How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

What does the cost depend on, how does it add up and how much does it cost to make an app in our studio.

Every customer who wants to make an app asks how much it costs. But it’s impossible to answer this question unambiguously – in each case the cost will be different. It depends on which studio is taking the work and what studio’s costs are included in the cost. Therefore, the same project developers are willing to do for different money. Sometimes the difference is in the hundreds of thousands – and this is normal. We tell you what the cost of the application depends on, how it is calculated and how much it costs to make an application in our studio.

Which studio makes the app?

Why does it cost someone three hundred thousand to develop a mobile app, and someone else three million? It’s about the studio.

There are many different studios in the mobile app development market. There are companies from Moscow and companies from the regions. There are large studios with a staff of two hundred, and then there are small teams of eight or ten people. Some studios specialize in developing applications for medicine and insurance, while others specialize in applications for cabs and the restaurant business. But the main criterion for choosing a studio is the clients it works with. Location, staff, specialization, and prices all depend on this.

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All the studios can be divided into three groups: companies that make applications for 10 million lei, large and medium-sized studios, small studios.

Studios that make apps for ten million dollars

Most often these are established studios, which have been on the market for many years and constantly top the profile ratings, and their portfolios have the logos of giants such as Gazprom, Rosneft, and MTS. They do not take on small and quick projects, because it is not profitable for them. They win tenders for large, long-term projects.

It costs ten million or more to make an application at such a studio, simply because the guys are used to working with very large customers who are willing to pay big money. Large and medium-sized studios. Such studios are also in the ratings, but not in the first positions. And they also work with clients that everyone is familiar with. But for some reason they are not yet able to shape the mobile development market themselves, so they charge a little less for projects than their colleagues. The bill for such studios runs into the millions. Small studios

They are interested in taking on different projects, and they do not care if everyone on the market knows about the customer – these guys understand very well that you have to start small. Usually there are only a few people in these studios, but together they cover the entire cycle of creating a mobile app – from design to development. Therefore, the cost of the application is many times lower than that of their more famous and larger counterparts.

Often it is less than a million. When choosing a studio, look at who other companies in your market are working with. That way you get developers who already have a successful track record of creating similar apps and who offer an adequate price. Studio costs In addition to the size of the studio and the clients with whom it works, the cost of the application is influenced by the company’s expenses for the development of a particular solution. Costs are divided into direct, indirect and other.

Direct costs.

The direct costs, that is labour costs, include the possibilities of the application and its functionality, individual design, platforms the service will run on, as well as the server part and the possibilities of administration. Direct expenses of a mobile development studio, which determine the application price.

Possibilities and functionality of the application

The more complex an application, the more expensive it is. User scenarios, number of screens and application states, buttons, fields, amount of business logic and server infrastructure require many hours of development and subsequent testing. Here are the most costly components. Screens, actions, and data in the application. Each screen has to be invented: choose the optimal arrangement of elements and buttons, think through the business logic, take care of the user experience. Behind this is a lot of work from the studio’s specialists, from the project manager to the tester. For example, in an online store app the data must be displayed dynamically, so that the user can only see the products they are currently able to buy and the current prices. For that it is necessary to synchronize application data with the server, set up and test the API, which is quite expensive.

User scenarios. Interaction with the user starts with the launch of the application. The user registers, goes through the authorization procedure, creates and edits a personal profile, sets up notifications, and then makes a purchase. Each of these elements can be implemented differently. The user authorization procedure can be either simple or complex. It’s easier and cheaper today to use quick authorization by phone number.

But sometimes that is not enough. It is necessary to add functions such as generation of complex passwords, authorization by means of social networks, two-step authentication by sms. All this will increase the cost of development of the authorization module and the application as a whole.

If an application is to have several user roles, e.g. a buyer and a seller, it means that it is necessary to think through user scenarios for all of them.

This makes development more expensive. Using the built-in features of smartphones. In the past the phone could make calls, send messages, transfer data via Bluetooth, and was equipped with a rudimentary accelerometer and a simple camera. Today, you can use your smartphone to pay for purchases, verify your identity, measure your heart rate, and so on. To create applications with access to such functions of mobile devices APIs are used. For such an interface to work correctly with any smartphone, it has to be properly configured and absolutely tested.

This increases the overall development time and affects the final cost. Integration with payment systems depends on the number of payment methods: by card, via wallet, via Apple Pay or Google Play. Each additional payment processing method requires additional time for implementation and testing. If the app needs to use user location data or navigation, this can be implemented in a standard way or using advanced indoor navigation technologies like iBeacon and GeoFencing.

The second option is quite time consuming: developing each of these features increases the cost of the app. Connecting other services. There are times when an app needs to use data from other services, like Yandex.Maps, PayPal, or Vkontakte. Adding one or two popular services to an app is usually straightforward. But if there are a lot of such services, the developer needs many hours. Another situation is when the application needs to be integrated with a specific service, such as the customer’s own CRM system. In this case, the integration can become cumbersome, since no one has solved this problem before and a typical solution cannot be used.

Average cost of application elements development in hours Individual design Usually designers and developers use Apple and Google guidlines. The hydeline is a kind of set of rules that defines how interface elements should look and work so that they are easy to use on different smartphones. But sometimes the customer wants the app to look different from what everyone else is used to. To create a unique UI design, you have to do some serious business analysis and involve UI and UX design professionals. Immersing analysts and project managers in the analysis of the business processes of the future application also incurs additional costs.

A separate cost item is animations. The more complex and unusual the transition from one element in the interface to another, the more expensive it is in development.


Development of mobile apps for iOS and Android is very different. These platforms use different programming languages and development tools, so you need programmers with different skills and experience.

It is considered easier for a programmer to learn how to work with Android, so the cost of Android developers is lower than for iOS specialists. On average, the IOS-developer’s rate is 15-20% higher than that of the Android developer. Besides this, the cost is influenced by the shortage of good IOS-developers, which can be seen on the mobile development market today.

The process of testing an application on each platform is also different. Android has many more different smartphones than iOS. Because of this, it takes more hours to test and debug, which increases the cost of development.

At the same time, each studio forms the cost of app development for different platforms in its own way.

At WINFOX, it is cheaper to make an app for iOS, because we have a smaller fleet of devices and it is cheaper to test. However, iOS developers are about 20% more expensive than Android specialists.

The server part and the database

The server part or backend is the system of information exchange between the application and the customer’s database. For example, backend provides synchronization of data between the stock at your online store and the customer’s warehouse, and is involved in processing payments and bookings.

To develop a backend, programmers need to write code in accordance with API requirements. Accordingly, the more complicated the data exchange tasks and API requirements are, the more expensive the work with the server part of the application is.

Admin Panel

The admin panel is needed to manage the content in the application. For example, to moderate customer feedback, publish articles on the company blog, change the status of orders. To make an admin panel, you need not just one studio employee, but several – you have to do the engineering, design, development, and layout. This significantly affects the final cost of the project.

Indirect costs

In addition to the direct cost of studio specialists, there are other costs which affect the cost of the application. The most significant indirect costs are the office rent and the company’s tax burden.

Office rental

A studio that rents a spacious office in the center of Moscow is prepared to make an app more expensive than a studio with a distributed team of developers. The cost of the app, which is voiced to the customer, already includes the cost of renting an office, utilities, coffee, and cookies for the whole team.

We have a distributed team of developers: the staff is located in different cities and countries. This allows us to avoid additional office expenses. Therefore we offer lower prices than other studios, and at the same time we are not inferior to them in terms of competence and quality of the end product.

Tax burden

If a company works in a transparent way and does not avoid taxes, it has to pay the state from each proceeds. If the employees are officially employed, the company pays VAT and deductions to funds for them. All costs are taken into account when calculating the cost of an application.

Other costs

Other costs include testing and debugging of the application, publication of the application in stock markets, its support and development. If the customer only needs to develop the service, these costs do not affect the cost. But in most cases, the customer wants to develop and maintain an application – in this case, at the beginning of the work, it is necessary to take into account the future expenses.

Testing and stabilization

During testing, bugs and errors are found in the application. For the application to work smoothly and be convenient to use, it is better to fix all the flaws. This requires the inclusion of testers and developers.

Testing is expensive and labor-intensive. But we do not recommend rejecting it.

Publication in stockers

The finished application must be published in the App Store and Google Play. Sometimes the client performs this task himself, but more often he assigns the studio to do it. On average, this costs about 11-15 thousand lei.

Support and development

Technical support for the completed application is just as important as development and takes time. Developers refine the application based on the feedback, administer it, release updates, and other specialists fill the application with content. This work takes time, for which the customer pays.

How we calculate the cost of the app

We build apps from start to finish. Our work usually includes the following steps:

  • – analytics;
  • – Terms of Reference;
  • – engineering and design;
  • – development;
  • – testing and stabilization;
  • – publication in storerooms;
  • – support and development.

The cost of an app is made up of the time required for each stage.

The percentage of time of each stage in the overall process of creating a mobile app

Each project is different. For one, several stages can be combined into one in order to realize what has been conceived faster and cheaper. For another, it makes sense to go through all the stages. When a new customer comes to us, we take into account the specifics of his business, the challenges and opportunities – and together we choose the best way.

Here is an approximate order of prices for applications of different complexity in our studio.

A simple application with basic functions. This is a typical solution for one platform, with a small number of screens, without a lot of user roles and without complex user scenarios. For such a service, we use a template which we adapt to the customer. This does not require much time and very in-depth knowledge, so it is cheaper for the customer.

Term of development: from 20 working days.

Cost: from 500 000 for the platform (iOS, Android).

Over the years we have collected a lot of typical solutions for companies from various business areas. Therefore we offer applications based on typical solutions for service companies, restaurants, food delivery services, online stores. An example of such a solution from our portfolio is Premier Cru.

A complex suggestion with wide functionality. To create application that solves non-standard tasks we have to immerse into customer’s business, think over user scenarios, make application friendly with other services and set up smooth data exchange with different systems of the customer. Complex and lengthy development process is more expensive.

Term of development: from 2 months.

Cost: from 1 000 000 to 2 500 000.

We have experience in developing solutions from scratch, so we are ready to take on complex projects and successfully implement them. Our portfolio contains examples of such projects, such as Sky Lake and Elzhur.


  • To make the same application in different studios is different money. The cost is directly influenced by the scale of the studio and the type of clients it is used to working with.
  • The cost of the application depends on the labor, indirect and other costs of the development studio. Therefore, the same project costs different developers different amounts.
  • The final cost of the application is greatly influenced by the service features and functionality, individual design, the platforms on which the application will run, as well as the server and administration capabilities.
  • It is more expensive to make an application in a studio, which rents a huge office in the center of Moscow, than in a company with a distributed team of developers. In this case, the quality of work and the result, all other things being equal, will be similar.
  • When calculating the cost of an application, they often take into account other expenses that may be needed from the client in the future. For example, the cost of testing, stabilization, publication in stockers, technical support and release of updates.
  • Each studio has its own pricing procedure and methodology for calculating the cost of work. It is better to discuss all this with the performer at the negotiation stage.