How Can Startups Reduce Mobile App Development Cost in 2023

Reduce Mobile App Development Cost

There’s no getting around the fact that mobile apps are very helpful for businesses. You can open your cell phone and find a bunch of apps on it, like ones for ordering food or groceries, playing games, banking, and more.
You already know that getting to know your audience on a more personal level is the right way to go. But in 2023, how much will it cost? Can you make a good return on the money you put in?
This guide to the cost of making a mobile app will tell you everything you need to know.
Let’s dive in!

How Much Will it Cost to Build an App in 2023?

Already, we’re in the last three months of 2022!
Every day, both technologies and trends change. With 2023 coming up quickly, how much will it cost to make an app?
Businesses are very interested in knowing this.
First, you should know that the cost of making an app depends on a lot of things. You need to look at all of these things to figure out how much your development will really cost in 2023. Some of the most important things that affect cost are:

    • •  What kind of app it is

    •  Custom requirements/ features you develop.

    •  The hiring/ engagement model.

    •  Where resources are.

    •  Use of technologies.

    •  Native (iOS, Android, and Windows), hybrid, and cross-platform app development are all ways to make apps for mobile devices.

    •  App design complexities.

Consider all of these elements when planning the budget for your project. Consultation with a reputable app development company might provide you an advantage in this endeavor, as you will make an informed selection.
However, before we continue, let’s discuss the average cost of app development.
Factors that Affect Application Cost

Factors that Affect Application Cost

The cost of developing an app depends on factors beyond the location of the team and the type of app. Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with app development, including a list of the factors that will have the greatest impact on your final budget.
Third-Party Agency vs. In-House App Development

Third-Party Agency vs. In-House App Development

You can either hire all the necessary tech expertise as full-time employees, or you can contract an outside company to develop the app for you. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, a fully internal workforce will be easier to interact with and manage. However, app development costs will climb significantly in this scenario.
Utilizing a third-party firm will be less expensive than establishing an internal mobile department. For instance, if you are unsure of how to create a podcast application, an agency will develop the entire application for $90,000 in four to six months. You can also pay this much annually to one iOS engineer. Moreover, external teams are more likely to deliver a high-quality procedure because they value their reputation. However, you may encounter communication challenges, such as various time zones or an offline specialist. You must assess the potential dangers of each alternative and select the one that best matches your objective.

Complexity Level of App Development

The gist of the matter is straightforward: the more features you wish to implement and the more complex they are, the more time and money you will need to invest in mobile development. It is something that is actually discussed and planned with your team prior to the design and development phases. Here is a simplified classification of applications according to their level of complexity:




Your app addresses a major pain point of your target audience; It is only implemented with core features; Its design is not elaborate; It is based on a small tech stack; There are a limited number of integrations.


There are a few nice additions to it; More integration is required; More complex screens are required; Customized user interfaces are required


Having multiple functions; Providing advanced features like live streaming and chatbots; Having a larger number of screens; Having multiple user roles; Having complex API integrations

The following features are shortlists of features you may want to consider adding to your app to help you determine its level of complexity:
The minimum viable product/a simple app:

    • •  Sign in/Sign up

•  Simple search capabilities

•  User profile (with editing features)

•  Push notifications

•  Text chat

•  Admin panel
The following could be included in a mid-level application:

    • •  Simple features of the app

•  Integration of social media

•  Integrated payment gateways

•  Tracking and geolocating

•  Security options that are more advanced

•  Chatbots that are simple to use

•  Storage of data
A complex mobile app:

    • •  Features of mid-level apps

•  Integrations tailored to your needs

•  Synchronization across devices

•  Streaming live

•  Calling/video conferencing

•  Dashboards with sophisticated features

•  System of rating
Complex applications may also involve maintenance of legacy code and extensive redesigns.
Please note that these lists only include features applicable to nearly all mobile app types, but they may also include industry-specific features.
These characteristics will also affect the duration of development. A simple app can be completed in as little as three months, an average-sized app in four to ten months, and a complex app in ten months to several years.

Visual Design Complexity

We’ve already mentioned design as one of the primary factors affecting the cost of app development. Similar to the preceding section, the more features and screens you add, the more money you will need to spend. Here are some aspects of the design process that you must take into account.
user experience

User Experience
User experience design (or UX design) is responsible for establishing how users will navigate within an application. UX’s primary objective is to assist users in performing the desired action with minimal time and effort. At this stage, the cost of the application will be proportional to the level of engagement and design complexity. For instance, the placement of buttons, the size of elements, the user flow, and the use of templates will affect UX and thus your development costs.
user interface

User Interface
In the same way that user experience (UX) is there to make the app understandable, user interface (UI) is there to make it visually appealing. It’s all about the visuals:

    • •  Layout

•  Icons

•  Fonts

•  Color palette

•  Animations

•  Button shapes

•  And many more
If your app is visually appealing, users will have a more positive experience and spend more time within it. In addition, a well-chosen color scheme and an eye-catching logo will help you establish a strong brand identity. You may remember Nike, Apple, or McDonald’s. Do you immediately think of logos and colors when you see these names?
App hosting and security

​​App Hosting and Security

Today, the issue of cybersecurity is as pressing as ever. Increasing numbers of cyberattacks occur daily. Positive Technologies asserts that over 80% of mobile vulnerabilities are exploitable by hackers. They can target both small enterprises and major corporations, therefore companies of all sizes must pay close attention to the security of their consumers’ data. Your security expenditures will vary according on the data you acquire, where you store it, and how you utilize it. Encrypting messages end-to-end and obtaining an SSL certificate are the most common instances of security precautions.

The Platform on Which the App will Run

This component represents one of the most fundamental questions in mobile application development: “Should I design a cross-platform app or a native app?” A cross-platform application is one that runs on both iOS and Android using a same codebase. A native app will have a different codebase for each platform, thus you will technically need to develop two apps.
This decision will largely depend on your initial intended audience. You will need to evaluate both marketplaces and decide if you should begin with the platform that your target users utilize the most, or whether you should test both simultaneously.
Since it is designed according to the platform’s specific specifications, a native app will give your users with a superior user experience and will have fewer issues. In addition, it can utilize features that is inaccessible to cross-platform applications. However, the cost of app development will be higher due to the larger workforce.
If you choose a cross-platform application, you will save money and get to market faster. However, there is a greater likelihood of UI/UX difficulties and bugs.
project manager

Location and Structure of a Development Team

The development and maintenance of your app will require a team, regardless of the way you choose to develop it. For MVP development, the following team composition is required:

    • •  Project manager

•  QA engineer

•  Full-stack engineer

•  UI/UX designer
We will need more team members if we add more features to the app. It will also be necessary to build from scratch a middle-sized mobile application:

    • •  Business analyst

•  App architect

•  One or two frontend engineers

•  Backend engineer

•  QA engineer

•  UI/UX designer

•  Project manager
If your app becomes more complex, you will need a larger team and a larger budget.

Backend Infrastructure

Backends are what happen “under the hood” of mobile applications. The users cannot see or access these processes. Backend tasks include:

    • •  Processing of files

•  Running scripts

•  Data encryption/decryption

•  Storing and updating databases

•  Processing user input data from frontend
For a large-scale application, incorporating AI and ML, supporting IoT, and providing live streaming, a backend is an absolute must.
how to build your mobile app development budget

How to Build your Mobile App Development Budget

Now that you understand the factors that affect the cost of the app development process, we can move on to budget planning. You may not be able to determine the exact cost on your own, especially if you lack technical expertise and are unfamiliar with the mobile app development process. However, you will have more realistic expectations regarding the amount of money you will ultimately spend.
#1: Break the process down into smaller parts
The first step that you and your software development partner must take is to divide the entire development process into manageable tasks. Then, your partner will provide you with the necessary team composition and assign them accordingly. This procedure will also include time estimates for each task and the determination of each specialist’s hourly rate.
You should also estimate your available resources. If you already have an in-house team, ensure that it has enough qualified specialists to complete the task, and if necessary, hire additional personnel. If no full-time software engineers are available, consider using freelancers or third-party agencies.
#2: Choose the pricing model
Let’s move on to the circumstance where you begin working for an agency. In this case, they may provide you with one or multiple payment options. The most common alternatives are fixed price and time and materials. A fixed price indicates that you will pay a set amount for the entire project. This pricing model is appropriate for small projects with a clearly defined list of tasks. The time and materials model is similar to a “pay-as-you-go” system: You receive a project estimate and pay for the completed work. The overall app cost is less stable here, but the agreement’s flexibility makes up for it.
#3: Make an estimation
You are now calculating the cost of creating a mobile app. The following methods can be used:

  • Ballpark –Based on current trends, previous experience, theories, and suppositions.

•  Parameter –Besides historical data, it includes actual calculations. Typically, one multiplies the number of hours required to complete a task by the hourly rate of the responsible specialist, and then adds everything together.

•  Three-Point- All of the aforementioned factors plus potential risks.
#4: Take risks into account
Regarding risks, it is impossible to predict anything with absolute precision. Too many unforeseen external factors can affect the outcome. Therefore, your development team should inform you of potential problems and how to avoid them. In addition, remember to include a “risk buffer” in your budget in case something goes wrong.
#5: Track your spending
Once the development process has begun, ensure that at every stage you do not exceed your available resources. To accomplish this, you can acquire software that stores all invoices and payment information in a single location, or delegate this responsibility to an accountant. Another option is to have your project manager oversee the payment process.
Mobile App Development Partner Can Minimize Costs

How Choosing The Right Mobile App Development Partner Can Minimize Costs?

There are many charges related with your application development project, as previously stated. In spite of the fact that the costs of technology, marketing, and deployment are unaffected by the method you choose, you can reduce the cost of development.
How? It relies largely on the mobile app development team you select. You can save a great deal of money and increase your return on investment with the proper development partner.

    • •  First, you should determine whether the app developers’ fees are commensurate with the services they provide.

•  You can examine the agency’s ratings and reviews to determine how promptly they resolve client complaints.

•  A reputable agency will likely give post-development support for your application to guarantee that it continues to function properly after deployment.

•  You will waste a substantial amount of money and time if you hire a company that does not provide quality services for the price they charge. You may need to completely redesign or redevelop your app, which would be a waste.
Therefore, make an informed choice by weighing all the aspects!
With over 8 years of experience in the IT business, Zestminds may be able to assist with this project. You can utilize our knowledge in mobile app development to discover the most qualified developers for your project. Our app development team has extensive experience with a variety of technologies and can assist you in creating flawless, cost-effective mobile applications.


As stated previously, there are multiple costs associated with app development. Choosing a technology stack, a hiring model, or the type of application would all incur expenses. You will be able to plan your budget and estimate costs through deliberation and sound decision-making. This guide is all about the various cost factors and how to minimize them to your advantage.
hire for mobile app development

How Can Startups Reduce Mobile App Development Cost in 2023

About the Author

Hello and welcome to my technical blog! My name is Shivam Sharma and I'm a passionate software developer...