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To ensure your app stands out in the competitive market, collaborating with experienced custom software developers is crucial. These experts not only possess the technical prowess to bring your unique app idea to life but also offer tailored solutions that align with your budget and goals. By investing in skilled custom software developers, you maximize your chances of creating a successful and innovative mobile app in this booming industry.


The cost of app development services depends on several factors. The kind of app you want, the location of your service provider, etc all contribute to the total budget. Typically while calculating the mobile app development cost, businesses tend to factor in only the development phase of the app. What most businesses don’t account for is the hidden cost involved in the pre and post-development phase.  


Let’s have a look at the different phases of an app development process to understand the hidden costs involved. A typical app lifecycle stretches across 4 stages – 

  • Pre-development phase – During this phase, you will be doing market research, competitor analysis, and app analysis. The time and resources involved to do so will affect the cost of the final product. You can expect to spend 10% of your budget for this phase. 
  • Development phase – During this phase, you will partner with service providers to build the app. There are several factors that affect the cost involved in this phase, described in detail below. Usually, it may cost you anywhere upward of $10k, depending on the type and features of the app. 
  • Deployment phase – The deployment phase will take care of licensing/patenting needs, publishing charges, and the cost involved in beta-testing. You might be spending anywhere between $5k – $10k in this process.
  • Maintenance phase – This is the post-development phase of the app, where typical charges include promotion, upgrades, and regular maintenance of the app. It is an ongoing process and is usually about 15% – 20% of the original app development cost.

Why App Fails and What Makes an App Commercially Viable

Research by Statista shows that 25% of the apps installed in 2019 were abandoned after the first use.  One of the main reasons why apps fail is because the businesses lack the foresight to monetize their app properly. Poor research and lack of proper execution also contribute to the success/failure of an app. 


Mobile app development India is a costly affair. You don’t want to invest in something only to meet with a loss in the end. It is important to calculate the ROI expected to be generated from the app, even before beginning the design process. The ROI can be measured by factoring in the development costs and weighing your KPI against them. The KPI metrics could be anything, ranging from the number of new customers gained to a % increase in sales. 


Only when your projected ROI meets the actual returns, will your app add real value to your business. In order to precisely calculate the ROI on an app, it would be wise to understand the different factors that influence the cost of app development. 

Factors that Affect the Cost of App Development 

So how much does app development cost? In short, there are no fixed answers. The rate of app development services hinges on several factors – complexities of the app, type of service provider, post-release expenses, etc. We have already explained how hidden costs may affect your budget for app development. Now we will look at the factors that influence the development phase itself.

Type of App 

Apps are differentiated based on the consumer markets they target. They are broadly categorized into six different segments. In this, we have Lifestyle, Social Media, Utility, Productivity, Games & Entertainment, and News & Information apps. Your app development cost will fluctuate depending on the type of app you wish to build. Expect to spend more on Gaming and entertainment apps, while News & Information apps will cost you less.

Platform Used

Based on the coding technology used, there are three basic types of framework to build an app – Native apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid apps. 

  • Native apps – They are generally faster and more reliable since they are developed for a single platform. This also drives up costs, however, since you would need to duplicate the effort in each different platform. 
  • Web apps – They are accessed via the mobile browser, which means some functionalities may be missing in different browsers. Cost-wise they may be cheaper than native apps since there is no customization needed according to the device platform.
  • Hybrid apps – These are essentially web apps that are put in a native shell. They use a combination of web technologies and native APIs. Although they lack the power and speed of native apps, they are far more economical and quicker to build.

Type of Development Partner

When it comes to choosing a developing partner, you have three options. You may choose to hire a freelancer, outsource the development to an app development company or go with your in-house team. Each provider has its own merits and drawbacks. 

  • Freelancer – While hiring a freelancer might be the cheapest option available, they do not have the same level of expertise or experience as an agency. 
  • InHouse – An in-house team of experts can be your best bet when you want full control over the process, and are planning for a long-term project. However, you should be aware that an in-house team comes with a high set-up cost, and may lack the necessary expertise.
  • App development company – Most businesses opt for a third-party agency to develop their apps. They are faster, cheaper, and offer far greater experience coupled with industry-standard quality. 

Location of Development Partner

Different geographical locations of your service provider will affect the price of app development. The average hourly rate for app development in the U.S. may reach above $200. In Australia, that figure stands at around $110 approximately. In comparison, the eastern European standard is somewhere around $35 per hour. India offers one of the cheapest hourly rates for mobile app development, at approximately $26 an hour. 

Features and Functionalities

Your total budget for mobile app development will squarely rest on the range of features and functionalities you aim to include. Basic features like push notifications, login portals are cheaper compared to more complex ones, like web portals and payment systems.


Research by Clutch.Co estimated the cost of various elements that firms typically invest in. According to the study, 70% of the firms spent less than $5k on push notifications, while 53% spent around $5k – $25k on web portals. 

Size of Resources 

The team size working on the development process will vary depending upon the complexity of the app, and the type of service provider. While a larger team size may ensure quicker development, it also increases the total budget considerably. 

How to Cut Mobile App Development Cost?

There are a number of ways to cut down the development cost, not the least of which is hiring an app development company that gives you a great deal. Look for competitive pricing in the market, when you start searching for app development services. Additionally, you can explore these options during the development phase itself to reduce the cost further.


Cross-platform development

Typically, you would want to develop your app on multiple platforms to reach the largest user base. Typically, this means you need to target both android users and iOS users. While Native apps are faster and more reliable, they are also quite expensive to build across different OS. 


Cross-platform apps include both web apps and hybrid apps. This means you need to hire a single team for a single app that works on both android and iOS platforms. Cross-platform apps are compatible on all devices, hence cheaper and quicker to develop. 


Build an MVP App

Consider building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) app to reduce development costs. An MVP app is the basic version of your app that can be tested in the market. It provides minimal functionalities while validating product assumptions and testing consumer feedback. It allows for adjustments and further improvements while scaling down development costs. 


Use generic pre-built solutions

When it comes to choosing custom solutions, you might find yourself in a hard and rock place. The more customization you opt for in your app, the more it is going to cost you. Try to go for popular and generic tech stacks to save your budget. 


Now that you know how to calculate the cost of mobile app development, factor in all elements to set your budget. Always do thorough market research before hiring a developer. And last, but not least, set your expectations according to your budget.


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