Estimate your mobile app

We all perfectly know prices of services and goods: food, journeys, movies and so on, that we meet every day. But how much can be mobile app, what price is not suitable for this one and how its price is formed?

Firstly, there are no perfect precise frames for budget as in any other complex decision. The closest analogy is house building. It is difficult to answer the question how much house is without clarifying some details. it can be one-stored building from timber or three-stored house with pool, garage and helicopter landing area. Even interior decoration can differ the same houses.

For understanding why one or another service costs something and realizing budget frames it is necessary to understand pricing this service. Following things form price of mobile apps: payment for programmers' work, payment for designer's work, payment for project manager's work, providing work conditions (rent, internet, etc.), social pays and taxes and also company income. All these parts depend on work time of peculiar specialists: more difficult tasks, more spending work time for them and more expensive their development.

Minimal price of mobile app

Let's take simple app for flowers delivery: catalog of goods with images and prices is kept in server , app should show it, allow to choose goods (basket), type of payment and connection with operator. Total work time for this project ( making technical task, graphics preparation, programming, testing and preparation for publication) is almost two weeks. It is good time with considering quick agreement for all work moments.

Two work weeks of two specialists with full time-work ( project manager and programmer for one platform) and one specialist with part-time work (designer) cost 80-90 thousand rubles minimum. Operational consumptions add 15-25% to project price. In result project price will be more than 105 thousand rubles with income 5-10% only for one platform.

Is it possible to do app cheaper? Yes, there are three variants:

  1. Minimize app functional. In most cases there are some functions in the app that don't influence on its aims and success. Removing everything unnecessary, you can focus on the main thing, saving time and money. In the future it is possible to do renovation, based not on the guesses, but on the real experience. We spoke about it more detailed in the article about mobile app for start-up.
  2. Make app cross-platform. We told about pluses and minuses of such way in the article about cross-platform and native development. This way has some sense in some cases.
  3. Order app in freelance sites. In this case you don't need to pay operational consumptions ( there is no office, no social pays, no taxes), so work price becomes cheaper. But there is back side: studio has full responsibility for your project, and there is no any contract with freelancer, that means there are no any guarantees of product quality and project terms. Project support in future also becomes a problem: you don't get any guarantees that your app will be created on the base of standard technologies and will be documented. In the case of specialist's refuse from cooperation , it will be difficult to fund replacement. Certainly, there are a lot of professionals among freelancers, making their affairs with full responsibilities, but you can meet them more rarely, than clients that come to us from freelancers. Way to good freelancer leads through many attempts and errors.

Maximal price of mobile app

Two factors influence on maximal price's formation: law of demand/offer and common sense that are often not close to each other.

From one side, famous studios can raise the price of projects, making income from 50 to 300% or even more. Client will get qualitative product, but bigger part of budget is his calmness because of presence of famous clients in portfolio of studio. So you buy a project and pay the same price for sense of guarantee. Only sense not because it is fake - any good studio makes work professionally, so the same guarantees you get in any other studio, making 5-10 good projects. But presence in portfolio of company Apple calms you more than any legal and image circumstances.

From other side, competition between studios leads to maximal approach of project price to profitability threshold. But how should you determine this threshold and how can you understand, if project price is raised? Here common sense can help (almost always), the meaning of which is approximate understanding of relation of budget with common amount of work hours. If three specialists work for project for three months, so 1440 work hours can't cost 20 million rubles: in this case either cost of one work hour should be 14 thousand rubles ( it should be the best programmer making one social net for one day), or amount of work hours is underestimated and really not three persons work for project, but 42 persons for 1000 rubles for one hour. Both scripts are not realistic, that gives you to understand overpriced cost. In any case if you multiply amount of worker of this project to work hours and cost of 1-2 thousand rubles for one hour, you will get price less in 2-3-5 times than budget that you were told, make sure you find another studio with the same quality, but not so expensive. So you should learn budget estimate perfectly for understanding tasks and amount work hours.

Estimate of mobile app's price

For example, you need to order app development for iOS or Android, allowing users to order pizza delivery by quadrocopters. At the stage of acquaintance we define that mobile app should work on iOS and Andriod, we don't need adaptation for tablets, level of design should be standard ( unique elements of interface are not created for this app).

Our managers determine that mechanics of visitors' registration/entrance should be, it is necessary to realize verification of some fields of user's profile ( telephone number, may be, address of delivery), connection with server should exist with the help of which app can get catalog of pizzas and list of free quadrocopters ( imagine that every should has its own name), and send formed orders with possibility to give feedbacks after their fulfillment.

After analyzing all necessary details and forming detailed technical task, we form budget estimate for mobile app's design and say the sum to client.

Certainly, very rarely such work can be determined at once, some situations often happen that are needed correction of work for mobile app's development and its price for more or less amount. But only this way of estimation, that this example shows, allow you to control budget on every step of work.

What else can influence on mobile app's budget

Some minor moments can influence on the budget of app's development. For example, client insists on some decision in design, that cannot be realized by standard means of mobile operational system, so work amount for realization of simple element (dialog window) can increase in many times.

One more factor is depth of elements' detailing. If you try to calculate your project price with the help of one online-calculator ( or, offered by some studios, so you will be surprised by app icon's price of €1000-1500. At first sight it can be considered that creation of one icon should take less time, but in this case drawing of icon is only one part of work.

Also time can influences on budget. App doesn't exist itself, it should be part of some informational infrastructure. For work time some factors of this infrastructure can change, and it can lead to budget change. For example, new version of operational mobile system can be announced, and it will be necessary to change technical task due to its new functions, or competitors release a product, that will be greater than your idea, and we have to add some elements, refocus functions or just refuse from the project at all.

Surely, these factors don't mean that budget can change at 2-3 times from works' start, but it is necessary to understand, that here are some risks independent on both sides, which we should work through.


If you plan not disposable app, but working project, you need to plan budget for its support. Surely, any studio gives some guarantee for work of its code: error, that was made by creators, will be correct free. But world is changing, new gadgets are released, operational systems are updated, and for working your app it is necessary to release update every half a year. Business needs require frequent updates.