How to calculate costs for app development?

A huge number of issues influence the final cost of the app development. We can unite them into common groups to give you a few examples of the prices. Here are only approximate calculations for the new project:

  • A standalone application – < $50,000. It’s the program that doesn’t require network access. They are not so popular these days. Examples: Camera, Clock, Calculator.
  • A social networking app – $150,000 – $500,000. There are no similar apps in this category but the core idea here is the interaction between users. Examples: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.
  • E-commerce – $200,000 – $1,000,000. A key feature here is making transactions right in the app. One of the most famous examples is Amazon.
  • Hardware app – $200,000 – $2,500,000. Users communicate with real objects that surround them. Examples: Nest, Automatic.

App development costs: where to begin

The cost of the program can vary greatly, so it’s important to know what things make it higher or lower. Before we discuss the key issues in detail, take a look at a few essential facts:

  • The choice of the platform, features and complexity affects the final estimate
  • If you need to use back-end servers, you will pay more
  • A one-platform application will be $25,000 and more
  • The location of the team affects the price tag
  • A complex app may be over $1,000,500
  • Marketing, staff salary and other operating costs should also be included in the budget

Average app development costs: complexity

Every new app that is developed by a team is unique and it has its own issues that determine the final sum. Let’ take three most common issues such as the choice of the platform, program complexity and the location of your team. We will focus on them and give you the essential data to calculate the cost of your future program.

Let’s imagine having four types of programs according to this criteria. We will have simple, complex, enterprise apps and games.

Simple apps

Let’s start with simple apps. They don’t give users a wide variety of features. Their number is very limited. There’s probably no possibility to create profiles for users but you can let them share the app data on social networks.

You will have a limited number of functionality and little analytical data. The approximate time for building this type of an app is about 40 hours for designing and about 400 hours for building it. The price of an app starts from $10,00 and can go up to $300,000 depending on how many features you want to get and what team you will hire.

Complex apps

Complex apps provide users with much more features. You can let them create their personal profiles and share the same content on multiple devices. You can add in-app transactions and let users make purchases with the program. Such apps may have up to ten screens and have one API to connect to. You will get more analytical data to evaluate user experience.

One complex application may take about 70 hours for designing and about 500 hours for coding. The price of the process is from $70,000 and can go up to $400,000 depending on what you want the app to perform and what kind of cross-platform app programmers you choose. The difference in prices doesn’t directly effect the quality of the app release.

Enterprise apps

Such applications offer users more than 10 screens and they look very solid. Users have their personal profiles and the app has a few APIs. These apps may require a special admin console for managing users. You can add moderating features for controlling what kind of content it should contain. You can let users share app data on social networking sites.

You get all the analytical data you want. Designing such an app may take about 150 hours and coding may take about 800 hours. The cost may vary from $400,000 up to $600,000. All depends on what you want to see inside the application, how it will interact with real users and what kind of team you will hire for the project.


The number of screens may greatly vary. But you will probably have one with a 3d acceleration. You will have a game that communicates with a server for storing user data and some analytics. An app may have one or several APIs. Users have their profiles that you can make visible for the public. You may add in-app purchases, managing the content and moderating user profiles. Scalability is what you need if you plan to build a long lasting product.

One single mobile game can take about 300 hours of designing and 1600 hours of coding. The tariff for the process varies from $200,000 and up to $900,000. The estimate may vary greatly as you will pay more for building premium games. You will need a team of experienced designers and programmers with a strong team leader.

Mobile app development costs: the team

The location of the team effects the estimate. Here we mean hiring freelancers, a remote company or building a new in-house team. You will have a different price in each case. If you want to have the cheapest variant, you should definitely think of a remote team.

A remote team

This is the easiest way to build a new project as you get a team of professional coders without the need to spend any operating costs or training them. You will have experienced people in the team supervised by a project manager. The price of the project will greatly depend on the location of this very team.

If you need the highest level of expertise and knowledge, you should definitely consider cooperation with a remote team of coders. If you don’t have your project manager and you don’t plan to spend your time and money on organizing a productive workflow, this is your best way out.

What can truly impact app development software costs in this case? The first thing is the location. If you hire a team from the US, the services of the company may cost higher than having an in-house team. If you hire a team from Ukraine, you will definitely pay less for the same quality of work.

The costs may vary from $170,000 and go up to $900,000 depending on the complexity of the application, your requirements and expectations. Each project should be discussed in details by defining precise goals and milestones for controlling the process.

A freelancer

If you want to save money and build a great application, hiring a freelancer is the best option for you. You can find the one on such sites as Upwork of Fiver. Or you can get recommendations from other companies. A freelancer can be located in your region or can stay in any country in the world. Consider the ease of communication when choosing the location.

There’s a high risk to fail the project that comes together with low pricing for work. Get the reviews about the work of the freelancer that you like, view the portfolio and conduct an interview. Be ready to manage the work of a freelancer and check the milestones. Check if it’s easy for you to express your ideas and discuss the plan of work.

A limited budget leads right to hiring a freelancer. If you have a complex project, divide it into smaller parts, so one person could cope with each on time. Don’t expect anything unreal from the freelancers, add some time to the project as there may be cases of illness or other unpredicted situations.

How much does it cost to build an app? The price may be $20,00 and go up to as much as you can pay. Of course, the price will depend on the complexity. If you want a mobile game, you will pay more. If you need a simple app with one screen, you will pay less. A freelancer located in the US will take more money than a freelancer from Ukraine.

In-house team

The number three option is having an in-house team for starting new projects. You may want to have your team near you for several reasons. The first reason is controlling the workflow and organizing it the best way for you and your company. The second reason is creating a great number of apps one by one.

If you want your team to succeed, you will need to manage the team the right way. It can be one or more people involved in the process. If you have such a manager, you won’t have any problems with starting a new project. Don’t forget about operating costs and the need to have enough free space for the whole team.

The tariff for the in-house team starts from about $100,000 and can go up to $1,000,000 depending on the complexity of the project. Building a mobile game will take more time and resources while a simple app will take less money. There’s one thing that you will spend money on. It’s staff training.

How to estimate my app value?

If you have a project in mind but you have no idea how much money you will need for this, there are a few steps for you. Take them and you will have a few options to choose from.

Have a precise goal

Once you have an idea in your mind, it’s time to sit and think of it. How do you see the final result? What are the users of the app? How are you going to promote it? What platforms do you need? Ask yourself a lot of questions and find the answers to all of them. Focus on the part that is devoted to the coding.

How many screens do you want to have? What information do you want the users to see? Do you want them to have personal profiles? What are the actions? How do you plan to organize the data exchange? Think of all possible details and note them down. When you have everything ready, you can prepare for the next step.

Discuss the price with experts

You can have a talk with a few remote teams and a few freelancers. The last step here will be considering an in-house team to be in your office. Start googling the remote teams and take a look at Codemotion from Ukraine. Take a look at the portfolio and the feedbacks. Ask to have a short chat with you to discuss the project and the budget.

You will get a few plans and different approaches to organizing the work. The next stage will be talking with the freelancers. You will have the same steps and with the companies with the difference that you should carefully check the feedbacks. You will also have a few options to choose from. And the last stage is analyzing the work of in-house teams in other companies.

Plan your budget

After the two above steps, you will have different variants of how to build an application for you. You will have some cheap options and some expensive ones. It’s time to define what you need from the project and how you are going to plan everything. If you have a lot of free time and you don’t have money, you should choose a freelancer.

If you have no time at all and you have a solid budget, your way is hiring a remote team from Ukraine. If you want to see the coders tight near you and you feel safe when you can see the team with your own eyes, an in-house team is a good variant for you. Think what’s the most comfortable for you and start your way.

Calculate custom app development costs with Codemotion

If you don’t want to waste your time on googling and discussing your plans with hundreds of people, you’re at the right place. Here at Codemotion, we’ll assist you and provide you with a few variants of our cooperation. What we need from you is understanding what you want to get and what kind of help you require from us.

The goal of Codemotion is to deliver the best business solutions in a short time. You give us your visions and we give you a great product. We know how it’s important to jump into the market niche on time, so we do our best to combine a fast speed of work with the highest quality. What about the price? We’re located in Ukraine and the cost of the app building here is much lower than in the US.

Codemotion is the best at delivering projects for Startups in all niches. We don’t just code, we find the best ways to meet your business needs. We use the Agile approach that lets you be the part of our team. We have a great experience in delivering applications that you may check in the portfolio. We use different JavaScript technologies to deliver the best solutions at an affordable tariff.

Codemotion ninjas use JS technology for developing web and mobile applications. We use React, React Native, Angular.js, Ionic, Vue.js, TypeScript, Node.js, etc. We’re the best at development and CTO as a service, outsourcing (end-to-end product development for Startups) and outstaffing (becoming a part of your development team).

Take a look at the feedback and the portfolio of Codemotion team. Consider the difference in time zones and define the time when you can get in touch with us to discuss the details of your project. We’ll be glad to calculate costs for app development and give you a few variants of our future cooperation.