6 Factors That Influence Mobile App Cost

App Development Cost

14 Feb 2023

Andrew Claypole

How much does it cost to develop an app? Although many suggest the number of developer hours spent on a project is a good indication of the cost, there are other important factors to consider.

Statista reported there was a staggering 148 billion apps downloaded by mobile users from the App Store and Google Play Store at the end of 2022. So, it’s no surprise that businesses are choosing to invest in a mobile app.

Mobile offers a gigantic potential customer base.

“Nearly 90% of mobile internet time is spent on apps.”

Many believe that the cost of developing an app is directly proportional to the number of hours a developer devotes to the project. But this is only part of the story.

In this post, we will help you identify 6 of the top key factors that can affect the cost of app development in 2023.

  1. Type & Size of The App
  2. Platforms & Devices
  3. Location & Structure of The Development Team
  4. Design
  5. Features & Functionality
  6. Cost Of Maintenance & Marketing

1. Type And Size of The App

The cost of developing a mobile app can vary depending on the size and complexity. Generally, mobile apps can be classified into three categories: small, medium, and large.

Small – A small app is a lightweight application which is designed to work on one platform and has limited functions. They don’t require API integration or backend development and come with typical user interface components. An example of a small app would be a calculator app already installed on most smartphones.

Medium – Moderate or medium apps are developed for a single platform but include custom UI and payment features. Apps that are built for more than one platform but are less complex also fall under this category. The Costa Coffee Club app is a great example of a medium-sized mobile application.

Large – Large apps are typically much more complex than other types of applications. These types of apps often have multi-language support, third-party integrations, professional design, custom animations and more. In addition to these features, these apps require substantial backend development efforts in order to store and manage large datasets. Examples of this type of app include Uber and Deliveroo mobile apps.

The type of app you want to develop plays a crucial role. You can choose from – simple mobile apps, gaming apps, hybrid apps, native apps, etc. If you opt for the simple one, the cost will be less and vice-versa.  If you want an app for both android and iOS then going for hybrid app development will be a better option. 

2. Platforms & Devices

Developing an app requires a certain level of investment. The amount depends on which platforms and devices the application is built for. If it’s just one platform, then the cost will be lower than if it’s for multiple ones. Additionally, if companion applications are developed for connected TV or wearables, then that raises the total cost of mobile application development.

Mobile app development prices can vary according to the platform, like Android or iOS. Another factor that comes into play is device generation — apps built for older gadgets require more effort and additional time, thus raising the cost of building an app.

3. Location & Structure of The Development Team

When it comes to the cost of mobile app development, the amount you will pay depends on who builds your app. Developing an app with a large organisation might cost more due to having different departments tackling each task while working with a specialist firm or independent developer could result in lower costs as they are likely only to have one team working on the entire project.

Development costs for a mobile app depend on different factors, such as the team size and the size and complexity of the project. A basic development team usually consists of a project manager, programmer, QA engineer, and UI/UX designer. For more extensive projects, an additional back-end developer, system administrator, or 1-2 UI/UX designers may be necessary to ensure that the whole thing runs smoothly. As the project’s scale increases so do the cost of development.

4. Design

Design is crucial to the look, feel, and essence of a mobile app. Optimal user experience starts with attractive and inviting features like logos, icons, wireframes, and user-friendly interfaces. The primary factors which influence design cost may include the designer’s expertise, their location, the complexity of the design project at hand, as well as which platform requires designing.

5. Features & Functionality

Functionality is a broad term that encompasses many important aspects of the development of a mobile application. This includes deciding on the backend infrastructure, integrating third-party services, choosing the content management system, and selecting various technologies. All these choices can potentially add or subtract from the overall cost of development.

Mobile app development costs can be greatly impacted by the features included. Here are some of the most popular features businesses seek out in their custom mobile apps:

  • User Login
  • Sign-up Through Social Media or Email
  • Push Notifications
  • Navigation
  • Chat or Messaging
  • Portrait or Landscape View
  • Geolocation
  • In-app Purchases
  • Payment Integration
  • Maps Integration

Features will vary depending on the type of mobile application.

6. Cost Of Maintenance & Marketing

Mobile applications need constant maintenance. Moreover, you also need to offer updates periodically. It is vital to address the issues of the customers and resolve them. Furthermore, revamping the app’s appearance from time to time is essential to maintain & retain user attention. 

Marketing is another crucial factor when deciding on the cost of app design. It is vital that you promote your app, otherwise just making an application is of no use. Keep in mind that if people don’t know about your application, they are unlikely to use it. You will have to employ more than one strategy for effective marketing. 

At A Glance…


These are some of the factors that determine the cost of the mobile app design. The demand for mobile applications is growing faster than a beanstalk and there is no finish line in sight. We hope that our post has helped you know what can affect the cost of mobile app development in 2023. If you have any questions related to mobile app development for Android, iOS, or any other platform, then feel free to contact us here.

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