How Much Does It Cost to Create a Smartphone Application

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8 Comments Last modified on August 21st, 2013

In a Nutshell:

Doing a bit of research on most surfed Google keywords, I found “How much does an app cost?” to be one of the top searched queries. But I did not find convincing results for this query, hence I decided to write one on my own. As with the purchase of other products such as a car or home there is lots of information, but the same is not true for something that is relatively new as the mobile application. The lack of knowledge about the factors and workers involved in its development is reason for this. No issues, we will discuss them in this article.


Smartphone App

What does it cost to make an application for mobile devices?

Anyone, regardless of training or knowledge of mobile applications, can get an idea of how much it costs to develop an application. I will use the construction of a house as metaphor for being more familiar with certain terms.

All the requirements to build a Smartphone App:

To understand how much it actually costs an application, we will present you to the workers who are all involved and necessary for the development of any project , always working in parallel.

Back-End Engineer: This engineer designs the foundations of our house. Clearly, if we want our home to withstand all the strenght and pressure at the time of testing and be prepared for future expansion, will have to have a good foundation.

Graphic Designer / Interface: The designer is the architect of our application. He will decide the appearance and usability of the application and will be responsible for the house to be apparent, cozy and at the same time functional meeting our needs.

Programmer: The mason, the builder of the house who lays brick by brick. As in the buildings, it is not the same to build a house and a skyscraper, or a steel building and the one made of wood. Similarly there are specialists in programming for each platform, programmers who specialize in iPhone and Android programmers for example. Choose the builder with experience according to the type of building you want to build is the key.

After submission of the workers involved in the construction of our application we can understand why there is a difference in cost between one application and the other.

Smartphone Application

Let us understand the different types of application and cost involved:

Application for advertising: These applications are developed for a specific campaign for a promotion lasting for a few days or at the most some weeks. To develop these kind of applications, it does not make sense to give a solid foundation in construction or complicated structure as  in a few days time, it will no longer be used. The main focus of these kind of applications lie in an attractive and fancy layout which is eyecatching for the customers.

These applications need a good design which can be done with the help of an architect and a builder in general hence there is no need for specialists. It is equivalent to erect a tent or advertising stand. It looks good and almost anyone with minimal knowledge of construction can lift. Will be worth a few days of dedication of the architect and builder. Approximate price: $1000 – $2500 per platform


Start-up Application: In case of building a native application or an integration of social networks, there is a wanting for the application to last in the markets for a longer time. This application will be similar to a house where you must have a good foundation, designed such that it can be expanded in the future and its interior should be comfortable and functional. For the development of these applications have to involve the 3 categories of workers who are appointed a greater or lesser degree depending on customer needs. The price will range between $3,000 and $10,000 per platform according to the size of the application. We compare it the the construction of a house as it also depends on the number of rooms, the reputation of the architect chosen … all at the discretion of the client.

Application for management / social network: This type of application is to be compared with skyscraper kind of buildings. The foundation has to be as strong as ever and needs to be studied inch by inch as even the tiniest error can lead to the downfall. The calculation of the structure of a building needs to be studied in detail. One just cannot skimp on resources to ensure the stability of the building. If the building is to represent  a brand, then it would be just as important to turn to a renowned architect. The higher the building, the more it tends to depict the high standard of the brand. If this job is left to a beginner or an in-experienced campaigner, then there are higher risks of the project not being able to complete on time as it would incur countless delays and defects in construction. The cost of implementing these features will generally vary from $10,000 to $75,000 per platform depending on the size of the project.

Mobile App

If the project is to sustain for a long period which should also give back a return on the investment made, then the criteria to place an order for such applications differ. There is not only the development cost, but many other factors must be assessed such as the  planning, design, experience and of course the guarantees. In such cases there is errors, delays, cost overruns, or an application developed that does not meet our needs.

Therefore we recommend to readers / potential clients that before you approach an engineer, architect and builder for implementation of your plans, you should make sure to check out the samples of their previous work in order to minimize the risk that the final result is not satisfactory in quality, durability or execution time.

8 Responses to “How Much Does It Cost to Create a Smartphone Application”
  1. TechBrush

    nice write up bro

  2. Adam H

    Good write up of the different challanges in working out the cost to develop a smartphone app.

  3. himanshu

    Yeah it needs a team work to produce a good valuable app and also a good budget to hire professionals who work on your ideas to develop it.

  4. Visitor

    Thanks for sharing this nice blog. Your information is very useful for smartphone application development. Good write up of the different challanges in working out the cost in smartphone application development.

  5. Nexora

    Hello Nikhil,

    This is a really great write-up on the subject of Apps. We are Nexora, an information technology firm in Spain that works on the development of applications, and believe us, we can confirm that all of this time, energy, and hard work goes into making apps as you have explained in detail! It is great to see such detailed information online for everyone to see and understand the process of application production. If you are interested in any of our specific projects check out what we’ve done at http://www.nexora.es and perhaps we can exchange thoughts or ideas!

    • RealTalk

      Hello Nikhil. Very good blog. I learned a lot, and I appreciate all the effort you put into this answer. Thank you!

      @Nexora is there anyway that your website can be translated to ENGLISH, or any language other than ESPANOL?? You’re sending people to check out your site, and we (meaning I) cannot read it. Why?? Nexora, you could have a website translator installed so that the language can be changed to meet the needs of its perspective customers/clients from all over the world. Also, the link that would show us (me) the clients you’ve work for does not work! So we (I) cannot view the quality of your product (development). If this is an indication of what to expect from the company, I want no parts of it! Please, Get it together!!
      I’m just being real, and hopefully, not rude.

      • Nikhil P Naik

        No issues, You just expressed your thoughts. Thanks for the comment.

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