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    Mobile App Development Mobile App Development

    How Much Does App Development Cost in the UK [Full Breakdown]

    Tuhin Bhatt's image.
    Co-founder of LAD

      Last updated on April 15, 2024

      10 min read

    Are you considering developing an app in the UK but unsure about the costs involved?

    Building a mobile app for UK businesses is crucial.

    It improves customer engagement, increases brand visibility, and enhances user experience.

    Moreover, it expands reach, boosts sales potential, provides a competitive advantage, and offers valuable data insights.

    But a frequent query is, “How much does it cost to make an app in the UK?

    In 2024, businesses need to know the cost of app development, especially startups, SMEs, and businesses looking to scale in the UK with a mobile app.

    The cost of app development in the UK for simple apps starts at £8,000 and exceeds £45,000 or more for complex ones.

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    Given an hourly rate of £25, the following breakdown is typical and is intended for UK businesses:

    App Type Estimated Cost Range Development Timeline
    Simple app £8,000 – £20,000 8-15 weeks
    Medium app £24,000 – £40,000 15-24 weeks
    Complex app £70,000 and above 24 weeks and above

    After discussing the cost breakdown, it’s essential to comprehend the factors affecting these costs.

    We will also explain hidden app development costs.

    Additionally, we will offer advice on selecting the best UK app development agency.

    The app development industry in the United Kingdom is flourishing and has experienced recent significant growth.

    The UK app industry is expected to generate about £9.1 billion in revenue in 2020.

    The app industry in the UK is anticipated to achieve a market value of approximately £31 billion by 2025.

    How Much Does It Cost to Make an App in the UK?

    The average cost of app development for a simple app in UK ranges between £8,000 to £45,000 or even more.

    The cost depends on factors such as app complexity, type of OS, development team, and requirements, in case of an advanced app cost may go higher than £90,000.

    Let’s clarify their nuances one by one.

    Cost of App Development Defined by App Type

    Below is a table providing a breakdown of different app types, along with estimated app creation cost ranges and development times.

    App Type Cost Estimation Development Time frame
    eCommerce £15,000 – £60,000 3-6 months
    Service Booking £20,000 – £70,000 4-8 months
    On-Demand Delivery £25,000 – £80,000 4-9 months
    Social Networking £30,000 – £90,000 5-10 months
    Financial Management £15,000 – £50,000 3-6 months
    Productivity and Collaboration £20,000 – £60,000 4-8 months
    Educational £15,000 – £50,000 3-6 months
    Health and Wellness £25,000 – £80,000 4-9 months
    Gaming £40,000 – £100,000 6-12 months
    Utility £10,000 – £35,000 2-5 months
    Travel and Tourism £20,000 – £70,000 4-8 months
    Food and Beverage £15,000 – £60,000 3-6 months
    Event Management £20,000 – £70,000 4-8 months
    News and Media £15,000 – £50,000 3-6 months
    Real Estate £20,000 – £70,000 4-8 months
    Transportation and Logistics £25,000 – £80,000 4-9 months
    Dating and Relationship £30,000 – £90,000 5-10 months
    Music and Entertainment £20,000 – £70,000 4-8 months
    Photography and Video Editing £15,000 – £50,000 3-6 months
    Language Learning £10,000 – £35,000 2-5 months

    Note: To get accurate cost assessments for your app project, consult with app development professionals.

    They can tailor the estimates to your unique needs.

    App Development Cost Defined by Operating System

    The development cost is impacted by the choice of operating system.

    This is because of differences in technology and platform requirements.

    OS Type Average Cost
    Android £15,000 – £40,000
    iOS £20,000 – £50,000
    Hybrid £40,000 – £120,000

    Note: The cost of developing an iOS app is generally costlier than an Android app.

    This is because of factors like specialized development tools, stricter design guidelines, and the need for compatibility and optimization across a smaller range of iOS devices.

    App Cost Defined by Team Type

    The composition and expertise of the development team can influence the cost of app development.

    Application Type Freelancer Team Cost Estimation In-house Team Cost Estimation Agency Team Cost Estimation
    Simple App £8,000 – £20,000 £15,000 – £30,000 £20,000 – £40,000
    Medium App £18,000 – £40,000 £30,000 – £60,000 £40,000 – £80,000
    Complex App £40,000 and above £60,000 and above £80,000 and above

    Still confused? Let’s help you understand which option is best to choose for you: Agency vs Freelancer.

    • Hiring freelance app developers can be cost-effective.

      Rates typically range from £20 to £100 per hour, depending on their skill level and experience.
    • Establishing an in-house app development team means higher fixed costs.

      This includes salaries, benefits, and infrastructure.
    • Collaborating with an app development agency gives you access to a specialized team of experts.

      Costs can range from £50 to £150 per hour, depending on the agency’s reputation and expertise.

    Cost of App Defined by Cities in the UK

    The location of the development team can impact the cost due to variances in living expenses and competition.

    Type of App City
    London Manchester Birmingham
    Simple App £18,000 – £35,000 £15,000 – £30,000 £12,000 – £25,000
    Medium App £35,000 – £60,000 £30,000 – £50,000 £25,000 – £45,000
    Complex App £60,000 and above £50,000 and above £45,000 and above
    • App development costs in London tend to be higher compared to other cities in the UK; hourly rates ranging from £80 to £150 or more.
    • Mobile app development costs in major cities like Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh may be slightly lower; hourly rates for app development ranging from £60 to £120.

    Note: Developing an app in London offers advantages like its thriving tech ecosystem and access to a diverse talent pool.

    It also provides opportunities for networking and collaboration within the vibrant startup community, along with the presence of established app development agencies.

    Real-Life Examples of App Development Costs and Outcomes in the UK

    Here’s a table summarizing the real-life examples of mobile app development costs and outcomes in the UK:

    Example 1: Citymapper


    Citymapper is a widely successful app with millions of downloads and a strong user base.

    It has become an indispensable tool for navigating cities and revolutionized the way people travel in the UK.

    App Name Cost Key Features
    Citymapper £40 million
    • Real-time transit information
    • Navigation with step-by-step directions
    • Integration with local transportation providers
    • Offline functionality

    Example 2: Monzo

    Monzo has achieved remarkable success as a digital banking app in the UK.

    With its intuitive user experience, real-time transaction notifications, and robust budgeting tools.

    App Name Cost Key Features
    Monzo £20 million
    • User-friendly interface
    • Real-time transaction push notifications
    • Budgeting tools
    • Easy money management features
    • Easy money management features
    • Integration with mobile payment platforms
    • Seamless customer support

    Example 3: Deliveroo


    Deliveroo has succeeded in the UK by providing a wide selection of local restaurants and a user-friendly interface.

    They also offer real-time order tracking and convenient food delivery services.

    App Name Key Features
    • Wide range of local restaurants
    • User-friendly interface
    • Real-time order tracking
    • Variety of cuisines available
    • Convenient delivery services

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    Factors Affecting UK App Development Costs

    The cost for building an app in the UK may vary depending on a couple of important standards.

    For appropriate cost estimation, it is essential to understand these aspects.

    The following are the main factors that affect app development costs:

    • App Functionality and Complexity

    Costs associated with developing your app directly depend on its complexity and scope.

    Apps with complex features, extensive functionality, and sophisticated interactions often incur higher expenses.

    • Considerations for Design and User Interface (UI)

    For user happiness, it is crucial to invest in an appealing and understandable UI.

    However, designing an attractive interface and ensuring a smooth user experience may need extra development efforts.

    This could result in higher overall expenses.

    • Choosing a Platform (such as iOS, Android, etc)

    Creating apps for multiple platforms, like iOS and Android, needs more development and testing work.

    Designing for many platforms can lead to higher expenses compared to a single platform.

    Each platform requires unique design concepts, programming frameworks, and user expectations.

    • Server and Back-end Infrastructure Requirements

    The complexity and scalability of the backend infrastructure needed to support your app’s functionality can affect costs.

    Large-scale applications with server infrastructure, database management, and external system integration can be more expensive to create and maintain.

    • Third-Party Service and API Integration

    Including third-party services, like payment gateways, mapping APIs, or social media platforms, can make mobile application development more complex.

    The cost could vary depending on the APIs used and the level of integration.

    • Quality Assurance (QA) and Testing Procedures

    Quality is king!

    A solid, dependable app must undergo extensive testing and quality assurance.

    The level of testing required can affect app development expenses. This includes four types of testing: functionality, compatibility, security, and user acceptance.

    Ensuring your app works flawlessly and delivers a great user experience is vital.

    Thorough QA and testing processes are vital to find and fix bugs, improve performance, and ensure a smooth user experience.

    However, the costs of QA and testing are often underestimated, which can lead to unexpected expenses during the app development journey.

    Hidden Costs of App Development in the UK

    Okay, let’s talk about tech stuff.

    • Technical Complexity

    Developing an app involves dealing with various complexities that can quietly drive up costs.

    Think integrating third-party APIs, tackling complex features, ensuring compatibility, and addressing security concerns.

    Overlooking these factors during the initial estimation can lead to unexpected expenses down the line.

    • App Hosting Cost

    One often overlooked but essential expense in app development is the cost of hosting. Once your app is built, it needs a place to reside and operate.

    Hosting services come in various forms, including cloud hosting, dedicated servers, or shared hosting, each with its associated costs.

    The choice of hosting can significantly impact your monthly or annual expenses, so it’s crucial to consider your app’s hosting needs and budget accordingly.

    Be mindful of factors such as scalability, security, and uptime guarantees when making your hosting decisions to ensure your mobile app runs smoothly without unexpected cost spikes.

    • Iterative Development and Updates

    Apps evolve, just like everything else. After your initial app launch, user feedback and market demands may call for regular updates and improvements.

    This iterative app development process can be expensive, especially if your app requires frequent updates – to stay competitive in the dynamic UK market.

    • App Store Submission and Maintenance

    Getting your app on the popular app stores comes at a price.

    You may come across one-time registration fees, yearly developer account charges, and costs for future app updates.

    Don’t forget about ongoing app maintenance and support too – bug fixes, compatibility updates, and the like.

    All these considerations can sneakily impact your budget.

    Rules and regulations – they’re everywhere!

    App development in the UK requires compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

    Depending on your app and the data it uses may need legal help to follow data protection laws, privacy regulations, and industry standards.

    Not following these rules can result in penalties or even suspension of your app from app stores.

    Definitely not what you want for your wallet!

    • App Marketing

    App promotion is often overlooked as a hidden cost in app development and is a critical investment for app success.

    Building a great app is crucial, it’s equally important to develop a strong application marketing strategy to stand out among competitors. This demands strategic marketing efforts.

    Your App, Your Budget – Over to You

    Experience the difference of a market-ready app at an unbeatable price.

    At LAD, we are dedicated to your success, progress, and scalability.

    As a leader in app development, our meticulous and efficient approach to determining app costs sets us apart.

    If you’re ready to build a successful app at a cost that fits your budget, contact us today.

    Your app’s success story begins now.

    Reach out to us and let us guide you to app greatness.

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    Co - Founder

    Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of London App Development (LAD), a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company. He helps passionate entrepreneurs build amazing tech products. Tuhin being a peoples man who has a passion to share his technical expertise with clients and other enthusiasts.

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