What is the Cost of Building a Mobile App in 2023?

We’re living in a time when you can find an app for absolutely anything. You can find an app for knowledge, entertainment, current affairs, and more. Since everything comes with a price, there is also a cost to developing these apps. 

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About The Author
Nitin Nijhawan, CDOicon

We’re living in a time when you can find an app for absolutely anything. You can find an app for knowledge, entertainment, current affairs, and more. Since everything comes with a price, there is also a cost to developing these apps. 

Key factors affecting the cost of mobile app development


The cost of developing an app can depend on several factors and not just on hiring android developers or iOS developers. There are a lot of other key points that play an important role in deciding the budget required to make an app.

App development team

The most important and perhaps the most cost-inducing factor is gathering a development workforce. You can either hire dedicated app developers or hire an app development company on contract for getting your app developed. Based on the complexity and the time required to roll it out into the market, you can decide which option works best for you.

Features and Functionality

The features and functions that you need to be built into the app decide the complexity of your app. The more functions you want to add, the more complex it will be to build. A simple app could have normal user features like login, user profile, dashboard, and a little administration. However, a complex app can have interactive features like monetization, social media integration, AI, payment gateways, and more.

Customized UI/UX design

The app design also adds to the cost of the final product.  There are usually two options for app design, customized UI and standard UI. Customized UI is costlier in terms of app design and consequently costs more than the standard option.


Before building an app, you need to choose a platform where it will be hosted. There are a few options for this.

  1. Native platform: This includes the iOS and Android platforms. iOS development is done using Swift or Objective C while Android development is preferably done in Java or Kotlin.
  2. Cross-platform: This means that the app is created simultaneously for both Android and iOS platforms. Fewer efforts are required in this kind of development and a single code can be used for both. Flutter and React Native are mostly used for cross-platform development.
  3. Web app platform: Web apps are cost-efficient compared to Native apps. A web app is a website that functions like a native app.
  4. Hybrid platform: This is an app that is a mixture of native and web apps. It is installed like a native app and works like a web app.

Backend infrastructure

There is some backend infrastructure required for each app to build and function smoothly. Some examples of infrastructures that can add to the cost are a backend database for data storage, servers, development tools, and libraries.

In-app purchase support and location-based apps

In-app purchase requires a payment gateway and regular maintenance which comes with its own costs. The app will need to store transaction history, options to add debit/credit cards, and integrate other payment gateways. In case of location-based apps, they will need to access the device’s location. Also, the app might need to set pickup and drop locations.

Third-party integration

Third-party integration simply means establishing a connection to a third-party API to use its services in your own app. For example, it can be the use of a third-party map in your food delivery services app. This integration is a major deciding factor in the cost required for mobile app development.

App maintenance costs

App costs do not end with the completion of development. Maintenance costs will need to be considered.  Apps will need to be updated to keep up with market trends. There might be a few bugs which pop up only after the app hits the market. You’ll need budget to fix these bugs that come up later. Another maintenance aspect is the design. After a while, the design of an app starts looking less attractive to the users and it is always a good idea to revamp the design to maintain user engagement. Redesigning the app also comes with its costs.

Development company location

The total costs required to develop the application depend heavily on the location of your development team. You can choose to contract an external IT staffing company/vendor, hire in-house developers, or hire remote developers.

Cost of application development

The average cost of creating an application depends on the complexity. It can be segregated into the following categories:

  1. Minimum viable product: These kinds of apps have only basic features implemented. They only fix a specific pain point of the target audience with minimum technology and external integrations. These apps can cost you somewhere between $5000 – $20,000.
  2. Simple apps: These apps are almost like MVPs, however with a little bit of design aesthetics. Their total cost can easily go up to $20,000 – $60,000.
  3. Average complexity: Along with the core components, these apps have customized UI and a few complicated screens. More integrations are required compared to simple apps. They are fairly mid-range and can cost between $60,000 – $1,50,000.
  4. Complex apps: These are advanced applications that require multifunctional features. They need top-notch technology and integrations. They also come with many user roles and excellent UI. These high-end applications can easily cross $1,50,000 for development.

Pointers to keep in mind

Before you take a call on how to go about hiring your team of developers, here are a few tips from our research to keep in mind, to help you make an informed decision.  

Check portfolio & clientele

No matter if you go for an app development company, a dedicated developer, or hiring a dev team, you must always check their portfolio. A portfolio can give a very good idea of what the developer is capable of. Also, if it is an external vendor or a freelancer, you can check for the existing clientele and their reviews. It will give a good knowledge of their work quality and trustworthiness.

Assess their expertise

You can try to create an assessment procedure to analyze the expertise of the developers you are going to be working with. If they prove to be up to the mark, you can take it further. This is the best option to make sure you hire mobile app developers who can suit your needs and create the desired product for you.

Get an honest client testimonial

External vendors will usually have a full-fledged website showcasing their services, clientele, and testimonials. However, try and find honest testimonials on a third-party platform to ensure they aren’t doctored reviews and highlight all the positive and negative points of the company properly.


As we can see that the cost of mobile app development in 2023 is pretty much very efficient compared to the kind of product you are getting. If you require any such services, you can either hire app developers or get in touch with companies like VLink, which is one of the best iOS/Android app development companies you can hire within a quick turnaround time for your project. All the best for your app development journey!

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