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How much does it cost to build an app in 2023?

How much does it cost to build an app in 2023
Marketing Specialist
Mar 3, 2023 โ€ข 8 min

The mobile app development market has continued to grow rapidly in recent years and is expected to continue expanding in the future. As more and more people rely on their smartphones and tablets for everyday tasks, mobile app development will become even more prevalent, with new trends emerging and the development process becoming even more streamlined. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

In today's digital age, having a mobile app can be a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. However, many entrepreneurs and organizations may be hesitant to pursue app development due to concerns about app development expenses. If you're wondering how much it costs to build an app in 2023, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll break down the key factors that impact app development costs and provide an estimate of what you can expect to pay for app development in 2023. Whether you're a startup founder or a seasoned business owner, understanding app development costs can help you make informed decisions about your technology investments. ๐Ÿฅณ


  • App development trends in 2023 ๐Ÿ“ˆ

  • App development costs - what factors should you consider ๐Ÿค”

  • Mobile app development cost ๐Ÿ’ฐ

  • Hybrid app development vs Native app development ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

  • iOS app development cost vs. Android app development cost ๐Ÿ“ฑ

  • App development agencies - outsource the development start-to-end ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ’ป

  • Fixed price vs. time and material model โ‰๏ธ


App development trends in 2023 ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Before beginning to understand better how much app creation costs, it is essential to explore and inspect some of the latest trends that might interest you before planning your app development process. 

  • Low-code and no-code development ๐Ÿง- The use of low-code and no-code platforms is expected to grow +20% in 2023. This app development approach is suitable for non-complex apps or digital products with a limited number of functionalities and features, however, if you are looking to develop a scalable app that solves complex problems, this option is not necessarily for you. 
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA) ๐Ÿ’ป - PWAs are web applications that look and feel like native mobile apps but are built using web technologies. PWAs provide a seamless user experience across devices, whether accessed via a desktop or mobile device. This trend is propelled by an acute need for a better mobile experience and the growing popularity of mobile-first design. 
  • Voice-based interfaces ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ- The use of voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant is expected to increase, with more and more devices incorporating voice-based interfaces. This trend is driven by the need for hands-free operation and the convenience of using voice commands. You can find and use this type of technology in various applications, including cars, smart TV, wearables, IoT devices, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
  • Blockchain integration ๐Ÿ”- The use of blockchain technology is slowly becoming a standard in mobile and web development, providing enhanced security, transparency, and data privacy. The need for secure and decentralized systems predominantly pushes this tendency. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) ๐Ÿค– - The application of AI has been a significant trend in mobile app development in recent years, and it's expected to continue to gain traction in the future. Some of the high-demand trends that dominate the current landscape are chatbots and virtual assistants, predictive analytics, image and voice recognition, and smart automation. 


App development costs - what factors should you consider

App development costs - what factors should you consider ๐Ÿค”

In 2023, phone app development costs can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the application, the platform it's built for, the industry that the app wants to serve, and the region or country where the development is taking place. Before contacting app development companies to start building your project, you should be aware of one of the main factors that may give you a better overview of custom software, web, and mobile app development costs:

  • Development time: Mobile app development process generally takes longer than web app development due to its complexity and the need to create versions for multiple platforms (iOS app and Android apps). โŒ›
  • User interface and user experience: Mobile apps require a high level of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design to ensure they are intuitive and easy to use on a small screen. This means that additional design work is required for mobile apps, which can add to the development cost. On the other hand, web apps can have simpler designs as they are viewed on larger screens and often used in a different context. ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ
  • Platform-specific development: For mobile apps, developers need to create separate versions of the app for different platforms, such as iOS and Android. This requires additional development time and expertise, which can increase the cost. On the other hand, web apps can be developed using a single codebase that can be accessed from any device with a web browser, which can be more cost-effective. ๐Ÿ™…‍โ™‚๏ธ
  • Hosting and app maintenance: Web apps require a server to host them, which can add to the ongoing costs of maintaining the app and the overall app manufacturing cost. Mobile apps also can be hosted on the app stores and are generally easier to maintain. ๐Ÿ”ง


Mobile app development cost ๐Ÿ’ฐ

The cost of mobile app development can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The mobile app development prices can vary around $25,000-$75,000, while a more complex app can cost upwards of $250,000. This cost includes the entire development process, from planning to design, development, and testing.
As an exercise, try to imagine how much the Facebook app development cost was. ๐Ÿคฏ

Hybrid app development vs Native app development

Hybrid app development vs Native app development ๐Ÿ˜ฒ


Native mobile app development involves developing separate versions of an app for Android and iOS using their respective programming languages - Swift and Kotlin - while Hybrid apps are built using web technologies such as React Native, Flutter, and JavaScript. 

Native apps can take longer to develop and often cost more than hybrid mobile apps, where a single codebase can be used for multiple platforms, although these costs might even out as the product evolves in complexity.

It’s also important to mention that native apps are much easier to scale than hybrid apps and offer better performance, stability and a more polished user experience, which may benefit more prominent and complex apps requiring more advanced features. 

“— with fintech apps, for example. It’s very likely they will grow in both complexity and user base, so it’s crucial to have a stable app that people can rely on.

Native apps scale better over time, as they use the native frameworks created by Apple and Google, so you don’t have any limits in terms of what you can do. Furthermore, with each new iOS or Android update, the native tech gets updates first, so you can tackle any OS surprises upfront.” Georgina Lupu Florian, CEO at Wolfpack Digital.

Source: TechCrunch 


Another scenario where native apps excel is when the app needs to utilize the phone's hardware capabilities like Bluetooth, camera, GPS, and gyroscope, among others. With native, direct access to those SDKs is possible, while with hybrid, writing custom plugins (in native code) or relying on existing ones from the open-source community is necessary. This can be challenging, particularly in certain edge-cases like auto-reconnect or changing camera parameters. 

Hybrid technologies are suitable for quick idea validation or simple mobile apps that primarily depend on the backend. For example, Flutter can be the best option for healthcare apps that collect feedback through forms or questionnaires or display data from the server side like numbers, charts, or recommendations. Here, functionality-related surprises are unlikely, and Flutter allows for creating identical UIs for iOS and Android, although native elements are generally better for each platform.

So in case you are looking to develop a complex app for the long run, opting for a native app will save you time and money in the future. 

iOS app development cost vs. Android app development cost

iOS app development cost vs. Android app development cost ๐Ÿ“ฑ

The factors that affect app development cost include the type of app (native or hybrid apps), the platform it's built for, the complexity of the app, the tech stack of choice, the project team size, and the number of features and functionalities it offers. For example, developing an app for iOS can be more expensive than developing an app for Android because of the stricter guidelines and requirements for iOS app development. Similarly, developing an app with advanced features like real-time data processing, machine learning, or augmented reality can significantly increase the cost of development. Generally, the average hourly rate for an ios developer ranges between different levels based on the location and expertise of the developer. However, outsourcing the iPhone app development can be a cost-efficient strategy to minimise the costs of an app. โœจ The same applies to iPad app development costs.

The mobile app development cost for both iOS and Android apps can vary between $50,000 - $80,000 (in case the mobile app does not contain advanced features, functionalities, and complexity). In contrast, a high-complexity app may cost you from $80,000 to + $150,000, and even more, depending on the app's functionality and features. For example, a complex financial app, such as a wealth management app that allows clients to plan and organize almost all of their financial matters, is considered a complex app because of its various third-party integration and essential but complex features, such as biometrics authentication, custom notifications and alerts, SMS validation features for security reasons, face and ID scan integration, complex graphs for wealth and investment tracking, authorized digital signature, etc.


App development agencies - outsource the development start-to-end ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ’ป

Another important factor to consider is the location of the development team. Hiring developers in countries like India or Eastern Europe can be significantly cheaper than hiring developers in the United States or Europe. However, balancing app dev cost savings with the quality of work and communication is essential. Outsourcing mobile app development to an app development team can save you a lot of time and money. โฑ๏ธ

When it comes to app developer costs, the hourly rates of developers can vary widely depending on their experience, skillset, and location. In the United States, the hourly rate of an app developer can range from $100 to $250 per hour, while in India, the hourly rate can be as low as $20 per hour. 

To ensure the success of your product, it's crucial to work with a reliable and highly skilled app development company. A professional app development company has the expertise, experience, and resources to develop a high-quality mobile app that meets your business requirements and goals. They can provide you with a team of developers, designers, project managers, and QA specialists who work together to create a custom mobile app tailored to your specific needs. 

Fixed price vs. time and material model

Fixed price vs. time and material model โ‰๏ธ

In addition, an app development agency can help you reduce the development cost by providing you with a fixed-price or time and material pricing model. 

With a fixed-price model, you'll pay a pre-agreed fixed amount for the entire development process, while with a time and material pricing model, you'll pay based on the number of hours the development team works on your project.

A fixed-price model might not always be the most ideal choice for app development since it's difficult to accurately estimate all potential blockers and bugs, and there may still be additional costs in most cases to avoid compromises in terms of quality. ๐Ÿงฎ  

The time and material pricing model offers great flexibility for businesses. It allows companies to pay for exactly what they use without any additional commitment, making it ideal for projects with changing requirements or unpredictable workloads. This model also makes budgeting easier since the costs can be broken down into smaller increments instead of an upfront cost. Additionally, using this approach to pricing lets businesses access services that they would not be able to afford if paying for a flat rate. This makes it an attractive option for small businesses and startups who need help completing short-term tasks but don't have the big budget of larger organizations.


Conclusions ๐Ÿ™‹

In conclusion, as you might have already been aware, there are several factors that can influence your mobile app development project and your app cost. We had the chance to see a high-level app development cost breakdown, what to consider when hiring app developers, and what cost differences you might experience between an Android app and an iOS app. Finding the best mobile app development company that suits your needs and business goals ๐Ÿค๐Ÿป is one of the most important things, and you should prioritize that more than ever. 

In case you are looking for an award-winning app development team to develop your next app, or you're just curious about how much your web or mobile app might cost, feel free to send us an email at ๐Ÿ‘‰, tell us about your project and needs, and we'll come back to you with a detailed app development service pricing ๐Ÿš€.

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