How Much Does It Cost To Create A Custom App?

This question may seem simple, but the short answer “It depends” doesn’t make things easier for entrepreneurs. Estimating the development cost is a complicated process, and the final estimate is affected by a number of factors.

Still, we know how crucial it is to put a price tag on everything – as an entrepreneur, you need to calculate whether the app itself is going to be economically viable and plan your expenses. So, let’s take a look at the main factors that impact the development cost.

If you want to find out more on the topic, check out our articles on the cost of app development and one particular case study that answers the question “How much does Spotify cost?

custom app development costImage Source: Dribbble

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What Factors Should You Take Into Account?

Before you ask the “how much does it cost to create an app?” question, let’s find out two key factors that the cost actually depends on.

The Hourly Rates

Basically, the development cost is defined as the number of hours multiplied by the hourly rates of the specialists on the development team. The hourly rates themselves depend on two criteria: the specialist’s qualification and his or her location.

Depending on the qualification (and specialization), the hourly rate in the same region may vary from $20 to as much as $250 per hour (as it is in the US and Canada). As for the geographical differences, there are six most popular regions for development services. Let’s see the approximate average hourly rates developers demand in each region:

  • North America ($150-168 / hour)
  • Australia ($110 / hour);
  • UK ($70 / hour);
  • South America ($34-43 / hour);
  • Eastern Europe ($35 / hour);
  • India ($26-30 / hour).
custom app development

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The Complexity Of The App

This is what determines how much time is needed for the development and what kind of specialists you need. If we generalize, we can divide all apps into three categories depending on their complexity:

  • low-complexity apps that have one main feature and consist of up to 4 screens (300-600 hours);
  • medium-complexity apps with a back-end database and APIs (600-800 hours);
  • high-complexity apps with multiple features that use hardware (camera, microphone, etc.) (1,200+ hours).

In turn, the app’s complexity is determined by four key factors:


The more features you’d like to implement in your app, the higher its cost will be. Besides, depending on the features, developers may be able to use ready-made APIs which save their time, or they may have to develop a feature from scratch (which is going to be more expensive).

Design Customization

You have two options, basically: you can opt for a pre-made user interface and maybe customize it a bit, or develop one from scratch. Obviously, the latter one will cost you a lot more.


What OS do you want your app to work on? The answer to this question defines the type of development. Building an app for just one platform means opting for native development (and there is no big difference in cost between iOS and Android development). In case you want an app that runs on both platforms, you can choose developing two apps from scratch or opt for hybrid development which means the code is reused and shared. The latter option is more cost-efficient as it reduces the development time.

Back-End Development

It determines how data will be exchanged between the app and the database. This can also include tracking various metrics, and the development cost is affected by what indicators you want to be monitored and how detailed the results should be. The back-end development also includes a third-party or developed-from-scratch administration panel, and the latter one would be more expensive, of course.

custom app development

The Bottom Line

So, how much does an app cost? Well, we’ve only begun answering this question. The development cost varies in each particular case as there are multiple factors that affect it to a certain extent. So, do not hesitate to request a quote for your particular project.

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Rajinder Singh

Founder of

Fountainhead of Thehotskills - Web Design Inspiration & Immense Art - Leading Web Design Agency based in Chandigarh offering cutting-edge UX/UI consulting & design, custom build and SEO friendly web design & development, and, interactive digital product design services.

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