App development cost

App Development Cost: 8 Hidden Costs of Mobile Apps & How to Handle Them

March 10, 2022 Admin Mobile App Development

App Development Cost: 8 Hidden Costs of Mobile Apps & How to Handle Them

Conventional mobile app development may be excessive, time-consuming, and aggravating. So what does it cost to develop an app? A single app development and deployment project can cost anything from $50,000 to $1,000,000 and take anywhere from six months to a year to complete.

The hourly rate of app development cost is an essential component that determines the cost of an app, and it often varies by location.

For example, an application that would cost $40,000 to design in the United States might cost roughly $9,000 if produced by Ukrainian experts.

Facts Related to the Ongoing Costs of App Development:

If you are looking on to know how much does it cost to maintain an app, then you must adhere to the facts below:

  • App development accounts for only 35% of the overall cost of a typical mobile app in the first two years (source)
  • AppThe monthly cost of maintaining a medium-sized company app runs from $5,000 to $11,000. (source)
  • AppAnnual legacy costs can be up to 50% of the cost of developing the software in the first place. It means that if you spend $300,000 on traditional app development, annual support and maintenance might cost you up to $150,000!

Dive into the intricacies of app development costs with this insightful blog post. Understand the factors that influence the cost of app development and gain valuable tips to reduce expenses without compromising on quality. Whether you're a startup or an established business, this guide provides essential insights to help you make informed decisions and optimize your app development budget.

App Development Cost: Hidden Categories in the App Development Process

It's critical to understand the mobile app architecture before getting into the highest hidden costs of app development.

When you're looking for a provider or talking to your IT department about developing, hosting, and maintaining your app, it is crucial. This way, you'll know what they're offering and what they're not.

1. Functional Services:

The costs of integrating an app's features are known as operational costs. You may need to subscribe to a service that provides a delivery method for a specific part to work. Apps use a wide range of services, and the list might be lengthy at times. The monthly cost of these services might be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. A few instances of paid services are as follows:

SMS Notifications: You may use a provider like Twilio to incorporate SMS messages into a mobile app.

Push Notifications: It's difficult to conceive a mobile app development that doesn't take advantage of this crucial feature. Push notifications encourage users to interact with your app and prompt them to execute the required action, such as purchasing something.

Social Media Integration: To encourage people to share and vote on your material on social media, you can use social media integration services. If you want social interactions in your app, you'll probably need to subscribe to Applozic and SendBird's services, including one-to-one chat, group chat, and bot integration.

Email: You can use Mailgun or Sendgrid to add email functionality to a mobile app.

2. Administrative Services

Administrative services can give you constant access to data, allowing you to update your app's content and manage users without contacting the IT department. The expenses of such administrative services are challenging to estimate and determined by the type of mobile app you're creating. Over time, these expenses mount up, and you'll have to pay them regularly. Here are a few examples of administrative services that can be paid for:

  • Functional services management
  • Content management tools
  • Dashboard emulators
  • Dynamic updates
  • Analytics/event collectors
  • Access controls
  • Data segmentation

3. Infrastructure Services

Expenses for app hosting, data storage, and data transmission are all included in infrastructure costs. In addition, for backup and security servers, redundancy and load balancers are also required. All of this adds to the project's expense and complexity. Costs associated with infrastructure include the following:

Servers: This is the location where your app will be hosted. You should outsource hosting to corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft if you aren't working with the most prominent companies.

Content Delivery Networks: CDN is a network of distributed servers that supply material to an application based on the user's location, the content's origin, and the content delivery server. Your mobile app development will not function properly if you have users worldwide who must return to a single remote site to obtain content. Companies like Akamai, CloudFront, and Dyn provide CDN services.

Data Storage: Your app will most likely acquire a large amount of data. It's critical to comprehend how and where you will maintain this information.

Image Data: The majority of programs make extensive use of photographs. You'll need space to upload, process (resize, crop, etc.) and transmit pictures. Companies like CloudImage.io, Google, and ImageX offer such services.

4. IT Support Services

You can't build a high-quality app without IT support services, and maintaining any app requires constant technical assistance. The only issue is that the cost of support can rise with time. The following are some examples of IT support services:

  • API maintenance
  • App update submissions
  • iOS and Android updates
  • Bug fixing

Also Read: How Much Does Google Maps API Cost? All Prices and Plans Explained

Hidden Costs of Developing an App

You now know what goes into mobile app development and how much it costs on average. So let's have a peek at the top ones!

1. Releasing the App to the App Stores

When creating mobile apps, developers keep app store standards in mind. First, however, inquire if the development firms on your shortlist will also take care of getting your app into the app stores. Unfortunately, that isn't something that every company does.

When it comes to the app development cost, they aren't all that expensive. For example, the Apple App Store and Amazon charge $99 a year, while Google Play has a one-time $25 fee.

When you submit an app to an app store, you must follow the store's regulations.

2. Maintenance

Regular updates, support, and technical support are required for every app, whether a mobile web app or a website. However, not all app creation companies offer maintenance. So, before you sign a contract for app creation, be sure that the company will maintain the app after it is released.

App developers who are good at what they do keep up with iOS and Android operating system upgrades. It means that when your app is released, you should continue to work with your development business. Yes, keeping your app up to date necessitates a more significant financial expenditure. So, before you begin development, talk about the cost of app maintenance.

3. App security

The safety of apps is a serious problem. Users must have faith in your app with their personal information. As a result, you should have a solid security strategy in place.

Before you make a security plan with your development team, here are some things you should know:

  • Check the security of third-party frameworks and libraries if your development team wants to utilize them.
  • Request that your engineers test as much code as possible for vulnerabilities.
  • In your app, reduce the number of access permissions. For example, if you don't need access to contacts or the camera, don't provide it to them.
  • Make sure your development team conducts code reviews regularly.

It's worth noting that incorporating all of these tasks into the development process will take longer than you anticipated. As a result, the price will also rise. However, in the long term, it will assure the security of your software. Also, keep in mind that your app must adhere to all applicable laws.

4. Hosting and Servers

You'll need a place to store and process your app's data once it's finished. Another cost of app development is this. All data (pictures, videos, locations, and so on) is usually uploaded on servers. Servers execute software that receives, processes, and responds to requests. A backend server is present in almost every mobile app development.

Many developers nowadays prefer to use cloud services for data storage. You have the option of using a mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) solution, Amazon Web Services, or developing your cloud service.

5. Software Licenses

When creating a mobile app, you may need to employ a variety of SDKs and libraries. The majority of them are open-source and free. On the other hand, some are paid or offer paid upgrades from the free version. This type of software allows programmers to cut down on time it takes to incorporate new features.

Let's imagine your app requires flexible search, a feature that allows users to search for anything they need based on their name, location, and other criteria. Your development team could create this capability from the ground up, but it would take up to 100 hours. Multiply the time necessary by your developer's hourly rate to get a general idea of how much it cost to construct an app. The region and organization determine the cost of a developer.

6. Multiple Platforms

If you're new to app development, you might be startled to learn that each mobile platform has its own set of programming languages. A native iOS app will not function on Android and vice versa. If you want to create natively, you'll need iOS and Android developers. As a result, the cost of developing a mobile app will rise.

However, this only applies to native apps. Hybrid apps are web-based applications that run on various platforms.

Mobile web applications work on all platforms and are deployed over the internet. Therefore, the cost of developing a native app is determined by the type of app and the features requested.

7. Cost to Design a Mobile App

Some businesses recommend that mobile app developers handle the design. It is a blunder. A good designer is necessary for a mobile app's success.

So, what is the significance of design? One of the most common reasons consumers remove an app is a poorly designed and confusing interface. You could have the best app in the world, but if you compromise on design, customers will be turned off before they understand how valuable it is.

8. Marketing and Advertising

A mobile application can take a long time to develop. Then there's the app store release. Not only do people wait a long time to see their product in operation, but they also wait a long time to see it succeed. However, even if a product is well-made, it must outperform its competition. Only a quarter of smartphone apps is used once. It is usually due to bad marketing. You must ensure that your target audience can see, try, and enjoy your app.

It's critical to plan effective marketing strategies and campaigns to get the word out about your app and increase revenue. However, there is an app development cost. Monthly PR and marketing help will cost between $5,000 and $10,000. Some businesses spend more than $100,000 each month maintaining their mobile app at the top of the rankings.

Develop a profitable mobile app in less time and at a lower cost than traditional solutions with Appicial

Other App Development Costs

Aside from the hidden mobile app development costs mentioned above, there are many other elements to consider when calculating your final app cost. For example, if you want to know how much it costs to build and maintain an app, some are related to the mobile app development process, while others extend beyond the primary stages of app creation.

Who is responsible for the app's development? (Professional app developers, app development firms, freelance app developers, in-house development teams, third-party app development firms, and so on.)

Will the mobile app be available on which platforms and in which app stores? (Apps for Android, iOS, etc.)

How much is post-launch app maintenance required for your app? Will you be able to maintain your app on your own? Or will the app's upkeep be managed by a third party?

  • The cost of developing a sophisticated app will be more than creating a basic app.
  • The cost of an internal app for corporate purposes will differ from a consumer app. For example, if other app users download the app and it competes with popular apps in the app stores, the cost of the app will rise.

How Appicial reduces your app development cost by up to 90%

The main benefit of working with Appicial is exponentially reducing your app development cost. So that we cover all of the above fees, you only have to pay us a monthly membership fee, and you'll have access to all of the tools and capabilities you need to develop, deploy, and maintain your mobile app from a single dashboard. A standard app development business or a freelance mobile app developer will not provide you with this benefit.

1. Create the Product Requirements Once: You must first acquire all product specifications before beginning. It simply means you'll never have to pay for pricey developer hours, infrastructure and code upkeep, or analytics for a simple code patch.

2. Responsive App Design: Unlike native app creation, you will need one app that will function on iPhones, Android phones, iPads, and tablets. Not only is it less expensive, but it also takes a lot less time to design and maintain one program rather than two or three separate versions.

3. Choose Appropriate Technology: Your choice of technology for your app will have a long-term impact on its success.

If you intend to expand your app in the future, make sure that the technology and infrastructure you choose can handle high-volume operations. In addition, scalability and maintenance can be challenging when working with a vast user base.

For infinite scalability, make sure you're leveraging flexible and trustworthy technologies like React Native or Flutter.


Discuss these changes with your mobile app development team before signing a contract to construct your mobile app. It may save you money in the long term, and it will undoubtedly assist you in better planning your costs.

Appicial makes more sense from a cost, scalability, and convenience standpoint, both immediately and in the long run. Whether you're looking to create a mobile app to improve your business internally, provide a resource for your audience or clients, grow your brand awareness, or increase your revenue.

Author's Bio

Vinay Jain Grepix Infotech
Vinay Jain

Vinay Jain is the Founder at Grepix Infotech and brings over 12 years of entrepreneurial experience. His focus revolves around software & business development and customer satisfaction.

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