A Detailed Guide- How Much Does it Cost to build an App in 2023?

A Detailed Guide- How Much Does it Cost to build an App in 2023?

Well, most businesses are shifting toward adopting mobile app development in this era of technology, the internet, and smartphones. Therefore it becomes essential to consider the average cost to build an app in 2023 for businesses and which factors decide the cost of making an app. Thus, we have created a complete guide to app development cost breakdown.

According to the stats from Statista, 299 billion global app downloads per year in 2023 represent an increase from the 247 billion global app downloads in 2020. In August 2020, gaming apps accounted for about half of all app downloads, making them the most popular app category. With a 9.45 percent market share, social networking applications came in second.

However, before discussing the cost of building an app in 2023, let’s discuss the different categories of mobile apps in trends.

What is Application Development?

Application development refers to creating software programs that perform specific tasks or functions for users, which include everything from mobile apps and desktop programs to web applications and server-side scripts. The process typically involves designing, coding, testing, and maintaining the application throughout its lifecycle.

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Why is App Development Necessary in 2023?

Application development is necessary for 2023 because it allows businesses and organizations to create custom software that can improve efficiency, automate tasks, and provide new services to customers. With the increasing use of smartphones and the internet, mobile apps have become a key way for companies to connect with customers and provide them with services.

Additionally, the prevalence of cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT) has created new opportunities for software development in data analysis, automation, and remote control areas.

As a result, businesses and organizations that need a robust online presence may find it challenging to compete in today's digital marketplace.

There are different mobile app categories. Here are some mobile app categories that will likely be in demand in 2023:-

1. Social Media

Social media apps allow users to connect with friends and family, share content, and participate in online communities.

2. Gaming

According to Statista, one of the top app categories in 202 for building an app. It consists of a variety of games, from casual to hardcore.

3. E-commerce

Apps allow users to shop for products and services directly from their mobile devices.

4. Healthcare

Apps that allow users to track their health and fitness, connect with healthcare professionals, and manage their medical information.

5. Finance

Android or iOS mobile applications that allow users to manage their finances, including budgeting, banking, and investing.

6. Education

Type of app that provides learning materials, quizzes, exams, and other educational resources.

7. Travel and Tourism

Apps that provide information and booking services for travel, hotels, and other tourism-related activities.

8. Food and Drink

Apps that allow users to order food and drinks, discover new recipes and track their dietary needs.

9. Entertainment

Mobile apps that provide access to music, movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment.

10. News and Information

Apps that provide users with up-to-date news and information on various topics.

The cost of app development varies widely depending on the app's complexity, the platform it is being developed for, and the location of the development team.

  • A simple app can cost around $10,000 to $50,000.

  • A complex app can cost $150,000 to $500,000 or more.

It's important to remember that these costs are just estimates, and the final cost will depend on the project's specific requirements.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Building an App

Several factors can influence the cost of developing a mobile app. Here in the below section, we have listed a few of them. Have a look!

Design and User Experience

The complexity of the design and user experience can greatly impact the app development cost. A more complex design with custom animations and interactions will be more expensive to develop than a simpler, more straightforward design.


Developing an app for iOS will typically be more expensive than developing an Android due to the app store's stricter guidelines and design requirements.

Features and Functionality

The more features and functionality an app has, the more expensive it will be to develop. This includes social media integration, location-based services, and in-app purchases.

Backend Development

If the app requires a server-side component, such as a database or user management system, this will add to the overall app development cost.

Third-Party Integrations

Integrating with third-party services, such as payment gateways or analytics tools, can also be a reason for influencing the mobile app development cost.

Size of the Team

The size of the development team and the developers' hourly rates can also impact the cost of an app. A larger team will typically be more expensive but can result in faster development.

Maintenance and updates

Maintenance & updates of an app over time also influence app development costs. This includes things like bug fixes, security updates, and adding new features.

Overall, the cost of developing a mobile app can vary greatly depending on the specific requirements and complexity of the project. Considering these factors is important when budgeting for a mobile app development project.

Statistics- App Development

Data from reputable sources indicate that having a mobile application in 2023 will bring significant benefits. According to the data from Zippia-

  • As of 2023, the combined total of apps available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store exceeds 5.7 million.

  • The Apple App Store alone houses over 2.2 million apps. Additionally, studies show that the average American has around 80 apps on their mobile device, with usage statistics indicating that the average individual uses between 9-10 apps per day and 30 per month.

  • Furthermore, data reveals that a large majority of smartphone usage, around 85%, is spent utilizing apps.

  • In 2020, the number of app downloads worldwide reached 230 billion.

  • Apple App Store and Google Play Store generated a combined revenue of $111 billion in 2021.

  • Furthermore, the number of apps downloaded yearly has steadily increased by 63% since 2016.

These statistics suggest that mobile apps are becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations looking to connect with customers and provide them with services. Apart from this, as per a report from build fire, In 2023, mobile applications are expected to generate over $935 billion.

App Development Cost by Type

The cost of developing an app can vary depending on several factors, including the type of app, the platforms it will be developed for, and the complexity of the features and functionality. Here are some general ranges for different types of app development:-

Cost by App Type


Android App

$15000- $75000

iPhone App

$20000- $100000

Hybrid App

$10000- $50000

Web App


Gaming App


Retail App


Social Media App

$8000- $95000

eCommerce App


Healthcare App

$10000- $50000

Augmented Reality App (AR)

$20000- $100000

Typical App

$25000- $1000000

App Development Cost Breakdown by Categories

The category of mobile application is a critical factor that determines the average cost of development. Here is a list of the top mobile app categories and their corresponding development costs:-

iOS Application


2-6 months

Android application


2-3 months

Hybrid Application


1-3 months

Let’s understand this mobile app category in detail-

iOS Application-

Refers to the type of application that is developed for the iOS operating system. iOS is the operating system used on Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Applications that are developed for iOS are usually written in Swift or Objective-C programming languages and are distributed through the Apple App Store.

Android Application-

Refers to the application developed for the Android operating system. Android is an open-source operating system developed by Google and is used on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Applications that are developed for Android are usually written in Java or Kotlin programming languages and are distributed through the Google Play Store.

Hybrid Application-

A Hybrid Application is a type of mobile application that combines elements of native and web applications. A hybrid app is essentially a web app that runs inside a native app wrapper, which allows it to be distributed through app stores and access native device features such as the camera, GPS, and push notifications.

Hybrid applications are built using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and are then wrapped in a native container using tools such as Apache Cordova or Ionic. This allows the app to be distributed through app stores and accessed on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android.

Cost to Build An App By Region

The app development cost can vary significantly depending on the region where the development occurs. Factors such as labor costs, cost of living, and local demand for app development services can all affect the price of app development in different regions. Below are some general ranges for app development costs by region:-

  • North America (United States, Canada): $50,000 to $500,000+

  • Western Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, France): $40,000 to $350,000+

  • Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Belarus): $20,000 to $150,000+

  • Asia (India, China, Singapore): $10,000 to $100,000+

It's worth noting that these ranges are rough estimates, and the actual cost of developing an app will depend on the specific requirements and features of the project, as well as the experience and reputation of the development team. Additionally, the development cost can vary widely within a region depending on factors such as the region's location and the developer's skillset.

It's also worth noting that while some regions may have lower rates, the quality of work is not guaranteed. It is essential to check the developer's or company's portfolio before hiring them.

Hidden Factors Affecting Mobile App Development Cost

Several factors can affect the cost of developing a mobile application. Some of these factors may not be immediately apparent during the initial planning and development stages but can significantly impact the project's overall cost.

Platform Choice

The cost of developing an app for iOS and Android can vary significantly. iOS apps generally require more development resources and can be more expensive.

Design and User Experience

A well-designed and user-friendly app can be more expensive to develop but can ultimately lead to higher user engagement and revenue.

Third-Party APIs and Services

Integrating third-party APIs and services, such as payment gateways or social media integration, can add additional costs to the development process.

Backend Infrastructure

Building a robust and scalable infrastructure can be expensive, especially if the app requires a lot of data storage or complex server-side logic.

Post-Launch Maintenance and Updates

Ongoing maintenance and updates can add to the overall cost of the app, as developers will need to continue to work on the app to fix bugs, add new features, and ensure compatibility with new devices and operating system updates.

Location of the Development Team

The mobile app development cost can vary depending on the location of the development team. Developers in countries with labor costs may charge less than those in developed countries.

App Complexity

The more complex the app, the more it will cost to develop. Complex features such as real-time chat, geolocation, or augmented reality can add to the app's development time and cost.

App Testing

Quality assurance is an important process that will add cost to mobile app development, but it is also a must-have step to ensure the app is working properly and meet the standards.

In a nutshell, the cost of building an app can vary greatly depending on various factors. It's important to consider all potential costs and factor them into the budget for the project.

Phase-wise Mobile App Development Costs

The cost of developing a mobile app can vary depending on the specific requirements and features of the app, as well as the experience and location of the development team. However, it is generally broken down into several phases, each with its associated cost.

Discovery and Planning

This phase involves gathering requirements, analyzing the market, and creating a project plan. The cost for this phase can range around 10% of the total project cost.


In this phase, the design team will create wireframes, mockups, and app prototypes. The cost for this phase can range from around 15% of the total project cost.


This is the phase where the development team writes the code for the app and builds the backend infrastructure. The cost for this phase can range from around 50% of the total project cost.

Testing & QA

This phase involves thoroughly testing the app to ensure it is free of bugs and functions as intended. The cost for this phase can range from around 10% of the total project cost.

Deployment and Maintenance

This phase involves launching the app on the app store and providing ongoing maintenance and updates. The cost for this phase can range from around 15% of the total project cost.

How to Get Help You With Mobile App Development Cost Estimation?

The cost of creating an app can vary greatly depending on various factors. To get an accurate estimate, consider all influencing factors. If you need help calculating the final cost, consult a reputable mobile app development company like Quokka Labs. They specialize in building innovative and scalable apps for popular global brands and can help you get started on your app project.

How to Make Money with Your Application?

Several ways to monetize a mobile application and make money from it. Some of the most popular ways include the following:-

In-App Purchase

This allows users to purchase additional features or virtual goods within the app. This can include additional lives in a game, premium content, or filters in a photo editing app.


This involves displaying ads within the app and earning revenue based on the number of impressions or clicks on the ads.


This model involves displaying ads within the app and earning revenue based on the number of impressions or clicks on the ads.


This model involves charging users a recurring fee, such as monthly or annual subscriptions, to access premium content or features within the app.


This model involves offering a basic version of the app for free but charging for additional features or premium content.

Affiliate Marketing

This model involves earning a commission for promoting or selling a product or service within the app.

In-app Referral

This model rewards users for inviting friends or family to download the app.

Paid Download

This model charges users a one-time fee to download the app.

Only some monetization will work for some apps, and it may take some experimentation to find the right approach for your app. It's also important to consider the user experience and ensure that monetization methods do not negatively impact the overall user experience.

Final Thoughts

Developing an app is a complex process; getting the right app development estimate of how much it costs can be difficult. This guide has explored several factors that come into play when developing an app, such as design complexity, development time, platform choice, and more. By understanding these various cost components, you'll be able to create a budget for your app project that works for your unique needs and goals in 2023. Ultimately speaking, the cost of developing an app has no universal answer - but taking what we've learned today into consideration before you launch into production mode on your next project will help ensure success.

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