The Cost of Building a Mobile App in 2021

What is the ballpark of building a mobile application? There are hundreds of estimates available on the web for this answer. However, they happen to be just that – an estimate. Now we know that developing a mobile application may have numerous variables. 

Your mobile application may end up costing $15,000 to $250,000 based on the features you are looking for. There are a few constants that contribute to the cost. Let’s have a look at them – 

Location of the team

Your team’s/ vendor’s location contributes significantly to your app’s development cost. The primary reason beyond this is the different wages based on the geographical location. Developers and designers have different costs across the US, Europe, and Asia. A developer in the US is paid $40-$100. In Asia, a developer with the same skill set and experience is paid $25-$35 per hour. Here is an approximate rate of Android and iOS developers across regions:

RegioniOS ($/hour)Android ($/hour)
North America150168
South America4334
Eastern Europe3535

Your App type

After the location selection, the second factor is the application type. There are three options here – 

Web Applications 

  • They are websites with functionality and interactive elements, such as Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. 
  • They can be accessed via any browser, and therefore, there is no need to download them from any app store. 
  • Web apps are cost-effective and simple, primarily built using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. There are no standard SDKs for web apps. 

Native Applications 

  • These applications are created using the language that is native to the operating system of the device in consideration. 
  • Objective C or Swift for iOS devices, Java or Kotlin for Android.
  • Their performance is par excellence. However, they are expensive to develop. 

Hybrid Applications

  • A mix of web apps and native apps. 
  • Helps in reaching out to a larger audience. 
  • Code maintenance is lesser vis-a-vis native apps. 
  • Easy access to the device’s hardware. 
  • Great application performance. 

Platform Selection

If opting for a native application, you can opt to develop your application on Android and iOS simultaneously. Alternatively, you can choose to launch your application on one of the platforms and then develop it for others after some time (e.g. Instagram).

How to make the right choice –  

  • Determine which platform has a greater chunk of your target audience
  • What resources you have if you go for developing apps for iOS vis-a-vis Android – Resource pool, access to development tools, SDKs
  • Will it make more sense to opt for cross-platform development

While there is no major difference in the cost of developing for iOS and Android, the cost will be more if you opt for developing your mobile application on both. 

Features and Functionalities

The basic features social login, push notifications, data encryption, media, messaging, search features. You will also need to decide if your application needs to be connected with the internet, payment gateway, geolocation (if required), third-party integrations, and so on. 

There will always be budget constraints. How to overcome this issue?

  • Prioritize your application’s features and also remember that every new feature will need additional cost and efforts of your team.
  • Determine the complexity of your app as it will have a direct impact on the timeline and cost. 

Design and Development Complexities 

The design and development complexities are a major determining factor in your app cost. Simple layouts, standard color schemes, limited options, icon and logo designs, copywriting; all are vital components of your design. And if these are not developed as you envisioned, it will lead to a lot of back and forth among teams. Make sure your developers and designers are on the same page always. 

What is the cost of building a mobile application in 2021? 

After reading this blog, we hope you know what goes into building a mobile application. You can expect additional costs to come your way as your app grows. This would include the maintenance cost, cost of additional features, storage of data, complex visuals, and so on. 

You may choose to outsource your mobile application development to experts who will help make the design and development journey smoother and swifter. 
Don’t take our word for it, Clutch recognized us as ‘Top development partner’, read all about it here. We are always open to building new relations and working on challenging projects, you can contact us here for an accurate app development estimation.


Stay up to date with latest happenings in our space