The True Costs of App Development

As you might expect, there is a lot of mystery and misinformation surrounding the actual cost of app development.
As you might expect, there is a lot of mystery and misinformation surrounding the actual cost of app development. It may surprise you to know that app development may cost anywhere between $50,000 and $1,000,000 and it can take from half a year to more than a year to have one completed. Development is just the tip of the iceberg. The entire application development cycle consists of development, deployment, and maintenance, which can drive the cost up depending on the nature of the app you want.

Due to the rapid growth of the mobile application space, businesses and companies alike are realizing that a mobile app is no longer optional — it’s mandatory. Some experts have even gone as far as indicating that a business is “dead” without an application. There is a lot of truth in this statement. To stay competitive, enterprises need mobile applications not only to grow their business to new levels but to deliver excellent customer experiences.

So, how much does app development cost? Let’s find out.

Cost of Mobile App Development

The true cost of an app is based on a great number of factors that make up the entire experience — and it can vary widely. Here are some general estimates of mobile app development costs:

• The development and deployment of your native mobile application can range between $30,000 to $200,000.

• The app development phase only accounts for 35 percent of the total cost of the mobile app development project.

• It may cost an enterprise anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 every month to maintain a medium-sized mobile app.

• Mobile app support and maintenance can be as high as 50 percent of the total development cost.

The truth is, the actual cost of app development reaches far beyond the actual development. The major question is what unexpected or hidden cost should enterprises plan for when building mobile apps?

What Does It Takes to Build a High-Quality App?

What truly goes into creating an app? It’s a common question asked by many clients.

Building an app is not only about ensuring your developers are able to get things done. You want to take some time and think about a plan that will make your app creation process streamlined, strategic, and designed to solve the problems faced by end-users. Yet, understanding this process may be a little intense.

That said, here are a few things (which are often neglected) to keep in mind when building a high-quality app.

Functional Services

These are the services needed to execute the critical functions and features of your app. To make certain functionalities work, you might need to subscribe to a service that offers a data delivery mechanism.

Note that these services may increase your cost of development. Push notifications, SMS messaging, email, and social media integrations are some key examples of such services.

Administrative Services

It’s simple — you need a powerful, intuitive, user-friendly, and accessible administration dashboard.

As a professional, you want to be in control of your app and avoid calling IT experts every time you need to add or update something in your app. The cost differs based on every individual application. The most common administrative services that may appear in your app development budget include content management, dynamic updates, dashboard emulators, access controls, functional service management, user insights, and data segmentation.

Infrastructure Services

They comprise infrastructural components including app hosting, data storage, and data delivery. To store user information securely and provide specific information on your mobile app, you require a high-quality infrastructure service that includes servers, content delivery networks, image data, storage, and development tools and support.

Continuous IT Support

Mobile app development is often an ongoing process. You will need to fix bugs frequently, apply security patches, make critical changes to the application, add new functionalities and features, as well as offer support to users. Ensure your resources enable you to address regular updates (both iOS and Android), app update submissions, bugs, and API updates.

What Impacts The Costs of App Development?

The cost of app development depends on a couple of factors and varies from app to app. They include:

Features Sets and Functionalities

Before you start developing the app, think about the features and functionalities you wish to include. Your average cost of developing an app is dependent on the complexity of these features and functionalities. The higher the number of complex features, the higher the cost and time to build.


Whether you use an internal IT development team or external developers, they often provide a cost estimate based on the initial specifications. But, these specs can change throughout the app development process. Some businesses want additional features; others want their design customized to fit what they need. These adjustments can impact the cost of development based on the changes or updates that need to be done.


When apps include features and functionalities from third-party services such as an app that delivers experiences based on the customer’s location, e-commerce, social media, etc., these integrations take additional cost and development time. Building many of them during the first release can increase the cost of app development significantly.

How Camber Manages the App Development Estimate Process

Building a successful app from scratch takes a great deal of planning and most importantly, resources. After discovering that it’s a costly and complicated process, you might be interested in the alternative — a reliable app development partner to help you with app development estimates.

Camber understands that your needs are unique, and we help you through the discovery phase of your product strategy where we dig deeper into the details of your business needs. Based on the information you provide us with, we use our unique and customized approach to prepare detailed project requirements and come up with cost estimates associated with the entire app development process.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with our experts today!


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