What factors affect the cost
of developing an application?

prix d'une app
At MobileThinking, we think that the budget needed to develop an application depends on 3 criteria: the type of application, its technological complexity, and its design complexity.

The type of application

  • A native application is developed to run on the operating system that corresponds to its programming language. For example, an application developed in Swift works on iOS devices while an application developed in Kotlin works on Android devices.
  • A hybrid application is developed to work on iOS as well as on Android or on the web depending on the project.
  • A web application, accessible from a web browser, does not require installation on mobile devices and is totally independent of the operating system.
Of course, developing 2 native applications is more time consuming, requires skills on both languages and following the updates of the 2 platforms. This impacts the final development cost.

The complexity and number of embedded features

The greater the functional need, the more resources are required to design and build the application.


There are two possible scenarios: setting up an independent mobile payment system or linking it to a network of physical stores with a payment system. In both cases, the system must ensure the secure storage of payment information. Moving forward in stages is one way to develop a complex payment system.  


Active and passive geolocation and geofencing are very useful features for many services. They allow to know the position of their targets in real time and a personalization of the user experience and the proposed content.


User authentication is also a feature that ensures the security of information and is therefore complex. It can take several forms:
  • account validation by email or sms
  • registration through an external service (Facebook or Google account)
  • double authentication
These additional security layers have a definite impact on the development cost.


The cost will depend on the design, multiplayer options and networking.

The use of mobile services

It is possible to use the native features of the device used. The application can then access the camera, NFC charging, speakers, etc..

The complexity of design

Wireframe Prototype Mockup Design Sprint
The design of the application also comes into play: from simplistic to out-of-the-box, its level of complexity influences the price.

Classic or custom design

With a standard design based on common patterns, no surprise, the price is capped. If the graphic need requires a strong customization, the realization time and the cost mechanically increase.

Integration of animations

Not only pleasing to the eye, visual animations help improve the UX and guide the user through the buying process. Each animation necessarily represents an additional cost that must be taken into account.

A structure outside the development standards

Sometimes, the application needs to be built from scratch according to a specific architecture. This case may have a higher cost.

The cost of developing an application is debatable!

When an estimate is made and a price range is determined, understand that these rates are neither strict nor fixed. Why not? It is very often difficult in a short time and with a minimum of information to identify all the ins and outs of a project, especially when many features are required.

It is therefore only a rough range, an estimate that can be discussed with the agency.

Indeed, a strategy can be put in place so that the development cost of an application is minimal and/or smoothed over time.
MVP or "Minimum Viable Product
This is the minimum product or service that must be launched to validate the project concept. It allows to quickly launch an application (not finished but functional). 
For example: 
  • Divide the overall project into lots in order to put an MVP online and test your idea;
  • Adapt to the available budget (it is possible to take shortcuts to put an MVP online and test your product). 
How to optimize the project price range?
The Design sprint allows you to design a prototype in 5 days, tested by real users. This process helps to optimize ideas, write specifications, and consequently to be much more accurate in estimating the cost range of an application development.


Viewed as a whole, a project can be very expensive. However, be aware that putting an MVP online can be done with moderate means! Additional fundraising is easier once the concept has been validated by users... And you know what? To initiate a constructive exchange, we have created a form available for free to you. Your answers will allow us to give you a price range that is truly calculated according to the specific needs of your project. So don't hesitate and launch your own application!