The mobile application is useful for interacting with the audience and customers, for marketing campaigns, sales, collecting analytical information and statistics. How much should its development cost?

If we reduce this to the general formula, we get: n1 * x1 + n2 * x2 + n3 * x3=y. Here n is the number of working hours, x is the cost of the specialist’s work, y is the total amount. The number of terms depends on the required number of employees: this is affected by the level of complexity of the application and urgency.

On average, the development of a mobile application in Russia costs from 500 thousand to 5 million rubles. Why such a scatter? Much depends on the level of complexity and the region where the developers are located: in Moscow there is one price list, in the Urals - another.

Price gradation by application category looks like this:

  1. Offline application, business card, simple functionality - from 500 thousand rubles.
  2. Basic level, plus the ability to edit online, fill with new content, with the server side - from 1 million rubles.
  3. Chatbot, interactive assistant - from 1, 5 million rubles.
  4. IoT, bundle with devices via Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/other protocols - from 2 million rubles.
  5. Messenger - from 2.5 million rubles.
  6. Augmented and virtual reality: 1.8 - 2.5 million rubles.
  7. Taxi, delivery of pizza, water, food and other things, including a courier module - from 4 million rubles.
  8. Shops/catalogs, including personal account, search, discount mechanics, acquiring - from 3 million rubles.
  9. Social networks - from 2 to 4 million rubles.
  10. Corporate applications (they require integration with services, increased requirements for data protection and security) - from 4 million rubles.

This is about an application for one platform, Android or iOS. Development for two platforms will cost 30-40% more, because for each operating system a separate application is needed: different programming languages ​​are hidden behind the visual similarity. And even fundamentally different design rules: navigation, parameters and units of measure, fonts, names of elements, use of shadows (in one system they are not, and in another they are recommended) are different in iOS and Android, the search is arranged differently and much more. Cross-platform solutions exist, but they have their drawbacks. We will talk about this a little later.


What is the cost of developing an application?

And now - everything is on the shelves. About 60% is paid by programmers and testers. The code needs not only to be written, but also checked for hidden errors and the presence of pitfalls. 15% - design and usability. The application should be convenient, well-designed, enjoyable to use. Another 15% is management. The project must be well coordinated, completed on time, some processes can be carried out in parallel, and the team is always in touch with the customer - thanks to competent management. The remaining 10% - work with technical specifications and analytics.


Plus, the cost of renting an office. An IT company is engaged in several projects at the same time, this figure is as it were distributed between them. It matters the region in which the artist is located.


Company or freelance?

On freelance platforms, you can find publications on application development for 600 rubles per hour or 50 thousand rubles for the entire project. This is the lower bar on "Habr Freelance" , on other platforms you can find an even lower price. Very cheap offers are made by novice specialists who, most likely, want to get the first experience of such work and simply do not know either the situation on the market or the real volume of work. In fact, the project will cost you more than the declared price, but in the future it will have to be redone, eliminate errors, supplement.

One person cannot engage in a large-scale project. As it is not within the power to build a multi-storey building alone, so the application cannot be developed. Even to put a rustic log house it is better to have a team.We are talking about physical and technical limitations. One person cannot equally well design a building and conduct electricity, make ventilation, insert windows, think through interior design. In the same way, it is impossible to master several programming languages, tools and knowledge in the field of design and usability, carefully test the result, review the program code - and do many other things at the same time. Therefore, when hiring a programmer on freelance terms, most likely, there will be a need for other specialists. Naturally, in such a situation there may be inconsistency and irresponsibility on their part. Even if you hire a project manager, you will inevitably have to delve into all the details yourself.


Benefits of contacting a company to develop a turnkey application:

  • Reliability. You conclude an agreement with a legal entity - it cannot just stop communicating. If one of the performers gets sick, they will quickly find a replacement, pick up his tasks, and the processes as a whole will go according to plan.
  • Experience and expertise. Companies are usually subject to external reviews, including by rating agencies. In such a situation, portfolio and professionalism cannot be faked. In addition, narrowly focused, sharpened specialists are often more professional than specialists of a wide profile. The IT studio team consists of such sharpened employees, because the areas of responsibility and tasks are clearly distributed. Everyone has a background for working with complex and large-scale projects.
  • Ability to test team work. When developing a mobile application, the IT company first offers to solve small tasks for testing the skills of the project team for free.
  • Current technology. Companies provide ongoing training and staff development. Therefore, they can use virtually any of the existing tools to provide data protection and encryption.
  • Save time. You do not need to delve into the details of the project and monitor its implementation. The company has its own managers, and it is associated with your obligations and reputation.
  • Connected 24/7. There are people whose task is to answer your questions and communicate with you. They are not busy at this time with development, analytics or design - the interaction will be prompt.
  • Maintenance of the application after its launch.

Appeal to freelancers may be a solution for individual tasks, but hardly for a complex project. So you can not win, but lose time and money.

How to save?

There is something you cannot influence. This, for example, is the cost of an hour of specialist work. But you can influence the number of these hours and the number of specialists.

1. Choose: Android, iOS, or cross-platform development. Cross-platform solutions appeal with versatility and low price. But they have their limitations:
- such applications work more slowly;
- the design may differ from the usual: if it is developed to a greater extent according to iOS standards, it will be inconvenient for Android users, and vice versa;
- limited access to phone services, tools and media files;
- a high level of encryption and IT security is not possible;
- offline application is not possible.


This option is only suitable for very simple applications consisting of five to seven screens. If you need a native application, then here you can choose where to start: from two main platforms at once or from one of them. Android provides access to a wider circle of users, iOS - to a more wealthy and willing to pay. Android app development and testing will take longer because smartphones with this operating system are more diverse.

2. Functional. It is necessary to pre-paint all the functions that you would like to see in your application, and then carefully examine the list and cross out everything without which it will work for your purpose.

3. Optimization. The more screens there are in an application, the more expensive it is - and vice versa. Therefore, if you consider the location of tools on the minimum number of screens, this will reduce the cost of the result. For example, a taxi application can be made so that to enter addresses, there will be a switch to separate screens. And you can place everything on one screen: the call button, and entering addresses, and the map.

4. Quality. If you immediately invest in professional development, you don’t have to overpay later for revision and rework.

5. Time. Urgent work will cost more, because additional specialists will be involved. If you are ready to wait, the price will be normal.

6. Compliance with Apple and Google guidelines (recommendations). They relate to design: it is proposed to maintain its uniformity so that people can easily use applications. In this case, developers can use ready-made components, and not invent them - this will reduce the number of hours they work.

Actual high-resource trends

  • VR/AR. Virtual and augmented reality. For example, jewelry store customers can try on jewelry using the front camera of a smartphone. Or customers of a company of any profile - point the camera at a booklet and see how the image moves and sings.
  • Chat for user communication. So a real community, a community of interests can be formed.
  • Offline.
  • Synchronization between devices.
  • Real-time audio/video processing.
  • Integration with third-party services.
  • Artificial intelligence technologies (for example, “smart tape”).
  • Neural networks (such as object recognition).
  • Blockchain (for example, your payment service, electronic signature system, data management).
  • Additional data protection and encryption.

So, professional development of a mobile application is a matter of big money investments. But, focusing on our recommendations, you can reduce costs without losing quality and find a team that will willingly take on the project and lead you to success.