variables. Exactly how much does it cost to develop an app?

According to Clutch, a typical software costs $171,450 to develop, but an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) may be built for $10,000 to $20,000.

The wide variation in app development prices is due to various variables, including the product’s complexity, the density of its features, the vendor’s location, the system software or platform, and others. To figure out how much an app will cost to create, we’ll look at all factors in more depth.

According to a report, mobile users consume over 50% of the total internet traffic. and over double the amount of time as desktop users.

On average, consumers download 30 apps each month, and mobile applications account for 57% of all digital media consumption.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of The Mobile App Development

The App’s Type and Size

Depending on business requirements, different types of applications can be chosen. They can be categorized into three types based on functionality:

Basic/Simple apps

These applications are developed using a single platform and consist of standard user interface components for limited functionalities. They primarily provide information to users and have minimal usage. Examples include calculators and weather apps. Basic apps are typically small in size and may not require backend development or API integration.
Basic app development cost: $10,000 – $15,000

Data-driven app

Calendars, maps, and weather solutions are all examples of data-driven applications that receive a large amount of data, evaluate it, and share this with users. These types of apps have dwindled in usefulness over the past several years and are now often launched as side effects. How much would it cost to build a data-processing application?
Data-driven app development cost: $15,000 – $20,000

Social network app

Social networking applications – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on – are self-explanatory. They must manage millions of interactions, conversations, and the sharing of information between individuals. All this requires a robust infrastructure service and a higher initial investment. How much would it cost to develop a social networking application?

Social network app development cost: $60,000 – $300,000

Apps with user authentication and personalized data

An authenticating app is like a loyalty app in that users must log in to access certain features. The program saves and syncs user data across devices. This is a more complex, and therefore more costly, project which will necessitate user monitoring.
Authentication app development cost: $40,000 – $80,000
Example: Loyalty app by Starbucks

eCommerce app

Amazon, Alibaba, and other markets provide eCommerce applications. They need a broader range of services, including registration process, human engagement, catalogs, category pages and details, and payment methods. We offer a price estimate for a simple eCommerce app.

Simple eCommerce app development cost: $60,000 – $300,000


Moderate apps

These applications offer more features and functionalities compared to simple apps, such as personalized user experiences and payment options. They often require API integration and involve advanced data processing. Examples include e-commerce, news, and social media apps. As they are developed for multiple platforms, moderate apps are of medium size.

Complex apps

These applications have intricate user interfaces, require real-time data processing, and offer extensive functionalities. They often integrate third-party services. Examples include ride-sharing, food delivery, and enterprise mobile apps. Due to backend programming requirements, complex apps are typically large in size.

Complex app development cost:$50000-$500000

The choice of application type depends on the specific requirements. Many startups opt for basic or moderate apps. The complexity of the application significantly influences the cost of mobile app development, as higher functionalities entail increased time and cost.

Operating systems for devices - iOS vs Android

The choice of operating system significantly impacts the cost of mobile app development, including maintenance expenses. Here are the cost considerations for both iOS and Android platforms:


Android stands out as one of the most popular operating systems among app developers for several reasons:
A. Apps are highly compatible with various devices and screen sizes.
B. Google Play Store charges a one-time registration fee, which is comparatively lower than Apple App Store fees.

C. Android app developers often charge less than iOS developers, as expertise in Java or Kotlin is sufficient for development.

However, there is a significant drawback to developing for Android. These apps require extensive testing and optimization across various devices and operating system versions due to the platform’s wide compatibility range.


Businesses often explore iOS apps due to their compatibility with a limited number of devices, making it easier to optimize performance. Nonetheless, iOS apps tend to be subtly more expensive than Android apps due to the following reasons:

A. The need for Mac hardware, enrollment fees in the Apple Development program, and compliance with stringent App Store review processes.
B. iOS app users typically spend more on in-app purchases compared to Android users.

Alternatively, businesses can opt for cross-platform apps to mitigate the challenges of choosing between iOS and Android. These apps offer a cost-effective solution by utilizing a single codebase deployable across multiple platforms.

Devices and Platforms

The cost of mobile apps depends on the platform and device they’re developed for. Platforms like Android, iOS, or cross-platform options all affect development costs.

Developing for Android means dealing with various device types, including TVs and watches, which adds complexity and cost. iOS apps, on the other hand, are limited to iPads and iPhones. But they require learning Swift, Apple’s programming language and following strict rules, making them more expensive. Device type and generation also matter.
Generally, Android apps are cheaper to develop than iOS ones. Knowing these factors helps businesses plan and budget for app development effectively.

The Development Team’s Structure and Location

Hiring an excellent team to build a mobile app certainly comes at a price. However, this expense is crucial, as the right team can help reduce the overall cost of app development by selecting the ideal framework, platform, and ensuring compliance for user security.

Businesses have the option to choose a freelance app developer for end-to-end app development at a budget-friendly price, or they can opt for a team with dedicated personnel for each stage of development. While selecting a team may increase development costs, having a reliable team can yield desirable results within set timelines.

In addition to team structure, the team’s location also impacts app development costs. If the team is based in the same office or city, it becomes easier to manage timelines, which further influences the determinants of mobile app development costs.

Mobile Application UI/UX

The look and feel of your application are paramount to customer engagement. This aspect, often defined as User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), is the cornerstone of a well-made application. As the saying goes, “the first impression is the last impression.” Therefore, the design of the UI, logos, content flow, wireframes, and ease of usability are crucial and can be achieved by hiring an expert in the field. UI/UX designers’ pricing varies based on their experience, the complexity of the applications, and the design elements involved.

App Security Costs

If there is one area where a business should not cut costs or second-guess their decision, it’s app security. Undoubtedly, it is the most vital component as it protects the app and its users against security threats, data breaches, and fraudulent activities.
According to a recent report, smartphones have an average of 80 installed applications. Improperly secured applications can pose potential risks to users. Today, people store crucial data on their phones for better accessibility, making it crucial to have the right security measures in place. While implementing excellent security measures may impact the pricing of app development, it ensures the safety of user data, which is of utmost priority.

Maintenance and Marketing costs of an app

Maintenance is pivotal for ensuring the smooth functioning of an application, involving checking for bugs, security threats, and overall performance. Marketing, on the other hand, helps reach a wider audience. Strategizing marketing campaigns raises awareness of the brand, its app, and services, potentially increasing revenue streams. Both maintenance and marketing are indispensable parts of app development often overlooked in budgeting, thus termed hidden costs.

Functionalities and Features of an app

Functionalities and features are key factors in mobile app budgeting. Apps with limited functionalities, such as standard user interface components, are generally less expensive than those requiring access to features like GPS or camera permissions. These additional functionalities contribute to the overall cost of your mobile application.

Choosing the business model

Businesses select the type of applications based on their specific requirements, target users, products or services, and app usability. These factors directly affect both the timeline and cost of mobile app development. For instance, simple apps designed for internal communication or information sharing tend to be less expensive compared to e-commerce apps. In summary, the type of business and its desired outcomes significantly influence the cost of app development.

The price of developing a mobile app

The cost of developing a mobile app varies depending on factors such as complexity, platform, and functionalities. It typically starts from $5000 for basic apps and can go up to $500,000 for complex and feature-rich apps. However, the pricing also depends on the location of the development team and their charges.


Today, businesses prioritize cost-effective applications that are user-friendly, engaging, and aligned with their goals. Understanding the various factors influencing mobile app development enables businesses to strategically plan their app, considering its complexity, functionalities, and essential components necessary for excellence.
However, having the right team of experts is crucial, as they can assist businesses in allocating their resources wisely based on their specific requirements. With the guidance of skilled professionals, businesses can ensure optimal investment in their applications, leading to successful outcomes.

At Zennaxx, our expert team has assisted numerous businesses in building mobile apps through adequate planning, research, and innovative, customer-centric approaches. Leveraging our experience and expertise, we can help you reach millions of app users and capitalize on the potential of mobile apps as the best platforms to connect with your customers.


How does the complexity of an app affect its development cost?

The complexity of the application directly influences the cost of app development. Straightforward applications with minimal requirements require less time, resources, and effort to build. Conversely, applications with more requirements and added functionalities typically demand more time, cost, and expertise to develop. Apps that are quicker to build result in lower costs. Therefore, the complexity of an app can significantly impact its development cost.

Factors such as the complexity of the app, platform, design, composition of the development team, security, maintenance, functionalities, updates, quality assurance, and integration are key considerations for estimating app development costs.

Clarity regarding the app’s requirements, functionalities, integrations, APIs, complexity, preferred platform, development team charges, and marketing budget is essential for determining the cost of developing an app.

Want to develop a software as per your business needs?



Kunal Vaja

Founder & CEO, Zennaxx
Kunal Vaja is founder of Zennaxx, a prominent software and mobile app development company. With 10+ years of IT consulting experience, he specializes in mobile app and software development, UI UX design, and DirectX. Kunal is dedicated to assisting businesses in turning their concepts into successful software, websites, or mobile apps that foster innovation and deliver tangible value for clients.


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