Mobile Apps · Product Development

How much should a simple app cost (to develop)?

Anita Cohen-Williams Experienced in SEO and Social Media Management since 1994

June 16th, 2016

We are looking to have an app built for a new venture. The app needs to run on both Android and Apple products, and be able to send the product one direction and the money another. I am sure it can be done, but have no idea what pricing for development is like these days.

Rob G

June 16th, 2016

about the price of a car...

James Linden VP Business Solutions at Kochava

June 16th, 2016

There are several factors that can great sway the cost of the app builds.  Complexity of app, what vertical your in (finance vs. entertainment vs. gaming), analytics and testing insights (i.e. hockey app/crash analytics).

On the cheap end you can probably do $20-$30K, high end $80-$100K for a well built app.

Max Goff

June 16th, 2016

Do you need an App? Or might a responsive website do the trick? An App, requiring iTunes or Play installation on phones, runs native on the phone. But a responsive site can feature awesome functions on the phone with the same code base on the server that runs the website itself. So it really depends on what 'a simple app' means. There are a bunch of sites that makes it easy for anybody to create a test website and/or app. For app building, try a free tour  

For reactive sites made easy, try or -- you can probably knock out a prototype yourself.

Karen Ed.D. President & Founder of Balefire Labs, Award-Winning Educational App Curation Service

June 16th, 2016

For what it's worth, no one can give you a meaningful answer to this question without better understanding the functionality that you need and the parameters of the problem you're trying to solve, especially as it relates to the "product" that you're sending. What is simple for a user to use is often complex to build...there is elegance in producing simplicity. So the answer is, no one really knows what it will cost until you scope out the work. I'd be concerned about anyone bidding on such a project who tells you differently. Good luck! Best, Karen *Spread the word about Balefire Labs by clicking on your favorite social media icons below. * **Please confirm that you are already signed into your account.* ***Balefire Labs will not save your personal information.*

Andy Rah Vice President of Global Marketing, Macadamia Beauty

June 16th, 2016

Like others have said, it really depends on what you need.  If you're just trying to sell product online, a responsive, mobile-friendly website would be the way to go.  If you need app-like features, then you'll look at $10-25k for something simple... Goes up from there the fancier you get.  If you want a better response from these guys (I see a lot of great responses already with little to go on), please provide more information so people can give better direction...  Good luck!

Dan Bull Creative Director at Observatory

June 17th, 2016

Dave Rogers

June 17th, 2016

I love Rob Gropper's answer about the price of a car this really brings up questions like "Are we talking about a used Honda Civic from 97" or 2017 Maserati?

Like the price for a car, the price for an app varies widely depending on the complexity of the requirement and the complexity of any back end required for the app. 

Prices can vary from $5k easily to $250k and beyond depending on what you are building. 

First step is to analyze your value proposition and attempt to validate that with your target market and to try to determine what features are must haves for the first iteration and what can come in later.

Hope that helps any...


Jatinder Singh

June 16th, 2016

As Max said; a responsive website that works on both mobile screens as well as desktop might just be a good answer. Assuming you did some research and based on your customer's need and high purchase frequency, you have decided that app is the right answer. There are other reasons to use app as well such as Notifications or using Apple Pay (thumprint pay - only for iOS though), might be your reasons to want to build the app. In that case you can save money by using cross platforms like Xamarin, which is a well seasoned and tested Microsoft tool. This platform will spit out apps for both iOS and Android. These work really well, and for simple eCommerce applications are probably the most economic option. 
The exact costs are very hard to estimate without knowing the scope etc. I can probably provide some estimate to you, but I would need to know more about the overall business requirements. Feel free to email me and happy to engage further and provide insights.


Ilya Lipovich Angel Investor/Operations leader

June 16th, 2016


I haven't read through all responses but be careful with people who give you a quote without any basic requirements.  A basic  discovery session should be held.  My company takes care of everything from discovery to full development.  I will be happy to discuss and at least give you some pointers.  Take a look at my site

John Steinmetz Sr. Product Manager - Analytics at Bazaarvoice

June 17th, 2016

There are many aspects to building an app. Think of it like buying a new car. There are some cars with all the bells and whistles, safety features, interactive features and body styles that look sleek and sexy. With an initial cost of an app, you can pay anywhere from 5K-150K but that is just the beginning. Maintenance, updates, market testing new features, all of this rolls into it for future proofing the application as new platform versions come out. Companies can also build HTML5 versions of apps and then using things like Phonegap, Intel XDK, you can have those translated to compiled apps. Its not as great of performance but would get you in the market. Definitely know why you are building the app and focus on a small segment of the market that you understand and know has a need. Its a very saturated market in general.