As an Account Executive with one of the largest mobile app developers in the world, I am often asked, “How much does an app cost?” I never tire of hearing this question; I just wish that I could give a more definitive answer and not the classic politician’s response of “Well it depends on functionality, etc.” when, truth be told, it depends on a lot of factors.

Bugatti veyron car exemplifies cost to develop an app
Bugatti Veyron

If you approach a car dealership and ask, “How much does a car cost?”, they will need some additional information from you before the question can be adequately answered. The car dealership knows they can get you into a Nissan Versa for around $12,000 or, if you want the best of the best, you can roll out in a Bugatti Veyron for around $2 million. One is very basic, while the other is packed with luxury and features that cause the price to increase.

The same is true for apps. A simple app can cost as little as $5,000, while a more complex app can be upwards of $1 million. This may actually help answer the question a bit more as this is the range of what our clients paid for apps in 2011 (including, of course, everything in between).

My answer to this question will always have to be “it depends on functionality,” because that is the answer in its basic form. When you start developing an idea and have a realistic goal of what functionalities you’d like the app to have, I can definitely provide some solid numbers - much like the car dealership.

Steve Jobs explains cost to develop an app

And one more thing! There are some key app functionalities I can mention that are known to increase the cost of an app, but keep in mind these are usually the same features that set the app apart from the other 500,000 apps in the app store. Here are some that come to mind:

  • Integration with a back-end database

  • Development on multiple platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry)

  • 3D animation

  • Multiple levels of gameplay

I hope this helps provide some initial clarification. Are you considering using mobile app development services? Starting the initial research on mobile development costs? I’d APPsolutely love to discuss your project needs! Call me at 603.881.9200 or fill out our “request a call” form and we can call at a time that is convenient for you!


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