Building an App in 2024: Cost Breakdown

Home»Blog» App Development » Building an App in 2024: Cost Breakdown

A successful mobile application is now an essential part of any company’s business plan, especially in 2024. It has a significant effect on businesses in all sectors. However, app development expenses are complex, and businesses need to be aware of this as the need for creative and intuitive apps grows.

How Much Does It Cost to Build an App?

The process of estimating the cost of developing an app is complex and involves taking into account several variables that affect the final budget. The cost of developing an app can differ greatly depending on the features, complexity, platform (Android, iOS, or both), and the development team’s location. Depending on these variables, the typical cost to develop a mobile application as of 2024 can vary from $5,000 to $50,000 or more.

Cost Breakdown of Developing an App

To gain a clearer understanding of the app development cost breakdown, let’s dissect the key components that contribute to the overall expenses:

1) Conceptualization and Planning

  • Defining the app’s purpose and functionality
  • Conducting market research
  • Creating wireframes and prototypes


2) Conceptualization and Planning


3) Development

  • Front-end development
  • Back-end development
  • Database development and integration
  • Integration of third-party APIs and services


4) Testing

  • Quality assurance and testing phases
  • Bug fixing and code optimization
  • Compatibility testing on different devices and platforms


5) Deployment

  • Preparing the app for release
  • Submitting the app to app stores (Google Play, Apple App Store)
  • Post-launch support and monitoring

Factors Influencing the Cost of Developing an App

Several factors contribute to the variation in app development costs. Understanding these factors is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions about their app development budget:

1) App Complexity

In general, simpler programs with fewer features cost less money. Apps with complex functionality, real-time capabilities, and advanced features typically have higher prices.

2) Platform Selection

Costs are impacted by developing for iOS, Android, or both platforms. Every platform has unique design specifications and requirements for development which picture into costing.

3) Design Complexity

High-quality, intricate designs contribute to a polished and engaging user experience but can significantly increase costs.

4) Development Team Location

The geographical location of the development team can affect development expenses. Using offshore services in nations with cheaper labor costs can help cut costs.

5) Post-Launch Maintenance

Updates, support, and ongoing maintenance are included in the total cost of ownership. In order to fix bugs, and security flaws, and ensure compatibility with new devices or OS versions, regular updates are required.

Hidden Costs of Developing an App

While many businesses focus on the primary stages of app development, hidden costs can catch them off guard. It’s essential to be aware of these potential expenses to avoid budget overruns:

  • Implementing robust security features to protect user data.
  • Regular security audits and updates to address evolving threats.
  • Obtaining licenses, copyrights, and trademarks.
  • Complying with data protection regulations and privacy laws.
  • Costs associated with infrastructure and resources.
  • Fees for integrating third-party services or APIs.
  • Maintenance costs for keeping integrations up-to-date.

App Development Cost of Renowned Startups

Analyzing the app development costs of successful startups can provide valuable insights for businesses planning their app ventures. While these figures can vary, understanding the budgets allocated by renowned startups sheds light on industry standards:


1) Instagram

Initial development cost: Approximately $500,000

Noteworthy features: Photo sharing, filters, social networking

2) Uber

Initial development cost: Estimated at $1.5 million

Key features: Ride-hailing, geolocation, real-time tracking

3) WhatsApp

Initial development cost: Around $250,000

Notable features: Instant messaging, media sharing

4) Snapchat

Initial development cost: Roughly $4.5 million

Key features: Disappearing messages, multimedia sharing, filters

Time to Develop an App

Understanding the timeline for mobile app development is crucial for project planning. The time required can vary based on complexity, features, and team efficiency.

Simple apps, such as basic utility apps, can take upto 3 to 6 months to develop. More complex apps such as for e-commerce platforms can take upto 9 months. Apps for on-demand services and complex enterprise solutions take the most time – anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

How to Cut App Development Costs?

Businesses can take strategic steps to optimize their app development budget without compromising on quality. Consider the following tips to cut down app development costs:

  1. Define your requirements early on. Clearly outline the features and functionalities of the app to prevent unnecessary additions while it is being developed.
  2. The development team you choose matters the most. Carefully select a development team based on expertise, experience, and cost-effectiveness. You can even consider outsourcing to regions with competitive development rates.
  3. You must prioritize MVP development. This means that you start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to test the app’s viability and gather user feedback before investing in advanced features.
  4. Make sure to use pre-built components and libraries to save development time and costs.
  5. You can also adopt an agile development methodology to accommodate changes during the development process.
  6. Ensure clear and consistent communication between the development team and stakeholders to avoid misunderstandings and rework.

Developing an app in 2024 calls for a calculated approach to deal with the intricacies of app development expenses. Businesses can make educated choices to develop a profitable and successful mobile application by knowing the breakdown of costs, hidden costs, and lessons they have learned from successful startups. With years of experience in app development, North Rose Technologies helps you develop cutting-edge apps at the best costs possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a future for apps?

    The overall number of smartphone users will rise above 7.6 billion by 2027. The mobile app market is expanding and eager for new concepts and chances.

  • Do new apps make money?

    This depends on numerous factors. While there are plenty of free apps that readily bring in millions of dollars each year, they are typically the exception rather than the rule. Despite this, thousands of free apps continue to generate at least thousands of dollars in income each month.

  • Are apps profitable?

    16% of Android developers and 25% of iOS developers, respectively, make several thousand dollars a month from their mobile apps.