Know the Estimated Cost of Hiring App Developer in 2023

Cost of hiring an app developer for app development

What is the cost of hiring an app developer? This is probably one of the first queries that companies or managers have before starting a new app development project. The bottom line of every app development budget is the cost of hiring an app developer and the overall budget for the development. There are different types of apps that are available in the market, including Android apps, iOS apps, and web apps. Web apps differ from mobile apps in the sense that they are web applications that run on a browser, unlike mobile versions that run on various mobile OS and platforms.

If you are confused about calculating the cost of hiring an app developer, this is the right place for you. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know to estimate the cost to hire app developers.

Cost of hiring app developer vs. in-house

When you are thinking of developing any specific app, you have two choices: hiring in-house app developers to build the app or outsourcing the app development project to a third-party development company. There are pros and cons to both choices; eventually, it boils down to your preference and requirements.

If you decide to build the app in-house, you will need to hire the right developers that align with your company's vision and mission to develop a highly productive and functional app. The advantages of hiring app developers include full control over the development process, financial freedom regarding app development - you can tailor the development process based on the budget, and continuous tech support including updates and maintenance for the app.

Alternatively, if you decide to outsource the app development project, it offers multiple benefits as well. The outsourcing of app development ensures that you get a highly scalable app that matches your requirements and delivers excellent performance. When you outsource app development, there is a fixed budget with a faster turnaround time and it usually tends to be more cost-efficient in comparison to developing it in-house.

As much as we'd like to put a dollar value on the cost of app development, we can only provide an estimate. Because each mobile app development process involves several variables that influence the ultimate cost of the final project.

Fortunately, various mobile app development budget-generating tools can help you in determining the cost of hiring an app developer or outsourcing it to third-party vendors.

How to calculate the cost of app development?

Consider the following factors while calculating the cost of your next app development project.

  • What an app's functionality and purpose are — what the app can truly do for its customers.
  • Supported mobile platforms and devices - whether an app will be built exclusively for iOS, Android, or a browser. The cost for the Android app might vary from the iOS app.
  • Third-party integration — Will an app be integrated with third-party apps that will serve as its content source?
  • Use of visual items - the cost of hiring app developers and developing an app is heavily influenced by the complexity of its visual components.
  • Use of smartphone hardware features — whether or not an app will make use of smartphone features such as GPS navigation, NFC technology, motion co-processors, Augmented Reality technology, and other technologies found in smartphones and tablet computers.
  • Maintenance strategy - once the app development is done, the project will require technical assistance from an expert app developer for regular maintenance.

Having said that, we may apply some usual or average benchmarks for app development project expenses. You can calculate the cost of hiring mobile app developers based on the cost of app development taken as a benchmark. In the next section, let's dig deeper into the cost of hiring an app developer.

Cost of hiring an app developer

When a business decides to hire developers for its app development project, it should also consider the cost that will be accrued from this recruitment. According to Indeed, corporations must pay $89,000 per year to hire a US-based mobile app developer. After translating from a native currency to USD, Australia and Germany come in second and third, respectively, with $76,000 and $66,000.

It is usually more cost-effective to hire a mobile app development specialist in India and other subcontinental regions, due to the economic differences between continents. However, the cost of services should not be the sole determining factor in a company's decision to hire an app developer; other factors such as previous client feedback and expertise in specific technical areas should be considered as well.

Now that you have seen the app developers' costs, it's time to learn more about the benchmarks for mobile app development costs, which you can use to calculate the cost of hiring app developers.

Benchmarks for app development costs

Many years ago, the cost of developing an iOS app and an Android app was very different. This gap is now insignificant, according to various pieces of research undertaken by established app development companies. Today, the most important element is the complexity of the mobile app, which may be arbitrarily classified as simple, medium, or complex. Let’s look at the cost of hiring an app developer from the U.S. and the cost of app development based on complexity levels.

  • Developing a simple app will cost $16,000 to $32,000
  • Developing a medium-complexity app will cost $32,000 to $48,000
  • Developing a complex app will cost $72,000+
  • Hiring an app developer from the U.S. will cost $105,000

Source: business of apps

Keep in mind that the cost of hiring an app developer and other costs given above are only estimates. They're designed to give you a bird's-eye view of what your app development budget might look like based on the app's complexity. The cost of app development shown above excludes the price of app upgrades, which are an inevitable component of every mobile app's lifecycle and differ greatly based on the version and the importance of each update.

Cost calculators for app development to know before hiring an app developer

With several million mobile apps on the market, the topic of how to reach your target customers and accomplish your ROI objectives is quite difficult. Businesses want to find the cost of the development of an app. To accommodate this demand, a number of online calculators were created.

Let’s take a look at them:

Cleveroad calculator

This calculator will walk you through 10+ questions to help you figure out how much it will cost to produce an app that is similar to existing apps on the market (Uber, Snapchat, Airbnb, and others) or to build a mobile app from the ground up based on particular criteria. You'll obtain development time estimates in hours as you make decisions and answer questions.

Buildfire calculator

It's a seven-step calculator that walks you through numerous criteria to determine the cost of developing a mobile app. Platform, features, users, integrations, monetization, maintenance & hosting, and Buildfire services are the platform's components.

Estimate My App calculator

This calculator offers a different approach, listing all of the filters that can be used to form a price tag on a single page. The filters take into account the app's size, UI complexity, account features sophistication, user-generated content complexity, mobile-specific features like Apple Watch support, Cloud Syncing, dates and locations, social & engagement, etc.

Inoxoft calculator

This calculator can help you estimate the cost of desktop and mobile software. Unlike the other calculators, this one provides a price tag estimate range at each step of the price computation procedure.

How much to make an app calculator

The eight-step calculator, which works similarly to the Inoxoft one, provides a price estimate for each step. The final screen includes a form to fill out with contact information to continue working on the app project.

Andreasley calculator

When all of the selections to create an app development price tag are made, an easy-to-use smart calculator designed in a shopping cart style appears on the right, just like purchased items in a shopping cart system. Platform, quality, number of screens, custom controls, device types, screen orientation modes, security level, supported OS versions, number of languages supported, deployment, and special functions are used to calculate the cost (such as in-app payments support, stats, Push Notifications and more).

A seven-step calculator that guides you through the set of 27 questions, beginning with the industry for which a mobile app is needed. In addition to calculating app development costs, the calculator includes a summary of all decisions made. After the cost calculation is complete, the tool will direct you to a contact form that you can fill out a contact form to acquire an app development price quote estimate. And once you calculate that, it is easy to calculate the cost of hiring an app developer.

Digitalya calculator

A five-step calculator that estimates the cost of app development and the time it will take. You can get a ready-to-use estimate in PDF format. The app user profile, features to add to the MVP, revenue model (recurring payments/upfront fees/shopping cart system), and high-tech features to include (AI, IoT, VR / AR) are all steps in the estimation process.

In the next section, let us discuss the app maintenance costs.

Factors affecting app maintenance cost

The industry standard for software maintenance is around 15-20% of the initial development cost. Hosting, monitoring, engagement, marketing, upgrades, and licenses are all included in the cost of sustaining the process.

Factors affecting app maintenance costs


The type of data the app works with – text or media, such as photo, video, or audio – is a significant factor in calculating the cost of mobile app back-end data hosting. Depending on these criteria, an app hosting web server could cost anything from $70 to $320 per month.


Since each app has its own audience and a hugely varying number of users, it's impossible to give an estimate for a mobile app monitoring cost. However, once you've reached out to the companies on the list, ensure you receive a general range for your expense.

Marketing & engagement

Multiple components make up a mobile app marketing expense, which includes initiatives to engage a mobile app user base. An app install is the first thing to do in any mobile app engagement. Its price is determined by the country, platform (iOS/Android), and ad unit. In 2020, the iOS CPI (Cost-Per-Install) in the United States was $2.37 per app install, $0.98 in China, and $0.22 in Brazil.

The average cost-per-install for Android and iOS was $2.24. We can talk about an average mobile app user acquisition cost as we get more specific, from a generic app install to a desirable action the app user is expected to take. In 2018-2019, the average app UA cost over the world was $7.5 for registration, $87 for in-app purchases, and $46 for subscriptions.

App updates

Every single mobile app that has ever been released on an app store, whether for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or other platforms, has received updates. On the one hand, developing a perfect app with version 1.0 is just not possible; on the other hand, successive upgrades are an excellent tool for maintaining app user engagement. The time it takes to build an update varies greatly and depends on the app's complexity. An original update release in an app store may take roughly one hour. But, the time it takes to develop an update varies significantly and depends on the app's complexity.


If a mobile app design involves one or more technologies for which the developer must pay a license, the entire app development cost may climb dramatically. A licensing price is calculated based on annual rates and the number of devices and can be as high as $120,000 per year for 50 devices.


When businesses calculate the cost of mobile app development, they must first consider the location of the development team and the complexity of the app. Both of these aspects have a significant impact on the entire development cost and the cost of hiring an app developer. Given the strong adoption rates of both iOS and Android, developing an app for both platforms at the same time is a wise strategy for businesses looking to go remote. Since infrastructure is the most expensive part of an app's development, it's only natural for businesses to try to save money on things like data storage and scalability, and third-party API integration.


  • Anaswara Ramachandran

    Anaswara Ramachandran

    Anaswara is a marketing enthusiast who admires impactful ideas. She finds joy in dancing, travelling etc. Let’s say anything that makes her bring in the adrenaline rush. Into any of these? She is waving at you to join the tribe.

Frequently Asked Questions

As per, to develop a simple app, it will cost $40,000 to $60,000. To develop a medium-complexity app, it will cost $61,000 to $150,000. To develop a complex app, it will cost $300,000.

Apps that are free get the majority of the developer's revenue in-app purchases. Other applications rely on adverts to make money.

Apps can range in price from 99 cents to multiple dollars, and there are many free applications as well. Some apps are free because in-app purchases provide the majority of the developer's revenue. Other applications rely on adverts to make money.

Mobile apps have become increasingly significant with the ease of connectivity and dynamic functionality that they provide to the end-users. Today almost all companies and businesses have their own intuitive and highly functional apps on mobile platforms for connecting with their customers. If you want to extend your functionality via easy access, you must consider having your own app.

Apps can range in price from 99 cents to multiple dollars, and there are many free applications as well. Some apps are free because in-app purchases provide the majority of the developer's revenue

There are several advantages of having your own custom app on different mobile platforms. It helps to build a robust brand identity and boost the visibility of your business to a large number of users. Having an app also drives engagement, improves customer loyalty, and gives you an edge in your specific domain.

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