What factors influence the total expenses of mobile development?

What factors influence the total expenses of mobile development?

Beyond all question, a mobile application is an integral part of our daily routine. We wake up and turn off the alarm, plan our day and fill to-do-lists, check newsfeeds on social networks. This list can be followed by multiple everyday activities related to mobile apps.

For this reason, many developers come up with the solution to create own brand-new application that will generate a special value for its users. Indeed, this is a very challenging task that requires many efforts and a good deal of money. The first step towards your concept realization is research on the primal factors that will affect your overall development costs.

Perhaps, every developer has come across the issue of choosing between a native and cross-platform development. In fact, there is no unambiguous answer which one is the most optimal solution for building a custom app. Nevertheless, it is not a problem to realize which one can cost you a bundle.

Native app development assumes creating an application for a certain mobile operating system using a native language. Native apps take the advantages of the seamless incorporation with in-built features and fast performance.

In fact, if a mobile application runs smoothly on multiple devices, it is more likely to be compatible in the app market. Thus, when you opt for creating a native app, you have to build a separate custom app specifically for each mobile operating system. For this reason, a native app development requires more time, technical skills, and considerable investments.

Under such circumstances, many developers give preference to cross-platform development. With the help of the special frameworks and tools, It makes possible to build a native-looking app that runs on multiple mobile operating systems. Indeed, a cross-platform app comes short of UI/UX richness comparing to the native one, but it is more budget-friendly and easy to maintenance.


Your development costs will also depend on those who create a custom app. Choosing a contractor for your project is not a simple matter as every option entails own risks and additional expenses.

Mobile development agency

This is the safest way to turn your concept into reality. Mobile development agencies have many talented and hardworking developers who are swelling at app building. One of the biggest advantages of choosing a development agency is that this company will coordinate the whole project’s workflow starting from a concept till a live-app.

In such a manner, you can avoid getting unexpected results. This option, however, has a major disadvantage - an eye-popping price. As a rule, mobile development agencies charge an hourly rate around $150-$200 to hire an in-house developer. Since a custom app development requires quite a lot of time, this option may be not for every pocketbook.


Choosing this option, you may risk the quality of the final product but save some money. If you are a fortunate soul, you may find a freelancer for 50$/hour that can achieve the same quality level compared to an in-house developer. But in reality, the cooperation with a freelancer tends to be not so easy and thus, troublesome.

With a freelancer developer, you can never be sure that he/she fully realizes your app concept. This way you may have misunderstandings how the app should look and work. If that’s a case, your final result may significantly differ from the expected one. Moreover, there is also a risk to hire a non-professional who has a careless attitude to work.

This way if you plan to hire a freelance developer, allocate enough time to test his/her skills by asking for a portfolio. As a practice shows, those who are real professionals, always feel free to show their samples of code.


The complexity of your app concept will take on the lion share of your development expenses.There is a big difference between the prices for building an app performing only one specific function (e.g., a calculator or a to-do lists) and a fully-featured app.

Simple apps

These applications are easy on the pocket since they provide basic functionality with unsophisticated UI and UX. They take up to two months for development and cost around $25000-$35000 in total.

Moderate complexity apps

This kind of applications usually includes a variety of functions that can significantly influence the overall development cost. These features are: advanced UI/UX, media service integration, payment service support, Google Maps search, etc. The average development timeframe is around 2–5 months, where 160 hours are devoted to the interface design, up to 900 hours - to BaaS building, and the rest - for QA. The total price of development fluctuates between $45000-$55000.

High complexity apps

These applications can boast with rich UI/UX, real-time synchronization, third-party service integration, cashes for offline data, and sophisticated backend architecture. Since such complex features require special skill sets, the development timeline takes around 2–5 month, with 160 hours devoted to design, over 1000 hours to BaaS development, and the rest - to testings and promotion. The overall expenses range between $55000-$100000.

Time distribution

A timeline is also a key factor that affects a development price. Many developers, however, don’t consider this factor. As a result, they face the issue with unexpected expenses. For instance, if your company has to develop a custom app in the shortest time span, this rush delivery will result in the significant impact on the overall expenses.

To keep the project within budget, you need to have a realistic and reasonable timeline that includes not only a time for development and testing processes, but customer involvement as well. Moreover, you should allow some time for unexpected bugs-related cases in your project. In such a way, if you contribute enough time to development, promotion, and unexpected turns as well, you will avoid unplanned money outflow.

Summing up

In fact, the adequate expectations of the final result lay the groundwork for your app success. Thus, if you initially pay acute attention to price-forming factors of mobile app development, you won’t have unpredictable turns in the long run.

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