How much does it cost to make an app in 2024-2025?

How much does it cost to make an app?

The question of how much it costs to develop an application can't be answered in a few words, as the total is calculated based on many factors. In this article, we will discuss types of apps and share their estimated cost provided by AI, look at developer hourly rates in different regions, see how the target industry can affect the app development cost, and share some of our insights on calculations.

Types of applications

What associations come to your mind once you hear the word ‘app’? Probably, applications you've recently downloaded to your smartphone. But, actually, these represent just one kind of application — a mobile one. Should you be interested in knowing more about mobile app development services, click on the link. However, there are other types of software, and the final app cost is usually affected by the purpose of application development and the technologies used during this process. Below we'll explain what app types exist and provide their development cost relying on data provided by AI chatbot that analyzed data from Glassdoor, Payscale, and Upwork data.

Native app development

There are two key approaches to developing mobile apps - native development and cross-platform development. Native development is when IT developers create a mobile app using coding languages and tools native to Apple's iOS operating system or Google's Android operating system.

If you decide to engage in native development, you will have to create two separate apps for iOS and Android. The key advantage of this approach is the ability to provide outstanding app performance and the ability of the app to connect to smartphone gear like GPS or camera. Let's take a look at iOS and Android app development separately.

Android native app

It is a type of app made for smartphones running on the Android platform. Android apps are usually downloaded from the Google Play app store. A native Android mobile application can be built with Java or Kotlin coding languages. An Android app is usually stored in the memory of a smartphone and, unlike web applications, operates as an independent program.

Often, businesses start with developing just an Android or iOS version and complementing it with another platform later on. One of the key pros of creating an Android app is its growing target audience since most people in emerging markets and developing areas tend to use Android-based devices.

If you start with developing an Android app, you can later complement it with an iOS app, or you may develop these apps in parallel. To develop native mobile apps for two different platforms, you will have to hire two separate development teams and later keep working with each of them for app maintenance, which is both costly and difficult. All in case they don't opt for a cross-platform development approach. Here are the Android app costs for different regions provided by AI.

Average cost of Android app development*

iOS app development

Another kind of application, specifically designed for Apple devices running on the iOS platform. iOS apps are available in the App Store. There are two native languages to choose from for iOS app development — Objective-C and Swift. Developers can choose either one of them or use both in a single project.

Developing apps for the iOS operating system is a good choice for startups looking to make a mark in the mobile app industry. With its large and ever-growing user base, the iOS platform offers a great opportunity to reach a wide and solvent audience.

Average cost of iOS app development

Cross-platform development

This is another approach to the development of mobile apps. The concept implies that such an app utilizes the same codebase for multiple platforms. Frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, and other technologies can be used for cross-platform development.

Cross-platform development is a quick and cost-effective way to build digital products and provide greater user accessibility. Instead of developing separate apps for iOS, Android, and the web—with different languages and tools—you can use a single codebase for all platforms. This approach significantly reduces the overall development cost and simplifies the process.

At Ronan IT we prefer using React Native framework for cross-platform development. Its components are highly optimized for mobile devices, so the users of any platform get a native-like experience. The React Native app development provides flexibility, with a large number of ready-to-use solutions and a reusable code, sharing the same logic as React.js, allowing you to use the same code for the front-end side of the product web version.

We also recommend utilizing React Native app development because this technology is compatible with JavaScript and TypeScript which are popular coding languages, and there are no problems with finding developers for this direction.

Average cross-platform app development cost

Now let's take a look at the statistics provided by UpWork. It provides data about rates of developers working with different platforms and mobile development technologies.

Type of developerHourly rates
iOS app developer$45-75
Android app developer$25-85+
React Native developer$25-70

As you can see, the rates don't differ much. But when choosing the approach, you should always remember that with native development you will have to develop two apps with similar functionality but implement it with completely different tools and languages, which requires more tech expertise and resources. If your aim is to test your business idea as quickly as possible, it's better to choose React Native app development since this approach will provide shorter time-to-market and require fewer labor resources.

Are you planning to develop a mobile app? Contact us to calculate the mobile app development cost

Web app

It's an application type that doesn't require downloading. It is stored on a remote server and accessed by users through the browser via the Internet. HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript are usually used for this type of application development.

A web app can be rendered for many devices or, if you have tight deadlines, companies go just for the mobile-first app design. Anyway, it is a cost-effective way for a business to reach a wide audience. One of the well-known web applications is a well-known Google product — Google Docs, where the draft of this text was written.

Average cost of web application development

Desktop app

Desktop applications are software programs that run directly on computer devices, as opposed to web-based apps which require an internet browser to access. They function locally on a personal computer or laptop. Different programming languages and frameworks can be used for desktop application development, for example, Java or Python.

To utilize it, a user needs to download a package and install a desktop app on the machine. Some examples of such apps are Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft products, and browsers.

Average cost of desktop app development

The development cost changes depending on the location of your IT contractor

Once you've made up your mind on the type of application you want to build, check both the developer's and designer's hourly rates even if you're planning to develop an app with an outsourcing company because it can give you an understanding of the average price for your software development project. Many development teams work under so-called time and material contracts, which means that the development cost derives from the hours spent on developing the product. However, this approach should not make you think that you will have to overpay; you can still create an application so that its price will fit your budget.

A reasonable question would be if a designer's work is necessary. The answer is yes because there is a huge chance a user won't download your product if the app design is not attractive, the app doesn't have a clear brand image, or the navigation is bewildering. That's why app design cost should become one of the major issues in the list of your software expenses.

The following is the hourly rates of designers and developers and the precise cost for their work. Usually, a development process takes around two months while working on an app design takes another month, and the costs in the table are calculated according to these periods.

per hour2 monthsper hour1 month
Western Europe$40–70$13,400–$23,500$30–50$5,000–$8,400
Asia Pacific$25–50$8,400–$16,800$20–45$3,400–$7,600
Eastern Europe$20–40$6,700–$13,400$15–35$2,500–$5,900
Latin America$20–35$6,700–$11,700$15–30$2,500–$5,000

And you may wonder how the figures in this particular table correlate with the figures for the Android and iOS mobile app development above. Well, building, let's say, an application for the Android platform doesn't include only the hourly rates of a single developer and a single designer. Depending on the complexity of a product, the team size changes and so does the web or mobile app development cost. Add management resources, QA testing, data storage, domain purchase if one is needed, and other expenses, and you'll get the final development cost.

App development costs for different industries

Even though calculation may vary due to the complexity of an application, it is possible to calculate the approximate development cost for different industries. Thus, we know that to build a taxi-hailing app we need an admin panel and paired apps for a driver and a rider, or we need a profile and messenger for social networks. Therefore, these are the lower threshold of costs for the different niches:

Real estate$35,000+
Social network$60,000+

Surveys about app development cost

These were the development costs gathered and structured by AI technology. Let's take a look at surveys provided by Clutch and Goodfirms, websites for finding business services including app development companies that can become your tech contractors.


Here are the graphs that reflect the average web and mobile app development costs for the projects displayed on Clutch.

App development cost for mobile and web projects on Clutch

As a conclusion to its survey, Clutch notes that the rates the app development company charges will be the decisive factor that forms the app development cost. The rates usually depend on the agency's experience, location, and size. The highest cost for your software development project is the labor prices associated with it.


Now let's take a look at the surveys provided by Goodfirms. Goodfirms is the platform that aggregates rates and reviews. On this website, you can find reviews for top app development companies. Goodfirms names the following factors affecting both web and mobile app development costs:

  • Number of features and app functionality
  • App infrastructure
  • App complexity
  • Complexity of app design
  • App maintenance
  • App security
  • App industry
  • Number of platforms
  • Location of the development team
  • Experience and skills of the development team
  • Customization required
  • Number of integrations required
  • Animations and visual aids
  • Prototyping required

Clutch tend to divide all the applications into simple, complex, and advanced apps. Here's the table that lists features and development costs for each category.

Mobile App ComplexityFeatures IncludedTime Taken(in Hrs)Total Cost For Economic Project (at $60/Hr)Total Cost for High-end Project (at $122/Hr)
Simple AppBasic User Features & App Admin240–560$12,960 to $30,240$29,280 –$68,320
Complex AppComplex + Basic User Features & App Admin640–1120$34,560 to $60,480$78,080– $136640
Advanced AppAdvanced + Complex + Basic User Features & Admin1040–1520$56,160 to $82,080$126,880–$185,440

The Goodfirms categorizes features as follows. Simple app features include ones that provide users with minimum essential functionality to create an account and navigate the app. These include login and sign-in, managing user profiles, chatting with other users, uploading files, searching and filtering app entities. At the same time, an admin can modify app content and manage essential business functions using a content management system, user management, feedback system, push notifications, ticketing system, and more.

In complex apps, users get additional features for monetization and user engagement. They include content feeds, social media integrations, e-commerce functionality, payment gateways, and audio and video streaming features. These apps can utilize device features like a camera, GPS, gallery, and calling. Admins get features for order and cart management, payment management, analytics, etc.

Advanced apps utilize the latest technologies such as AI and VR, and provide multi-language support. Some apps like these include AI-powered chatbots to enhance user touchpoints. All in all, app development complexity is another huge factor that affects the cost.

How do AI technologies affect app development costs?

If you wonder, how the advent of artificial intelligence affected the price we pay for app development, we can give an unambiguous answer. From one point of view, it raises the app development cost, while from the other point of view, it reduces it. Here are several points to consider:

  • AI eases up the development routine for IT specialists — AI streamlines various aspects of the development process, automating repetitive tasks and reducing the time needed for coding, testing, and debugging. This effectively decreases labor costs, one of the most significant expenses in mobile app development.
  • AI reduces code errors — AI-driven tools improve code accuracy and reduce the likelihood of errors, leading to fewer costly revisions and less time spent on troubleshooting post-launch issues. This reduces overall app development costs.
  • AI-power features improve user engagement — While AI can help cut costs in many areas, incorporating advanced AI features like machine learning, natural language processing, or computer vision can increase mobile app development costs due to the specialized expertise and resources required. However, these features often lead to higher user engagement and ROI, justifying the initial investment.

Need some help with counting your app cost? Delegate this task to us!

Cost to develop a mobile app MVP with Ronas IT

How we estimate the cost of a mobile app development project

We provide our customers with an approximate estimation based on our experience first. The reason is it's hard to tell the exact sum of the stage of conceptualization when you don't know the number and complexity of features to develop. In a meeting with a client, our analyst clarifies the vision of a product to be built, and then we split the project into milestones.

After getting a clear understanding of what needs to be done, a client is provided with the second rough estimation of design and development costs. Once the app design is completed, we inform a customer about a precise timeline and app development cost.

Finally, when the work is done, we prepare a document that shows the total estimation. The estimated price is calculated based on the hours needed to develop both the client and server side of each functional model. A functional model is basically a feature in the app, e.g. ability to add photos to the profile. Such services as deployment and architecture design constitute the tech part and are all included in the development cost.

Learn more about the methods of project estimation and our workflow in the article How to estimate the development of a website or an app.

How the price is calculated

The following is a demonstration of how we estimate a project for you to get a brief impression of what to expect when you decide to build your application with an outsourcing app development company. Even though the estimation below doesn't relate to a particular case, costs are based on our real projects. Let's have a look at the breakdown of the delivery app MVP.

Delivery app

Imagine building a simple delivery app for a fast-food restaurant. The scope of work is going to be split into four basic parts: UI/UX design, development, design management, and development management.

How much it costs to develop a delivery app
Food delivery application user flow

User flow

To estimate the time to build an app, let's begin by describing its functionality in terms of core features. These features are further split into subtasks. Usually, the description of these milestones in app development is formulated by our managers from the user's point of view, which makes it easier to imagine the outcomes of the project: I can add a product to the cart, I can view pictures of a dish, I can pay for the order, and so on. We call such descriptions user stories. With their help, we outline all the app functionality and estimate how much time is required to install all of them into the app. After the breakdown is completed, we calculate the app development cost based on the total number of hours.

FlowUser StoriesEstimated hours
Project initializationMind Map12
Visual concept16
Concept presentation12
Food marketplaceI can see recommended offers20
I can search for offers
I can explore offer details
I can purchase an offer
I can use tags to search for offer
I can use map to search for offers
Here's what our project breakdown usually looks like

App features

Here's the list of the essential delivery app features that need to be included in the app development cost estimate. The list of features should be completed and discussed before mobile app design is started.

  • Product search — The search may include such actions as choosing categories, filtering items by cost, viewing a short description, adding and proceeding to the cart, and opening product cards. It may also include a promo display if needed.
  • Product card — An item card usually consists of a photo, a short description, and an opportunity to add the product to the cart and choose the number of meals.
  • Shopping cart — Developing a cart is the least time-consuming design. Normally, its interface allows users to view the list of items, remove items or change their number, clear the cart, and proceed to payment.
  • Order confirmation and payment — At this stage, a user should be able to fill in the info about the address and choose the time of delivery. Also, it is important to think of the method of payment, ways of order confirmation, and add an opportunity to pay in the app.
  • Orders history — Once the order is placed, the information about the time and the content of the order. Some may want to add updates on the status of the order.
  • Support — The simplest screen displays the contact info of the support manager or an empty field for the message.
  • Promos — If a restaurant has special offers, promotions, and discounts to display, they can be placed on a separate screen. If the screen needs navigation such as clicking on the offer for more details or an opportunity to proceed to the product at a discount, then it may won't take long to accomplish this app feature.
  • Project initialization — By this, we mean work that needs to be done to start the app design. This stage includes procedures like the development of the UI Kit and design concept.

App design

The implementation of all the above-mentioned features in the UI/UX design mockup will take approximately 35–40 hours. The complexity of the app affects the app design cost. Design features like animations, hand-drawn illustrations, or branding elements will increase the overall app development cost, however, they will raise user engagement and make your brand more recognizable as well.


When the mobile app design is completed, it's time to give a precise estimate of the development timeline. Based on our experience of estimating building such applications with the features listed above, time to develop and deploy a food delivery application, including frontend and backend parts, must take the development team around 300–350 hours. Should you need an admin panel, it may add 150–200 hours more to the development time.


When calculating the total, don't forget about the rates for the work of project manager. The project manager helps you to communicate with the development team, discusses your requirements, answers your questions, presents the ready parts of your app, and manages the entire project flow.

Without the proper management, the project may not meet the required timeline and cost. That's why a project manager is an essential part in the list of your expenses if you decide to engage in web or mobile app development.


Finally, here are the approximate costs for the hours of MVP design and development mentioned above. Note that this is a template of an app with just basic features, and if you're planning to add more of them, the app development cost will increase too. Here's the estimated cost for a delivery app with basic features.


Finally, here are the approximate costs for the hours of MVP design and development mentioned above. Note that this is a template of an app with just basic features, and if you're planning to add more of them, it may cost more, too.

UI/UX management1 week$320
App development management8–9 weeks$2,560–$2,880
Time9–10 weeks

What expenses to expect if it's your first project

For those who are looking forward to developing their first application, estimation might become a challenging task. However, there is an average development cost that a startup founder may expect to spend on any type of app. Based on our experience and apps developed earlier, almost any type of app with all necessary features can be developed for $40,000–$45,000.

Check related articles on development costs featured in the blog:

How much does it cost to build an app like WhatsApp in 2024-2025?
How much does it cost to make a website in 2024-2025?
How much does it cost to develop an e-commerce app?

In conclusion

The cost of application development depends on many factors, such as what type of app you wish to build, who is going to build it, and what features are required. There are also differences in app development costs depending on the region which result in varying hourly rates among IT contractors in different locations. You should also never forget about app maintenance since you will need to make your app smooth in use and up-to-date for users.

Even though most projects have an average development cost, there is still the need for a clearer understanding of the desired project and the complexity of the product. Contact us whenever you're ready, and we'll be happy to clarify your vision and estimate an approximate cost of your project.

Are you searching for an experienced app development company? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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