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How Much Does It Cost to Develop an AR App?

The mixed reality industry is likely to be by far the most profitable industry for this decade. The former is a statement that’s been repeated and re-said countless times over the past couple years. However, now the projected numbers wholly support the claim.

According to various surveys, and the latest revenue forecasts, Virtual and Augmented Reality applications are expected to hit an all-time high by the year 2020. What’s more, based on the numbers presented by Digi-Capital, it seems that AR is set to be three times as profitable as VR is, especially for enterprise users. As such, it comes as no surprise that the entirety of the business sector is jumping on the AR bandwagon. Companies are realizing the sheer magnitude of potential in AR application investments and are looking for ways to capitalize on them.

Today, we walk you through the commercial potential of augmented reality app development as well as the many factors affecting its costs.

Business Potential and AR Investments

The reality of AR venture capitalism and the commercial potential of Augmented Reality investments is unlike any other industry. The mixed reality industry is the next phase of computing which is already revolutionizing everyday experiences to a whole new, and completely unexpected, level.

While it’s no secret that the industry maestros have been continually pouring in the funds for the development of artificial reality, nowadays small companies and business ventures are also investing in AR. These investments are made in multiple sectors including general customer services, hardware, distribution, advertising, and of course, entertainment. Augmented reality has the capacity to impact not only the way people play and exercise - as demonstrated, beautifully we might add, by the simplest AR app in the market today, the Pokemon GO - but also the way they communicate, work, consume content, learn, and transact.

Of all the categories entrepreneurs are investing in, AR applications for commercial and industrial uses are right at the very top. There is an enormous potential for mobile and PC apps developed using the augmented reality technology to advance and increase productivity and profitability for its enterprise.

The use of an AR app for a business is not limited to logistics or training. Marketing, retail, manufacturing, security, data collection, and analytics, as well as quality testing are all the sub-categories which can benefit highly from the enhanced visualizations afforded by augmented reality. An AR app can increase customer engagement and accessibility, can build brand recognition, be another channel of company profitability, as well as provide support and receive consumer feedback.

Factors Influencing the Development Costs

Despite the industry-wide agreement on the commercial potential of AR mobile apps for company profitability, there remains a severe shortage of well developed, fully functional mobile apps available in the market.

While the many reasons for that are highly debatable, based on our experience and time within this industry, our conclusion is that enterprises fail to take into account the dynamics of an active AR mobile app and as such, remain unsuccessful in suitably budgeting for an integrated solution. Here we outline the various influencing factors that affect the augmented reality app development costs to facilitate your future decisions.

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Platform and Business Model

Augmented reality mobile apps are available in all shapes and sizes. App’s function on a number of platforms which includes the Apple iOS for both, the iPad and the iPhone, Android, the Web/PC and even the Windows Phone. The cost for the development of an AR app vary according to the platform it’s based on.

Apart from the platform, the business model for a commercial app also significantly influence the AR mobile app development price tag. Will the app be free to download, or will it be sold in the market for a fixed selling price? Should there be the bare-minimum in-app purchase options or does the AR app require full eCommerce functionality for it to be profitable? All these things can and will affect the overall cost of your augmented reality app. Application costs can range anywhere between $50 000 to $250,000 or in extreme cases, even $2,500,000 when the game is complexed.


The complexity of the AR app is another critical deciding factor for the final price point of a mobile application and its development. The user interface of an application is extremely imperative for an augmented reality app. While PC or Web apps require a simpler interface, smartphones and tablets are far more complex, and as such, more expensive.

In smartphone apps, those developed on the iOS might be considerably cheaper as compared to an Android app solely due to the complexity of the Google’s mobile app development platform. Android apps are harder to build and take almost double the time, so naturally, they cost more.

Application Features and Design

The application features, design, and functionality, are also major influences on the costs of an AR app. The technical specifications of the app, whether it’s a list based, or a database based application, or one with or without a server or API component all affect the cost.

The creativity in an AR app’s display and user interface design also matter. The fact is the more pleasing features an application has, the more time a user will spend on the app. The more time a user spends, the more monetary gain, there is for the entrepreneur. Hence, the more elements included in the application to make it all the more enticing for the consumers, the pricier it gets

Choice of Development Firm

Perhaps one of the biggest influencing factors affecting the costs of an augmented reality mobile application is the choice of the app development firm.

The applications build by the largest app development firms in the industry, or the ‘big guns’ are likely to cost anywhere between $800,000 to 1,500,000. In fact, as experienced through some quick, inquiry emails and calls, some of these companies do not even entertain clients with a lower limit of $500,000.

Applications developed by moderate development organizations can set you back anywhere between $200,000 to $470,000 while small agencies can go even lower. Freelancers, or standalone small two-unit development shops which outsource augmented reality developers are also known to build functioning apps for prices ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. However, these apps support the most basic AR features with the simplest of user interfaces. They are often developed using free or low-cost application development tools readily available for download on the interweb.

Unfortunately for the frugal business person, the costs of an AR mobile app development don’t end at the initial design and interface development. There are various overhead costs which are ultimately added to the final price quote. These costs include but are not limited to the creative design, the user interface – tabs, pop-ups and the likes-, application features and infrastructure, as well as app monitoring and maintenance, administration, testing, customer support, updates and server costs.

How can AppReal-VR Help?

The development of an augmented reality software and mobile application is no child’s play. Nor is it something that’s easily affordable for everyone, especially the small-time business ventures which lack huge company capitals. As big and promising the AR industry is, the reason why the uptake is so slow is that there are very limited inexpensive solutions available in the market. There is a global shortage of experienced developers which help promote economic productivity through the AR mobile apps.

This is where AppReal-VR steps in.

A company with a worldwide reach and a team of highly experienced professionals, we at AppReal-VR, provide affordable augmented reality solutions to even the smallest of business ventures. With the expertise of our dedicated augmented reality developers, we have successfully catered to large corporations as well as small-time corner businesses.

If you are in the market for AR mobile app for commercial purposes, feel free to contact us today, regardless of your stature within the business community. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


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