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Mobile App Development Costs

Unexpected Charges Of Building An App

I was prepared to pay a set price to develop and publish my mobile application.  However, I was not aware of the additional costs that came along with publishing the app.  The list below is taking into account that you’ve already created and published your website and built your social media accounts.

Here are some of the unexpected costs I encountered while developing my mobile application.


Translation Fees

I think my expenses are higher in this category as I’m building a mobile application that consists of Korean food products.  Because I’m not familiar with all of the snacks and food products available I had to pay for translation services.  I found a very good translator/photographer on Upwork who I hired to upload my first 100 product photos, brand names, and prices.  

Also Read: Advice From A Non-Technical Founder

Google Play Console – Translation Service

After creating an app description it’s recommended that you manage your app translations for potential users in different parts of the world.  Although the price ranges from three to seven dollars, it’s important to keep in mind that you have to purchase multiple versions. I selected twelve different language options, so you can understand how a one-time translation fee can add up. *I used the top 20 countries for inbound tourists to South Korea as a guide for language selections.


Google Developer Account

In order to publish a mobile application for Android you need to create an account on the Google Developer Console.  There’s a one-time fee of $25 dollars to create an account.  The good part of this process is that it was fairly easy to create an account and pay the fees.  It was a little more difficult trying to add the Google Map options, however, I will talk about that in another post.  *I found the Youtube channel for Google Developers really helpful with video tutorials. Check it out here

Apple Developer Account

In order to reach potential customers on the App Store that have an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watches you need to create an Apple Developer Account. It costs $99/year to create and maintain your app on the App Store.


Previously, I had a generic disclaimer on my website that I obtained from a blogging book to cover the basics of creating/publishing content.  However, since I plan on publishing an app and it will be available around the world I wanted a policy specifically tailored for my website.  There are several online legal policy generators that you can find.  

I used Termsfeed to create my End-User Licensing Agreement  (EULA).  The price was a one-time fee that cost a little more than one-hundred dollars. *Double-check the rules and regulations regarding California Privacy Rights. The laws are very strict regarding obtaining customers’ personal information such as name, phone number, and email.



I decided to take the first step in the trademark process and register my blog name.  After obtaining a logo for the mobile app I want the name to be protected as I scale my business.  It costs $250 dollars per class (goods/services) that you initially register with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.  *There’s an additional $525 dollars per (class/service) every ten years to maintain your Trademark status.


Delivery Email

There are services that you may include and the price can vary depending on the plan that you choose.  I’ve never paid maintenance to that little confirmation email that you receive after your signup for an app.  Well,, that also needs an account and has various price plans.  There are free options with some platforms, however, beware that as your business scales so does the price.

Cloud Computing

Everyone has heard of cloud computing.  I specifically took several classes just so I could learn more about these services.  For the non-tech app builders, these platforms store your files, data, and photos.  Just like the email delivery service, there are free options, however as your data increases with customer information(name, phone, and email) so do your monthly pricing usage fees.  *For entrepreneurs that lack resources, finding a business accelerator that offers business credits/services is a great option to offset the costs.

Also Read: 7 Tips for Applying To An Accelerator

Push Notifications/Payment Gateways

Although my app doesn’t include these two features it’s important to also be aware that there is a price for including these features.  Again there are different options with various pricing plans available but it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re creating your design mockups. 


After you’ve developed your mobile app you still need to maintain your app.  This includes developing better user experiences from feedback/reviews, and cybersecurity.  The monthly price ranges vary depending on the app development company you choose.  Most companies recommend that you plan to spend 20% of the overall app development costs.    

Did I miss any hidden costs of developing a mobile application?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below.