Smartphones can be termed the pinnacle of human invention in the entire history of civilization. This pocket-sized computer not only keeps users connected with everyone it also becomes a portal at their fingertips to the immense virtual world. The future of smartphones and apps looks extremely bright with a study by Mind Sea predicting over 258 billion app downloads in 2022. This is a significant increase, as Statista predicts 216 billion app downloads by end of 2020, with an average of 590 million apps downloaded daily.

There are numerous categories under which every app is classified. Business owners need to determine the most relevant category under which their desired app is planned to be classified. To help you understand the impact of this decision, a report by Statista on the most popular apps in the App Store might be helpful. According to the report, the top popular category remains Games with over 25% share, followed by Business which has the second-largest share at nearly 10% with Education following close behind.

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These facts prove the immense potential of the smartphone app for businesses to reach out to consumers. If you are a business owner, you need to have a business mobile app to tap the immense potential of smartphone-centric consumers.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to calculate the cost of mobile app development and can determine how much it cost to develop a mobile app for your business.

How to Calculate the Cost of Mobile App Development

There are several factors that determine the overall cost of mobile app development. Hence, it is always advisable to have sufficient leeway in your budget for extra expenses during the development process.

How to Calculate the Cost of Mobile App Development?

Major Factors that Determine the Cost of Mobile App Development

Some of the major factors that determine the cost of developing mobile apps are:

  • Who is developing your mobile app?
  • How do you want your app to be built?
  • What do you need your app to do?

Apart from these, these are some of the other elements of a mobile app that you need to decide to calculate the cost of mobile app development:

1. What type of mobile app do you want?

There are different types of apps, and the development costs vary noticeably between each type. Here’s a list to help you decide the type of app you want to build for your enterprise:

  • Device App
  • Data-Driven App
  • Custom Utility App
  • Functionality App
  • Game App

2. What are the features you want in your mobile app?

The number of features in your app will also be the deciding factor in the cost of app development. For example, a basic mobile app with minimal functions can be developed for a couple of thousand dollars. Basic apps are those that come built-in with a smartphone or purely functional apps, such as a clock, calculator, etc.
However, the cost of mobile app development increases as you add advanced features. For example, online shopping apps need to have synchronization with the internet, use real-time GPS, process payments, and link with other app users. This type of app will clearly cost more.

3. What is the cost of developing your mobile app?

Apart from coding, some of the elements that run up the cost of advanced mobile apps are:

  • Back-end development
  • Designing cost
  • Structuring
  • Securing
  • Testing

Each of these development processes requires skilled designers, developers, and testers to ensure the optimal functioning of mobile apps. The cost of hiring US-based app developers is significantly higher and you can choose to outsource the project to an equally-skilled app developer from India.
Here’s an estimate of the cost of designing a mobile app:

Process Visual Designing UX Designing Icon Branding Copy Writing
Estimated Cost $5,000 $10,000-$25,000 $2,500-$10,000 $1,000-$5,000

Another factor that determines the cost of mobile app development is the choice of the app developer. You can choose to hire mobile app developers from:

  • Big corporations
  • Small app development companies
  • Freelancers

As each of these skilled developers will charge you by the hour, here’s a simple breakdown of the estimated cost of developing different types of mobile apps:

App Type Simple App Database App/API Enterprise App Game
Cost Estimate $10,000 $10,000-$50,000 $50,000-$150,000 $5,000-$250,000
Duration to Develop 2-4 weeks 2-3 months 3-6 months (Varies)

Once you have decided on the type of app you need to build, according to its functions, you will need to place it in the most relevant category in the App Store or Play Store.


It is highly recommended to choose the app developer based on their success rate, flexibility, and quality of work. Make sure to choose the best-suited developer for your mobile app after researching their portfolio and recommendations.