How much does it cost to build an app?

So, the question “How much does it cost to build a mobile app” has been asked a zillion times over the internet .The answer is, it entirely depends on multiple factors such as features like the actions (ease of use) that the user can perform to achieve an outcome and also the how exquisite or pretty that app is to the human eye.

To put in a few steps here is what happens  and will be explained in details in other posts :

  • Introduction to the idea by the business owner to the tech company.
  • The tech company asks a series of questions during the few first meetings to understand and define the business outcome that the app is trying to achieve.
  • The tech company then defines a document called a software product scope document or a business scope document and presents it back to the business owner.
  • The Business owner and tech company talk through the scope document and iron out the scope for the  minimum viable product or first release product.
  • Once the scope is signed off in the above step, the tech company runs a tech analysis to define overarching system requirements and technology stack needed to implement the product.
  • The tech company then calculates the number of development hours needed to build the product. These hours may include hours for audiences like product owners,business analysts, developers, testers , infrastructure administrators , and project managers.

But the dreaded question still remains, how much does it cost ?

It depends on a number of factors, the rates for developers on mainland USA may vary from 45$/Hr to 90$/hr depending on the technology stack used to implement the product/platform.

An App like Uber may cost around $70K in the US where the same app costs much less if built in countries like India, Ukraine , Bangladesh , Philippines , Indonesia or Vietnam, maybe around $30K.

Then again, Uber is a beaten to death example, then how do you know the cost for something novel and new from a business standpoint ?

  • Take some time and set up interviews with at least 20 service providers from the above mentioned countries.
  • Ask them to take you through their portfolio and get details about the time, and cost that was charged to execute a product.
  • During these conversations, ask as many questions as you can to understand their design capabilities, development , quality , customer retention, infra costs etc.
  • The most important aspect to stress on is their communication skill and communication strategy. Project costs often shoot up as a result of communication gaps.
  • Once you finish the interviews with 20 service providers, arrive at the top three companies in the list that you like to continue the conversation with.
  • Now sign an NDA with them and have a discovery call with them to talk through your business requirements. 
  • Hopefully as mentioned in the above sections , you will be able to identify the scope for the minimum viable product.
  • Then ask them for quotes and voila ! decide on your tech implementation partner ! Easy
  • If that doesn’t work , repeat the process with a new set of 20 companies.

What are the rates in the US and India ?


Rate/Hour (USA)

Rate/Hour (INDIA)

Product Manager

$60 – $120

$25 – $60

Business Analyst

$35 – $65

$23 – $45

iOS Developer Native

$50 – $100

$25 – $ 45

Android Developer Native

$50 – $100

$25 – $ 45

Flutter/ React Native 

$50 – $100

$25 – $ 45

Javascript Developers Backend

$50 – $100

$25 – $ 45

Python Developers

$50 – $100

$25 – $ 45

Manual Testers

$30 – $60

$18 – $25

Automation Testers

$45 – $80

$25 – $35

Cloud Architect/Administrator


$70 – $120

$30 – $60

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How much does it cost to build an App?


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