Cost To Develop A Custom Application: A Complete Guide

Krunal Shah

Feb 09, 2021

11 min readLast Updated Feb 10, 2021

Custom Application Development

How much will it cost to create a custom application? This is the most asked question by every business house owner and aspiring app entrepreneur.

There’s no fixed price when it comes to developing a completely useful custom application. No application development team can give you an exact number of the cost without knowing their specific requirements.

When it comes to developing custom applications there are so many components affecting its final price. The only answer to “how much will it cost to create an app” is that it depends on a good variety of factors.

That is exactly what we are going to study further in this article, we are going to be discussing the various factors considered while evaluating the cost of the custom app development.

Table of Content

Before starting, let’s examine some key statistics that evaluate the basic custom app development cost.

How much does it cost: Estimate?

According to Statistica, there were close to 218 BILLION mobile app downloads in 2020.

Mobile app downloads worldwide

Usually, the cost of building a mobile app usually ranges from $100,000 to $500,000, generally more, according to a variety of surveys.

  • Clutch estimated $171,450 as a median price for app development in a survey done for app development agencies.
  • In 2017, the mean cost of mobile app development is estimated to be $140,000, in a survey done by VDC enterprise app developers.
  • In 2014, $270,000 is estimated as the average cost in a survey done by Kinvey and claimed that the custom app development is, expensive and frustrating.
  • A feature-rich app may cost from $267,000 to $360,000, which is an estimation provides by various corporations done by cost calculators.
  • With over 25% budgeting over $1.5 million, an EMM survey showed over 75% of enterprises budgeting over $250,000 for quality solutions.

A recent study shows, in 2020, the number of mobile users worldwide stood at 6.95 billion, with forecasts suggesting this can rise to 7.1 billion by 2021. In 2024, the number of mobile users worldwide is predicted to succeed at 7.41 billion.

As the number of mobile users increased, entrepreneurs noticed that apps may benefit businesses just like users. And this transformation took the apps market from an unsteady investment field into an enormous industry.

Therefore, here’s an in-depth analysis of how much will it cost to develop a mobile app in 2021.

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Factors affecting the cost of custom app development

Factors affecting the cost of custom app development

When you start out to develop an app, you can not expect your custom application development company to tell you the costs right off the bat. They have to research your primary requirements first. Before they sent you a quote, the team of developers evaluates the hours that will be needed to implement your specifications.

The most important factors that have an effect on development costs are:

  • Project Type(social, e-commerce, healthcare)
  • Feature and complexity
  • Platform
  • Design complexity
  • Third-party integrations
  • Supported browsers and OS
  • App Development Team
  • Location worldwide

Let’s focus on some of these aspects.

Feature and complexity

Types of Mobile Apps

The cost to build an app depends on how complex the application is you are trying to build. The biggest cost drivers in-app development is not only the functionality but also the number and complexity of the implemented functions. Screens, buttons, fields, and the logic required are of great importance.

We need to understand not all custom applications are the same. The process is different on various platforms. The lowdown on iOS and Android app development is that it takes time to implement certain app features, so let's create a ranking based on moderate time needs.

  • A basic application with simple functionality requires approximately 500-800 hours of development. Schedule: 3-6 months.
  • A medium complexity application takes between 800 and 1200 hours. Schedule of 5 to 9 months.
  • A complex application that is time-consuming in most cases exceeds 1200 hours. Term: 8+ months.

Moreover, some typical features like user sign-in, push notifications, navigation, etc. won’t take much time. But, features like credit card payment, online streaming, offline mode, etc. may take more time.


mobile application platform

To create a mobile application, it is important to follow a tiered approach, where a long and successful journey begins with a single simpler step. Even though it’s expensive and risky, the perfect approach is to build an application for both platforms at the same time.

For instance, Instagram, first launched on iOS in 2010, became available to Android users only four years later, i., In 2014.

Cross-platform or hybrid app development is a great choice if you want to have both iOS and Android apps. The only problem is, you usually need a separate team for a specific platform and the cost of creating the app doubles.

Is there any price difference in developing a custom application for Android and iOS?

Not really, in case you are building an app for a single platform, there is no significant price discrepancy in the costs of creating apps for Android and iOS, but be prepared to pay more money for development, if you want your app to support two or more platforms.

Design complexity

The issue of fragmentation plays a significant role while considering the platform to travel ahead with. On one hand, Apple contains a restricted range of devices that run on iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod) that are principally updated to the most recent version (iOS 11) of the software system. On the other hand, there are lots of smartphones and tablets that run on automaton with varied screen sizes and side ratios. It implies that your app ought to be appropriate for all of them.

App design affects the whole process of application development. In conclusion, the more complex the design is, the more expensive the application becomes.

Third-party Integrations

According to the Clutch survey, the largest cost driver is not the features of the app but the infrastructure, which includes 3rd part integration.

There are lots of third-party integrations that will boost your development speed, as well as category-specific ones. However, third-party integrations typically offer inconsistent and complex documentation.

Therefore, extra time spent baffling out the way to integrate them into your app. Additionally, you’ll probably get to pay a fee to use these services.

Supported browsers

When developing a web application, you ought to confirm it supports the most recent versions of the highest browsers like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. It is essential for an iOS app to be compatible with the latest version and the previous versions of the iPhone and also should support the latest and former versions of iOS.

For Android apps, the quantity of devices is far greater.

These are the three factors that influence our call regarding the android devices to support:

  • The size of the market share for every android device manufacture
  • Clients Preferences
  • Popular devices on the market that the app is being developed for

Additional devices will mean longer spent adapting the application for numerous screen sizes, resolutions, and hardware specifications. it'll also mean more time spent testing.

However, if you decide to support solely the foremost popular android devices, the value of the development for Android is going to be basically the same. Given the fragmentation of the android market, it takes longer to create an android app than an iOS app, and for this very reason, the value could also be higher.

App development team

It is necessary to collaborate with the right developing partner who shares identical professional values and has the required technical skills. Accountable software engineers ought to be your prime priority if you wish to finish up with a high-quality product, thus you are required to take recruiting method seriously.

For those that don't want to hire in-house developers on a permanent basis, IT outsourcing is the best alternative.

To outsource app development, you can either hire a freelancer or you can turn to an IT outsourcing company to take care of your project at all stages from planning to updating post-production.

When choosing the path also an entrepreneur has to choose an engagement model - the contractual basis for the cooperation, which defines the work process.

Location: Cost of a custom application worldwide

Location is the next major factor that influences the price of developing an application significantly.

Most app development destinations worldwide are North America(America & Canada), South America(Brazil, Mexico, etc), Eastern Europe, UK, Australia, Asia(India), and Indonesia.

So, how much does it cost per hour to create an app in these regions?

RegionPrice Range ($/hour)
North America$20-$250
South America$25-$120
Eastern Europe$20-$110
Indonesia$20 max.

Hourly rates in two leading destinations in Europe - Ukraine and Poland - range between $34-$64 and $40-$77.

Now that you have understood the price ranges of different regions, take a look at the cost breakdown of these regions for iOS and Android.

So, how much will it cost per hour to create an app in these regions?

Let’s review the newest information regarding how much app developers charge per hour to work it out.

North America(America & Canada)$150$168
South America(Brazil, Mexico, etc)$43$34
Eastern Europe$35$35

Clearly, the most expensive region is North America(America and Canada) due to its hourly rate.

India and Indonesia are the cheapest options by now, with India being the leading offshore destination.


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Cost of a development team at each phase

cost of a development team at each phase

A basic team required for app development consists of 1 project manager, one computer code engineer, one UI/UX designer, and one QA engineer. For a lot of advanced comes it will be extended by hiring a project manager, a pair of three-four programmers, one back-end developer, two UI/UX designers, a QA engineer, and a system administrator.

Therefore, no matter the dimensions and scope of the custom app project, the stages stay the same.

In order to search out the duties of each team member, surf the table below:

  • Business Analysis
  • UI/UX design and Prototyping
  • App development
  • Project management
  • App testing and deployment
  • Ongoing support and maintenance

As an associate entrepreneur, it'll facilitate understanding the prices at every phase, because it helps set up your budget.

Business Analysis

A Business Analyst is a person responsible for gathering requirements, identifying tech and business problems, analyzing competitors, defining project value, writing project specifications.

The works of Business Analysts impact the cost of developing an app.

You might have a winning mobile app idea. But it is important for the concept must run through market research (competitor analysis), the app requires verification and proper(functional and non-functional) documentation.

  • Experienced entrepreneurs assign around 10% of the entire app development budget to the business analysis phase.
  • with a timeline of 2-4 weeks, the business analysis section might value something from $1,200 to $11,000.

UI/UX Design and Prototyping

Design and Prototyping

First impressions are important! And therefore, you'll require a perfect UI/UX style to form that exceptional initial impression of your app.

The design should give the users the experience of engaging and getting excited about it. It's good to get a clickable prototype once your app requirements specifications are in place.

You will get your click-through prototype with tools, such as:

  • InVision
  • Marvel
  • Adobe XD

Therefore, the prototyping tools are supported by a subscription model and they can seamlessly slot in your team’s workflow.

  • Typically, the planning prices in mobile app development range from $2,500 to $10,000.

App Development

Unlike custom app development phases, the prices related to programming and coding are more than different. You'll realize that there are sometimes two or three members of the coding team.

This phase requires plenty of teamwork.

  • The app design and practicality development costs range from $2,000 to $60,000.

Project management

Project Managers coordinate the work of the complete team and ensure the product is going to be prepared in time and fits all the requirements. In turn, the correct management approach contains a nice impact on custom application development costs.

  • This phase of the project management stage in custom app development prices ranges from $1,200 to $12,000.

App Testing and Development

Testing maybe a crucial aspect of your app development, because it upholds the standard of your product. You may incorporate precise checking protocols throughout your app development process.

After building your app, uncalled-for to say, you will need to test it once more to see if it’s able to be launched. Associate in-depth testing stage ensures that your users face stripped problems in terms of lags or glitches.

  • Usually, the app testing and deployment part prices are not up to $5,000.

Support and maintenance

Well, there are completely different views within the trade concerning that. However, it conjointly depends upon the quality of the app, the technology which has been used, the platform that the app was built, and far more. Therefore, Consultants typically counsel that app maintenance will price 15-20% of the entire development cost.

Mobile app maintenance usually includes:

  • Fixing bugs
  • Updating your app to the newest OS versions
  • Upgrading the app to create it compatible with new technologies
  • Code optimization
  • Improving app stability
  • Scale-up the server infrastructure because the range of users grows
  • Mobile app development is associated degree in progress process, and you ought to keep upgrading your app to reap the advantages of advanced technologies

You can read further about the cost of mobile application maintenance in this blog.

Offshore Software Development Rates

A Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Offshoring Partner

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Why hire a custom application development partner?

Before choosing the right development partner, it is important to do the research and choose the right team to minimize your cost.

Offshoring your app development isn't as a hassle as it might seem. Communicating with your overseas team may seem difficult, but not impossible. Even if you live in different time zones and there is a 10 to 12 hour gap, remote teams are eagerly making progress and trying to meet all organizational requirements.

India, a leading country worldwide opted for custom application development with the lowest cost range, with a team of experts should be your best choice for app development.

Why Third Rock Techkno?

Developing a custom application is an extensive and expensive process. It takes a lot of expertise and hard work to build a successful custom application.

We, at Third Rock Techkno, help you build your application in an effective and easy way.

Build World-Class Software at Competitive Rates

We prioritize value over cost. Our industry experts both in the US and in India ensure your unique software needs are met while also maximizing the ROI.

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