The phrase “there’s an app for everything” rings true. As of Q2 2022, the Google Play Store offers over 3.5 million mobile apps, and the Apple App Store boasts 2.2 million. The Statista Digital Market Outlook predicts that the mobile app market revenue will reach $613 billion by 2025.

With mobile App Development becoming a crucial aspect of digital businesses, the question of “how much does App Development cost?” arises. This guide provides an in-depth answer to that question, covering factors affecting the cost, monetization models, the development process, and ways to save money.

Average Mobile App Development Cost

The cost of developing a mobile app can range from $25,000 to $150,000 and potentially exceed $300,000 for complex custom apps.

The cost depends on the app’s complexity, features, development approach, etc.

Factors Contributing to Mobile App Development Cost:

  • Detailed analysis of critical factors contributing to mobile App Development cost.
  • Understanding these factors will help estimate the cost using a standard calculation formula.

Cost Calculation:

  • The cost of creating an app is calculated by multiplying the hours required for each development process with the billable hours of resources.

Popular Global Apps And Their Development Cost



  • A ride-sharing app that connects drivers and riders globally.
  • Average cost: $30,000 – $100,000.


  • Social media app with over 300 million daily active users.
  • Offers augmented reality through filters and interactive lenses.
  • Average cost: $45,000 to $200,000 for both platforms.


  • Instant messaging app for text and multimedia messages.
  • Average cost: $30,000- $70,000.


  • Video-sharing app for lip-syncing and re-enacting scenes from movies and music videos.
  • Offers filters and effects to enhance videos and images.
  • Average cost: $60,000 to $150,000 for hybrid development.


  • E-learning app for distance learning programs, including skill development and university degrees.
  • Average cost: $60,000-$120,000.


  • World’s leading media streaming platform.
  • Average price: $25,000 to $200,000.

Factors Impacting Mobile App Development Cost

Mobile App Complexity

Simple app: $5,000 to $50,000 Includes primary user features like login system, user profile, dashboard and limited administration.

Medium complex app: $50,000 to $120,000. Includes user engagement and app monetization features, social media integrations, payment gateway, audio/video streaming, and user privacy.

Complex app: $100,000 to $300,000 and above. Includes advanced technology like AR/VR, AI and ML, multi-language support, high-end data logic, and more.

Example of Complex App Projects:

  • Core banking blockchain solution for Asian Bank by WTA Studios with over 50,000 crypto transactions and 250,000 app downloads.
  • Innovative recruitment app for JobGet by WTA Studios with $52 million funding, 1+ million job placements and a top-ranked app for blue-collar workers.

App Features And Functionalities

The cost of developing a mobile app largely depends on the features and functionalities you choose to integrate. Adding more features increases the base price of App Development. To keep costs low, it’s recommended to focus on the core features in the app’s initial version and offer a great user experience. The best option is to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the first version of a product with a basic set of features. This will save time and money while gathering valuable user feedback.

App Development Cost Breakdown

Basic Features:



Approximate Time

Average cost

User Login

Login with social media, Login with email address, Forgot password option, Log out option

30-42 hours


Profile Completion

Add basic info, Add photo, Set region

30-40 hours



Online/offline status, Typing status, Send media files and documents, Read/sent status

170-180 hours


Push Notifications

Push notifications and reminders for users

25-32 hours


Basic admin panel: User management

See list of users, Delete/block user, Create user, Edit user

66-90 hours


Advanced Features:



Approximate Time

Average cost


Transaction history, Check balance, Add debit/credit card, Add other payment gateways such as Paytm, Paypal, etc.

60-78 hours



Detect user’s location, Set pickup and destination point

100-120 hours



Audio calls, List of contacts, Video calls

300-400 hours


App Development Cost By Category

I. E-Commerce/M-Commerce Apps

These apps are packed with features for real-time performance, handling millions of users, and robust security.

Example: Edamama and Adidas, developed by WTA Studios, raised $5 million and over 2+ million downloads, respectively.

II. Social Networking Apps

Social media apps are complex with third-party integrations and hardware access (e.g. cameras, audio recorders).

The cost of these apps tends to be higher due to scalability needs for supporting millions of users.

III. On-Demand Apps

These apps come in three versions: for users, service providers, and the business.

Example: Acti Drive, an on-demand service app using IoT technology.

IV. Hardware-Dependent Apps

IoT-based apps rely on hardware devices for data extraction and command execution.

Example: Moo, an eScooter app that manages transportation at a micro level.


Average Cost

Approximate Hours


$50,000 – $150,000


Social Media

$50,000 – $300,000


Learning (Duolingo)

$60,000 – $225,000


Dating (Tinder)

$50,000 – $350,000



$60,000 – $250,000

More than 1,800

App Design & Animation

Designing an app can impact its cost and user engagement. Two options for app design exist Customized UI and Standard UI. Customized UI is costlier and more complex to design and implement than the Standard UI. For example, WTA Studios created an innovative mobile app for Pizza Hut, complete with special food ordering and delivery features, resulting in a 30% increase in conversion rate due to its engaging design and animation. Wireframing and animation are also essential components of app design. Wireframing helps create effective user experience maps and features using tools such as MARVEL, Balsamiq, and Photoshop. Animation makes certain app parts exciting and intuitive, and it is frequently used in gaming and social media apps.

Mobile App Platforms

When starting your mobile App Development, selecting a platform is crucial. Depending on your target audience, you can opt for iOS, Android, web, or cross-platform. For startups with limited budgets, starting with one platform and expanding later is recommended. Below are the most common platform options:

  • Native App Platform (Android & iOS) – iOS App Development uses Swift and Objective C, while Android App Development uses Java and Kotlin.
  • Web App Platform – Progressive and other web apps are cost-effective compared to native apps, with development costs ranging from $15,000 to $50,000.
  • Cross-Platform – Building apps for both iOS and Android simultaneously is a cost-efficient trend. It has benefits such as shared code and reduced development effort. The cross-platform market is divided between Flutter and React Native platforms.
  • Hybrid App Platform – Hybrid apps combine native and web apps. They are installed like native apps but run within a web view component.

App Maintenance & Code Reuse

Ongoing expenses are a reality after mobile App Development is complete. To stay current with market trends and tech updates, apps need to be updated and improved, incurring costs. What affects your budget post-development?

  • Bug fixes – No app is bug-free, and some issues only arise after Launch. Keeping up with bug fixes is crucial.
  • Design changes – Outdated design can deter users. Updating app design is essential to retain engagement. App maintenance costs are estimated at 20% of the total development cost annually. Reusing code can lower development costs, but it’s recommended to reuse common elements and not compromise unique branding. Reusing code cuts development costs by 20-30%.

Development Team Size & Location

The chosen development team heavily influences the cost of mobile App Development. App Development companies, local teams, in-house teams, or freelance developers are options. Working with an experienced mobile App Development company can bring a high-quality app with advanced features and functionality.

Hidden Costs of Mobile App Development This section highlights the frequently overlooked expenses in mobile App Development projects. Understanding these costs can help minimize risks and save resources. Here are the details:

Quality Assurance: For larger apps, you may need to hire a quality assurance specialist or project manager. You may also require business analysts to control the App Development cost.

Infrastructure Costs This includes expenses for data storage, delivery, and app hosting, adding to the cost and complexity of the project. Examples are servers, data storage, and development tools and libraries.

IT Support Costs: High-quality app creation requires IT support services and ongoing technical support, which can increase over time. Examples are iOS and Android updates, bug fixing, and API maintenance: App Publishing Costs Developers must follow app store guidelines. The app store fees are insignificant: a one-time fee of $25 for submitting an Android app on the Play Store and $99 per year for Apple. To distribute the app exclusively within your organization, you must pay $299 a year to join the Apple Developer Enterprise Program. Google Play has no charge.

App Security: App security is crucial as users trust your app with their information. A proper security plan is necessary to maintain user trust and prevent financial and reputational losses. Plan for testing and security checks in advance to avoid higher costs.

Now that you understand the factors affecting mobile App Development cost, it’s time to dive into the standard App Development process.

The Mobile App Development Process Explained

mobile app development process explained

To create a successful app for your business, you must follow these steps:

  • Research target market Study your target audience to understand their preferences and behaviour towards brands, competition, and user reviews of top apps. This will inform your app’s design and features.
  • Choose the platform. Decide if you want your app to run on Android, iOS, or both, depending on your budget and target audience.
  • Hire a development company Work with a trusted and experienced company that offers App Development, UI/UX design, project management, and industry expertise.
  • Build an MVP Create a minimum viable product (MVP) by prioritizing essential features and unique selling points to validate your app idea without high costs.
  • Test your app. Thoroughly test your app’s performance, user experience, and content to minimize development time and cost, fix bugs, and enhance your reputation.
  • Submit to app stores. Submit your app to the Play Store or App Store while following their guidelines and monetization requirements.
  • Launch and monitor: Launch your app and track its performance through in-app analytics, update it to increase user engagement, and address user feedback. Now let’s look at how your app can generate revenue.

How Apps Earn Revenue?

Apps can generate income through multiple channels. Here, we’ll cover some of the most common revenue sources apps use individually or in combination to increase earnings and offer more value to users.


A widespread method to make money from an app is by displaying ads. You earn money by promoting third-party services or products in your app.


In this model, basic features are free for users, but they must pay to access premium features. This model also offers opportunities to implement secondary revenue sources like in-app ads.


Users must pay for a subscription to access the app’s main features. There can be different options like monthly, yearly, or per-day subscriptions. Major platforms like Google and Apple allow users to manage subscriptions through them.


In the sponsorship model, you partner with a sponsor related to your niche and negotiate a compensation agreement. The app could feature the sponsor’s brand, advertise its products, or redirect users to its website in exchange for monetary compensation. We’ve been discussing App Development costs, so now it’s time to examine standard practices that can help reduce expenses from your budget.

Ways To Reduce Mobile App Development Costs

Cutting down App Development costs is a goal for many businesses. Here are some tips on reducing expenses in the custom App Development process:

Prioritize features: Start with the essential elements for your app to deliver business value quickly, and add the nice-to-haves later. Building a minimum viable product (MVP) can save costs.

Early quality assurance: Involve QA professionals to identify and fix bugs early, avoiding high costs in the middle of the project.

Plan for the future: Consider short-term and long-term goals when developing your app, as changing it later can be expensive.

Staffing options: Consider in-house or outsourcing options for App Development and weigh their impact on the budget, workflow, and maintenance.

Cross-platform development: Choose cross-platform development to reach users on both Android and iOS rather than native apps for each platform. Consider these steps to save on App Development costs. Please read our in-house vs outsourcing article to decide what works best for you. The team at WTA Studios can provide a cost-effective solution for your brand or enterprise.

How Can WTA Studios Assist In Determining Mobile App Development Cost?

It takes time to determine the exact cost of creating an app. However, by considering various factors, you can estimate a close approximation. If you find calculating the final cost of mobile App Development overwhelming, seek assistance from a trusted App Development company like WTA Studios for quality mobile App Development services.