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Mobile App Development Cost

How much does it cost to build a mobile app? Let's take a look and explore all the available options in mobile app development.

Richard Kacerek
Richard Kacerek


How much does it cost to build an app?

That’s probably the most common question we get asked but not an exactly easy one to answer because the costs of app development can vary wildly.

Because the mobile app design and development paths and features vary, it affects the price. Just like with any service, you can choose an app company based on experience and skill, or you can choose cheaper options done by students or budget companies. But then you have to consider what you are getting and if that’s what you want.

“Cheap isn't going to be done well or fast and similarly job done well or fast is not going to be cheap.”

Scalable architecture

Building the actual app is just one part of the project. You will need to start with cloud hosting architecture first. That’s the option for users to create an account, to save images, to chat, to load up data or whatever your app requires. The app most certainly doesn’t do these things by itself. Robust cloud architecture is the first building block that allows your app to grow without interruptions. The last thing you want is the app breaking under a load of new customers after you started marketing. You need your app to be scalable globally as your business grows.

Flexible APIs

Next part is the API. That’s the tunnel that your app uses to communicate with the server architecture. Server-Less architecture requires python specialists with a great set of skills. An early investment like this can save you a ton of money and sleepless nights later!

And then there is the dilemma of hybrid or native app development route. Which one to choose?

Native app development

Faster and more reliable by its design, specific technology and language for each platform like Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS. Best in class security for a mobile application, the best performance, a highly responsive user interface, and access to all native APIs. That’s native app development.

Hybrid app development

A faster development process, great apps built using web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The hybrid app development route is cost effective and faster. It is the most sought after approach, thanks to the growth in the number of mobile users, app usage, device fragmentation, and more.

Empire Elements has developers for both types. Of course, we offer an unbiased opinion based on our experience to help you make the right choice for your business. And if this wasn’t enough, there is the process of testing, app submission, store page creation, landing page creation and review and release. We will help you with the whole process.

Generally, the cost of making a simple app can be anywhere between £10,000-£40,000. This can jump to way over £100,000 and into the millions for a more complex app. It all comes down to how complex your app is.

Single pipeline is not cheaper

Surely maintaining a single codebase is cheaper. Not necessarily! Consider the cost of maintenance for over 3 or 5 years. With new iOS release every year, it is much more cost-efficient to develop apps natively. You don’t need to worry about how much of your codebase will need to be changed while relying on a third-party company to make those releases. Building your app in React Native does not make it automatically cheaper.

Why is the app building process expensive?

Skilled designer, developer and an architect need to have the right tools for the job and experience to back it up. That takes years to acquire, and because of it, a typical cost for iOS developer with 5+ years can be £500 per day and more. It also depends on the platforms you choose. If you want to have both iOS and Android, you will need more people and a larger budget and a great team to bring it all up together.

On average, it takes 5-20 people about 3-6 months to develop an app.

  • A basic app an application with simple functionality that requires approximately 500-700 hours on development.
  • A medium complexity app takes from 700 to 1,000 hours.
  • A sophisticated, time-consuming app, in most cases, exceeds 1,200 hours on development.

Cheap and cheerful is actually cheap and heartbreaking in this world. There’s always someone who will do it cheaper, but you don’t want to compromise on quality with a ‘cheap’ solution. With 750,000 apps versus yours, do you want anything other than the Rolls Royce of mobile applications?

Price of an app depends on how complex your mobile app is. We would first need to discuss your app in a bit more detail to understand how you see it working clearly. We usually build apps from £20,0000 to £200,000.

“The average cost for a moderate complexity mobile app is around £40,000.”

What affects the price:

  • Complexity of the app features
  • functionality and backend integration
  • Visual design (different for iOS and Android)
  • Platforms choice
  • App administration and support

Helping you choose

One crucial piece of advice is to pick a good team. A good developer won’t do design; a good designer won’t know how to write code. Make sure there is a reliable team of fully skilled people to undertake your project and run things professionally.

Book your free 30-minute consultation session with us and get a clear understanding of how much it would cost to build your app and the steps you need to take.

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