The Costs of Custom Mobile App Development

Tips from Top Mobile Developers

Outsourcing mobile app development can provide organizations with cost-effective access to experienced developers who can develop high-quality mobile applications while allowing organizations to focus on their core business objectives. 

Despite the changing numbers surrounding the expenses of custom mobile business app development, the question of how much to invest raises more inquiries during the initial stages, with industry surveys showing costs ranging from low six-figures to over one million dollars. 

This article provides information on the crucial aspects of developing a custom mobile app for businesses, aiming to help readers gain a clear understanding of the process and achieve success in their projects. 

Understanding the Costs Involved in Developing and Maintaining Your App 

The first step in knowing how much you’ll pay to develop a custom mobile app for your business is to set realistic expectations for the development costs, considering the increasing number of mobile phone users worldwide. 

The price for developing an app from idea to market correlates with the functional features and demands of the client.

The ballpark figure that is accepted by the industry at large is between $100,000 and $500,000 USD, but small apps with few features can cost between $10,000 and $50,000. 

The cost of keeping your app running each year will equate to 20% of the cost of making the app. This is without factoring changes in trends, new innovative technologies, or major infrastructure issues that could impede the normal running of your app.

How to Calculate Mobile App Development Costs in 2023 

This is the Formula to Calculate the cost of making a custom mobile business app:

(App Features∗Time)∗HourlyRate=Cost

This simple, yet realistic formula, can be used to structure your budget: App features can be separated in different complexity levels as we will see later on in this article. Time stands for the time needed to code the features described in the app’s functional scope. The hourly rate stands for the pricing of your developer, developer team or agency.

Another way to understand and manage costs is to break down the level of complexity of the app. Factors would include features from simple, moderate to complex; the costs estimate per hour would fall in the range of $50 and $100/hour –prices vary in terms of technical expertise, experience level, and geographical location of the app developers appointed to your project.

As of 2023, the average hourly rate for experienced iOS app developers in the US ranges from $120 to $150 per hour. However, the rates can vary based on the developer’s location, experience, and skillset. For instance, junior developers in Eastern Europe may charge a lower hourly rate, typically ranging from $40 to $70 per hour, depending on their experience and expertise. It’s important to consider the developer’s track record and capabilities, rather than focusing solely on the cost, when choosing a development team for your custom mobile app project. 

This table from Think Mobiles gives you some estimates on mobile app costs based on varying complexity levels:

Complexity Features Time, hrs Cost $50/hr Cost $100/hr
Simple No API integration, no back-end, standard UI components, simple features like email subscription, login, calendar, etc. 400 20,000 40,000
Moderate Custom UI features, payment features, API integration, headsets and tablets adaptation, back-end server 500-800 40,000 80,000
Complex Multi-language support, 3rd-party integrations, custom animations, complicated back-end, professional design, real-time features, etc. 800-1500 75,000 150,000

App development cost breakdown typically includes expenses for design, development, testing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance. The original cost of a mobile app development service can vary depending on a range of factors, including the app’s complexity, the team’s experience, expertise, and the geographic location of the developers. It’s important to remember that these development costs are estimates. Here are three examples of popular mobile apps in 2023 and their estimated development costs: 

  1. TikTok is a video-sharing app that has become incredibly popular recently, particularly among younger audiences. According to some reports, the estimated development cost for TikTok was around $1 billion. This is likely due to the app’s sophisticated algorithm, designed to personalize users’ feeds based on their preferences and behavior. 
  2. Uber is a ride sharing app that has revolutionized how people get around in cities worldwide. According to some estimates, the development cost for Uber was around $200,000 to $500,000. However, it’s worth noting that the app has undergone numerous updates and improvements since its initial launch so the total development cost may be much higher. 
  3. Instagram is a social media app allowing users to share videos and photos with friends and followers. The estimated development cost for Instagram was around $500,000, which is relatively low compared to other apps of similar popularity. However, it’s worth noting that Instagram has undergone numerous updates and improvements since its initial launch, so that the total development cost may be higher. 

To estimate your custom mobile app development costs accurately, you can either use online app cost calculators or consult with an experienced developer team. By working with a team that understands the factors affecting app development costs, such as technology, complexity, and size, you can get a realistic budget that aligns with your project goals. While freeware platforms that offer ready-made modules for building mobile apps at no cost are available on the internet, they usually come with ads and lack the sophistication required for custom business app development. Therefore, if you aim to project a professional and refined image, it’s best to avoid such options and invest in a custom mobile app that meets your specific needs. 

Additional Factors Affecting the Cost of App Development 

It’s important to remember that these are just estimates. The actual development costs may vary depending on various factors, such as the app’s complexity, the features required, the development team’s geographic location, and the developers’ hourly rate. Additionally, developing multiple platforms can significantly increase app development pricing. Here are some updated estimated development costs for custom business app development in 2023, based on the platform:

  • Developing a custom business app for iOS can be more expensive than other platforms due to the platform’s closed ecosystem and higher development standards. The estimated development cost for an iOS app is around $150,000 to $250,000. 
  • Developing a custom business app for Android can be less expensive than for iOS due to the platform’s open nature and a broader range of device options. The estimated development cost for an Android app is around $100,000 to $200,000. 
  • Developing a custom business app for Windows can be less expensive than iOS or Android due to the platform’s smaller user base and more limited device options. The estimated development cost for a Windows app is around $75,000 to $150,000. 

Going from idea to product, you might want to consider hiring professional assistance who understands the field of app development to make sure that misunderstandings between you and the developer, or developer team, will not become a big cost factor. 

And don`t forget good freelancers are usually fully booked at least a few weeks in advance, don`t expect immediate availability or just plan in some weeks in advance on your development timeline. Same is true for the price range of good developers or as Benjamin Franklin put it: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.”

Outsourcing Mobile App Development 

Outsourcing mobile app development involves hiring a third-party company or team to develop mobile applications for your organization. Outsourcing mobile app development can be an effective strategy for organizations looking to develop mobile applications while minimizing costs and leveraging external expertise. However, choosing the right outsourcing partner and establishing effective communication and quality assurance processes are crucial to ensure a successful outcome.

Here are some key considerations when outsourcing mobile app development 

  1. Cost 
  2. Expertise 
  3. Flexibility 
  4. Communication 
  5. Quality Assurance 
  6. Intellectual Property Rights 

Outsourcing mobile app development can provide organizations with cost-effective access to experienced developers who can develop high-quality mobile applications while allowing organizations to focus on their core business objectives. 

Final Thoughts: Mobile App Development Cost 2023 

As of 2023, the costs of custom mobile app development vary widely based on a variety of elements such as the difficulty of the app, the platform it will be developed for (iOS, Android, or both), the location and expertise of the development team, the features, and functionality required. Statista states mobile app development cost is expected to grow from $318 billion in 2020 to more than $600 billion by 2025. 

Developing a custom mobile app design cost can range from $10,000 to $500,000 or more, with most projects falling in between. Creating a basic app with standard features and functionality for small- to medium-sized businesses may start at around $20,000. A more difficult app with advanced features and custom app development design could cost $100,000. 

Power Up Your Online Marketing with a Top Mobile App Development Agency 

Agency Partner Interactive is the best mobile app development in Dallas that provides various services; here are some services that our mobile app development agency offers. 

  1. Requirement Analysis 
  2. UI/UX Design 
  3. Native or Hybrid App Development 
  4. Backend Development 
  5. Quality Assurance and Testing 
  6. Maintenance and Support 
  7. Cloud Integration 
  8. Analytics and Reporting 
  9. App Store Optimization (ASO) 

Our mobile app development company experts work closely with you to develop customized marketing strategies for your business needs. Our friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable team makes the experience of working with us enjoyable and stress-free. We are dedicated to helping businesses succeed and are committed to providing exceptional customer service every step of the way. 

Contact us now to discuss your next project in greater detail!