The Average Mobile App Development Costs Breakdown for 2023

Mobile App Development Costs Breakdown for 2023

Reports show that 60% of shoppers prefer using a mobile app to a mobile website when shopping online. This means that you must take a no-holds-barred approach to developing your app in 2023, especially with the well-established app development trends of the previous year, such as dark mode and dynamic interactive content. 

To get the right mix of experience and expense benefits, you should consider hiring mobile app developers in India and similar developing countries, which are the hubs of app development. App development agencies in developing nations provide cost-effective programming help due to economies of scale and currency exchange values. 

Further, there are many more cost-influencing factors you should be aware of when you are getting your app developed. This guide is intended to provide a swift look at those factors and how best you can work them into your budget to get the most value for your investment.

The Top Factors Affecting the Cost of Mobile App Development

App development is a complex task despite the many tools available today to make it easy. The addition of an ever-increasing list of features to maintain market relevance and keep up with the changing technological landscape has led to an increase in development complexity. To make things easier and not overburden in-house staff, it is wise to hire experts from a dedicated mobile app development services company for the job. With the right choice, you can better manage the 25,000 USD to 150,000 USD average cost of app development. Listed below are the top factors that influence mobile app development costs.

  1.  Features and Functions

It’s easy to go overboard with the addition of many features and functions to your app because you want it to stand out to your audience. The availability of development tools for the same also makes it seem like a no-brainer. But, you must evaluate the cost-benefit ratio of doing so, since going overboard with feature and functionality addition can run your budget out of control easily. 

What’s worse is that there is a chance that your audience may not like that many features or use them to the full extent, wasting your investment in them. The presence of excess features and functionalities can also make your app laggy and prone to bugs, bringing down the user experience and possibly wasting users’ gadgets’ resources.

Thus, you should take a balanced approach toward the addition of features and functions to your app so that your expenses remain in check while getting the best app possible.  With the integration of core features like User Login, Profile Completion, Messaging, Notification, and the like, the cost will not likely exceed 5000 USD. But adding advanced features like Maps, Calls, and Payments can make the costs go up to 15,000 USD.

It is a good idea to test out the features via a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development. An MVP will tell you which features and functionalities your audience will prefer, thus saving you from making needless payments on those in the final version. 

  1. Complexity

Apps can be categorized based on how complex they are to develop into simple, medium, and very complex apps. The simple ones have just basic features and functionalities and can cost between 5000 USD and 50000 USD to build. Medium complexity apps add some more features for greater user engagement and monetization, such as payments and social media integration. These cost between 50,000 USD and 120,000 USD to develop. 

A complex app tends to start at around 100,000 USD and can have no ceiling, though many caps at 300,000 USD to 500,000 USD. Complex apps are those integrating the latest technologies like AR/VR, AI/ML models, Voice Assistants, Multi-language support, and so on. Since complex app development requires a vast knowledge of technologies and expertise, it is best taken up by dedicated mobile app development companies.

  1. Industry/Category

A factor that could easily get overlooked when assessing the cost of app development is the industry of your business, which determines the category of your app and, in turn, determines its development cost. This is because the features, security criteria, number of users, etc., apply differently to each industry/category. 

For instance, a ride-hailing app like Uber has to incorporate maps and call features, two expensive aspects of app development. In contrast, a simple puzzle game app can do with just basic features, keeping the costs low.

eCommerce apps tend to be the most reachable, costing between 50,000 USD and 150,000 USD to develop. On the other end, is a social media app, which can cross 300,000 USD to develop with every applicable feature.

  1. User Interface and Design

How your app looks and feels while using it determines how well it will appeal to and engage your target audience. Thus, there is a strong need for you to focus on the design elements you’ll be adding to it, including your brand logo and theme. Based on your intent, and other factors like functionality/features, the app’s design could end up pushing your budget through the roof too. 

There are two approaches you could take with design: custom and standard. The latter is the easy one, usually available as templates on a development platform or can be obtained from a mobile app development company. A standard design also has basic to medium-level complexity with corresponding features list present. 

A custom one on the other hand can go wherever you want it to, including creating very complex apps with sophisticated designs. It could have a bevy of features and functionalities built into it, with the addition of a custom design palette adding to the expenses. Basic UX design costs between 2000 USD and 8000 USD, while complex UI visual elements can go as high as 40,000 USD to be created.  

  1. Development Platform

The demand for a variety of app designs has led to the creation of many types of app development platforms in the market. In all likelihood, your app too will get built using one of these. The choice of the development platform also influences the app development cost because they each have different pricing structures. Some are open-source and don’t demand a premium while others aren’t and require you to pay for even their basic functionalities. 

Then there are the many tiers of charges to consider for additional functionalities. The price increases as you go up that list, and this pricing structure varies depending on the platform. Many take the subscription route, so your app development cost will increase the longer it takes to develop it. 

By far the most expensive option is to forgo these platforms and develop the app with complex coding. This is preferred only in select circumstances when you want complex, custom app development. You can better manage the costs of this option if you hire dedicated developers in India or other developing countries, owing to the availability of experts at low rates. for the project.

  1. App Usage Platform

The platform on which the app will reside and get used also determines its cost of development. This is because of the fees the platforms’ creators take for hosting your app on their respective app stores, and also the cost of cloud services if you choose to host it independently. 

The two main native platforms in use for mobiles, iOS and Android, command a large number of users, so you likely have to optimize your app for use on both of them for the sake of reach. This is called cross-platform development and it adds to your budget. 

You also have the option of web app development like progressive web apps. They are lighter on features and other demands, making them lighter on your pockets too. You could also add web apps to cross-platform development. Web app development can cost between 15,000 USD and 50,000 USD. Then there is the new hybrid app development option that combines native and web apps into one. 

  1. Miscellaneous Costs

Many hidden costs can affect your development budget. Your choice of outsourcing agency is one. Choosing an agency that is based in a developing country gives you many cost advantages. If you hire mobile app developers in India, for instance, you get some of the lowest development costs in the world. The approximate 2023 costs for a simple app development there lie between 12,000 USD and 30,000 USD.

A medium complex one costs between 40,000 USD and 90,000 USD, while a complex one starts at around 100,000 USD. The constant reduction in currency exchange values will work in your favor, along with the large talent pool the country produces annually. 

The other hidden costs that come into play include app security measures, app hosting fees, IT infrastructure, team hiring and maintenance, and software tools charges, among others. You can skip some of these with outsourcing.


Apps are a company’s gateway to roping in customers to their brand and conducting business with them. Yours can serve you well in this regard if you develop a bespoke and cost-effective one. With a capable mobile app development company by your side, you can fulfill both those requirements, satisfying your customers’ wishes and your business objectives at once with cost advantages and quality development.

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