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How Much Does It Cost to Build an App

How Much Does It Cost to Build an App

Does it go around your head “How much does it cost to develop an app?” For those who seek an answer for transforming their ideas into reality, this article has discussed the details and provided the cost of developing an app. By following these few tips, you can decrease the development cost to some extent, which can help you take the launch step.

How Much Does It Cost to Make an App

We all know that digital products like mobile applications help a lot to grow any business to new heights. However, the cost to develop an app can vary on several key points, ranging from the development technology to app maintenance after launch. To understand how much does it cost to develop an app, you can check out the following table:

App TypeEstimated TimeEstimated CostSome Key Features
Simple Content Based App4 – 8 Weeks$5,000 – $15,000Content Categories, Article Sharing, Push Notifications
E-commerce Apps12 – 20 Weeks$20,000 – $50,000Product Catalog, Shopping Cart, Wishlist, Order Tracking
Social Networking Apps16 – 32 Weeks$30,000 – $100,000Users Profiles, Messaging/Chat, Notifications
Healthcare and Medical Apps12 – 36 Weeks$20,000 – $500,000+Health Data Tracking, Data Encryption and Security, Integration with Wearables
Enterprise Apps16 – 52 Weeks$20,000 – $1,000,000+Task Management, Analytics and Reporting, Integration with Existing Systems [CRM, ERP]
IoT Apps16 – 52 Weeks$20,000 – $1,000,000+Data Analytics, Remote Access, Security Measures
Travel and Tourism Apps16 – 32 Weeks$20,000 – $100,000Itinerary Planning, Maps and Navigation, Destination Information
Educational Apps12 – 24 Weeks$20,000 – $100,000Lessons and Quizzes, Progress Tracking, Teacher and Student Interaction
Food and Restaurants Apps16 – 36 Weeks$30,000 – $150,000Delivery Tracking, Loyalty Programs, Payment Processing

Moving forward, if you don’t have a considerable budget for developing an application, there is no need to stress it out. In such a scenario, you can get help from the ZEGOCLOU SDK to reduce the app development cost efficiently. Furthermore, with the help of its video calling SDK and voice calling SDK, developers can efficiently develop complex mobile applications in multiple languages like Flutter, React Native, and more.

Moreover, ZEGOCLOUD UIKits can fast-track your app development, leveraging pre-built UIKits and UI Components for rapid market entry and building engaging applications efficiently instead of starting from zero.

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Most Popular Global Apps and Their Development Cost

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp, a revolutionary messaging app, was initially developed with a budget of around $250,000. Launched in 2009, it swiftly became a global phenomenon for its user-friendly interface and free messaging service. The app seamlessly integrates text, voice, and video communication, attracting millions of users worldwide. Its minimalistic design, end-to-end encryption, and cross-platform compatibility contributed to its widespread popularity.

2. Instagram

Instagram, the photo and video-sharing social networking service was developed with approximately $500,000 in seed funding. Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has redefined online social interactions through visual content. It emphasizes user engagement through features like stories, filters, and reels. Its intuitive design and innovative algorithms have made it a platform of choice for both individuals and businesses, amassing over a billion active users.

3. TikTok

TikTok, a leading short-form video platform, emerged with significant investment, estimated to be in the millions. Launched internationally in 2017, it quickly captivated a young audience with its engaging content format. The app allows users to create, share, and discover 15-second videos, often featuring music, filters, and effects. Its powerful recommendation algorithm and creative tools have made it a hub for viral trends and content.

4. Uber

Uber, the pioneer in ride-sharing, required an initial funding of $1.2 million. Launched in 2009, it transformed urban transportation by connecting riders with drivers through its app. Uber’s innovative platform integrates GPS technology, payment systems, and a rating mechanism, ensuring convenience and safety. Its scalability and user-centric model have enabled it to expand globally, revolutionizing the concept of personal mobility.

5. Spotify

Spotify, a leader in music streaming, was developed with an initial investment of around €15 million. Since its launch in 2008, Spotify has changed the way people access and enjoy music. Its platform offers millions of songs and podcasts with personalized playlists and discovery features. Spotify’s business model, combining subscription and ad-supported services, has made it accessible to a vast audience, reshaping the music industry.

Common Factors that Impact Mobile App Development Cost

Making a budget sheet for app development can depend on numerous factors. Therefore, to understand these factors in detail, look at the given factors listed below.

1. Type of Business Model

The first thing that directly impacts the app development cost is the type of business for which you are developing the application. This is because sometimes, companies require complex mobile apps with multiple functions, due to which their cost of development gets high. Moreover, you can relate it like the more complex the application is, the more costly the development will be.

2. Customized UX/UI Design

Ensuring that your application has a smooth user interface is crucial to monitoring the success rate of the developed application. Therefore, to add a unique look to the application, you will have to use some good quality UX/UI designs. Besides this, remember that every design has a price tag, so the development cost will be affected by your decision regarding the UI/UX design selection.

3. Location of the Development Team

Labor cost is a major factor that can significantly impact the overall cost of developing an app. It is because the development cost depends on the location of your team, due to which the labor charges can take a huge amount of the app development budget.

In addition, you can also understand this by looking at a survey that states the average per-hour rate of a developer in the USA is USD 70, whereas in Ukraine, it is USD 30.

4. App Hosting and Security

Moreover, Android and iOS applications carry loads of data that need to be carefully exchanged between servers in real-time to ensure that users get a fast response. However, to maintain the confidentiality of transactions, user search data, and other details, you will need to use a well-organized app hosting provider.

At this point, choosing a good hosting provider will also impact your app development cost. ZEGOCLOUD SDK is a reliable software development toolkit that provides cloud services, helping developers run and host applications in the cloud. To save your cost for video call app development, live streaming app development, or chat app development, ZEGOCLOUD will be a good choice!

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3 Types of Mobile App Development Technologies

1. Native App Development

Native app development focuses on creating applications specifically for a particular operating system. This includes iOS and Android platforms, using languages such as Swift and Objective-C for iOS, and Kotlin or Java for Android. Tools like Xcode for iOS and Android Studio for Android are essential in this process, allowing developers to leverage platform-specific features and achieve optimal performance.

2. Hybrid App Development

Hybrid app development bridges the gap between web and native apps. It utilizes web technologies like JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS, but wraps them in a native container, enabling the app to access device-specific functionalities. This approach is supported by frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, and Cordova/PhoneGap, which allow developers to write a single codebase that can run across multiple platforms, significantly reducing development time and effort.

3. Web App Development

Web app development, particularly Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), represents a blend of web and mobile app experiences. They are built using standard web technologies, including HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, and are designed to work on any platform with a standard-compliant browser. Modern web frameworks such as Angular, React.js, and Vue.js are often used to enhance the functionality and user experience of these apps. PWAs can offer features like offline capability and push notifications, making them increasingly popular as a mobile solution.

Step-by-Step Mobile App Development Process

1. Idea and Market Research

Start with formulating a unique app idea that addresses a specific problem or needs. Conduct extensive market research to understand your target audience, analyze competitors, and assess market demand. This stage sets the foundation for your app’s purpose and potential success.

2. Planning

Define clear objectives and features for your app. Develop a comprehensive plan that includes project timelines, resources required, and key milestones. This step involves strategizing the workflow and responsibilities for the entire development process.

3. Design

Begin with wireframing to lay out the basic structure of your app. Move to prototyping to create a working model for testing the user experience. Focus on UI/UX design to ensure the app is intuitive, engaging, and aesthetically pleasing.

4. App Development

Decide whether to go for native, hybrid, or web app development based on your goals and resources. Develop the back-end (server, database, etc.) and front-end (user interface). Ensure that the coding and integration of various elements are robust and scalable.

5. Testing

Perform thorough quality assurance testing to identify and fix bugs. Include user testing to gather feedback on usability and functionality. This step is crucial for ensuring the app’s reliability and user satisfaction before launch.

6. Launch

Finalize the app for launch with a focus on app store optimization, marketing materials, and a launch strategy. Release the app on platforms like the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, ensuring all guidelines are met.

7. Post-Launch Activities

Monitor the app’s performance, user feedback, and reviews consistently. Regularly update the app for bug fixes, performance enhancement, and compatibility with the latest operating systems.

8. Marketing and Monetization

Implement an effective marketing strategy to increase app visibility and user base. Choose a suitable app monetization strategy (like in-app purchases, ads, subscriptions) to generate revenue from the app.

How to Reduce App Development Costs

Budgeting remains a common issue for many startups and small businesses in the beginning when they are trying to grow through different methods, including app development. Therefore, to manage such a scenario, you can check out the following tips to help reduce the app development cost.

  • Create Cross-Platform Mobile Apps: App Development costs can be minimized by creating cross-platform apps, which are mainly known as web apps. In addition, these apps can be used on both platforms, due to which their cost of development is less than single platform-based apps.
  • MVP (Minimum Viable Product): Sometimes, creating a complex app with multiple features consumes many resources and time. To avoid this, you can start with the MVP, which focuses on the few prominent features of your products.
  • Avoid Feature Bloat: Most of the time, it happens that people can’t resist the temptation to add too many features to the software. That is why overloading the app with many features in the start can impact the cost of developing an app, which you can reduce by controlling the temptation.
  • ZEGOCLOUD: Similarly, another best tip you can follow to reduce the cost of developing an app is to use an API/SDK to develop your mobile application. For this, you can use the ZEGOCLOUD APIs or SDKs to build in-app chat, voice calls, video calls, and different features at a low cost.


Startups and small businesses must start with a minimal approach in the initial steps of developing an app. Besides this, they also need to consider app development costs because spending too much on development in the initial stages can be risky. Moreover, you never know whether your product will be successful or not.

Therefore, going with a minimal approach can be an excellent option to minimize your risk factor and development cost. Moreover, with the help of different third-party API/SDK providers like ZEGOCLOUD, you can reduce the development cost in the initial stages. Furthermore, this can help you launch the product with less investment and time, so you can do your testing to evaluate its growth and value.

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