What should a small company charge for development of a mobile (Android) app?


The context of this question is a small web design company that wants to branch out to do mobile application development. I am wondering two things:

  1. What average hourly fee do you charge a client as a small company developing a mobile app?
  2. If you have developed a mobile app for a client before, what would you estimate the cost of entire development of the app was? Obviously this largely depends on the type and size of the project, but any figures with a brief description of the project would be appreciated.

Pricing Development Mobile

asked Mar 9 '11 at 10:17
168 points
  • 2 can not be answered. THis is like "how much does a house cost". An App is not "a html page". They vary widely. – Net Tecture 13 years ago
  • Actually, 2 can be answered by giving "any figures with a brief description of the project would be appreciated." So if a freelancer or a small business owner has developed an app for compensation, I would be interested in hearing approx. what they charged as well as a description of the app developed. – Jbranchaud 13 years ago

1 Answer


Mike Lee famously raised his rate to $1,000 per hour for iPhone apps. That's a pricing anomaly, of course, but the consensus seems to be that rates for freelance mobile developers in the U.S. range from $100 to $150 per hour.

I would say that obtaining even those rates is dependent on a host of factors:

  • Portfolio of previous successes
  • Proven ability to deliver on time
  • Reputation as a developer
  • Location
  • Relationships with clients who are willing and able to pay

The old maxim of "desired salary divided by 1000" might help you in setting your rates. That is, if you could earn $80,000 as a permanent employee, expect to charge at least $80 per hour as a freelancer just to stay at the same level.

It's impossible to estimate project costs without knowing the client's requirements, but another old maxim of "double what you expect" might be helpful. As you're new to mobile development, I would encourage you to factor learning time into your estimate, unless you're willing to eat that portion of your time.

answered Mar 9 '11 at 11:33
Brandon King
959 points

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Pricing Development Mobile