Customers always wonder how much does it cost to create an app. Some vendors say $50 000. The others say $500 000. 

Indeed, many companies claim: “We are the best application developers. Work with us.” That’s why choosing an outsourcing app development company may be challenging for you.

In fact, an expensive service is not a guarantee that your app will be great. High prices do not always mean good quality. At the same time, lower costs don’t always mean poor results.       

Let’s discuss the key factors that determine the cost of mobile application development.

Design approach

There are companies that suggest a mobile application project requires months of research, including research trends in application development, journey creation, concept testing, visual design including interactions design and mock-ups, UX design, and mobile app prototyping creation to test the mobile UX with real users.

Others work on assumption that the instructions received from a customer are enough, that the details could be clarified as they go along, and apply minimum effort in creating the designs. The cost can vary from low to high depending on the approach developers take.

Effort and time

Effort and the amount of days it will take to create a solution is one of the biggest reasons that determine the price. As a rule, more experienced teams go into details and make an exact estimation for every case.

They have vast experience in developing the same solutions or apps and can provide an accurate estimate including potential risks and errors. The effort can vary from one company to another based on the method used to evaluate the effort and time.

Mobile application development cost

The type of application

It is true that the price can vary accordingly to the type of app you need. A standard application with basic functions will cost you less than a custom developed solution with difficult processes and advanced tools. We have already discussed the number of hours needed for the implementation.

READ ALSO: Mobile app prototyping

It is obvious that custom solutions need to be scrutinized, and the developer will spend more time working on them. Just like any other product or service. One needs time to make research unless he is a real expert.


It is obvious that an agency from New York, London or San Francisco will be a great choice. On the contrary, a team based in China, India, or Mexico, therefore, will perform your task for a lower charge. The prices can vary from $200 per hour to $15 per hour.

The location issue is also connected with choosing between local companies and outsourcing. Of course, it makes sense to find local app developers. At least, this is how you can avoid communication problems because face-to-face communication is a chance to understand what you are going to pay for.

On the other hand, you can always find application development outsourcing. As it was mentioned, the communication with the foreign team may be more challenging. There are experienced teams and proficient developers across the ocean costing less and able to perform even better than a local agency. All you have to do is to find outsourcing that you can trust.

Change management

Once the company overcomes the first challenge of landing customers, it faces the other challenge of making a profit on them. The most common method of agencies is to do everything to underprice the project and minimize the scope. Later they will offer a change request to make a customer pay more for the extra functions they originally suggested were included.

The other way is to base the estimate on the suggestion that there will be a necessity to change something (redesign functionality, add something, etc.) based on the final user feedback. Sometimes change requests can double a price.

READ ALSO: Trends in application development

Be attentive if you might need to include some changes as the creation of an app goes. Make sure that a planned budget you have includes extra expenses coverage. In some cases, the initial rates can grow higher than you expected but if the agency is reliable it will prove its value.

Size of the company

This is not a key aspect. However, as a rule, bigger companies with 200+ of team members have higher rates while small ones with 10-20 people set lower prices. However, agencies of a certain size sometimes have some scale advantages that give them a lower quote. 

The code quality and the ability to hand it over

Over the past years, we have reviewed the code quality for more than 100 developers. Some of them are really good, but most are poorly structured and developed. Sometimes it is about the quality of the developers, but this could happen simply because of stress or other factors that don’t depend on them.

Sometimes the reason is that there is no proficient technical lead of the development process or because they are trying to make it more difficult to take a hand over the code. Other companies solve this problem with the help of internal developers who review the code or even performing an outsource code review to avoid any issues connected with the code quality and make sure that it is well-structured.

Proficiency of the developers

It is quite obvious that the difference in the effectiveness and productivity between a professional and a poor developer is significant. A professional developer can simply cope with a task in a couple of days while a poor one needs weeks to resolve everything. For that reason, the number of people you get for your budget is not a guarantee. A small team of 5 people can produce much more than a large team of 20 people in the same amount of time.

So, which agency you should choose as your application developer? Focus on the one that fits your needs in all terms including quality, prices, location, timelines, guidance, and experience.

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