How much does it cost to make an app?

What Should Be Done

The concept of mobile app development extends beyond programming. It can be about creating a trial version that tests the concept; perhaps it might be an MVP - a minimal viable product, whose task is to test the performance of the business model; or the development of a more complete version of the working MVP; it can also be a whole software package, which includes bundles with third-party services, payment systems, complex server logic, and so on.

Therefore, to answer the question "how much does it cost to make an app," you need to decide what type of product you need.

Depending on the classification, applications may be divided into:

That is, written in the language of the platform an app is intended for and can use all the functionality of the smartphone, such as camera or accelerometer.

Websites with mobile layout that works in a mobile browser.

The web and native technologies, work on Android and iOS, can use the smartphone functionality, but the user experience is often inferior to native analogues.

As for the choice of the operating system - it's no secret that Android and iOS are the most popular now. Apple applications, as a rule, are more expensive on the Play Market, then mobile apps for Android are in demand for a much larger number of users. According to statistics, Android is now the most widely used OS in the world.

You can make an average mobile app for iOS or Android that will cost about $20 000 and it will take 4-5 months. In fact, cost estimation in different development studios vary in dozen times both in terms and in cost. So how do you know how much an app should cost if the studio estimates are so different? How much does it cost to make a software product? We will try to answer this question based on our experience of launching several dozens of products.

How to Realise the Idea

There are a number of project development methodologies, but they all fall into two broad categories: the waterfall (classical) method and agile development approach, where all the process is divided in several interactions.

  • The method of waterfall development became popular a very long time ago, and can be used in completely diverse industries: anything from the treatment of land for farming to the construction of a spacecraft. Its essence lies in the detailed planning of the cycle from the beginning to the end. This is a kind of black box, at the entrance to which a lot of documentation worked up to the details is delivered, and at the output there is a finished product. The advantages of this method include the ability to immediately see the cherished figures for the cost and timing of the final product.

  • The second paradigm (Agile) is an iterative approach to making products. We can make a plan for the product development, covering the functionality, which can be implemented in 2 weeks. Next, we run it, see what happened, what needs to be added, and form the scope of work. That is, we study, plan, perform, check, and so on in a cycle. The minuses include the partial uncertainty of the budget and the timing of the development. The scope of work and its cost are accurately calculated only for the nearest iteration. This approach is more flexible, but more time-consuming, as it’s not possible to cover all the risks of the project.
How much does it cost to build an app

What Is the Purpose of the Project?

To evaluate the development cost, it is important to understand why it is being done. If the goal of the project is to test the idea, then it is better to manage the minimum amount of funds by implementing only the functionality that will be tested.

  • If it is a question of making an app for use within a company that has already used similar products, and the details of the operation are clear and known, the budget is calculated on the basis of a set of requirements.
  • If the task has time to provide technical solutions for a certain time, the calculations are based on available time resources.

Who Will Use It

A mobile app can be developed for users, and for the internal staff. Each of these cases requires its approach to the development of the product, and therefore the evaluation of the timing and budget.

Our Achievements:

322 App Development Projects
413 Mobile Applications
75 Enterprise Software Solutions

How Is the Cost Calculated

The cost of any work is calculated on the basis of two parameters: their volume and the cost of an hour of labor. The classical structure of work on creating a mobile app consists of the following stages:

  • Paperwork;
  • System design;
  • General issues of data storage and processing;
  • Data synchronisation issues;
  • Prototyping;
  • UI / UX design, development;
  • Polishing the UI / UX design on the prototype;
  • Manage user accounts;
  • Server logic;
  • Integration with external services;
  • Push notifications;
  • Support for version compatibility;
  • Testing;
  • Launch.

This list varies from developer to developer and from project to project. However, when answering the question how much it costs to build a mobile app, often only prices from several studios are compared, without an analysis of the works that are included in the assessment.

The cost of one hour of work depends both on the level of skills of specialists, and on the brand of the studio itself.

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How Much does it Cost to Make an App: Android vs. iOS

Back to the original question, but just ask it more specifically: How much does it cost to build an Android app? The answer is obvious - it costs as much as what would cost an iOS app, if not more expensive. From our experience, clients primarily prefer to make software for iOS. The reason is that Apple are pioneers and has a long established track record in the market. Moreover, customers rely on charging in the Apple Store, that also effectively influences the decision why this platform is the most preferable choice among developers, business owners and brands. If the iOS solution was successful, then customers are already ordering an adaptation for Android, to enter a new market and discover new opportunities.

Finalisation of the extended functional can take up a large number of resources - the complexity of the solutions can be high with large labor costs for their implementation.



You can determine exactly how a particular contractor evaluates the work, asking him to clarify the following questions:

  • Which works are included in the assessment?
  • How long does it take to work with the documentation?
  • How long does the design take?
  • What works besides documentation, design and programming are included in the estimated volume?
  • How much does an one hour of work cost?
  • Do you give recommendations on necessary and redundant functionality?

The answers to these questions are extremely important for understanding the mechanics of the evaluation of the studio. For example, you might find that you pay more for design than for development. Or that the cost of a specialist's work exceeds the level of his estimated salary by 4-5 times.

On the Internet, there are many sites on which for a couple of clicks you can get an estimation of your idea implementation, for example at or We also developed our calculator so that you can calculate the approximate cost of your app, depending on the functionality required. Unfortunately, it’s not a way to do the real app cost estimation. To find out, how much does it cost to make an app, the software requirement specification must be created with lots of details about application.

So, Let's Move on to the Details

Here at Magora, we believe that for any task and purpose, making an app on one platform can cost as much as for another. In addition, as we have already said, in some cases, development for Android can become even more expensive. It also depends on the complexity of the app, as well as whether you need functionality.

We have broken the app making process into three stages - design, programming and testing - so that you can more easily grasp the essence of each stage. If you need a simple program for one platform, then you can rely on the cost of $ 10 000 - 15 000. If you need a complex corporate solution for several platforms, then it can cost you up to $100 000.

So, if you are going to make a business, and the conquest of the digital market is one and the most important plans, then the Magora's team is here to help you. We build apps, and help the clients worldwide to advance businesses. We work with all mobile platforms, including iOS (iPhone, iPad, iWatch) Android, and also we are engaged in web-solutions. We make native apps and cross-platform software, depending on the project's goals and objectives. We help to choose the right technology and platform for the first app.

We have already worked with both small business and international brands. So if you need help, do not hesitate to contact us.

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