How much does it cost to maintain a mobile app?

How much does it cost to maintain a mobile app

“Mobile app development is a one-time investment.” If you hear anyone saying this, don’t believe it.

Once you have your mobile application, developed, the task is not finished yet.
You know why?

Because the mobile application is a source that helps your users to engage with your business for years to come and hence, stay loyal to your brand.
But, the technology is not going to stop evolving and not even the security, because it will remain the major concern among the mobile apps and hence, they need to be upgraded with the appropriate security measures at regular intervals.

And, everything that is added or updated on your LIVE mobile app, is considered as the app maintenance.

Thus, the app maintenance is a continuous and a long-term process. It remains until your app exists on the app stores.

What does the mobile app maintenance consist of?

Now, let’s understand what all things are included in the app maintenance.

1. Bug Fixing

Does my app have bugs even after publishing?

Actually not but, yes. Your mobile app is not being published with bugs. But, there are chances that a few functionalities do not work out properly on a few devices.

And, when we ourselves don’t like using an app with bugs, how can we afford to have bugs in our own mobile app?

You might get some complaints about having bugs after publishing your mobile app. And, as the bugs being technical, not necessarily you have the expertise to resolve them all.

Technical people have to work on resolving those bugs and improve the overall functionalities and have to test them on different environment again. This might take a few hours to days which depends on the complexity of the bugs.

This is the reason why you need to maintain your mobile app.

Hence, the team of developers who actually developed your app is the right bunch of people to look for maintaining your mobile app.

2. Upgrade to Latest OS Update

Your mobile app will be either on Android, iOS or maybe both.

Have you seen an update coming to your mobile device to update the system?

Yes, I am talking about the update where you have to restart your device to get everything installed and updated.

This is the operating system update.

The update to the operating system (OS) happens almost within a few months. As you have your mobile app running on an OS, it becomes necessary to test those apps on the updated OS versions.

The tests include everything from broken functionalities to performance issues. Because, if a user updates his/her own device OS, your app should not break and work amazingly as usual.

Again this comes under the maintenance part and hence, it is included in the annual maintenance cost that your app development company charges.

3. Latest Technology Upgrade

Well, I would not say that this is completely a part of app maintenance.

I am clarifying this before explaining it to you because I don’t want you to have any confusions while reading this portion.

The word technology is used in a broader sense here. Technology could be anything-

  • A small upgrade to the existing ones to improve the performance, UI/UX, etc.
  • To remove the ones that are outdated or not giving required results or output
  • Introducing the new tools or technologies to improve the customer experience and outperform the competition like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), etc.

If the technology upgrade is under #1 and #2, then it is considered within the app maintenance. And, the cost that you agree with your app development company includes this.

But, if your technology upgrade is practically a huge one like the ones mentioned in the #3, you need to sit down with your app development company and plan out the entire strategy on how you want these technologies to be incorporated in your mobile apps and even on how to market it.

So, the cost of mobile app maintenance may differ based on the technology upgrade you are looking at.

4. Publish New Content

Having your mobile app developed and getting it published is not enough to keep running your motive behind having a mobile app.

You might need to update-

  • App banners
  • App images
  • App content
  • Offers/Deals
  • Videos
  • News
  • And, much more

This may variate based on your audience needs for engagement with your mobile app. But, there is something or the other that needs to be updated on your mobile app.

The things that are common and simple from your admin panel, you can update them. But, the changes that require some technical changes to the homepage of your mobile app, a sliding banner on your mobile apps or for similar things, you need to contact your mobile app maintenance team.

This definitely comes under the app maintenance costs.

5. Advanced Push Notifications

You don’t always have to keep poking your app maintenance team for smaller tasks. Well, just kidding.

Sending out push notifications is simple and easy from your admin panel. But, if you want to have advanced functionalities for your push notifications, you need to connect with your app maintenance team to upgrade them.

Why would you need advanced features of push notifications?

For the businesses like Ecommerce, the push notifications become very complex. It needs to be defined as per the various aspects-

  • During the sale
  • For the devices having products in the cart
  • New arrivals
  • New discounts
  • New announcements
  • And, much more

Such push notifications need to be customized based on the business requirements to engage the app users and promote the business.

And, this could be one-time task for the app maintenance team to customize it and you are done with the same until and unless there are new techy things in the industry.

6. App Analytics

Why do I need to have an analytics in place for my mobile app?

There are various reasons why you have had developed a mobile app and if you are unable to see whether it is adding any value to your business or not, it has failed.

So, you need to have an appropriate analytics tool that helps you track the performance of the app and the user engagement.


In fact, a blog by LeanPlum shares the mobile app analytics that you should not ignore to know the amount of engagement, conversion, and retention:

  • Addictiveness
  • First-time Users
  • Time in App per daily user
  • Percentage of Daily Users who purchased
  • Average Revenue per Daily Paying User

But, there are chances that certain tools are not enough capable to track what you actually need to. That is when the app development and maintenance team come into the picture.

Developing app analytics customized to your needs may or may not gets included in the app maintenance costs because it depends on the complexity and customization required for your analytics tool.

7. Data Backup

The most important and unavoidable task is to take regular backup of your mobile app.

Did you know that due to the ransomware attack, many businesses had seen huge losses and it is not going to stop.

This makes it mandatory to ask your app maintenance team to either take regular backups manually or schedule it. But, it is important to take backup regularly.

So, in case of any cybersecurity attack, the team can restore the latest version of the app.

Your app maintenance team does not cost you anything extra for such tasks except for any cloud storage provider asks for.

What is the cost to maintain your mobile app?

Now that you know what all things are included in your mobile app maintenance, you need to understand what is the approximate amount that your app maintenance team will charge.

The industry rate is around 20% to 30% of the total cost at which your mobile app was developed.

So, if your app was developed for USD 1 lac, your app maintenance costs should be around USD 20K to 30K.

But, keep this in mind, that this may differ based on the complexity of your mobile app.

What if I don’t want to give my app maintenance to my existing app development company?

Yes, there are chances that the business owners are not quite happy with the app development company and want to look for a highly reliable and trustworthy app maintenance team.

So, you need to find out other mobile app development companies and choose the right one for you.

But, then the app maintenance cost would differ to a great extent because your new app maintenance team does not know how the mobile app has being developed.

In that case, the app maintenance costs increases.

Do you have any other queries related to your mobile app maintenance costs? Talk to our team and get all your answers within 2 business days.

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