Whether you’re launching a business or innovating to deliver value, app development will be your gateway to making your vision a reality. Because, let’s be honest, it is incomprehensible to imagine a routine without mobile applications!

Now, we are no magicians, but we know what you’ll ask:

How much does it cost to develop an app?


App development costs are affected by a plethora of factors. However, considering an average app development cost, the range can go anywhere from £15,000 to £60,000 and more. It highly depends on the features, functionalities, and also programming languages! 


Shocking, eh? 🤔Well, not so much. The benchmarks can largely be categorised based on the application’s complexity level:


Application Category

App Development Cost

Development Time

Basic Informative Apps
(MVP- Minimum Viable Product)

£15,000 to £30,000

2-4 months

Medium Complex Content-Based Apps

£30,000 to £70,000

4-6 months

Highly Complex Apps (Ecommerce/Entertainment, etc.) 

£70,000 and above

6+ months


Now, before these stunning numbers scare you away, wait!

Ask yourself this - is app development expensive when we weigh the value we receive? Not, really. Because if it were, the world wouldn’t be witnessing the release of 3000+ applications every day, and the mobile application industry in the UK wouldn't be predicted to be worth more than £30 billion by 2025!

Well, now that we have a few comforting numbers, let’s cut right to the chase! 


Key Takeaways:

  • App development costs

The cost of building an app depends on a plethora of factors, including features, platforms (native and cross-platform), categories, and regions (offshore vs onshore) - Understand each.

  • Start by developing an MVP - Get early to market at less cost 

Minimal Viable Product allows you to get validation in the early cycles of development. Understand its importance in business and more.

  • Don't hire in-house resources, outsourcing is much cheaper and better

Outsourcing allows you to use an experienced development team at much lower costs, whereas hiring in-house can be really expensive - Understand more.

  • Market research and scoping out your app is crucial 

The discovery phase is equally important in a product development cycle. It ensures you're developing the right product for your users. Understand the costs involved.

  • Marketing Phase

The secret to market disruption is a brilliant marketing strategy implemented in time. 

  • Choose the app development company that suits your business needs

Know its experience, technical expertise, portfolio, etc. Explore other factors that will help in decision-making.

  • If you have an amazing idea, lack of funds shouldn’t stop you! 

Raise funds for your app development through angel investing, crowdfunding, grants, and accelerator programs. Understand each in-depth.

  • Rome wasn’t built in a day

And never does an app! From extensive research to marketing, there is a lot that goes into building an app. And all of this influences the overall cost of building an app.



Okay, enough with the wait! Here’s your treasure trove on app development costs. 


As mentioned above, the app development costs can range anywhere from £15,000 to £60,000. However, a simple ballpark figure doesn’t provide a clear picture here. So, let’s dive into every factor involved and help you determine how much you might need to invest. 


App Development Cost Breakdown by Features:

The features you decide to incorporate into your app will influence the final cost of the project and raise its scope. User registration and push notifications are some of the necessary or basic features that are typically less expensive.

Meanwhile, sophisticated features, such as payment systems, web portals, and navigation, raise the overall cost of your project.

Now, we’ll understand this in detail with the help of an example. Let’s reimagine the development of one of the popular fitness apps, such as Fiit or Freeletics. So, say we develop this fitness tracking app with only the following necessary features:

  • Registration and onboarding: This feature allows users to create an account and log in to the app. This feature module would be required to know who’s using the platform, their activities, etc.

  • Connecting health apps: Connecting the app to a specific health kit that can read and stream user fitness data. Please note that this feature is specific to the activity-tracking application.

  • 2-3 core features: A simple app should only have those features that are absolutely required. Example: Viewing the stats of exercises, comparison with previous weeks, etc.

  • Profile management: Users would need to edit their profile details, such as their weight, goals, diets, etc

  • Push notifications: The app would need to send push notifications to users, such as steps, milestones, reminders, etc.

  • Admin Panel: You’d definitely need an admin panel to access and edit your user data, have a bird-eye view of everything that’s going on in the platform, etc.


From the above-explained app development cost breakdown, a basic fitness application would cost you around £15,000. 


Next: Say you want your application to be advanced and functionality-rich. So, let’s say you add to the application the following complex features:


  • Social media integration: With this, the app allows users to share content or interact with others on social media platforms.

  • Maps & geolocation: GPS and location-based services are essential if you want to provide added location-specific content, including the user’s route on a map and air quality details.

  • Payment Gateways: If the app will include a way for users to make purchases within the app for additional content such as diet plans, workout guides, etc., you’d need to introduce payment gateways.

By having an app with these kind of features, you are looking at £30,000+


As mentioned above, the cost of an app depends on its features and complexity. The more the features and scope, the higher the cost.



Cost of Building An App Based on Platform

The cost of an app also depends on the platform you decide to go with.

  • Cross platform development: Developing apps through Flutter OR React Native. Advantage: Less time because the developer would code once and deploy on both iOS and Android stores.

  • Native app development: Developing Android and iOS apps but in 2 different programming languages. Disadvantage: 2 developers would be required, 2 different platforms, more time required and even more when you need to solve any problems.


Okay, think about it with an example: Why would you want to buy a separate appliance for baking, grilling, and cooking when the latest model of a microwave oven does it all? That’s right, it's cost-effective and time-saving. 


Following is the app development cost breakdown by platform.


Application Platform

App Development Cost

Native Android & iOS

Starts at £20,000 because it requires 2 different developers.

Flutter OR React Native

Starts at £12,000 because you can code once and deploy on both iOS & Android.


Do you want to know more about app development?
Are you ready to build an app without any hidden costs?


More than 300 clients have trusted us on this. We have helped multiple startups thrive by delivering them customer-centric scalable applications. We proudly transform your vision into reality! Connect with us and allow us to guide you. 


Let’s talk!


Okay! Enough about ourselves. Let’s get back to the pie! :)


Now that we’ve covered development costs on the basis of features and platforms, let’s understand app development cost breakdowns on the basis of category and region. 


Cost of Building an App Based on Category


In 2023, the answer to how much does it cost to develop an app can depend significantly on the market you’re planning to serve as well. The functionalities required differ when industries change, and this influences the overall app development cost. 


App Category

Development Cost

Development Time

Ecommerce Store App

Starts at £15,000

2-4 months

Multi Vendor App

Starts at £25,000

5-6 months

Learning App

Starts at £15,000

2-6 months

Social Media App

Starts at £20,000

3-4 months

Gaming App

Starts at £20,000

5-9 months

Transit App

Starts at £18,000

4-6 months

Dating App

Starts at £20,000

4-6 months


Pheewww! Okay, before you spiral, hear us out. You can always kickstart your application at lower development costs with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)


What is an MVP?


A Minimum Viable Product is a product with enough features to attract the attention of early customers. It is a method of gaining idea validation before investing a huge amount in it.


Put simply, your MVP will include only the necessary features required to provide reliable service to your users. It not only reduces the app development costs and accelerates the entire process, but it also enables you to refine your app using genuine customer feedback once it has been released.


So, now that we are on the topic of how to reduce the costs of app development, let’s address another pivotal range of cost categorisation—the cost of building an app on the basis of the region plus offshore vs onshore development costs. 



Cost of Building an App Based on the Region (Onshore vs Offshore)


Before we get into this, please note that an exorbitant price point is not necessarily indicative of the development quality. The cost of building an app in any particular region is simply a presentation of the industry rates prevalent there. Also, the rates can easily go up on the basis of the features and elements that we’ve discussed above. 



Development Costs (/hour)


















These irregular ranges scream the substantial difference there is between the offshore cost and average cost of app development in the UK, Germany and other European regions. 



Cost to Hire An App Developer


Here’s a question that must have popped up in your mind: How much does it cost to hire an app developer? Or what’s an average mobile app developer cost? So, let’s have a look at the approximate cost of hiring app developers on the basis of experience. 




Cost Per Year

Junior App Developers

0-1 Year


Mid-Level Developers

2-4 Years


Senior App Developers

4+ Years



Hiring an in-house app development team can get really expensive, while the whole app could get ready starting at just £20,000! 


Understand that hiring an in-house team comes with increased costs as you have to hire many professionals, such as designers, developers, and managers. This is exactly where we enter the picture, and with more than 10 years of experience.


We build cost-effective category-defining applications without any hidden charges. No fuss, complete transparency!


Consult our startup experts.

Development Costs Of Prominent Applications 


Here are a few popular applications and how much it would cost to make similar apps.


  • TikTok: We’ve all heard of it if not used! It pretty much forced other social media platforms to introduce short video features. The cost of building an app similar to TikTok can range from somewhere around £50,000 to £100,000, and can increase real quick depending on the features. The development process could take 5-6 months.

  • Tinder: It’s hard to find a Gen Zer that might not have once tried or at least thought about using a dating application - the dating market is really tough! From location settings and matching algorithms to handling an enormous database, the features required can easily raise the cost. The cost of developing such an app can range anywhere from £30,000 to £90,000, and the time taken could be 4-6 months.

  • WhatsApp: Probably everyone’s favourite! If one is to develop an application similar to WhatsApp that includes functionalities such as instant audio/video calling, media transfer, messaging, and now payment integration as well, the cost would start at £40,000 and the time would be 4-6 months.

  • Snapchat: Let’s talk about the King of them all! A pioneer of its kind, Snapchat has changed the game. The cost of developing such an app will range from somewhere around £35,000 to £70,000. It may take 5-6 months to develop a similar application.

  • Uber: Uber has given a taste of unmatched convenience in conveyance to people across the globe. The cost of building such an app can start at £50,000 and go as high as £200,000, and the time involved could be 5-6 months. 



Too much information? Let’s do a quick recap! 


Up until now, we have understood the cost to develop an app on the basis of features (with the help of an example), platforms, categories, and regions (app development costs in the UK, Europe, Asia, US). We have also covered MVP, average app developer costs, and the costs of developing a few popular apps.


Now, it’s time for the one you have been waiting for! 


App Development Cost Breakdown Based on the Phase


Think of app development like a grand dinner party.

  • You've got the menu - Discovery phase

  • Appetisers - Design phase

  • Main course - Development phase

  • Desserts - Testing and deployment phase

  • And beverages - Marketing phase

And just like any fancy dinner party, the cost can add up pretty quickly!
To understand these costs, Clutch conducted a study in 2017. 


Clutch collected data from multiple app development companies to determine exactly how much they spend on the following stages of the application development process:

  1. Discovery

  2. Design

  3. Development

  4. Testing and Deployment 

  5. Marketing (Our added bonus to you)


Note: The result of the survey was declared in dollars. 


  1. Pre-research or Discovery Phase

    In the discovery phase, you'll be figuring out the concept and requirements of your app, studying your competitors, and conducting market analysis to understand the project’s scope.

    According to nearly 70% of the app development companies surveyed, a project must go through a discovery phase. In terms of carrying out the pre-research stage, 51% of company officials stated that they spend up to $5,000, while 22% spend somewhere between $5k and $10k, and 14% stated the expense to be between $10k and $25k.

  2. Design Phase

    In the design phase, you'll be trying a few different design layouts and elements to see what tickles your taste buds.

    In this stage, 32% spend less than $5k, 44% of the companies surveyed spend somewhere between $5k to $25k, 16% stated a cost between $25k and $50k, while only 9% spend more than $50k.

  3. Development Phase

    Then comes the main course, the development phase. This is where the real magic happens, and your app starts to take shape. Just like a fancy dinner, this can get expensive. Depending on the complexity of your app, development costs can vary greatly.

    Out of the companies surveyed, only 9% of respondents spend less than $5k, 33% spend between $5k and $10k, 43% stated the expense to be between $10k and $30k, and 15% spend more than $30k.

  4. Testing & Deployment Phase

    What’s dinner without desserts? It’s inconceivable to have a successful application without testing and deployment stages. An extensive testing stage ensures that app users face fewer difficulties, such as bugs or delays.

    32% of respondents invest less than $5k of the total app development cost on app testing and deployment. Another 31% spend between $5k and $10k, while the remaining 37% spend over $10k to accomplish this phase.

  5. Marketing Phase

    Everyone is a beverage person! Whether you prefer traditional lemon mint soda or some hot chocolate, you have to have a beverage. And it is that simple with marketing as well.

    Irrespective of the quality of the application, it cannot succeed in the market without marketing. So, it may not be a cost that goes into development but it is a cost that goes into BUILDING A DISRUPTIVE APP.

    Do you want to succeed? Want to disrupt the market?

    You can’t just create a project, sit back, and wait for the magic to happen. You’ll have to reach the right audience with the right message, at the right time. There is no definite range for this stage, but we recommend dedicating at least 30% of your budget to marketing.

    Just remember: you get what you pay for, and a good app is worth the investment!

  6. Maintenance Costs

    The answer to how much it costs to create an app in the UK, US, or Europe does not end here. Every project needs maintenance, irrespective of the development region. Once your application is up and running, you need to upgrade and maintain it to stay relevant in the competitive market. Along with regular maintenance practices, you’ll also have to stay proactive with bug fixes, and layout changes.

    Having said that, please know that maintenance costs only come into play if the features are complete and the application doesn’t need any new additions. In such cases, maintenance costs are paid on an hourly basis. However, in most cases, the app is always in the development phase of new features, therefore, the costs are measured against every new feature. 



How Impero can help you in your app development journey


If you are looking to develop a cutting-edge, robust app that thrives in the market, look no further than our app development company! We beam with this confidence because we’ve done it time and again.


We have what it takes to develop an application that not only stands true to industry standards but also raises the bar. Each one of us at Impero is infused with creativity, innovation, and the grit to deliver excellence. And, we do mean it. 


Don’t believe us? Believe the facts!


  • With over 10 years of experience in the industry, we have a proven track record of delivering exceptional apps that delight users and drive results. In a nutshell, what we develop, succeeds!  


  • We have been recognized as the top mobile app developer by Clutch for two consecutive years and were proudly featured in Forbes in 2021. This showcases our commitment to creating only the best products. 


  • Our experience and expertise have allowed us to work with clients from diverse industries, giving us the ability to deliver innovative solutions for every use case.



Our portfolio speaks for itself!


We've developed apps such as KeepAppy, TeachKloud, Scoreboard, and Siente, each of which has become a household name in its respective market.

Can we have a drumroll, please? 🤩


  • KeepAppy is a wellness app, or, as they like to say, a gym for your mental health, and rightfully so. It helps users stay positive and motivated. You can measure the development quality of this application by the following facts:

    • Selected as top startup at Web Summit 2019

    • The Co-founders were selected as top 30 under 30 Ireland’s Rising business stars.

    • Raised €35,000 at Kickstarter fundraising.

    • Selected for mentorship by Bill and Melinda Gates. 


  • TeachKloud, a revolutionary pre-school management software for education, now has 20,000 active users, 4 interfaces with 1000+ screens. It’s making a difference in the industry of Early Childhood education.


  • Scoreboard is an app for students, and is essentially a fundraising platform. The app automated the manual fundraising operations, and the students now sell through the app. Guess the sales happening per day… $400K! Just amazing!

  • Siente is another wellness app that helps users cultivate healthy habits and find tranquillity. This application has touched the lives of 500,000 people. Yes, you read that right, 500,000.


But this is not all!


One of our startup projects was adopted by Google in the ‘Adopt a Startup’ program,  and this is the epitome of our quality of work and how we are utilising the latest technologies to solve real-world problems.


To sum it up, we are masters at app development, and we’d like to help you become the master of your industry. And all of this with complete transparency, unwavering support, and app development costs that will pay back with value. 


Have an idea that could be the next big thing in the application market? Talk to Us!




How to get started with us for your app development


We pride ourselves on having delivered UI/UX rich, ROI-generating, customer-centric, scalable applications that are robust and at par with the latest tech standards.


You can associate with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Fixed Cost Development: Under this plan, we’ll understand and analyse your requirements as well as your business objectives, then provide you with a fixed timeline and cost for app development. And we deliver on our promise! 😀

  2. Dedicated Development Team: When you choose this option, you’ll be able to hire an incredible app development team from us. Our intuitive team will include an experienced project manager, UI/UX designer, developer, analyst, and other talented professionals as required by the project - Monthly payments.

  3. Hire Hourly: Yes, we also provide you with the option of hiring professionals on an hourly basis. However, this option is usually preferred by businesses needing some work on an existing project.


Book a consultation and let's bring your idea to life!




Bonus Information on Application Development


Did you think we’d let you leave without any bonus information?
No. We’ll help you get that project developed in every way possible.


So, let’s understand how to raise funds to cover your app development costs (especially for startups). Of course, apart from bootstrapping. Told you! It really is a bonus.

  1. Are you looking for investments?

    1. Angel investing: An angel investor is an individual who provides capital to startups in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt. They can be a good option if you have a strong personal network and can find an angel investor who is interested in your idea.

    2. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, allow you to raise money from a large number of people by making a pitch for your app on the internet. This can be a great way to test the market for your app and raise funds at the same time.

What is Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that allows individuals to raise money for creative projects, such as app development. It works by allowing people to pledge money to your project in exchange for rewards, such as early access to the app or a special version of the app. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, which means that if you don't reach your fundraising goal, you don't get any of the money pledged to your project.


  1. Government grants: Government grants can also be a potential source of funding for app development costs. Depending on the country and region you live in, you might be able to apply for various government programs that support innovation and technology development.

  2. Incubator/Accelerator: Incubator and accelerator programs such as Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Techstars can offer mentorship, resources, and funding, including pre-seed, seed, and Series A funding.

What are Accelerator Programs?: Accelerator programs are organisations that provide mentorship, resources, and often funding to startups. These programs typically last for a set period of time and focus on helping startups reach specific milestones, such as developing a minimum viable product (MVP) or launching their app. 


Accelerator programs often culminate in a demo day, where startups pitch their app to a room full of investors. Some accelerator programs also provide funding to startups, either in the form of an investment or a convertible note. However, please remember that funding is not always the primary focus of accelerator programs, and that resources and mentorship could be considered vital.


  1. FAQs

    1. Why is app development expensive in the UK and European markets?

      App development costs can vary widely depending on the complexity of the app, the features you want to include, and the platform you're building for (iOS, Android, hybrid, etc.). However, the benefits of having a well-designed, user-friendly app can be substantial and can lead to a strong return on investment (ROI).

      With billions of people using smartphones, the potential customer base for your app is huge. Having a well-designed, user-friendly app that is easily discoverable in app stores can help you tap into this market and grow your customer base.

      Overall, app development can lead to significant benefits in terms of increased reach, engagement, and data-driven insights that can help grow your business and ultimately lead to a strong return on investment. In a nutshell, app development costs are an investment not an expense.

    2. How do I choose the best app development company?

      Choosing the best app development company for your project can get exhaustive. So, here are some factors to consider when selecting an app development company:

      1. Expertise and experience: Look for a company that has experience developing apps for your specific industry or use case. It's also important to check if they have experience developing apps for every platform, and if they have a rich portfolio of successful apps.

      2. Technical expertise: Consider a company that has a diverse team of developers, designers, and QA testers. They should also have experience with different technologies, platforms, and development methodologies, as this will give you more flexibility and reduce the risk of technical issues.

      3. Reviews and references: Look at reviews from previous clients and ask for references, so you can get a better idea of the company's quality of work and reliability.

      4. Post-launch Support: Find out the company's policy on post-launch support and maintenance, as this will be important for keeping your app running smoothly and fixing any issues that may arise after launch.

        Impero has more than 10 years of experience working with startups from diverse industries and building disruptive apps. We have a thriving team of tech experts who are creative, innovative, and masters of their fields. We could be a great fit for you!

    3. What are the best ways to reduce app development costs?

      MVP! Taking everything one step at a time goes a long way, not only in life but also in a project. Build your application at lower development costs with a Minimum Viable Product, and update as your business grows.

    4. Should I outsource app development to an offshore agency?

      Yes, outsourcing app development to an offshore agency can save you a lot of money. You can easily outsource to Asian countries such as India and China, and have yourself delivered a robust MVP. In fact, a number of app development companies from Asia now have extended offices in Europe and the UK for better networking.

    5. Should I hire a freelancer for app development?

      You can easily hire freelancers from any country, and their rates will vary according to the region. And yes, it could be much cheaper than going with an agency.

      But do remember that app development is not a one-step process. It will need professionals from various industries. So, how many freelancers will you hire? Or will your freelancer guarantee the whole process? Therefore, we do not suggest hiring a freelancer for app development.


Let’s Wrap Things Up! 


It’s pretty evident from this guide that app development costs vary substantially depending on a number of influencing factors, including the complexity of features, platforms, and regions. Therefore, before deciding on a budget or an estimate, businesses need to factor in every variable involved and must not leave anything for the last moment. 


From the information provided, it can also be gathered that getting your application built for cross-platform by a development agency (outsourcing) is always the better and cheaper option. Furthermore, it is recommended that you choose a company that will be able to provide you with cost-effective solutions tailored to your business needs. 


Another key aspect to highlight is the importance of MVP. If you do not have a lot of funds and are not able to raise them as well, MVP will help you get your product to the market quickly and at much lower costs. 


It must also be mentioned that the cost of building an app is an investment that pays off, especially in this super digital age. But remember, it will only pay off if that amazing app is marketed well! 

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Written by
Tech entrepreneur & Founder of Impero IT Services - an award-winning software development company! Raza has worked with 500+ clients, from Startups to Enterprise levels. Raza's key expertise is around tech consultation, where he assists businesses by creating a roadmap for their digital journey. Raza and the team at Impero are also greatly recognized by Forbes and Clutch for their outstanding services!

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