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How Much Does It Cost to Build an App? [2020]

— September 9, 2020

The average price to develop an app can shift in either direction based on the number and complexity of features that you want to implement.

There is no doubt that app development is a very prospective industry for investment. With more and more users, there will be more opportunities for business growth.

Now let’s find out the cost to develop an app.

The median cost to develop an app ranges from $37,913 to $171,450. If we talk about complex and feature-rich applications, app development cost can reach up to $500,000 and even go beyond this number.

The minimum app creation cost varies between $5.000-$10,000. However, the development of a working app with a sufficient number of features will probably cost more.

When planning for development, the app development cost is not the only factor that you need to consider. Another important metric that might greatly influence your plans is the development timeline. On average, in over 80% of cases, it takes 3+ months to develop an application. Almost 40% of apps are developed in 6 months or longer.

What Influences the Cost to Develop an App

There are a lot of factors that influence how much it costs to make an app. You need to understand each of them to manage your app budget better and allocate resources wisely.

Native vs. Hybrid

The cost to build an app highly depends on the type of application you decide to create. Native apps are those designed for a single platform, iOS or Android. Thus, if you decide to target both groups of users, you will need to build two separate apps, which will increase app development costs.

Hybrid applications, on the other hand, can work on multiple operating systems. In a big perspective, it means that you will spend less money on app development, as you need to build a single application.

Android vs iOS

Apple, Google Partner up for Release of Opt-in Smartphone Tracking
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

If you decide to build a native app, you will need to decide which platform to target first. You have a limited budget and don’t want to risk the money, you can start with an application for a single platform, Android or iOS. 

How much does it cost to build an app for iOS or Android?

The prices don’t differ much, as the timeline is almost the same for both types of development. If you have a bigger budget, you can work on two applications simultaneously and launch them to the market at the same time.

Visual design complexity

The visual design of an app is no less important than its features. Building a UX and UI for your app will cost you $5,000 and up for 10-20 app screens. The cost to design an app greatly depends on the number of screens, visuals complexity, the need for custom elements, and branding.

App Development Cost: Summary

Now that you know how much it will cost to make an app, let’s summarize how you can avoid unexpected expenses and stick to the set timeline.

Market research – before the development, conduct comprehensive market research, analyze popular apps, define the target audience, and come up with a unique idea. Don’t try to clone some popular apps.

Find a reliable app development vendor – look for a company with experience in your sphere, successfully delivered projects, and find the best price and quality ratio.

Start with the first app version – begin development with a simple app version having the most basic features to test your idea. 

Ensure ongoing development – after you have successfully tested your idea, plan for further improvements, and additional features.

Get involved – be a real product owner and participate in app creation together with your development team. Provide insights, share expertise, and come up with the best solution. Because teamwork makes great work.

The average price to develop an app can shift in either direction based on the number and complexity of features that you want to implement. Some of them, like push notifications, can eat up half of your app budget and reach hundreds of thousands of dollars in implementation.

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