How Much Does It Cost To Design Mobile App In 2021?

These days mobile apps are considered to be irreplaceable in the digital footprints of brands. Naturally, most companies are after having their own branded apps. This is also why keeping the development cost lower remains a priority.

When there are so many concerns about the development cost, there can be hardly any doubt that it would be common to ask about the actual cost of building an app. There cannot be a straightforward answer to such a question since the app can be of various types, and accordingly, the development cost may vary.

If you know how to build an app from scratch, considering the cost components and factors impacting the cost is necessary.

Here through the rest of the blog post, we will explain various cost components factors that are important to influence the development cost of an app.

Business Analysis 

The first thing comes first. The intended app idea must be evaluated from all perspectives. The app idea should go through meticulous evaluation, market analysis, and analysis of requirements. Only then an experienced company can come with an effective quote for the app project.

As per the best practices, the evaluation phase should have at least 10% of the total budget. The evaluation should only approve features, functions and development attributes that are easily achievable, and the app must follow best industry practices and guidelines of iOS and Android. Lastly, the analysts should suggest the most appropriate technology stack for the project.

Design Prototype 

Another critical cost component refers to the design prototype. After the document corresponding to development requirements is ready, it is time to start the user interface design.

If the brand-specific design attributes are already well established that the app has to follow, your design budget can be reduced. In case designing a fresh app with unique and new design elements, there must be at least an allocation of 10-15% of the total budget.

App Coding 

The core app development corresponding to programming is the principal phase and consumes a big chunk of the development budget. The cost of programming depends on the preferred development approach, chosen technology stack, API to be used, and engagement model of developers.

Since coding involves a lot of collaboration and frequent iteration, it needs strong budget support. The cost of coding the app varies from 30% to 50% of the total budget allocation.

Project Management

Project management refers to another critical aspect, and it is crucial for the successful and smooth completion of the development tasks. Project managers are responsible for smooth delivery right from the start to the finishing of the project.

To ensure efficient handling of the app projects, it is important to allocate

10-15% of the total app cost to project management.

Testing and Deployment

In modern app projects, QA testing plays a key role in ensuring intended app performance, loading speed, and overall app quality. This is why for any app project, one should allocate a decent budget.

The budget for testing and deployment should be at least 10% to 15- of the total app budget. The testing budget also depends upon whether it is enough to use emulators instead of real devices or whether extensive user testing is needed or not.

App Updates & Maintenance 

Building and releasing the app on App Store and Google Play Store is not the end of the journey forban the app project. In fact, the real journey actually begins from here. An app needs to be maintained and updated frequently to stay tuned to the evolving feature and security requirements.

From fixing bugs to optimising codes to OS-specific updates, security patches to optimising scalability, an app needs maintenance and updates for many reasons. There should be at least 10% to 15% budget allocation for updates and app maintenance.

Key factors impacting the app costing 

Now that we have a gross idea about the critical components of the app budget let us explain the factors influencing app development cost.

Developer Location

It is well known that the cost of hiring developers differs from one region to another. For example, the most popular and acclaimed app development destinations in the West, such as North America and Eastern Europe takes a bigger cost compared to popular development destinations in Asia and South America.

Feature set 

Finally, features and complexity level of the app is a decisive factor for the development cost. An app project with a shoestring budget particularly needs to consider lowering the cost of development by sacrificing additional features and prioritising the most important ones.

To reduce the development cost, many app projects these days embrace the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach and roll out the app with primary and elementary features. Later based upon the user feedback, it incorporates additional features and changes as required by the app.

Some of the must-have features that mobile apps should have included the following.

  • User login/ registration
  • Chat
  • Search
  • Push notifications
  • Payments
  • In-app purchases
  • Analytics
  • Geolocation
  • Google Maps
  • Ads
  • Offline mode
  • Data encryption
  • Video/audio streaming

Choice of Platform: iOS or Android

The chosen platform also impacts the cost of app development. Obviously, if your audience is predominantly iOS users, you cannot decide to build an Android app for cost reasons.

As far as native development for one platform is concerned, there are no significant differences in terms of cost. It is advisable to go for cross-platform development relying on powerful technologies such as React Native and Flutter that can allow building apps with a robust native look, feel and user experience.


All these components and influential factors for app development cost are common to most app projects. But obviously, there can be several others depending upon different types of app projects.

About the author

Vincent Martinot is the Managing Director of EurecaApps. They are App Developers We Provide App Development Services to entrepreneurs and Tech Startups. He Is a fluent Writer Who shares knowledge of mobile development, new technology & business development by contributing to different online platforms.

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