Top Factors that Impact Mobile App Development Costs

    Mobile App Development

    Mobile apps remain a key focus for big and growing businesses to thrive in a digitally-dominant landscape. Hence, understanding factors that affect mobile app development prices can assist in choosing the most cost-effective options possible.

    The primary factors impacting development costs are:

    • The app’s technical requirements,
    • The expectations of the target audience, and
    • The type of the app

    Understanding these factors helps prevent unexpected costs and delays in development.

    Here are some major factors that affect the overall mobile application development cost.

    1. App Type and Size

    As per a recent report by Clarion Technologies, “A Guide to Mobile App Development Cost in 2023,” the costs of developing a-

    A Guide to Mobile App Development Cost in 2023

    The price of developing mobile apps is split into three categories based on size and complexity.

    Small apps

    • These apps are designed for a single platform and have minimal functionality
    • Have typical user interface components
    • Do not need API integration or backend development

    Medium apps

    • These apps are designed for a single platform but are less complicated
    • Offer customized user interfaces and payment options

    Large apps

    • Have more than one functionality
    • Professional design
    • Offers multilingual support
    • These apps also require significant backend programming to store and maintain extensive databases.

    2. Operating System (iOS vs Android)

    Mobile app development costs vary depending on the platform for which the app is being created. There are subtle differences in development costs for Android and iOS. The major difference can be due to the programming languages deployed during development.

    For instance:

    • For Android app development, firms must hire developers with Java or Kotlin experience.
    • For iOS app development, professionals with Swift or Objective C skills are needed.

    Moreover, Android is compatible with many mobile devices with diverse screen sizes. iOS supports a maximum of 20 different device types and operating system versions. Developing an Android app will be expensive for developers seeking comprehensive compatibility across several devices.

    3. App’s Design, Functionalities, and Features

    A mobile app’s design is vital since this is what the potential consumers first see. Hence, the design must be robust with correct icons, logos, user interfaces, and wireframe arrangements. Moreover, the developer’s experience, location, and the design’s complexity are the key factors influencing design costs.

    Furthermore, developing an app for internal users is less expensive because developers can control which devices and platforms will support the app. The features and functionality will determine the cost structure. This means the costs will rise with the number of features and functionalities.

    Hence, it is essential to distinguish between the app’s primary and secondary functions and carefully consider the features to include.

    4. Security

    As per a recent report by OPSWAT, “The 2023 State of Web Application Security Report,”

    The 2023 State of Web Application Security Report

    Security is among the critical factors that impact mobile app development costs. The app stores sensitive information like employee credentials, customer details, and transaction records.

    Hence, firms must define a suitable security method by communicating with experienced mobile app developers. Depending on app size and intended audience reach, they will help decide the most effective security methods.

    Ideally, firms must seek multifactor authentication to protect user data. In some cases, they must implement strong cryptographic methods to secure credentials. This means they must spend on data sanity checks and building threat models to achieve robust app security.

    5. Maintenance, Marketing, and Business Model Costs

    Maintaining an app means issuing new updates to improve the program’s functionality and correcting issues. Besides this, the app will require promotion to reach the target audience and remain ahead of the curve. All these processes incur significant costs.

    As per a recent report by, “The Global App Market,”

    The Global App Market

    Fundamental factors like business type, target users, and services help build the app’s cost.

    Firms must remember that mobile app development costs also increase with time. For example, the time taken to develop an “Uber” app and “Instagram” or “Facebook” apps are different as they both have diverse features and functionalities.

    6. Infrastructure and IT Support

    Infrastructure costs include data storage, delivery, and app hosting expenses. This adds to the project’s cost and complexity. Examples of infrastructure include servers, data storage, and development tools and libraries.

    Moreover, developing a high-quality app without IT and technical support is hard. But, the support costs may increase over time. Examples of IT support services include iOS and Android updates, bug fixes, and API maintenance.

    7. Third-Party Integration and Backend Infrastructure 

    Mobile apps that use data from third-party services cost more. This is because integration with social networks or other platforms necessitates adherence to obligatory requirements like API development and building data security for the app.

    The backend infrastructure is based on the operating system. The OS allows developers to access APIs and facilitate data exchange between the app and a database. Firms must equip the mobile apps with analytics to track app performance and user activity. The number and specifics of mobile app metrics add to the developmental costs.

    Also Read: A Developer’s Guide to Native Mobile App Development


    Understanding the costs of designing and developing a mobile app will help firms make better use cases. Firms must map exact requirements so the developer can offer an actual price. Besides the primary cost drivers described above, UI/UX customizations and app hosting are other factors impacting mobile app development costs.

    With the growing number of features and functions, the amount of time and money spent on them also grows. Moreover, partnering with advanced techs like AI, Blockchain, and Cloud-based services adds to the complexities and costs. This means the app development costs vary substantially depending on the elements involved.