Why phone applications are so expensive to develop?

“Technology is getting smaller, faster, cheaper, and more powerful every day.”

-Tae Yoo

Then why are phone applications are still so expensive to develop and maintain? Following are top four reasons a simple app will cost you over $40,0001 to develop in 2022:

Development process is involved

Have you noticed that most app developers focus on either Android or iOS? This is because developing apps for either platform is relatively involved. Tools needed to develop and app for either platform have a steep learning curve and they are not interchangeable.

Each platform has unique quirks and features that evolve quickly and developers have to keep up with these changes. As a result most developers choose to specialize in a single platform.

You have to pay (at least) twice

Unless you’re targeting only Android (or Apple) users, you will have to develop this application twice. This is roughly double the cost and triple the headache.

Most applications with require some infrastructure (as an example a database and payment gateway). The infrastructure will have to play nice with both platforms and can get very costly. Especially complex projects may require hiring additional developers that specialize in this area.

UI/UX R&D is hard

User interface & user experience are key factors in the success of an app. A good app

  • has to get the job done (better than any alternative)
  • and be user friendly & easy to learn

This is difficult to achieve especially when you’re working with a small touch screen. Well made applications undergo iterative development with consistent user testing ($$$).

Consider this: with an already over-saturated app store, users are not excited to bloat their phone with yet another app. Just think of all of the useless, broken, and poorly designed apps that frustrated you in the past. Would you give any of those apps a second chance? This this exactly why you can not skip costly & time consuming user testing along every development stage.

Post-development maintenance

The mobile world evolves fast and your development team with have to keep up. Different screen resolutions, physical features, operating systems, and developments tools are among many ever changing variables.

It is not enough to develop a phone app. You will also have to maintain and update it. Bugs and problems are inevitable and will have to be fixed quickly.

Developing an application is not a one-time cost. The budget must account for a team of software developers on staff after launching your app.


Phone applications are expensive to develop. UI/UX research is lengthy, infrastructure can get complex very quickly, and you have to develop your app twice. Once for an Android and another for an iOS iPhone. Following the initial development, the app will need continuous updates and bug fixes.

All of this is not to say that you should not develop an app. It is to say that you should triple check your idea. Are you absolutely sure that a phone application is the best way to bring your idea to life?

  1. How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App in 2022? Cost Breakdown, September 2022. https://spdload.com/blog/app-development-cost/?doing_wp_cron=1664155965.5226879119873046875000
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