What Does It Really Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

Putting an exact price on how much it costs to develop a mobile app is a lot like asking how much it is to buy a car. Like cars, the costs of developing mobile apps can vary widely depending on what features you want included. Additionally, there are various types of apps and some are more expensive to create than others are.

General Guidelines

The average mobile app developer charges approximately $100 per hour. This can vary depending on how much experience the developer has. For example, a college student may charge less, but he or she may take longer to create the app and may not be able to include all the features you want. On the other hand, a more experienced developer will almost certainly charge you more, but you are much more likely to get all the functionality you want. Price should not be the sole determining factor when you hire a mobile app developer. The most important thing is that the developer be able to deliver you a final product that you are satisfied with.

Simple Table Based App

A simple table based app costs approximately $1,000 to $4,000. In order to cut costs, you can provide all the content, supply clear directions and possibly even show the developer example apps that are similar to what you have in mind. It is also helpful if you are familiar with Photoshop and you can supply the graphics. Keep in mind that additional features like GPS functionality, social media sharing and in-app purchasing will add to the development costs. However, if you just want a simple app that takes users to a mobile version of your website, your costs should be reasonably low.

Database Apps

Database apps are more expensive to develop than table based apps. The cost of developing a database app is roughly $8,000 – $50,000 because there is a lot more coding involved. As with all examples, the more content you can provide the better. Every bit of content such as graphics, music and writing you can supply, or outsource to someone who works for a lower rate than the developer charges, will help lower your development costs.


Games are the most expensive types of mobile apps to design. Even with you supplying the bulk of the content, the average game costs anywhere from $8,000 to $250,000 to develop. Despite the high development costs though, games usually provide the best return on investment. Graphics, sound and playability are very important to creating a successful game. Do not skimp on these areas in an attempt to lower your expenses.

The amounts provided here are ballpark estimates only. Because all mobile apps are unique and have different features, there is no standard price for developing one. Your best bet for getting a true cost is to approach multiple developers with your mobile app idea and get specific price quotes from them.

About the Author: Keren Bromwell loves to work with small businesses on website and app development. No matter what you’re doing, you should have a software development team test your website, software programs, or apps to ensure they’re working before release.

Mike Hudson

Mike Hudson is a Lead Cyber Security Analyst living and working in Kingston Upon Hull. With extensive experience in Microsoft and Apple technologies, ranging from desktop OS’s to Server OS’s and hardware. By day working as part of an infrastructure team, and by night ridding the world of IT issues through blog posts..

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