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How Much Does It Cost to Develop an App in 2023?


It was 2020, and the world was restricted to residential apartments due to physical curbs imposed by several governments. During this period, Hopin grew exponentially with its unique all-in-one event platform through mobile apps.

However, Hopin is not the only UK startup that saw massive growth due to mobile app development. Many enterprises, small businesses, and startups choose to transform their operations digitally.

Though every organization has a specific budget for their app development, whatever may be your driving force, cost estimation makes sense.

The average cost of app development in the UK ranges between £15,000 and £100,000.

Keep in mind that location plays a significant factor in determining the cost. For instance, hiring a mobile app developer in London may cost around £58,337 annually, while in Bristol, the approximate charge is £45,498.

So, the cost of development will differ based on the location.

Similarly, the complexity of features, type of application, development methodology, and engagement models to hire developers can affect the cost of developing an app in the UK.

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Top Factors That Affect the Cost of App Development in the UK

The application development process has several stages, from design to development and deployment. Each step contributes to the cost of application development.

Platform-based costs: The battle of Android vs. iOS

The app development cost can differ according to your developing platform. For example, if you create an Android or iOS application individually, the price will be less than two separate native apps. In other words, targeting two platforms simultaneously will need more effort and resources.

At the same time, developing a cross-platform application that targets both platforms with a shared codebase can be economical.

However, native apps have their advantages due to OS-specific capabilities. So, which approach to choose, native or cross-platform, will depend on your project requirements.

Here is a breakdown of how the cost of app development in the UK differs for an eCommerce application (Android vs. iOS vs. Cross-platform).

Feature Development timeframe Total cost per feature (Android) Total cost per feature (iOS)
Log in 26-44 hrs £780-£1320 £754-£1276
Profile management 20-35 hrs £600-£1050 £580-£1015
Push notifications 27-32 hrs £810-£960 £783-£928
Admin panel 70-95 hrs £2100-£2850 £2030-£2755
Advanced search 550-820 hrs £16,500-£24,600 £15,950-£23,780

Note: Here average cost of hiring an Android developer for the UK is considered £30 per hour. At the same time, for iOS, £29 per hour is the price considered for the above calculations. As you can observe, both iOS and Android app development individually can lead to higher costs. At the same time, a cross-platform app can go up to £42,000, which is lower than the total expense of native apps.

Cost of development based on the platform you develop the application form is also affected by the type, size, and complexity of features.

Type, Size, and Complexity of Features

An application try to solve customers' pain points through its features. Take an example of Netflix’s recommendations of shows or Spotify’s personalized playlists. These are features that become your unique selling points! Depending on the type of business model you have, applications differ.

Complex features need more time to develop, so the cost is higher. Especially if you hire an app developer on an hourly/monthly basis, complex features like advanced search will cost you more. At the same time, a simple login feature will take less effort and time, resulting in reduced costs.

Once you have decided which platform and feature requirements you want to target, it’s time to hire a developer!

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Cost of Hiring Developers Based on Experience

There are three types of developers you can hire: junior, senior and mid-level developers. However, what sets them apart is not just years of experience or price but also acquaintance with a specific skill set.

Junior app developers

A junior developer is a fresh graduate from college or with internship experience with an IT company. They can also have worked on individual projects and have a portfolio.

Some critical skills to expect from a junior developer with 0-1 year of experience are:

  • Acquaintance with Javascript or Typescript with some experience on one frontend frameworks like React, Angular, Vue, Svelte, etc.,
  • Knowledge of backend development using Javascript/Java/C#/Typescript.
  • Knowledge of Agile methodologies, microservices, and DevOps will be a bonus.

A junior developer in the UK charges £32,967 per year.

Mid-level developers

Mid-level developers have 2-4 years of experience in app development along with many other skills, which include:

  • Experience in developing mobile apps for iOS, Android, or both of them.
  • Acquaintance with cross-platform technologies like React Native.
  • Experience in writing code using Javascript or Typescript.
  • Ability to build, test, release and deploy apps on the play store or application store.
  • Knowledge of cloud-native app development and different services like AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.,
  • Familiarity with databases like MongoDB, MySQL, NoSQL, PostgreSQL, etc.,

A mid-level developer will take ownership of their task and help plan the development process. The average salary for a mid-level developer in the UK is £42,414 per year.

Senior developers

A senior developer will have at least 4-7 years of experience. Such developers contribute to strategic planning, choosing the deployment environment, testing automation, etc.

Apart from the professional level of mobile app development skills, here are other things to consider:

  • Lead the design and development of new features.
  • Design the app architecture and own the entire codebase.
  • Have problem-solving skills.
  • Acquaintance with cloud services like AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, etc.,
  • Knowledge of dealing with problems of technical debts.

Senior developers are also vital to your projects as they can act as lead developers to the entire team and even contribute to the app's quality.

Whether you hire junior, mid-level, or senior-level developers, an important aspect is the engagement model. It will have a significant impact on the app development cost.

Engagement model cost

Outsourcing vendors and app development companies provide different engagement models based on fixed pricing, dedicated teams, time, and material.

Apart from these models, you can also hire freelancers. Each engagement model has advantages, and selection depends on specific requirements.

Fixed price model (FPM)

If you are looking for an engagement model that provides a fixed deadline and cost, FPM is the ideal choice. An agreement is signed between the two parties with all the agreed terms, which include product delivery deadline, cost, design requirements, etc. A project manager will oversee the execution without the client’s intervention.

The problem with the fixed price model is that it is restrictive, and if there are sudden changes in your project, accommodating it can lead to extra costs. It is an app development approach where you need to initially provide the entire project scope without the chances of future changes.

As a startup, a fixed price model is ideal if you want to develop a minimum viable product or shippable product within a short timeframe. However dedicated team model provides a more flexible engagement.

Dedicated team model

Client is the king in a dedicated model! You can decide the project requirements, the total number of developers required, what skills are needed, the timeline, the budget, etc.

In other words, it is a flexible model where you can adjust the budget according to the need.

If you want to add new features, the dedicated team model offers the flexibility of adding resources on demand. The best part about choosing a dedicated team model is the synergy of talents. You don’t need to worry about the multiple skills required for your app development.

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Now, if you are thinking about rapid development, the dedicated model is still viable with agile methodology. App development companies with an on-demand experience and agile practices can provide faster development.

Another critical engagement model is location-based! The development cost differs from location to location, even in the same country.

Nearshore vs. Onshore vs. Offshore: Which One to Choose?

Engaging developers based on location has advantages and challenges. For example, you have the advantage of hiring multi-skilled developers but have challenges of collaboration.

Nearshoring development

It is an approach where you outsource app development to a vendor in a nearby country. For example, if you are a business in the UK, nearshoring means choosing a vendor from France, Sweden, or other European countries. It has the advantage of compliance, especially data protection laws that businesses need to follow in member countries of the EU.

Country Average cost of hiring per year
Sweden £44,550
Netherlands £40,738
France £49,808
Germany £48,888

Onshoring development

Onshore model is an approach where you outsource the app development to a vendor in the same vicinity. In other words, if you are in London, you outsource development to a company in Bristol or Cardiff. Due to the same country, no cultural differences, and collaborations are smoother.

City Average cost of hiring per year
London £48,226
Cardiff £36,355
Bristol £36,857
Liverpool £40,611
Manchester £36,182

If you consider the UK, there are many cities like London, Manchester, Cardiff, and others. The cost of app development will differ based on the developer’s salary in each of these cities.

In other words, app development costs in the UK will depend on the city from which the vendor belongs if you choose the onshore engagement model.

Offshoring development

Offshoring your app development means choosing a vendor from a distant country. In other words, you outsource the app development to a foreign country. One of the reasons why companies choose to outsource their app development is cost.

Country Average cost of hiring per year
The UK £58,337
The US £79,230
Australia £90,916
India £6,108

According to Deloitte, 70% of companies outsource to reduce the costs of app development. The reason is the stark differences between the cost of app development in your location and foreign countries.

5 Famous App Costs with Features

Uber App

You need to design an app for drivers, an application for clients, user management, and a backend.

Creating an app like Uber for iOS and Android typically costs £200,000 - £500,000. And the development process would take approximately 5 to 7 months for an MVP that can serve as a solid foundation for future mobile app development.

TikTok App

According to studies, the cost of social media app development is estimated to be between £80,000 and £100,000. Obtaining a music licence, on the other hand, would be an extra expense.

TikTok is one of the media and entertainment applications that might generate between £128,000 and £248,000 in development costs due to its integration of numerous sets of features and services. Additionally, it takes around 985 hours in terms of time.

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Instagram App

The key aspect of creating a social media app is its distinctive concept, as it attracts many individuals. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must first analyse your audience's needs and then develop a vision to meet those needs.

To begin, an application like Instagram might cost up to £600,000. The fee structure shown above may vary depending on your selection for hiring a developer.

In the UK, the minimum fee for a developer is between £40 and £55 per hour, both economical and quality-focused.

Tinder App

The Tinder app's features suggest that it would cost between £40,000 and £50,000 to design an app of the same calibre. It's also worth noting that this is only an estimate. The cost of developing a dating app may be affected by various variables.

Just Eat

Just Eat is Europe's leading online takeout ordering business, with over 300,000 daily requests. The approximate cost for each stage is between £4,000 and £15,000, depending on the application's features and multifaceted quality.

How Intelivita Can Help You Get Started with App Development

Are you prepared to leap towards a new business with a mobile app?

Look no further as Intelivita helps you leverage technological expertise and assure top app quality. We've created hundreds of mobile apps with various features in a cost-effective manner.

We start with understanding your business goals and initiatives. And later, we design a comprehensive plan to create your mobile app along with a roadmap. Once we finalise the roadmap and features, we will give you the total budget for app development.

We have an application development team accredited by both major platforms (iOS & Android). Leverage design native and cross-platform applications that work as a top solution for almost any project.

We are experts in developing a range of mobile apps for your business with a strong emphasis on user experience, design, and commitment to excellence.


How Much Does it Cost to Maintain an App?

The cost of maintaining an application might range from £50 and £5,000 or more. This varies according to the complexity of your software, the number of developers necessary to maintain it, and if you want 24/7 assistance.

It's not only the cost of developing the app that you need to consider, as the cost of maintenance plays a major role in upkeeping it. You are unlikely to see returns from your app unless it is maintained, which requires effort and talent. That is why numerous firms provide application development and maintenance services.

A skilled app developer in the UK will include data analytics into the coding of your app, enabling you to collect information about your users and track both interaction and content. Understanding the data and resolving any errors will go a long way toward delivering a smooth and productive user experience. As with everything else linked to applications, this will come with a cost, determined by the amount of interaction.

Why is Mobile App Development Expensive in the UK?

App development is expensive in the UK because of the high labour cost. Employees with highly specialised new programming skills can command high salaries in Australia and around the world.

Typically, an app is a piece of software built by a team of experts over a significant length of time. To complete the project, a team of professionals from several areas must collaborate to plan, design, develop, test, and debug it.

The planning, design, development, and testing phases of an app are no different from any other software project. The more time it takes to build an app, the more expensive it will be.

How to Choose the Best Mobile App Development Company in the UK?

While many mobile app development companies in the UK, you cannot trust everyone. It is best to do extensive research before hiring anybody for your project, and the best method to do so is to ask as many questions as possible.

Before entrusting people with your dream project, you must assure them that they are the right team and offer competitive app development costs without compromising the quality.

Portfolio, expertise, team size, and client evaluations are important factors to consider. Still, you should also consider additional factors such as post-development support, app maintenance, and frequent project updates, among others, to ensure that you are fully informed about your project.

Why Does the Cost of Building Apps Vary so much?

The cost of app development in the UK includes many elements but two of the most crucial ones are

  1. When developing an app, it typically takes between three and six months to complete testing and be ready for release. As time passes, the cost of app development goes up.
  2. If you've ever wanted to learn how to code, you'll need an app. Even a 'simple' app may cost upwards of £10k in development costs. At the same time, some of the most advanced mobile apps in the market are over £100k.

As a result, the cost of developing an app will vary depending on the app's purpose, design, platform, and any modifications made throughout the development process.


If you're wondering, "how much does it cost to build an app?" it is best to look beyond just the price tag. Consider various factors as discussed above that help you get started the right way.

Since there are a number of variables that affect the cost, it's always a good idea to conduct some research. Finding out what each app developer can accomplish and whether their service meets your expectations can help you lose out on your app investment.

To conclude, one can never come up with an exact cost of creating a mobile app since the costs are influenced by several variables. To learn more about the estimating process, contact the Intelivita team. They have extensive knowledge and are delighted to assist you.

Contact Intelivita who is a renowned app developer in the UK with a team of professionals who work on your ideas to offer you an estimated app development cost.

Dhaval Sarvaiya

Hey there. I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the Founders of Intelivita. Intelivita is a mobile app development company that helps companies achieve the goal of Digital Transformation. I help Enterprises and Startups overcome their Digital Transformation and mobile app development challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.

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