How much does an app cost?

How much does an app cost?

The cost of an app varies depending on whether you opt for out-of-the-box or bespoke solutions, each with its own pros, cons and price ranges. An app could cost anywhere from £10,000 to £500,000.

Let’s dive deeper…

Having a mobile application for your business is no longer a luxury but a necessity in the age of digital transformation and a mobile-first world. However, when it comes to app development, one of the most common questions businesses ask is: How much does it cost?

To answer this question, we need to explore the two main options: out-of-the-box solutions and bespoke applications.

Out-of-the-box vs. bespoke solutions

Out-of-the-box solutions are pre-built applications that offer a range of features and functionalities designed to meet common business needs. These solutions are often more affordable and quicker to implement compared to bespoke applications.

However, they may lack customisation options and may not fully align with your specific business requirements.

It’s also important to bear in mind, you are creating a relationship with the business supplying the application. They own the intellectual property (IP) and therefore the application will not be an asset within your business. 

Therefore, you are also reliant upon their developers to fix issues and they may not prioritise your requirements. 

On the other hand, bespoke applications from The Distance are tailor-made to suit your unique business needs. They offer a higher level of customisation and flexibility, allowing you to incorporate features and functionalities that are essential to your business operations or user requirements. While bespoke applications may require a larger upfront investment and longer development time, they provide a more tailored solution that can give your business a competitive edge.




Generally lower upfront costs compared to bespoke solutions.

Quick deployment:

Ready-made features and functionalities allow for faster implementation.

Minimal technical expertise required:

Suitable for businesses without extensive technical knowledge.



Lack of customisation:

Limited ability to tailor the app to specific business needs.

Limited scalability:

May not accommodate future growth or changing business requirements.

Potential for generic user experience:

Less opportunity to create a unique user interface or user experience.

Dependency on supplier

You are dependant upon the supplier to resolve issues at their own pace and do not have control of the platform





Tailored to meet specific business requirements and objectives.


Can be designed to accommodate future growth and changes in business needs.

Unique user experience:

Allows for the creation of a distinct and branded user interface.



Higher cost:

Typically involves higher upfront costs compared to out-of-the-box solutions.

Longer development time:

Custom development requires more time to design, develop, and test.

Technical complexity:

Requires expertise in app development and may involve more technical challenges.

Intellectual Property:

If you work with the right partner you will own the intellectual property of the application

Price comparisons

When it comes to app development costs, it’s essential to consider various factors, including discovery requirements, features, integrations, and maintenance costs.

Discovery requirements play a crucial role in determining the overall cost of app development. Businesses that have a clear understanding of their app’s purpose and requirements may need less discovery work, reducing development costs. Conversely, businesses that need extensive discovery work to define their app’s scope and features may incur higher costs.

On average, bespoke application development tends to be more expensive than out-of-the-box solutions. However, the cost can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the project and the level of customisation required. It’s worth considering whether you require a team onshore or offshore, which can also affect costs. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully and consider your business’s long-term goals and budget constraints.

How to afford an application

Budgeting for an application isn’t simply about the initial development cost. It’s coupled with long-term value it’ll bring to your business. For startups and businesses with limited budgets, opting for a discovery-only approach can be a cost-effective way to validate their app idea and then the initial discovery work can be used to secure funding.

By focusing on the problem your app solves and thinking long-term, you can justify the investment in app development. Remember, an app is not just a digital product, but an investment in the future success of your business.

So how much does an app actually cost?

The cost of app development varies depending on various factors, including the type of solution, discovery requirements, and long-term goals. By understanding the differences between out-of-the-box and bespoke solutions and carefully evaluating your business needs and budget, you can make an informed decision that will benefit your business in the long run. For us to deliver an application, the cost can vary from £75,000 to £500,000 depending upon all these factors. It is also worth considering the ongoing support, maintenance and potential changes you would want to make in the future based upon your user needs.  

For us to give you an idea of the actual price we’d need to discuss your app idea and its goals. Secure your free, 1:1 call with our Head of Partner Success and find out how much your app could cost now.