What Factors Decide the Cost of Building a Mobile App?

Mobile Development
What Factors Decide the Cost of Building a Mobile App?
Vaibhav S.

Written by

Vaibhav S.

Updated on

June 27, 2023

Read time

5 mins read

The mobile economy has ushered in a new era of the Internet and mobile app marketing. The new found demand of the mobile-based user interactive apps has opened a new opportunity for the mobile app development service providers. They can identify the emerging trends of the mobile app market and provide users with the best of the mobile apps.

On the other hand, companies can utilize the increasing number of mobile internet users – over 3.5 billion (source: Statista) and market their products or services through their own mobile apps to give their end customers ultimate flexibility and rich user experience.

According to Statista, as of March 2017, there were 2.8 million Android apps, followed by 2.2 million apps available on the Apple’s App Store.

But, what does it take to develop a successful mobile app or how much does a mobile app development cost?

Building mobile apps through built-in customization has become the new move for leading businesses.

People who still rely on their website alone to fulfill their business goals need to quickly get their apps ready if they want to stay in the business for long run.

Coming up with exact figures or cost of building mobile apps is difficult, but we certainly can come upon a ballpark figure.

This article will help you analyze the factors that affect the development of mobile apps and the cost associated.

First, let’s get a quick review of what is a custom mobile app?

A mobile app is a kind of software designed specifically to work upon a smartphone, tablet or similar devices.

Depending upon the type of app – Web, Native and Hybrid, the development cost varies.

Your business requires a mobile app because of the multiple benefits they can reap-

  • It increases end-user’s experience
  • It betters customer relationship
  • Your brand gets more visibility and recognition
  • Increases your sales channel
  • A great source of customer insights

What are the factors that affect the development of an app?

Mobile applications vary in a number of factors – size, user interface, color, compatibility, functionality and a lot more. Each part plays an important role and hence affects the price as well.

We have outlined the following primary factors that affect mobile app development-

  • Type of business model
  • Functionality of the app and its features
  • Platform
  • Design
  • Mode of Development

Let’s discuss each in detail:

#1. Type of business model

It is certainly the first step before you start the development of the app. What app you need will be decided upon your business’ needs.

You need to outline many decisions like:

  • Deciding upon your target customers and the time they spend on mobile internet
  • Will you be monetizing the app directly by not allowing free downloads?
  • Will you allow in-app purchases?
  • Will there be third party ads?
  • Will you sell it further for sale?
  • The key element of your app – design, quality or both.

All these factors will play a significant role in the price decision. Here, the important thing is not to forget the quality part. Most users tend to get dissatisfied quickly due to lack of proper user interactiveness and ease of use.

#2. The functionality of the app and its features

App differ on the basis of complexity, more features require more efforts and thus ultimately costs higher.

A simple table or list based app that displays only information to the user will be easier to make as compared to a dynamic app that lets users perform a plenty of functions including searching database and requesting a particular data, like a banking app.

Gaming apps are by far the hardest to make and thus may incur more investment. There are some features that are commonly found in all type of apps:

  • Login
  • Updating personal profiles
  • Payment gateway integrations
  • In-app purchases
  • Ability to customize
  • Search and filter
  • Location
  • Review and ratings
  • Push notifications

#3. Platform

Apps can be developed on iOS or Android platform. Each platform has its own advantage and disadvantage and associated cost factors. While iOS apps are easier and cheaper to build, Android apps tend to be more cost inclusive. But, android apps dominate the app market. Choosing a particular platform again depends upon your business need. For App Store, your app first needs to be approved for being available for download. Android apps though take time to develop but have a wider user base.

Depending upon the platform you will decide suitable iOS app developers or Android app developers.

#4. The design

Design is the first thing a user will notice about your app. If it’s attractive you win the half race already.

You need to put various graphical elements to increase the visual appearance of the app. But, here comes the catch!

Designing adds up to your cost. So, decide wisely.

Next, you will need an interactive user interface (UI) and rich user experience (UX). UX will decide how quickly and successfully your app meets its objectives.

#4. Mode of Development

This is one of the most important of all above factors and makes all the difference. You will need app development expertise in form of an app development company or an individual developer/freelancer who will design the app for you. While many people would go for freelancer as they are the cheapest, but you should not compromise with the quality. You should first find out about the top mobile app development companies and choose one that fits your need.

They can ensure complete lifecycle management of app development and ensure its quality and UX. You can even go for individual iOS app developers or hire Android app developer to design you own mobile app.


App development is a complete process that includes careful planning and step by step execution. The cost of the app will depend upon the factors that we discussed. Remember, the cost you incur at the initial stage is just a fraction of the immense monetary benefits (direct and indirect) that a successful app can bring to your business.

Looking for timeline and cost estimates for your app?

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Vaibhav S.

Vaibhav S.


Vaibhav Shah leads Techuz as its CEO, dedicated to catering to the needs of both startup and enterprise clients with custom web and mobile application solutions. Techuz specializes in crafting scalable web applications and mobile apps, leveraging technologies such as Angular, React.js, Node.js, PHP, React Native and Flutter