The Cost of Mobile App Development In 2020

The Cost of Mobile App Development In 2020 - 5280 Software LLC

It is hard to imagine a mobile device without an app; this fact shows that people have invested a significant amount of money to improve usability and functionality. Mobile apps are unique and solve different problems in life. For this reason, it hard to provide a one-fits-all figure as the cost of developing a mobile application.

Some companies and developers will quote a range, let’s say between $5,000 and $ 500,000. You may be asking yourself, why do some companies charge up to $1,000,000? The answer to this question is usually: it depends.

You can’t get a precise estimate without knowing which part of the process consumes money. The cost of mobile app development depends on many factors that are unique to the development process, some of which are:

  • Business Model
  • App platform
  • Developer’s payment rate
  • Job Urgency
  • The complexity of the task
  • Integration and data exchange
  • Methodology
  • Maintenance
  • Type of app

The cost of mobile app development is determined at the conceptualization stage of your idea. A unique idea for a specific market can be expensive especially when it is the first of its kind. The complexity of an app project combined with the time to develop will cost more. However, if you are building something basic, then it will cost you a less.

Mobile App Platform

Your choice of the target market will influence the type of platform you choose: native, cross-platform, or web app. App platforms are priced differently depending on certain guidelines and requirements, Native apps are expensive compared to the other type of apps.

The platform you choose will determine the type of technology stack, features, toolkit, and infrastructure (hardware and server) you can use. Requesting the developer to utilize new technology, unique features, and custom tools can multiply your cost.

The use of cloud technology can significantly reduce the cost of developing an app by about 80% since a dedicated infrastructure and database will be provided. Concepts for offline capabilities can also reduce your cost because they are easier to implement.

Integration and Data Exchange

You will have to pay more for your mobile app development to include social media integrations and exchange of data. As much as some direct app integrations can be achieved, some advanced integrations require mobile app gateways or individual middleware systems, which are usually complex and expensive.

Business Model

B2B app solutions restrict the development to one platform which can be affordable but also expensive depending on the complexity of the task. B2C solutions allow the use of more than one platform which can be expensive if you choose to build for two or more platforms.


The selection of the appropriate method for mobile app development execution depends on the size of the project and the level of technical requirements. In project management, you can use the project triangle, which consists of 4 constraints: cost, scope, time, and quality. This approach shows that the cost of mobile app development depends on the other three constraints.

Regardless of whether you choose advance project management, Agile, or the classic waterfall, the methodology you pick can have a significant impact on your project in reducing the cost. Also, working with a project team can be expensive as compared to an individual developer, but you are guaranteed high-quality deliverables on time with a team.

Running and Other Cost

Most people only consider the project cost in the budget and forget to include the running cost. The cost of a $30,000 app can rise to $70,000 if there are changes or updates required to match new customer interest. As the operating system changes, you will need to release new versions and this does come at a cost.

If you are planning to turn your app into business, then you may want to add legal fees and startup fees to the list. In mobile app development, one has to come up with a budget that consists of estimated costs. The cost of complex and large projects can go up to 2 million dollars.

Choice of Developer

Are you planning to develop the app on your own or you are looking to hire an agency or independent developer? If you are going to do the coding on your own, then your project cost will at most depend on the infrastructure and development tools.

If you will be hiring someone to build you an app, then prepare to pay for their experience and skill. Hiring independent developers with a more proven track record will attract a price above the average cost.

Agencies that develop apps are available in different sizes: large (big boys), medium (tech-savvy), and small shops. Hiring a company that has a high reputation, proven track record, and more members in their project team can cost you anywhere from $250,000 to $1,000,000.

The level of risk when developing an app is also a cost, which is usually high when you hire an independent developer. You can minimize your risk by choosing the right developer for your mobile app development project.

Type of Apps

Apps are built for different markets; some are for entertainment while others are solutions to business problems. In this line of thought, gaming apps are considered to be the most expensive with a cost ranging from $75,000 to $250,000.  On the other hand, minimum, viable product (MVP) or proof of concept apps are affordable because they have limited functionality, features, and design.

Bottom Line

Mobile App development depends on what you need in your final product.  There are some key decisions that you have to make to reduce your costs. You need to go into a development process knowing what you can and can’t control.  You don’t need to rob a bank if you can manage to keep your app idea simple. All in all, you’ll only get what you pay for, so do your due diligence before committing to mobile app development.

About 5280 Software LLC

5280 Software LLC, located in Denver, Colorado is one of the leading premier software development companies in the US.  Our clients over the year have ranged from small to medium sized business, startups, and even enterprise level clients such as RingCentral.  We have developed custom solutions for clients here in Colorado, across the USA, Canada, and Europe.  Our team of expert developers deliver flawless ios iphone mobile apps, android mobile apps, websites, and custom software.  We can build web apps, cross platform (hybrid) apps, or native apps coded in swift or java for your company.

Our agency offers custom high-quality solutions that integrate with your existing platforms. We have the tools required for creating and programming iot solutions as well. If you need help with achieving higher search engine placement, contact us today to learn how we can create and customize a Search Engine Optimization campaign for you.

All projects are based off a clearly defined scope of work.  If you need assistance with preparing your scope of work, we offer scope creation services.  If you decide to work with us, the cost of this scope creation is applied to your project price.  All projects include a development contract with a clearly defined cost, development timeline, payment schedule, and deliverables.

5280 Software LLC is here for entire project life cycle, including post launch support and future updates.  We harness innovative technologies and programming languages to deliver solutions to solve complex problems and optimize your business process.  Our exceptional, dedicated staff has the expertise to deliver powerful, cutting edge solutions to our clients.  From concept to inception we are here for you!  5280 Software LLC will deliver stunning mockups and sketch wireframes for client approval before the development stage begins.

With our knowledge and expertise, we can answer your questions and deliver a solution prefect for your business.  We have helped publish many different types of apps for businesses and individuals around the world!  If you are just getting started, we can guide you in the steps to build your application and can even recommend some sources for investors.  When your app starts to scale, we can assist with updates and pre-launch and post launch marketing consulting.  With the proper planning, your app venture can be successful.  After your app is launched, we can reduce the time spent learning about analytics by teaching you how to view the metrics of your app’s performance.

If you have an idea you would like to discuss, feel free to email us your full name or company name and we will send you a signed NDA.  5280 Software LLC provides a signed NDA to all of our clients to safeguard any information they may share with us during the discovery phase.  Once an NDA is in place, feel free to fill out our mobile app development questionnaire and then book a call to discuss your project.  If you are ready to start the process to develop your product, we are here to assist!  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket with offshore or nearshore teams, reach out to the best onshore development team: 5280 Software LLC.  We have the best assets and dedicated project management with competitive pricing.  Let us turn your idea into reality!

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