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What Does App Development Cost in 2023?

This is a question on the mind of every entrepreneur who is looking to build an app. Before you can even begin to work on a project, you need to have realistic expectations and a budget in place. Let’s explore, in general, app development cost in the current climate.

Keep in mind that this can vary widely depending on a wide variety of factors.

An Important Note On App Development Cost, Before We Dive In

Your overall costs will largely depend on several factors. These are:

-Whether you hire an agency or go with in house development
-The type and complexity of your app
-The specific company you work with
-Your location or the location of who you work with

For these reasons, without knowing these specifics, it is impossible to give an exact price for your specific project. All of the numbers in this post are estimates from data presented by Business of Apps.

What these numbers can do, is give you a rough idea, so you can be more educated and prepared to start your app development journey, even as a non-technical entrepreneur.

Hiring In House Vs Hiring An Agency

Both approaches have their pros and cons and are ideal for different types of entrepreneurs.

If you have expertise in this field and feel comfortable building and managing a team to create and then manage your app long-term, doing it in-house can be a good option.

It largely depends on your own expertise.

We all know someone who started a DIY project to save money, and ended up pouring money into it to fix their own mistakes, and possibly ended up hiring someone to re-do the whole thing at the end anyway.

Hiring someone from the outset would have likely been more cost-effective and infinitely less stressful. It’s simply much more cost effective and efficient to do something the right way once, than try to do it two times or more.

Reputable app development agencies have years of experience building and maintaining apps. They know all of the complex steps involved and can guide you and produce results without any unpleasant surprises falling into your lap.

Launching Your App is Only the Beginning

One common misconception about app development is that the work ends once the app is complete.

This could not be farther from the truth and is something you need to factor into your budget, strategy, and overall plan.

There are many reasons why operating an app is a long-term commitment. You will need to respond to not only changing user demands but the changing regulations of app stores.

If you want to learn more, take a look at our post on why apps disappear from app stores.

Some feel equipped to handle years of work in-house. For others, choosing to work with an agency is simply a more effective option.

The Cost of App Development

According to data from the Business of Apps these are the rough estimates of what apps at different levels of complexity will cost to create.

Keep in mind, that different agencies will have different pricing models for a wide range of reasons. It is unlikely that two agencies will offer the exact same price.

Simple app development price tag – $16,000 – $32,000
Medium complexity app development price tag – $32,000 – $48,000
Complex app development price tag – $72,000+
Cost of hiring a US app developer ~$105,000 / year

Now, you might be wondering what separates a complex app from a simple one. Here are some of the functionalities that will increase app complexity and app development cost.

App Development Cost Factors

Integration points and the use of visual objects will factor in. Will your app be integrated with third-party apps from which it sources content?

Also, if your app has complex visuals that require a lot of technical skill and artistry, the price will reflect that complexity.

Currently, it costs roughly the same to create apps for Android and iOS. Their complexity is the largest factor when it comes to price.

Ultimately, your app’s cost will depend on the complexity of what it does and what smartphone hardware features it utilizes as well.

This can include accessing a phone’s camera, microphone, or GPS. It may even include more cutting-edge technology on newer phones, such as Augmented Reality tech.

Something else that factors into cost is the maintenance plan. All reputable agencies offer maintenance plans for the apps they create. As long as apps are functional, they need to be updated and maintained.

That is why, at Chop Dawg, we seek to build long-term relationships with our partners and offer support long after launch.

How Long Will App Development Take?

This largely depends on the complexity of your app, but here are some general timelines.

According to SPDLoad app development company, it takes 2-4 months to develop a simple app, 4-6 months to make a mid complexity app, and 9 months and up for a complex one.

If you are new to the process of app development, you may be wondering why app development incurs costs and takes so much time. The truth is, over a year might go into an app before they are released.

An app needs to be extensively tested before it is released as well. Then, once they are released, they require maintenance. Currently, the industry-accepted standard for maintaining software is about 15-20% of its original development cost.

This is the general life cycle of an app:


Maintenance is critical to any app. This is necessary to fix bugs over time and keep up with the changing demands of consumers and app stores. Many people think that releasing an app is like putting out a song or a painting, and after release you can just forget about it.

This is not true. Apps are technological tools. And tech is constantly evolving.

Final Thoughts on App Development Cost in 2023

Ultimately, the cost of your app will depend on how you choose to approach creation and maintenance, and the complexity of the app you want to create.

If you opt to hire a team of US developers in-house, you are looking at about $120,000 a year per person.

you can see, there is a lot that goes into developing, testing, releasing, and maintaining a successful app. While these are only rough costs in the US market, they can give you a rough idea of what to expect when you get started.

Always keep in mind these numbers. Also, if you opt to outsource, speak to a variety of app development agencies. This can give you valuable information.

For example, if three companies quote you around $250,000 and one quotes you $20,000, that may be a red flag. Often incredibly low prices indicate that corners are being cut.

Likewise, if two companies say it will take about a year to create your app, and one says they can have it done in a month, this can also be a red flag which indicates that everything is not above board.

However, you can only gather information like this by talking to multiple companies.

Remember, reputable companies have a client history, pricing reflective of the market, realistic timelines, and offer post-launch support.

If you have any questions about bringing your dream app to life, reach out to Chop Dawg today for a free consultation!

What do you think? Comment below.

Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


Find us on social at #MakeItApp’n®

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