How Much Does It Cost to Hire App Developers?

A detailed guide with pros and cons of app developer hiring process. Know what you need to look for before you start.

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App Developer Cost

Imagine a person going to the shopping store; what will be the first thing that person will see if that person likes the outfit? She just flips the tag and looks at the price. Right?

So, the same applies to business owners! It becomes crucial for businesses to put out their magnifying glasses and keenly understand the cost of hiring mobile app developers before actually building their mobile app. As it is a huge investment, they have to ensure that their mobile app development won’t break the bank. 

But you don’t need to worry, as we have covered everything in this blog related to all the costs, including the hidden costs. So you can’t feel overwhelmed at the end of your mobile app development journey.

So, read till last, and we have a quick strategy for you to get to know the cost of your mobile app development in just a few minutes (Yeah, a surprising strategy for you!)

But before revealing that, let’s dive in and learn the fundamentals (like a high-rise building stands tall for decades due to its strong foundation).

Factors that truly impact your mobile application cost

Believe it or not, the magnitude of cost factors stay in line that impacts the cost of mobile app development, whether you opt to hire a mobile app developer or outsource an app development company. You can’t miss ignoring these factors; otherwise, in the end, these may incur heavy cost burdens on business shoulders.

But in this blog, we will discuss the factors that impact the app developer cost so that you can have crystal-clear clarity and you can land the right developer within your budget.

Qualifications or skills

Skills are directly related to the hourly rate. The more skills the developer has, their hourly rate will be higher.

Now you might be thinking, what about the developer with expertise in both backend and frontend development? It is quite obvious that a full-stack developer with front and back-end expertise will be more expensive.

So, in short: (More skills= More expensive).

Experience

It is certainly true that experience speaks and does not need any justification when it comes to asking for high rates. Yes, one of the major factors that affect the hourly or monthly rates is the experience that a developer has acquired over a span of time.

The more experience the developers possess, the more their rates will be. So, first, you have to understand the complexity of the app before jumping the gun: Maybe your app requires ‘not-so-lengthy’ code. 

Location

It is one of the factors that are not directly correlated with expertise or experience. Still, it depends on other pivotal factors like 

  • Living standard
  • Developers’ availability
  • Country’s cost of living.

Let’s say the software developer cost in hiring the US is seven times more than that in central Europe. So, before hiring mobile app developers don’t forget to consider the “location” factor.

RegionHourly Cost( without additional cost) 
North America  $30-70/hour
Latin America  $20-50/ hour
Middle East$ 40-70/ hour
Africa$ 25-40/hour
Eastern Asia  $ 20-60/ hour
Southeast Asia$ 10-40/hour
Western and Northern Europe  $ 25-60/ hour
South and North Europe$30-60/hour 
Central Europe$ 30-60/hour

Technology

Do you know the technology you use for mobile app development impacts your budget? If a developer specializes in a “newly or rare” technology, including a framework or a programming language, it means that they will charge higher than other developers.

Complexity

Well, the cost of your mobile app development project also depends on the complexity of your app. Like if you opt for simple interface, activity feeds, booking calendar, simple registration process, product management, etc., and then the cost will fall in the “not so expensive” app.

But if you opt for advanced features like social media integration, augmented reality view, multiple languages, personalized suggestions, etc., the developer cost would surely be high.

Hire mobile app developers:  Cost differs for Android, iOS and cross-platform developers

Different mobile operating systems, such as Android, ioS, etc., are specifically designed to meet business demands by reaching out to different customer bases. 

Due to digital exposure, people now have different options, so the target customers are diversified on different platforms.

And if they don’t want to get down their business and corner the market, being available on different platforms is only the safe bet. Businesses also opted for cross-development platforms (showing their presence on multiple platforms), so their business boat smoothly sails in the competition.

Cost of hiring Android, iOS & cross-platform developers

Although, hourly rates differ in developing the different kinds of mobile operating systems. If we talk about Android apps, they are four times more than iOS apps due to it is flexibility and ease.

But the popularity of iOS is not behind the doors. As they provide great performance, flawless UI UX, and, most excitingly, access to the Apple ecosystem.

Let’s explore the cost of hiring mobile app developers based on the type of platform, along with the developer’s experience and location.

Cost of hiring a junior app Developer

Junior Developer CostAndroidiOSCross-platform
UK$15$20$ 18
US$20$20$20
India$8$8$7
Germany$28$20$20
Portugal$19$16$20
Sweden$20$20$13

Cost of hiring a medium-level app Developer

Medium-level Developer CostAndroidiOSCross-platform
UK$35$30$ 25
US$32$30$33
India$19$20$15
Germany$42$25$30
Portugal$25$20$30
Sweden$35$30$25+

Cost of hiring a senior-level app Developer

Senior-level Developer CostAndroidiOSCross-platform
UK$45$40$ 30
US$40$45$40
India$40$40$20
Germany$60$35+$35
Portugal$40$25$48
Sweden$52$40+$42

If you want to calculate the estimated cost of developing your dream app, you can select the location along with an hourly rate and then multiply it by the number of hours. This way, you will get the final cost of calculating the mobile app. 

For example, if you want to design a mobile app like Uber. You select the location as the US, the medium-level developer, and the platform. Suppose you select an Android platform: The cost of medium-level developers for the Android platform would be $32.

In general, the average time to build a ride-sharing app like Uber is 1100 hours. 

So, the final cost will be = Developer hourly rate × no of total hours.

Final cost= $32× 1100= $35,200

To understand the process in a simple way with the above example-

AppType of developerLocationPlatformHourly RateTotal hoursTotal Cost
App like UberMedium level developerUSAndroid$321100$35,200

Estimated Cost of some basic mobile apps you must know

Here we will discuss some of the basic app costs to know how much it costs to hire mobile app developers for your project. This way, you can crunch the business numbers before you start building your own app.

CategoryType of applicationAndroid/iOS App HoursAndroid/ iOS Hourly Rates Avg.Andriod/ iOS App Cost
Basic appDevice storage, dropdown, menu list80-180 (Android)$35- $85$2800- $15,300
70-160 (iOS)$30-$80$2100- $12,800
Chat/message appData format, chats, cloud storage650+ $40-$ 90($26,000 – $58,500) +
750+$35- $85($26,250- $63,750) +
E-Commerce appBusiness, device and feature based300+$ 90-150($27,000- $45,000) +
250+$ 85-140($21250- $35000) +
Social networking appPhoto editing, backend, themes350+$ 80-120($28,000-$42,000)+
300+$ 70-110($21,000- $33,000) +
Gaming appSingle player, 3D, rendering550+$ 80-125($44,000-$68,750)+
450+$ 75- 110($33,750- $49,500)+

Five must-know tips for hiring mobile app developers at affordable pricing

Whether you are a startup with a limited budget or a medium to large-sized enterprise who is looking to get the maximum return on its investment, these tips can be a money-savior and help you to stay on your budget. 

Money-saving tip 1# Analyze the market well.

Market research is everything! So before finalizing the mobile app developer, you may consider analyzing the market well to know about the early rate that can meet your expectations. You can consider hiring developers from recruiting websites. 

Still, it requires an interview to be conducted so that you can compare the rates of mobile app developers and determine the best possible solutions that could be aligned with your business expectations. 

You can also hire the developer monthly depending upon the work that needs to be required for your project. Suppose you don’t want to fall into the time-consuming “interviewing and hiring” process.

In that case, you can partner with Agicent, which can take the burden of conceptualization of your app to the launching to the post support.

Money saving tip 2# Reduce Cost by offshoring.

If you are someone who is searching for a “win-win” solution which means you want to save your hard-earned money but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the work, then you might think about the offshoring option.

By selecting this option, you may have a wide range of hiring options available so that you can choose the best developer to craft your dream mobile app. 

For example, a personal ‘wealth and spend’ tracking app with basic functions and features requires not writing a big chunk of code, so you can hire a coder who is competent in only a few skill sets that align with your project, and the result is you can save money.

Money saving tip 3# Check for freelancer sites’ services fees

Before opting for the freelance website, you need to go the extra mile to know what will be the client marketplace fee. If you choose a freelancer site like Upwork, the client marketplace fee would be 5% on all the payments for fixed prices and hourly jobs that a freelancer will do. 

Let’s say a client uses the services of a freelancer on Upwork:

The total project cost = $100

Additional client Marketplace fee for Upwork = 5%

It means they have to pay $5.00 as a client marketplace fee.

Well, one thing that you need to remember while working with a freelancer is the lack of supervision, as you can’t keep an eagle’s eye on your project as they are not available all the time. So, until you get the final work project work done, you will be unsure about the outcome.

Money saving tips 4# Staff augmentation services

A harsh truth is that companies want to be ahead of the pack in the digital ecosystem, they require to talented developers who can help them build their apps from scratch and make them launch successfully. But hiring developers is tedious and fetches a lot of your time.

The solution? Use staff augmentation services! It simply means outsourcing workers for your projects in accordance with your organization’s objectives and needs. 

Imagine an organization who wants to develop a gaming app with advanced features, but they have a team of three developers.

To make their mobile gaming app, they need four more developers with sound expertise to complete their app in a dedicated timeframe. They can quickly hire three developers using staff augmentation services in less time. 

Here are some of the staff augmentation services’ advantages

  • You can avoid hidden costs such as providing equipment, vacation, sick leave, etc. 
  • The primary concern with hiring a developer is that what if the developer is not a good fit for your project? With staff augmentation services, you can ask the company for more experienced developers by replacing the previous developer.

Money saving tips 5 # CV is not enough.

It is really important to hire a mobile app developer not based on their CV, but you should conduct a technical interview in which you can ask them to write a small code to ensure that you are hiring the right developer. 

Along with that, you can also ask them to show their portfolio or the apps that they have developed for past clients.

Just trusting a CV or resume is something that can sink your mobile app development project into the money-losing sea. So be very careful while recruiting the best developer for your project. 

Pro Tip: Consider soft skills

Don’t you think some basic soft skills are also important when hiring an app developer? If the developer does not communicate or collaborate with your team effectively, it will be difficult to maintain smooth communication, resulting in a big mess. 

Even if you hire a mobile developer who can’t comfortably communicate with your team in the language that they understand is also a big problem. 

For example, if your team is uncomfortable with languages like French or German, hiring a German or French developer would be a great pain to align your team and developer on the same page. This, in turn, you can only spend money but don’t use the best of your budget.

Pros and cons of different hiring options 

When you start your mobile app development journey, you need to hire app developers; there are mostly three options: 

  • Hire a local agency 
  • Hire a freelancer. 
  • Recruit a mobile app development company. 

Here we will learn about different hiring options so that you can choose the best option for your project.

Pros and cons of hiring a local-based marketing company

Pros

  • It is easy to have an in-person meeting if you hire someone within your proximity to explain your exact requirements to them. 
  • A local company has local connections in knowledge, which helps your company to gain more local attention quickly. 
  • Finding a mobile app development agency in your proximity can help you get the services at a cheaper cost in the area you reside. 

Cons

  • Suppose you hire a local mobile app development company from a local area. In that case, they might not have global exposure to the technology and talent that may restrict the requirement your business needs. 
  • The expense can vary: if you hire a local firm, in that case as well, the pay would depend on the location. Let’s say a marketing firm in Michigan can be cheaper than hiring a marketing firm in New York City.

Pros and cons of hiring a freelancer

Pros

  • Finding the perfect person for your project feels challenging, but hiring a freelancer can provide you with flexibility and expertise as they possess specific skill sets and experience. 
  • One major reason people hire freelancers is cost efficiency, as they can eliminate overhead costs such as office space, equipment, etc. 
  • Often employees work on a single idea for a long time, making them unable to generate fresh ideas. On the other hand, freelancers partner with different clients for different works. Hence, they effectively bring more fresh ideas to the table. 

Cons

  • Most people will face a lack of commitment while working with freelancers as they are working on a magnitude of projects simultaneously; therefore, it becomes difficult for them to deliver timely projects. 
  • Giving the freelancers’ company access to systems and documents may risk companies’ privacy and security. 
  • Working with freelancers may also bring global payment limitations as the company has to keep different payment modes and platforms to pay them as the payment rules differ in different countries.

Pros and cons of hiring mobile app development agency

Pros

  • They have sufficient technical resources and expertise, including the latest and modern tools and licence software, so that they can deliver excellent services. 
  • 24/7 expert support means when you hire a development company, you don’t need to worry about whether the developer is available. If the head developer is on leave, another person will communicate with you on the project. 
  • By choosing a development company, you can be free and work on valuable tasks as they can be responsible for managing all the mobile development tasks without you giving a headache. 
  • Did you know that if you hire an app developer, the average cost will be around $63,735 to $139 148 per year? So this option will give you the flexibility to choose the company for a particular project without paying a hefty amount. 

Cons

  • Maybe a slow or fragmented communication as the developer is not physically present. 
  • You cannot have complete control of the project as you cannot always monitor its progress. Suppose you are looking for 360-degree solution that can help you get complete control of your project while making communication seamless. In that case, you don’t need to worry, as Agicent uses modern and advanced tools that help you look at your project’s real-time progress with transparent communication.

5 Hidden costs that enhance mobile app development cost

If you want to look at the bigger picture, then along with hiring mobile app developers cost, you also need to include some hidden costs so that you can calculate the overall mobile development cost that helps you to avoid red flags that can appear at the end of your mobile app development cost which disturbs your full budget. 

01. App Store cost

Developing an app doesn’t mean a ‘stop sign’ that you will be done with the project. The next phase is to launch your app on any Store like Apple or Google.

So what? Well, you need to pay some charges as they are not free. Google incur a one-time $25 fee, while Apple charges $99 annually.

02. Maintenance

As electronic gadgets need regular maintenance so that they can function properly in the long run, similarly, your app needs regular maintenance to remain a favorite among your customers.

But mobile app development is not only restricted to general updates like fixing bugs, customer support, and analyzing customer feedback. It is way beyond. 

For example, Apple launched its iOS 16 version in their iPhone model 14 Pro, which includes some astounding features like Dynamic Island.

So if your mobile app is fully updated with the most recent iOS version, you can seamlessly integrate those amazing features to significantly boost your app’s user experience by leaps and bounds.

But unfortunately, if it’s not, you really need an expensive way. (So, include this type of unavoidable cost as well.)

But if you hire a freelancer, the chances are less that they will provide maintenance services efficiently. Hence, looking for a mobile development company that can take care of maintenance and support services is better.

03. Data storage cost

Voila! Your mobile app has been successfully launched on the App Store. But the next question is how you will store mobile app data, especially data-driven applications. It might be interesting to know that Facebook, a technology giant spends $50 million a year on data storage. Big amount, right? The idea here is that the more data your app will save, the more expenses will incur.

4. Design Costs

Does it make sense to hire an app developer to develop your visionary app enough? 

Do you know there is a common assumption that a mobile app developer can handle the design? 

Well, the answer is: if you wish to make your loyal users stay on your mobile app for longer, in that case, you can’t ignore the designer aspect. Maybe you will get a developer who is well-versed at designing and developer part. (However, this type of condition not always hold true!)

But you must always ensure that your design is enticing and aesthetically pleasing. Do you know what is the first thing your customer will see after coming to your app? Mobile app design! 

If the design doesn’t appeal to them, your users immediately uninstall it. So focus on creating a good design, which can be more cost-effective than a bad design cost. 

Confused about how you can hire a mobile app developer and designer so that you can present the best visually appealing and rich feature app?

Agicent, with years of experience, can help you to build your app from research to planning to design to development to maintenance. This way, you can save the hidden cost and stay within budget.

5. App Marketing Costs

After building and launching your app on the app store, doesn’t mean that your app will get the wings? Even if a seed becomes a plant, it requires nurturing regularly. Similarly, to give your app a push and expect it to attain wings in the competitive landscape, you need to spend a part of the money on marketing costs. 

Hardly anyone can deny that today’s evolving customers are bombarded with multiple brands, so if you want your app to be noticed in front of an audience, you need to tell them. For instance, if you don’t talk about your app, how does your target audience come to know that your app is meant for them?

But are you thinking about how much you should spend to market your app? It is advisable to shell out 2 to 5% of the B2B Company’s revenue on marketing, and for B2C, it will be between 5 to 10%.

Marketing Cost Budget Bifurcation

  • App market research
  • Beta testing
  • ASO (App store optimization) costs
  • App PR outreach
  • Cost per action
  • Influencer marketing
  • Viral marketing cost 
  • App promotion asset cost
  • In-app purchase
  • App install add spend
  • Pre-launch costs

Now, what is the final cost of developing a great mobile app?

As we discussed, apart from a developer cost, you must closely look at the other parameters contributing to shooting up the cost of building an app.

We understand that right now, you feel overwhelmed that you need to keep in mind the magnitude of costs. But trust us; you must be aware of the above factors so your business boat can’t reach the wrong port. 

At the end of this blog, we will present you with a quick and simple strategy (Really, simple) to calculate mobile app development costs! 

So, for now, the Total cost will be the sum of the developer cost and some hidden costs.

The final cost to develop a mobile app= Developer cost+ hidden costs

Are you confused as well like many business owners? What if you don’t achieve the desired outcome as you wish and you will end up only spending money and not getting your ‘so-perfect’ app?

Agicent has worked with many clients Tata, Panasonic, NEC, HASfit, and more, and turned their dream projects into reality. So, if you also want to make your dream project into the real one, we are delighted to join in your mobile app development endeavor.

Considerations before you hire a mobile app developer for your project. 

Imagine you are short of some kitchen items and decide to walk to the grocery store. What is the primary thing you do? Naturally, you prepare a list of items you want for crystal clear clarity. Similarly, you can craft a list of important factors to ensure before choosing mobile app developers.

This way, you won’t fail to lose an opportunity to find the perfect mobile app developer for your project and see your app develop the way you want.

1. Prepare an app document or briefing

It’s time that you can prepare a document in which you clearly define your app requirement. Here is the checklist that can help you to head toward the right path

  • Your business objectives and goals
  • A brief history of the company. 
  • Explain about your products and services. 
  • Provide them with your competitor’s references like websites, social media handles, etc. 

2. Mobile platform

Here is a very common thing you need to decide on which platform you have your targeted customers and what you want to leverage so that you can maximize your engagement and revenue. Mobile app platforms are Android, iOS, or cross-platform. 

This is a crucial factor because every platform utilizes different tech and development approaches. Changing the mindset at the end of the development process makes you spend additional cost and time. 

  1. Technical requirements

Using the right platform is just the beginning of the adventurous mobile app development journey. The next will be to define the technical requirements so you can mention all of them in one document considering your target audience and features. 

  1. Mobile app functionalities

It’s a common approach for businesses to incorporate the features that helps them to monetize their app. It includes

  • Push notifications
  • Geolocation
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Social media platform
  • Registration and authorization etc.

Skills that iOS and Android app developers possess

If you want to hire app developers to transform your app idea into a real-time mobile app, it is no rocket science that you must look for some of their skills so that you can’t disappoint with your final decision.

Skills required for iOS app developer

  • Xcode
  • Table View
  • Apple UIKit Framework
  • View Controllers
  • Cocoa & Cocoa Touch
  • Storyboard
  • Knowledge of iOS back-end services
  • Proficient in frameworks like Core Graphics, Core Animation & Core Data. 
  • Key-Value Coding
  • Appcelerator Titanium

Skills required for Android App developers

  • Android Studio
  • Native Script
  • Litho
  • Flutter
  • Material Design
  • Android SDK
  • SQL
  • API
  • knowledge of GIT
  • Programming Languages knowledge like Flutter, React Native, Kotlin, Python, Java, etc.

Does hiring mobile app developers are enough?

It is often assumed that if a company hires a mobile app developer, everything will be aligned, and they can relax in the back seat of the car and observe the work to let happen.

In the real world scenario, it actually doesn’t exist. Think this way: if we talk about making a movie, only one person cannot cast the whole show. Agree? In the movie ‘Iron Man 3’, there were 3310 crew members.

To cut it short, let’s come to our main question: only a developer is enough to make the mobile app development journey successful? So, the clear answer is No!

If you want to build a super-engaging and powerful app, you require a good designer, analyst, tester and, of course, a developer. So, cut to the chase; you require a strong team! 

  • A designer is responsible to create engaging interactions, user-friendly interfaces, and clear navigation structures to deliver a ‘so-good’ user experience. 
  • A software professional developer handles your app’s backend by writing clean code to amplify functionality while seamlessly integrating with third-party APIs to provide better performance. 
  • The quality analyst utilizes the best industry practices to ensure that software quality remains intact throughout the software development cycle. 
  • Finally, the tester comes in the front row to test the mobile application to find errors, bugs and inaccuracies and fixes them to make your app super-ready to launch on the platform.

Now, here is the quick strategy to calculate mobile app development cost

You might be eager to know the quick strategy so that you can count the eggs before they hatch. In other words, you can calculate the mobile app development cost actually it is being spent on your app. knowing how much the cost will be involved, you can manage your budget well. 

Here we are revealing the quick strategy: Agicent Mobile app calculator!

It is a super-quick online tool that provides a simple way to calculate app development in just a few seconds. You only need to answer the questions related to mobile app development, and based on that, this tool will give the estimated cost.

The most astounding feature of this tool is you don’t need to think about the answers as they are already given. Only the last question requires to be written so that this tool can calculate the results to the utmost accurate estimates.

Some of the simple questions given are- 

  1. Which mobile platform do you want to target?
  2. Which user interface do you require for your app?
  3. How many screens do you need?
  4. Does your app need any upload feature?
  5. Our favorite! Which set of functionality do you need? (a game changer, so give it specific time to think about it) and so on…

The results will definitely blow your mind! Do you know what? That will be a proud moment for the Agicent team. (We are dedicated to providing our customers the right solution they need). Want to explore?

Now we are heading towards the final wrapping of the blog. But we really want you to go on the final adventure. Thus, we conclude by showing you the Agicent Pricing Model so that we can onboard you and take your app flight to soar the sky. 

Wrapping the final thoughts

Now, fasten your seat belt, and let’s look at the pricing model of Agicent so that you can quickly make up your mind about working with our mobile app developers! (By the way, we are already excited to have you onboard).

Agicent Pricing Model (Rates for mobile app developers on demand)

App MVP Essential teamAPP MVP + TeamApp growth+ Team
1 app developer1 UI/UX designer1 Business Analyst & project coordinatorShared app tester & Tech leadThis option goes well for MVPs & maintenance app projects. 1 additional full-stack developerProficiency in Backend. Fast scaling from MVP to enterprise level appThis app is best for quick scaling, live apps & frequent enhancements. 5 developers for full stack and app. Dedicated Tech lead ( full time) Dedicated Account Manager. Managed Server & Hosting management. Great for apps in growth stage with large user base. 
App Cost: Starting at $2900/mo.App Cost: Starting at $ 4500/mo.App Cost: Starting at $ 7600/mo.

These are standard rates that can be applied to on-demand iOS developers based on their experience and expertise. The best part about this model? You can create a custom team on demand and optimize your mobile app development cost.

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