How much does it cost to make an app? (A Comprehensive Guide to app development process!)

app development cost in India

Why do you need an app in the first place?

With ever-increasing demand in Smartphone internet user, all business owners are looking to transform their businesses into the mobile app. With the help of a mobile app, one can directly be into their customer’s smartphone and in front of their eyes. A mobile app can help in increasing branding, can reduce operation cost by increasing return on investment and it can act as a user engagement tool for boosting retention and sales.


In addition to that, mobile usage in India is on an increase because of the following factors:

  • There are 627 million internet users in India, which is ever increasing due to cheaper data rates in India (Thanks to JIO movement)
  • Smartphone users have risen from about 40% to 90% (2012-2018)
  • Most users are being close with smartphones at day and nighttime and prefer to browse on an app rather than the web.



What factors determine the cost of making an app?

When talking about an app development cost, the main factor that determines the cost will always be an hourly rate charged. A more complex app requires more time to be developed while a basic app requires less time obviously.

The other possible price variants may be the following:

  1. Complexity: It is the level of complexity of an app. The app can be basic, medium or feature-rich complex app.
  2. Team Location: Setting up your team and office can be expensive while outsourcing to a good software development agency or freelancer might be a fairly cheaper option.

UI and UX

Many apps have amazing design and they provide the best user experience. Spending money in UX is not an option but the biggest choice for success. If a customer notices that the application is tricky to interact then it will make a bad impression of your brand. There is more probability of user bouncing to your competitor app. Creating an app with a great UI and UX feature is a must for a successful app. And yes it costs a lot.


Additional expenses include post-release, server maintenance, hosting charges, bug fixes, social media integration, and in-app purchase.



What are the Apps complexity scale?

app design cost in India

There are basically three types of apps on a complexity scale. The complex apps have more features and can be more engaging while a basic app does 2-3 tasks only.


  • Basic app: 3-4 screens, 2-3 features only

Talking about the basic complexity app, generally, these type of apps contains basic functionality, guiding direction, Simple Search, Simple UI/UX and map view. They have contents without back-end architecture or heavy integration of third-party APIs.



  • Medium app: Backened database, integrated APIs

These kinds of the app not only includes all the essential features of the simple app but it also has some added features like UI/UX- Tablets support, Search by map, Several Roles, Social Integration, Filters, etc.

They may also have features such as an attractive UI, real-time chat option, payment options, communication with local handset data, an operating backend server and integration of foreign APIs.


  • Complex app: multiple features including hardware ones, streaming, networking, etc.

These apps also include all the features of Simple and medium complexity apps but they have added complex features such as Integration with 3rd Party services, Custom Animation, Advanced Filters, amazing UI & UX Payments Integration, Chat feature, hardware support, BT, GPS integration, etc.

Other advanced features of the complex app are like cross-platform functioning, third-party services, audio/video support, synchronization, rapid interactive system, animations, database and back end and much more.

Here are the details of some additional features of a complex app:

  • Sign In: Maximum mobile apps include this feature in which a user can sign up by email or can log in with the help of social media accounts. The login details are saved which in turn helps in email marketing
  • User profile: User profiles are some of the great features you can add to an app. Where user history and preferences are saved.
  • Payments: payment method is another attractive and useful feature for a business which sells products.
  • Geo-location: This feature helps to provide location bases services to the user. It is a crucial feature for food delivery apps and booking apps.

These additional features require the numbers of hours of the development process which increases the overall expense and considered as factors that affect the cost of an app.



How can you have your app developed?

When it comes to app development there are two methods that you can use to build your very own brand app. One is to set up an in-house developers team for your app development and other is to hire someone to do that for you.

Benefits of Local development:

If you’re planning to develop your app in house, then you might need to set up a team of 2-10 developers depending on the complexity level of your app. You might also need to make sure that they are professional and creative as well. The following are the advantages of having an in-house team.

  • Physical proximity
  • Simplified communications


Benefits of Outsourcing to an agency:

Outsourcing your app development might be a better option for you, let me tell you why. First thing first, it will save you a lot of efforts, you only have to work on finding the best agency which fits your budget. The agency has a team of great developers and designers so you don’t need to worry about that. They have engineers of the high level of expertise and can deliver your project on deadline. You also don’t have to worry about setting up a fancy office and monitor employees.  The following are the advantages of having your project outsourced to an agency.

  • Reasonable costs
  • Higher level of expertise



What is the typical App development process?

cost of an app development

Below are some of the typical process for an app development process and each of these steps is taken forward after the approval of clients.

  1. Planning
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Testing
  5. Post-release services



What are the Global Average prices per hour:

Below are the average hourly cost of developing an app in western and developing countries. While the average rates in developed countries are higher but in developing countries such as India offers cheaper hourly rates for the same app to develop. This is the top reason why most app and software development project is outsourced to India.

CountriesiOS app(per hour)Android app (per hour)
North America$150$168
South America$43$34
Eastern Europe$35$35



What is the average time required for app development?

android app development India 2019

  • Basic app: for development of a basic app it usually takes around 300-600 hours and may vary with the number of features to be added.
  • Medium app: for a medium level of an app, it takes approximate 600-800 hours to develop. The cost can also vary with the level of expertise of developers and features to be added.
  • Complex app: for a complex level app, it typically takes around 800-1200 hours of time to develop which includes testing, bug fixing, and maintenance.



What is the average cost* required for app development?

average cost required for app development

The above-average time makes the cost of app development sum up to:

  • Basic app: $2000 – $20,000
  • Medium app: $20,000 – $50,000
  • Complex app: over $50,000

*(Assuming hourly charges to be $50)



Post app development cost and expense:

The smartphone app development cost ends here but there is also some post-development expense that you should care about. To start with, don’t forget that you still have to pay their monthly or annual fee according to your price plan even after the app publishing your app. You would likely to be paying the app maintenance charges. Application maintenance is the procedure where an agency keeps your app active and promotes it. Understanding and considering ongoing mobile app maintenance costs are essential in properly planning for your mobile app budget.

So, it would be a huge mistake to deploy all your budget into just initial app development and not planning a budget for the mobile app maintenance stages.


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