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App development costs 2021

How much does an app development cost?

Most of the time, budget is the deciding factor when choosing an app development partner. See here how much a good app should cost so you don't get stuck with your app idea. Here is more about the running app costs. It is important that you hire an app agency with proper expertise and similar credentials. 

In this article you will find information about:

How are app development costs composed?

What kind of costs do I have to bear for app development?

App development can vary greatly depending on the scope of the project and the complexity of the work. Without more details, it is difficult to give a concrete price for the App development to name. Basically, the price of an app is made up of 5 different components: 

App conception
1. app conception

What does the user flow look like and what app architecture does my app idea need?

At the beginning of the planning phase, you should first talk to a few agencies to get a feel for their concept, references and quality. At the Initial consultation with the app agency there are no fees or costs for you. It rather serves a first getting to know and the first draft of the concept. You should continuously deepen and improve this in workshops. These workshops will help you to develop a project plan for your app, which will enable you to communicate your exact ideas to the app agency.

Basically, the more work you can do upfront and the more detailed you define your requirements, the cheaper the offer will be and the more money you will save in the end. Before the app is developed, it is important that the App Developer knows exactly who will use it, which functions should be mapped and when it should be ready. So the agency also knows which systems should and must be used to integrate the app and exactly what the architecture of your app should look like. 

App design
2. app design

What should my app look like and what user experience do I want to offer the user?

The next step in the development of an app is the UX and UI App Design. Here the basic key data of your App idea defined and painted. Every step of a user is anticipated and designed in a screen design. The app design agency tries to cover every possible edge case so that there are as few complications as possible afterwards or after the launch. 

Many agencies work with flat rates per design made. Others set an hourly rate, making it difficult for you to keep track of your incurred costs. Basically, you can expect an app design to cost upwards of 4,500€. Extremely extensive apps will exceed this price. Of course, there are exceptions to this, where the design is only secondary - here the price can also be much lower. As you can see, the costs for the visual design of your app can vary greatly.

We recommend: Don't skimp on the app design! This can save you a lot of trouble and nerves. Designing an attractive and user-friendly app is very important for the success of your app project.

mvp development
3. MVP development

Which features are my must-haves and which are nice-to-haves?

The next step of your app development project is to create a simplified version with only the most important basic functions of your app. Here it is important to distinguish between the really essential functions (Must-Have's) and the functions that will become important at a later time (Nice-to-Have's). 

An MVP (Minimal Viable Product) aims to verify the app idea or the app concept in a so-called "proof-of-concept". Here, it is found out whether the app can reach the desired user numbers in a small scale and bring real added value to the users. 

Development usually marks the most expensive part of your app. On average, the development of an MVP app costs from 12,000€. As with app design, there are outliers up and down here. 

Whether you would prefer to commission the MVP project from a freelancer or from an professional agency, should be balanced with the scope and budget. If you don't have a hard deadline, can wait for your app and rather save money, a freelancer IT project could be the right solution. If you need an app at the highest security standard, fast and professional at a specific time, then a App agency the right solution for you.

proof of concept
4. further development

What functions will be developed next?

After the MVP has been created and confirmed, app development must not stand still. The further development of the existing product is essential in order to create a functioning business model and set yourself apart from the competition. Because even in the App development what has long been known on the free market applies: If you stand still, you lose!

Here, the first customer feedback obtained is compared with the nice-to-have features from the app conception phase in order to implement and test the next development steps of the features. Of course, some features will also be deleted, replaced or revised. However, as a general rule, small improvements to existing features should be preferred to the development of new features.

Since the development of new functions varies greatly in price, it remains very difficult to specify concrete costs here as well. In general, however, you can expect monthly costs of €4,500 upwards for the further development of your app. Especially in the months following the launch of the MVP, these costs will take up a significant part of the budget. 

Care and app maintenance
5. care and maintenance

Why is this aspect of app development so important?

So far, we've talked exclusively about one-time app development costs. However, it is often too easy to forget that an app also has running costs that need to be covered. These ongoing costs of an app include, for example, hosting costs, app maintenance, and minor bug fixes that occur. These items may not sound too important, but they are fundamental to providing a functioning app. Without hosting, no server, without maintenance, outdated versions of the frameworks, and without bug fixes, the small bugs become serious system errors. System errors, in turn, mean that the app does not run smoothly, users become dissatisfied and leave. 

Therefore, our recommendation: conclude a service level agreement with your App developers off. This person already knows your platform, since he created it, and is the closest option to find and improve bugs.

A service level contract is about 10% of the one-time development cost per year. So if your app cost 100,000€ to develop, you can expect 10,000€ maintenance cost per year.   

App development costs how much?

App development costs 2021

This is how high the costs per app are

Costs of a Progressive Web App Development

Progressive Web Apps are one of the latest emerging trends in app development. Web apps can now even be downloaded from the various stores - AppStore and PlayStore. 

The development of a progressive web app costs from 15,000€ upwards. The App developers creates an application that can be accessed and used via the common browsers. They are considered a low-cost alternative to native or hybrid apps, as they can also be largely optimized for mobile devices.

Cost of Native App Development

Native Apps are developments that have been downloaded and installed on a mobile device. Native apps are created on a platform-specific basis, i.e. for either Android or iOS operating systems. There are other native operating systems - but they are very marginal, as Android and iOS hold 99.8% of the user market. We have therefore neglected them. Since Native Apps platform-specific, they are generally more expensive than a hybrid app or a web app. A native app costs from €17,500 upwards. 

In other words, if you would like to have 2 native apps developed (Android and iOS) to cover 99.8% of the market, you are already at 35,000€ for native app development. 

Hybrid App Development Costs

Hybrid Apps or Cross-Platform Apps are a combination of native apps and web apps. Developers try to combine the advantages of both systems to create a stable application. A hybrid app costs from €22,500 upwards. However, this includes a web app as well as a native app - mostly on Android - included.

The price advantage is mainly due to the fact that code is reusable, i.e. the code written for the web app can also be implemented as the basis for the native app. Smaller changes and adjustments optimize the code to the certain target group platform.

If you're not sure which app suits you best, feel free to have a read here: Native App, Web App or Hybrid App? 

Do you have an idea for an application?

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Marc Mueller appleute

Practical examples for apps

This is how much comparable app developments cost

As explained before, the price of your app depends on several factors. The most important factors are the range of functions and their complexity - of course, the development period also always plays an important role.

However, to give you a good sense of app development costs, we have prepared a few examples here. The various projects differ in difficulty, development horizon and functional scope. 

  • Native Sport App for Android and iOS - 40.000€

Features include in-app purchases, GPS tracking, step count, advertising banners, community forum for communication. 

  • Cross-Platform Mobility App for Android us Web - 75.000€

Features include GPS tracking, decentralized vehicle booking, driver-direct communication and payment gateways. 

  • News Web App - 9.000€

A very simple app with push notifications and a news feed without interaction.

  • Rental platform for web, iOS and Android - €100,000

Very comprehensive application with functionalities like chat integration, upload of products, editability of content, and payment processing through payment gateways.


Get quotes from different agencies!

App development costs cannot be named in a general way, because they always depend on the specific functionalities and have to be created individually. Basically, however, you can only have small and simple apps created for less than 10,000€. MVP Apps - i.e., first functioning prototypes - can be created for as little as €12,000. Comprehensive apps with many functions cost between €60,000 and €120,000. Large corporations or scale-ups may well commission apps that exceed the 150,000€ mark. 

Each agency has a different structure and capacities. Generally, different agencies will also offer you different prices. Pay attention to the Agency references - perhaps the agency has even implemented something similar before and understands your concerns better accordingly.