How Much Does It Cost To Develop an App in 2021?

How Much Does It Cost To Develop an App in 2021?

Mobile phone users are expected to reach 7 billion by 2022 and the number of smartphone users is expected to grow to 2.5 billion users. Hence, there are no leaps and bounds for the growth in the opportunities for customer-centered businesses and app developers.

Ever wondered why businesses are so focused on developing apps around their services? Since mobiles have become an integral part of our lives, mobile apps have been the prime source for these businesses to interact with the users and hence, mobile apps have become a part of our daily activities. Research by eMarketer shows that 90 percent of the users’ time and efforts on a mobile phone is spent on applications. Users can also spend money on mobile apps. As per the insights of App Annie, the global customer spending in app stores will reach a whopping $157 billion by 2022.

Since the pandemic, the reliability of users on mobile applications has grown more than ever. Mobile app development is a valuable investment to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.

Developing an app is a tedious task. You may want to hire a Mobile App Development Company to help you develop the desired application. But to achieve the desired result you have to search for the right software development partner.

Hence here are the major questions that will help you address the budget before beginning the development process. 

In this blog, we will provide a detailed overview of how much it costs to develop a mobile app in 2021.

1. The App Type:

The very first factor to quote is the type of app you are building. Since the technologies have been shaping as per the innovation, the application market is also varying with loads of app types, with different sets of features that determine its development costs. The most famous apps types include eCommerce apps, social media apps, on-demand apps, data-driven apps, hybrid apps, and functionality apps. Many of these applications have similar features, but certainly, different approaches to build. Plus, the app’s categories also factor in the cost of the app. Like an education, an application would cost different than an enterprise business application.

Additionally, your app may fall into a distinct category like gaming, music, business, health, travel, education, etc. The cost of your app will change with the app category. Popular categories include:

2. Platforms and Frameworks used to build the App:

There are two frameworks that you can use to develop your app. They are:

A). Native app development

B). Hybrid or cross-platform app development

While creating apps for specific platforms like android or Ios, you can choose the native mobile app development services. The native framework uses programming languages and tools that are native to the platform. But if you prefer to choose a cross-platform framework, you can develop a hybrid application that runs on multiple OSs without any code exchange. 

The native ones have the major downside that they can’t work on the devices other than for those they are developed. The businesses will have to build separate apps for users on different platforms. This makes a huge add-on in the app development costs and time is taken. 

On the other hand, hybrid apps use the codebase across all the platforms, due to which it is compatible with all the platforms, Android or IOS. With the cross-platform framework, you will need to build a single app and launch it on android and iOS at the same, which makes you reach a wider audience in a lot less time and a lot cheaper.

Hybrid apps generally face a few performance issues and app crashes, which is why many businesses prefer and recommend the native approach. Many times, there are few design effects due to the same codebase as it doesn’t entirely transform to match the framework. Hence, Native apps are more preferred than Hybrid ones. 

Also Read: Everything You Should Know About Android Instant App

3. The location of the App Development Company:

The app development cost also depends on where the app is getting built and who is building it. The average per hour cost for app development in America can reach up to $150. In Eastern Europe and the Indian subcontinent, it is around $30, while in Indonesia, it is as low as $11 per hour.

Cost of a mobile app developed by a US-based agency:

  1.       Offline standalone app cost: $50,000
  2.       App with moderate online connectivity cost: $80,000
  3.       Chatbot app development cost: $90,000
  4.       IoT or wearable application cost: $1,350,000
  5.       Messaging application development cost: $300,000
  6.       Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality app cost: $400,000
  7.       On-demand app development cost: $800,000
  8.       M-commerce app cost: $600,000.00
  9.       Mobile social networking app cost: $350,000
  10.     Enterprise mobile app cost: $500,000

So, if there is a set budget, one can outsource to the company operating in India, so that they can stay on budget while getting the value app delivered.

4. The complexity of the app

App development costs rise with the complexity of the app. There are many different types of apps, but in terms of complexity, they can be categorized into three broad categories.

Basic apps: These are apps that do not require remote data servers. Examples of such apps include calendar apps, diet planners, and their development costs can be anywhere between $1,000 to $4,000.

Apps with web servers: These are apps that save data on remote servers and require more sophisticated programming. The development costs for such apps range between $8,000 to $50,000.

Gaming apps: It is hard to put a price tag on these apps because they include apps with simple features up to those that make use of complex virtual reality. However, a broad estimate of the cost would be anywhere between $6,000 to $250,000 or even higher.

5. App features

The number of features and their complexity also impact the final development cost. Clutch. co surveyed firms about the cost of various elements and found 70 percent of the firms spent less than $5,000 on push notifications.

Since features do not have a fixed price tag, you cannot expect their price to remain the same in every project. The number of features, along with the process and complexity associated with each feature determine the development cost of the application.

Let’s unveil the hidden cost drivers of app development:

  • Development libraries and tools used
  • Assembling backend infrastructure to maintain the app scalability
  • App infrastructure services like domain, hosting, server, etc.
  • Regular app updates and bug fixes
  • Third-party service and API integration such as analytics, maps, payments, etc.
  • Databases used for data storage such as videos and pho content, user data, etc.
  • App administration complex Content Management System (CMS) and web portals for app management
  • Video and audio streaming functionality
  • Data encryption to transfer data
  • Assembling app architecture

Stages of Mobile App Development Process

There are four primary stages through which an app goes during the development process, and they add to the potential cost of the app:

1.   Research and Planning Stage:

The pre-development phase includes the market research, project timeline with a prototype of the application. While researching, the team takes on the insights of what the customer wants. At the end of the research, the development team provides an estimate and starts with the development process once both parties agree. The pre-research stage usually costs $5000.

2.   App Development Stage:

While developing, the team starts developing the application, which usually costs less than $10,000. 

3.   App Testing:

Once the app is developed, it is thoroughly tested before the launch. The potential cost of the QA and testing phase is between $ 10,000 and $15,000.

4.   App Support and Maintenance:

Once launched, every app requires constant maintenance and updates to match the requirements of users. A survey suggests that regular maintenance costs around $5,000-$10,000 after one year of the launch.

 Additionally, apps also require a marketing budget to ensure that they acquire some users. The budget, however, will depend upon the strategy you adopt.


With this blog, we have tried to give you detailed answers to ‘How Much Does It Cost to Build an App in 2021’. To summarize, the cost of an app has a lot of factors contributing to, the app development services providers, their location, and how much time it takes, and its features.

Now as you know how the cost of mobile apps is calculated, contact us now if you’re ready to build your first mobile app and make an empire out of it!