Blog authorMarijana Gligoric

Software development costs and pricing

Monitor and phone the sam eapp opened

If you are planning on developing your software platform, be it a mobile or web app, the cost of custom software development is something you are thinking about.

So the first thing you need to know is that the actual number you will end up paying depends mostly on these two factors:

  • what kind of platform do you want to build

  • who will develop it for you

These factors are crucial in determining the price and the cost of custom software development.

It’s of course hard to talk about the exact numbers, but the average outsourcing costs you’ll find are:

  • for simple apps from $15,000 to $30,000

  • for apps like social media platforms or games, they go from $25,000 to $40,000

  • for more complex platforms, like fitness apps or e-commerce platforms, ranging from $40,000 to $300,000

  • for enterprise-level platforms, they go as high as $500,000 or even more depending on the project scope

These numbers are a good way for you to set expectations and see if you have the budget in the first place. If you were to hire a team the numbers would go significantly up because of insurance, taxes, pensions, and other employment expenses.

We researched a lot and collected data from multiple sources about custom software development costs across the globe.

So this article will tell you all about the custom software development costs and what you can expect, as well as the pricing models we at offer to our clients (so you know what’s the best).

Pricing models we use

Before we get into any round number, you need to understand how the prices are formed.

The pricing models we implement help us meet our client’s needs and budgets.

They have proven to fit different client’s needs from different industries.

These models are:

Time and material

If your project requires flexibility and is likely to evolve during development, this model is for you. It’s ideal for larger applications or projects with an undefined scope.

Pricing with time and material model is formed based on these two parameters.

Since the project scope can change, this model allows flexibility to make adjustments without the limitations of a fixed budget.

With this model, you’ll have the freedom to refine and expand your project to meet your needs. However, keep in mind that costs can fluctuate depending on the complexity and additional requirements.

Fixed budget

If you have a clear idea and a set budget for it, this model is for you. It's best for smaller applications with a defined scope.

With the fixed number we'll be able to tell you right away what can and can't be done.

Because the number is set from the start the entire development process forms around it.

With this model, you'll get the best solution possible within your budget. But always keep in mind that if you want something more advanced or customized it might cost more.

What influences the software development cost?

Now, you need to understand what influences custom software development costs. These factors apply no matter who you hire or what you want.

So 9 factors that influence custom software development costs are:

  • how fast you want to build it

  • level of customization

  • updates, testing, support, maintenance

  • technologies you need/want

  • the complexity of the platform

  • how big is the future user base

  • number of features

  • the location where the app is developed

  • and a few more hidden software development costs many overlook, that also influence the final cost.

Software development costs based on platforms

Software development prices can also vary based on what type of platform you want to build.

Costs for web platforms can differ, but they usually go up to $150,000 depending on the mentioned factors. The mobile app development is much pricier and ranges a lot more.

You need to be aware of these differences to make the best decision for your business.

Let’s dig in.

iOS platforms

iPhone showed from front and back

iOS platforms are very popular right now because Apple sales have been at an all-time high despite some losses.

The software development price for these platforms can go from $30,000 to $300,000 depending on the factors we’ve mentioned above, such as app complexity and integration of specialized technologies.

Most of these platforms are developed for the USA market, but the costs of software development are the highest there.

Because of this many choose outsourcing to cut costs and launch faster.

Android platform

Android shown from front and back

Android platforms are still very popular, especially with older generations.

Costs of software development for these platforms can range from $20,000 to $250,000.

Most of these platforms are developed for the global market, but the costs of software development are especially high in North America and Australia.

Due to high development costs, many businesses choose service agencies to cut expenses and get faster results.


Android and iPhone with the same app on

Cross-platform is probably the best choice for those who want to accommodate different users in different regions with a single codebase. This is why most platforms today are built this way.

Costs of software development for these platforms can range from $40,000 to $350,000, depending on several factors.

These platforms are developed for a broad market, but development costs can still be high.

To manage expenses and launch quickly, many companies choose to outsource their development work.

Software development costs based on location

Software development costs also change based on the location of the software development company. Some regions and countries are more expensive than others. This is because of the cost of living and salary differences that influence the final price.


Software development costs are among the highest in the US. Because of the high standards for housing, salaries, and overall living the cost of development is very expensive. So the costs can go up to $400,000 depending on the factors we mentioned.


Software development costs in Europe differ by country, but they are generally lower than in the US. Due to lower living costs and salaries in many European countries, development can be very affordable.

However, the cost can still be high in countries with higher standards of living like the UK and Germany. Depending on the factors we mentioned, costs in Europe can go up to $250,000.

Many businesses look to Eastern Europe for more cost-effective development options. Serbia is one of the great countries with excellent developers (like and lower prices.


Software development costs in Australia are the second highest in the world. The high standards for living, housing, and salaries contribute to the expensive development costs. Depending on the factors we mentioned, costs in Australia can go up to $450,000.

South America

South America, compared to North America, is affordable for hiring app developers to build your mobile application. The prices can go up to 300,000$ depending on the multiple factors we mentioned.

Software development costs for every stage of the development process

To give you a better picture of how prices are formed step by step, we’ve analyzed how much every stage of a software development project costs. Here are 5 stages that the development process for most development agencies or companies consists of.


This stage includes research into the marker, and potential target group, and gathering industry insights. All of this data helps developers and you as a client decide how to move forward and what's important.

The average cost for this phase goes from $10,000 to $15,000.


The design phase focuses on the appearance of your platform. This is the first thing users notice, so it has to be done right. Both UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) design require time, research, and market knowledge. If not done right, bad design can push away potential users before they use your platform at all.

The average cost for this phase goes from $5,000 for up to 20 basic screens. If you need more, the price naturally goes up.


This stage is central to the entire process. It ensures that you get a functional, secure, and scalable solution. If this phase is lacking in any way your solution will fail on the market. This is why you should be careful who you trust to build your solution for you.

The cost to develop software in this stage is the biggest part of the overall price, as it involves various factors such as project complexity, geographical location, and specific project requirements. Therefore, there is no average number.

Testing and launch

Testing ensures that your platform is functioning properly and there are no issues. After the team confirms that the platform is ready to launch, it will be put out on the market.

The average cost for this phase depends on the software costs associated with custom software development, as it can take up to 30% of the overall price. Factors such as technical complexity, team location, and other enablers influence these costs, making it essential to consider both technical and non-technical factors to understand the investment needed for a software project.

Maintenance and support

Maintenance and support are an ongoing process once the platform is live. Software developers play a crucial role in this stage by performing activities such as bug fixing, updates, and performance optimization to improve user experience and keep the platform running. Without their expertise, the platform cannot function effectively.

The average costs of this phase depend on the period you want your app to be maintained and supported by the original team. It’s always best to stick with the developers who built the app from the start, but it’s okay if you switch. Just remember to train the new team and always have all the documentation.


Software development costs are crucial in project planning because they impact progress and timelines significantly.

Understanding these costs, including hidden expenses, is important from the start.

By considering the factors that influence, businesses can streamline development processes and achieve successful outcomes within budget.

Now what?

By understanding the development costs and what influences them, you can get a better picture of what to expect for your solution.

To support you on the journey to a finished product, based on research, interviews with founders like you, and different development experts created a detailed guide for founders.

Explore additional resources through this link to find answers to your questions, remove doubts, and tackle challenges on your path to startup success.