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How Much Does Mobile App Development Cost?
22 NOV 2022

Everyone who decides to develop a mobile application faces the question of how much mobile app development costs. Those who have little development experience will think that creating a mobile application is not very expensive because it is much easier to write an application on a smartphone than on a desktop, if only because phones work at first glance easier than computers.

However, this answer is fundamentally wrong. Mobile app development processes can be several times more expensive than a desktop one. Just think about how many screens a designer needs to draw to get a good user interface. 

We are not talking about the fact that modern smartphones are very complex devices, for which it is necessary to adjust the development. And, of course, it is important to consider that there are at least two popular operating systems, iOS and Android, for which you need to make separate applications or develop one but cross-platform.

As you can see, the cost of developing a mobile application depends on many factors. If the contractor says the exact price at the very start, most likely the company does not have much experience in development. To protect our customers from unscrupulous performers, we wrote this article. You’ll learn how the cost of app development is calculated, what unexpected factors affect it, and why a full-fledged app can’t cost $20,000. Go!

Is mobile app development profitable?

Before we talk about how much does mobile app development cost, we need to work out how profitable it is to make a mobile app.

It’s no secret that the mobile app market is growing. This has been greatly affected by the pandemic. When people did not have the opportunity to leave their homes, downloads of various mobile applications increased by tens of percent. In 2020, apps for food delivery, mental health, and exercise at home have skyrocketed. And that’s not counting social media and video conferencing apps like Zoom. They were at the height of their popularity. Increased attention to mobile applications by users has generated a demand among entrepreneurs for their development. And high demand has affected the price.

After the pandemic, the demand for mobile apps continued to grow, so we can safely say that developing a mobile app in 2022 is a good idea. Here are a few pieces of statistics that will help you better understand the market:  
  • More than 100,000 applications are posted on Google Play every month, and more than 30,000 on the App Store.
  • Despite the development costs, 92% of the apps on the stores are free. Many of them are monetized through internal advertising or access to premium content/features. However, users do not pay anything for downloading.
  • Statista predicts the mobile app industry will grow to $1 trillion by 2023. This annual revenue will be achieved if the mobile app trend that started in 2020 continues. But now we can say that it is so.
  • Mobile app development is expected to earn nearly $500 billion by 2026.
  • And finally, 90% of people on the Internet use mobile applications. Users spend about 4 hours a day on their phone, and most of that time they use apps.
All this data suggests that now is the time to start a mobile app development process. Perhaps you already have an idea of what kind of application you want to create, or you just decided that you want to make a mobile startup. In any case, write to Brivian. Together, we will analyze your idea and help you realize it.

What affects the price of an app?

The cost of developing a mobile application is influenced by many factors, ranging from a mobile app development agency to the economic situation in the world. We propose to deal with the factors that entrepreneurs can choose: country and development team, technical stack, number of features, and so on.

Mobile app development services you need 

The development of a mobile application begins with the choice of services that you want to receive from the contractor. There is a direct relationship: the more services, the more expensive the final product. 

Traditionally, the mobile app development process begins with marketing research, during which competitors and interesting features are identified. If you skip this step to save money, you can end up with an app that has a lot of analogues on the market.

After that, you need to select those features that will be included in the first version of the app. This may be the minimum functionality if you are making an MVP or a complete set of features. In any case, both you and your contractor should understand at the initial stages how the product will look as a result of development. For this, an approximate overview of features is needed.

The next stage is the design and development of the application. This is the most labor-intensive part of the project and the most expensive, accordingly. We will talk about the features of this later. If you want to know more about mobile development tech stack, keep reading.

When the application is ready, it’s time to release it. Depending on the specifics of the application, it can be published in one or more application stores, shown to investors or a focus group for feedback. The contractor will need all this to fix bugs after the release, taking into account user feedback.

Each of these mobile app development services has its price. Ideally, go through all these stages with one development team. This way you will maintain the integrity of the project and will not think about where to find new contractors. Choose a team that suits your budget and whose members you feel comfortable communicating with and start development!

Technical stack

The technologies with which the application will be developed also significantly affect its cost. The mobile app development process includes the choice of operating systems for which the application is being created. The product can be a cross-platform or native. It all depends on your budget and goals.

A cross-platform app is an app written using the React Native framework. To create such a product, you need to hire a mobile app development agency with expertise in this technology. Cross-platform apps are developed faster because it is enough for the team to code once and adapt it for Android and iOS. 

The advantage of cross-platform development is that you can test the idea in different markets and among different users, as well as present investors with an app with a nice user interface and core features. This way, you will quickly get feedback from the target audience and improve the application.

Native apps are created separately for each operating system. To develop an Android application, you will need to hire a mobile app development agency that works in Kotlin or Java. And to create an iOS application, the team must be able to write in Swift. Sometimes you have to hire two teams for this, but it is much more efficient to find one but with expertise in two programming languages. Brivian, for example, can make both cross-platform and native applications for any platform.

A native app has its advantages. Let’s say you plan to scale the application in the future: add new functionality or complex features. It will be easier to do this with an application written in a native language. Also, a native app is good to develop when you want to interact with only one market — for instance, with iPhone users.

Each tech stack option has its downsides, though. A native application is more expensive than a cross-platform one, but it is easier to scale. A React Native product is suitable for an MVP, but a full-fledged application is better to be made native. We advise you to choose a technology stack at the stage when you have decided on the market and the target audience of the application.

To invest in an application that will bring profit and attract customers, contact the experts. Leave a request at the end of the article or here, and Brivian experts will answer all questions about the implementation of your idea.

Team’s location

The next factor that affects the price of developing a mobile application is the location where the contractors are located. In a nutshell, North America develops the most expensive applications, while Asia Pacific develops the cheapest. Let’s study the map in more detail to understand in which country to look for a mobile app development agency.

The most expensive app development process in the US is $120-150 an hour, while the same product can cost you $20-30 an hour in India. However, it is important to understand that the hourly rate will differ depending on:  
  • application development programming language (Swift, Java, Kotlin, PHP, JavaScript, Golang),
  • complexity of the project, involved specialists (programmers, testers, scrum master, business analyst, project manager),
  • their qualifications (senior, middle, or junior).

Average hourly mobile app development cost by country (region)

The average hourly mobile app development cost by country (region).

Sometimes the cost of developing an application is not directly related to its quality. You can pay $100,000 to develop an MVP in America and not get a result you like. At the same time, if you want to save money on mobile app development services and buy an app in a region with a low cost of services, you risk wasting time and money on a low-quality product.

In matters of choosing a mobile app development agency, we advise you to pay attention to reviews about the company, portfolio of cases, website and blog. If the contractor has a good reputation, it makes sense to start working with him. The same goes for the company website. Don’t like the color scheme or UI/UX design? Inconvenient or complicated user interface? Buttons not working? Most likely, such a mobile app development agency will not be able to satisfy your expectations.

Why can’t a quality app cost $20,000?

We talked a lot about the factors that affect the cost of an application. If you put them all together, it turns out that the mobile app development process is a difficult path that requires a lot of money and time.

However, there are still companies that talk about making a complete app for $30,000. Why is it impossible? The fact is that every mobile app development service and every feature that you want to add to the application is team time. And as you know, time is money. Here is the approximate cost of basic features that are in almost every application.   




Login via email, social media, etc. Password recovery. Logout 30-40 hours $1200-1500
File uploading, including photo & video 20-30 hours $800-1200
Profile completion & editing  80-90 hours $2800-3600
Basic search 15-18 hours $800-1000
Basic messaging 160-170 hours $6400-6800
Push notifications 25-30 hours $1000-1300
Basic admin panel  70-90 hours $2500-3600

If you want to know how much it costs to develop these features in our company, leave a request in the form below.

If you add additional features to this list, as well as testing, support and further improvement of the application, a rather large amount comes out. However, this money is an investment that you make to create a quality application that will attract many users and bring you income in the future.

Therefore, we do not recommend saving on development. Even if your goal is to make an MVP, look for contractors who will provide you with good mobile app development services. After all, in the best case, your minimum viable product will turn into a full-fledged application. Therefore, you even need to stratify from a quality project.

If you have an idea for an app, please fill out the form eaither below or here. Our experts will tell you how much mobile app development costs. Together you will select a list of features depending on your goals and budget.
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