Mobile applications have become very crucial to the everyday life of the average person, in today’s world. This is because, there are applications for basically every part of our lives. From making to-do lists, to monitoring our sleep hours, to making music, mobile applications perform a lot of daily functions for a large percentage of the world’s populace. As a result of their relevance and importance, we see new mobile apps being invented almost on a daily basis. This often leads to the question of, what the cost of building a mobile app is.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mobile Application?

Determining the cost of a mobile application is not straightforward. This is because a number of factors act as variables, having direct influence on how much it costs to develop these applications. Understanding the role that these factors play, will help you determine the cost of a mobile application.

Main Factors That Affect The Cost Of Building An App

There are two major factors that directly affect the cost of building an application. These are time and complexity. Both factors can further be broken down into other sub-factors.

  • Time: The amount of time taken to develop an application, is one factor that all developers consider when determining the cost of building an application. This is because the longer the process of development, the more complex it is. As such, an application that takes a long time to develop is usually more expensive than others. A simple mobile application typically takes between three to six months to develop. Such applications can cost from $40,000 to $100,000. An application with medium complexity takes between six to ten months to develop. Cost for these projects can range from $100,000 to $300,000. On the other hand, complex applications can take from ten months to eighteen months to develop and deploy. Complex applications can cost $300,000 and beyond to develop. Some applications might cost over $1 million, depending on how complex they are.
  • Complexity: The complexity of an application is the other major factor that has a bearing, on the cost of building an application. Some mobile applications are very sophisticated, having more functions than others. These applications are generally referred to as complex mobile applications. Consequently, they require more time and money to develop. The features of a mobile application determine its level of complexity. Below are a number of features that affects the cost of mobile applications.
  • App Functionality: The functionality of the application, and how sophisticated the in-app elements are, affects its cost. Some of these in-app elements include login, which covers login with email, login with social media, the “forgot password” option as well as log out. Not all mobile applications have these options, and building them into your app increases the cost. File uploading is another in-app element that adds to the complexity of a mobile application. File uploading covers uploading photos and videos, photo view, as well as video playback. Other elements include profile completion, profile editing, search features, messaging, push notifications, user management and payment management.
  • Platforms: Another feature that has a direct effect on the cost of mobile applications, is the platform that they support. Platform here refers to the operating system which the mobile application supports. For mobile applications, we have two main classifications when it comes to platforms. Mobile apps that work on Android OS as well as apps that run on Apple iOS. It is important to determine the type of operating system that you want your application to work on. Other features that add to the complexity of a mobile application include the use of visual objects, integration points, use of device hardware features as well as the maintenance plan.


It is clear that a lot of considerations go into determining the cost of a mobile application. It is therefore very important to do your market research before embarking on the development process. This will help you to have a clear idea of the time and cost for the type of mobile application, that you are looking to develop.

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