What is Your Cost App-etite?

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Publish date:

March 31, 2023

Updated on:

June 12, 2024

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What is Your Cost App-etite?


People are hungry for apps. Just last month, over 87,000 apps were released on Google Play. Last year, 110.1 billion apps were downloaded on that same platform. There may be no end to the app development “gold rush.”

So where do you stand if you are looking to hire an app developer? You are likely considering your project scope, timeline, and budget; which means that you may be deliberating over many questions.

App developers may be in high demand, but the hourly pay for app development will vary greatly. Some key factors to consider include the platform from which you decide to hire an app developer, their geographical location, as well as their skillset. You could enlist the services of Siri to get an answer, or you could read on to get a detailed breakdown of what to expect when it comes to app developer pay per hour on specific platforms.

A hand tossing an iPhone into the air with a dusk landscape of a body of water in the background.


We are just beginning to see the effects of a digitally connected workforce, and the pace of change isn’t set to slow down. Indeed, freelancing platforms have grown in size and reach not just in response to the pandemic, but to an increasingly global talent pool to draw from, when hiring for technology projects of all kinds. The global freelance platform market size looks set to grow to $6.7 billion by Q4 2025, and there is a plethora of players in the space. Why not have the pick of the litter from the options listed below? An increasingly distributed network of global talent is at your fingertips, and it makes perfect sense to want to leverage the right resources, at the right cost.


One of the most popular freelancer platforms is Upwork, the self-proclaimed “World’s Work Marketplace.” For app development, the median range quoted by this site lies between $18 and $39 per hour. However, the cost can exceed this bracket if additional complexity and expertise are considered.

Have a look at the below overview of Upwork’s pricing guidelines to get a feel for what you might pay your next app developer to create that new, exciting offering that your users can’t wait to get their hands on.

Various roles listed with the average fees.


As you can see from the table above, there are price differences when you consider which platform to hire from, and also the platform that the app developer uses to create the app you’re designing. Don’t let that bend your mind too much. What’s important is to note that iOS developers make more on average than their Android counterparts per hour, for the same level of proficiency (i.e. at the Basic and Intermediate levels), which may make you think twice about whether you want your app to exist in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Pricing also varies depending on where you solicit the app developer’s services. Upwork has a function that allows you to select from a predefined Project Catalog. However, since the time of writing, there has been a fee increase. Starting from April 26th, there will be a one-time fee of up to $4.95 for every contract that is initiated. Each transaction also comes with a 5% flat fee. As you are beginning to gather, this can quickly add up in terms of the costs you stand to accrue.


A competitor to Upwork that gives it a run for its money is Fiverr — the ‘Freelance Services Marketplace’. It offers a wide range, and you can buy the services of an app developer for as little as €4.90 per hour, or as much as €980. Reviews can give a good indication of the value you’ll be getting from any one provider, but keep in mind that this platform also has some additional costs over and above the hourly wage of the app developer. Fiverr’s Payment Terms and Conditions stipulate: “As of March 2021, the service fees are 5.5% of the purchase amount. For purchases under $50 (USD), an additional $2 (USD) small order fee will be applied.” Another thing worth considering when you determine which site is your preferred option for app developers is pay per hour and overall cost proposition.


If you are looking for a more tailored experience, which takes into account your specific app development needs, look no further. Pangea.ai is a fresh platform without any hidden costs or charges. Simply type in your requirements and get a suite of hand-picked, vetted vendors for whatever you are trying to build in the world.

There are several tools available, but this one particularly lets you enter the specifics of your brief, returning a tailored selection of partners that can assist you on your project — all within 24 hours.

This is a platform that is 100% free to use, and no fees go toward Pangea.ai when you hire your app developer here. The pay per hour of app developers is also attractive at Pangea.ai, with the highest hourly pay capped at €112 - significantly lower than Fiverr’s $980. The lowest hourly wage is a reasonable €26, making Pangea.ai both a solid and effective choice.

You’ll be able to access comprehensive profiles of the people that you hire, with more than just customer reviews to go on, in terms of evaluating the talent you’re investing your hard-earned capital in. There is a personal touch, too. Snippets of information about a developer’s favorite project alongside personal interests give you the chance to connect with potentially long-term software partners who you can trust.

Geographical Location

App developers are more accessible than ever before, by virtue of the new world of work whereby all it takes is a working Wifi connection to collaborate across the globe. As Business of Apps reports, there are astounding talents in many hubs — such as the US, UK, Eastern Europe, and India.

Your choice may be influenced by factors such as time difference, quality assurance, and the likelihood of easy collaboration offered by these locations. Pangea.ai has a predominance of developers based in Eastern European geographies, which may benefit you on all of these factors, especially if you are based in the European Economic Area yourself.

There is a ‘Silicon Valley Wage Premium’, eponymously titled in Brookings. Simply put, Silicon Valley may not be your best choice, considering the stress that Silicon Valley Bank’s recent crash has put on the global economy. San Jose app developers pull the highest salaries across the US, which may be down to the specific skills that they possess.

A desktop computer with the word Digital Products on the screen rests on a white desk, alongside a tablet, iPhone, cup of takeaway coffee, keyboard and a plant.

App Developer Skills

Arguably, highly-valued programming languages such as Java, Linux, and C++ are among the overrepresented ones in Silicon Valley, suggesting that the demand/supply equation is in the favor of local app developers using these languages — as well as their clients.

Given that California has an abundance of startups, with some even calling Silicon Valley a “ startup heaven,” there may be reason to imagine that new apps and digital services are being developed there regularly. This could be causing a higher concentration of app developers in the region, alongside higher costs associated with their services.

Languages are one factor, and where the app resides is another. We alluded to the importance of your selection of either Google Play or Apple’s App Store to house your app, but it could also be a cross-platform app that allows it to reside in both. These added complexities can add time, as well as money, to the final scope of your project. Such considerations may influence your choice of developer, as they will need to be adept at managing cross-platform development. Hopefully, this article has helped you with the first steps on your journey to becoming the new owner of a successful and reasonably-priced app.


Q1. How much does an app developer charge per hour?

Some fee ranges include; Upwork’s hourly cost base of $16 to $75+, Fiverr’s range of $4.90 to $980, and Pangea.ai’s range of €26 to €112.

The price of an app developer per hour differs according to which platform you hire them from, where in the world they are located, and their skillset. Of course, your project scope will also influence the cost as the more requirements and complexity, the higher the price tag will be.

Q2. How much should I charge as an app developer?

Your fee range could be anywhere from $4.90 to $980 per hour; because as an app developer, you can leverage your skills, location, and the platform from which you offer your services. Compare and contrast with other similar app developers and place yourself somewhere comparable to these, and you should be golden.

It is worth considering your peers’ pricing models, as you want to be competitive with the market. Keep in mind that overcharging may result in fewer customers, and undercharging may cause you financial woes. Find the right price point by doing your research for the specific skill set you hold.

Q3. How much does it cost to develop a cross-platform app?

The price ranges from around $15,000 to about $100,000, according to Apps Chopper.

Cross-platform apps generally run a little higher in terms of cost, because they are more complex endeavors to build.


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Naina Kaul

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As a Management Consultant with a background from Accenture and Baringa Partners in London and currently in a freelance capacity, Naina is well placed to build a startup. Her Psychology degree from University College London enables her to leverage person-based insights to generate community, foster support and rally for a cause she truly believes in: making sustainable transport the new normal.

With a passion for cycling from growing up in Copenhagen, she is an advocate for making cycling through winter a viable alternative to cars and public transport - capturing a moment for winter cycling that has been covered by both The Guardian and The New Yorker. Her lifestyle products for bikes with heat functionality and design are as much a personal expression for your bike as they are a push out of the door during winter when cyclists find themselves lacking motivation.

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