App Development Cost in Australia – The Complete Guide (2023)

Ben Tippet

Do you have an idea for a mobile app?

If you’re wondering about the cost of app development, you may be asking yourself the question, “How much does app development cost?” It’s a valid question, and we’re here to help you find an answer. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various factors that can affect the cost of mobile app development in Australia. We’ll also provide information on what some professional app developers might charge for their services. Finally, we’ll offer some tips on how to reduce your mobile app development costs if possible. Before we dive into the details, let’s start with the basics: What exactly does “app development” mean?

What is App Development?

What Is App Development?

App development refers to the process of creating software for mobile or computer devices. This involves designing and implementing the software and can result in various types of apps, such as native, web, or hybrid. The individuals who create these apps are commonly known as app developers.

How much does it cost to make an app?

When developing an app, it’s crucial to consider not only the design and development costs but also the hidden expenses that may arise. These additional costs can include developer accounts, data storage, updates and maintenance, marketing, and more. Failing to factor in these “other” expenses from the outset can lead to stalled or failed projects due to insufficient funds. For instance, successful mobile apps require more than just writing the code. They also require effective marketing to ensure that customers find and download them. The cost of mobile app marketing can vary greatly depending on factors such as competition, target audience, objectives, and goals. While some app owners may spend little to no money on marketing, others may invest thousands of dollars. Ultimately, it’s essential to recognise the importance of app marketing and the potential risks of ignoring it.

Breakdown of the typical amount you could spend when developing an app:

  • Server fees: $10 – $10,000
  • Apple and/or Android Developer Accounts: Google charges $USD25 (one-time payment) for an Android developer’s account and Apple charges $USD99/per membership year to register for the Apple developer program.
  • App maintenance: maintenance cost would depend on a host of factors like user feedback, Google or Apple OS updates, etc. At PDE, what we have discovered to work best is earmarking up to 15-20% of your total mobile app development budget to annual maintenance. This is only a rough guide, to be used as a starting point, however, maintenance is so crucial to the ongoing success of your app.
  • Third-party Services: for example, automated in-app chat services, collaborative tools, DNS services, etc. Usually, you could get some of these services sorted out with as low as $100 – could be as high as $500 per month.

The total investment required for your app development project will ultimately depend on various factors, and the costs mentioned earlier can vary greatly. For instance, top banks in Australia likely spend significantly more than $10,000 per year on hosting costs alone. Similarly, your app’s expenses will be unique and will depend on factors such as its complexity, functionality, platform requirements (iOS, Android, or both), ongoing feature updates, and maintenance costs. In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much app development costs. The overall expenses will depend on a range of factors specific to your app and its development process. Therefore, it’s crucial to thoroughly consider all the relevant expenses and factor them into your budget planning to ensure your project’s success.

Mobile App Cost Factors

What Are The Mobile App Cost Factors

With the increasing number of smartphone users, the app industry has expanded significantly. However, if you’re considering developing an app, it’s crucial to determine the potential cost. The following factors can significantly impact the overall app development expenses.

Type of App

The type of app you want to develop can also impact the overall cost of your mobile app project. For instance, creating a native iOS app typically costs less than developing a mobile hybrid app. On the other hand, developing a mobile hybrid app generally costs less than building native apps for both iOS and Android platforms.

What do you need your app to do?

Apps come in a wide range of types, from gaming and utility apps, such as shopping lists or banking apps, to business apps, like time sheets or fleet management software. The specific requirements of a business for their app will differ from those who are simply seeking a game on their phone. This variance in requirements impacts the amount of time app developers will need to dedicate to the project and the overall cost. For instance, if you’re a large enterprise seeking to develop an app, you should anticipate investing over $1M, considering the integration of the app into your business and various record-keeping systems, user account creation or migration, API development, app design, and the actual app development itself. In our experience, we’ve developed apps costing as little as $170K and as much as $3M or more.

App Complexity

The complexity of your requirements will directly impact the number of development hours needed and, consequently, the cost. For instance:

  • Will your app need integration with third-party systems?
  • If you plan to target an international market, you’ll need to consider languages other than English.
  • Do you require the app to work both online and offline, or is an internet connection necessary for full functionality?

Quality assurance/testing of an app

Ensuring your app works well and looks good requires thorough testing across various platforms and devices, yet testing is often an overlooked aspect of the mobile app development process. At our company, we prioritise helping mobile app owners release their products quickly. Our experienced teams, including Mobile QA Specialists, have a proven track record of testing apps on popular devices for both native and cross-platform development. Testing typically involves two methods: manual and automated. In manual testing, Mobile QA specialists conduct tests directly on mobile devices according to predefined benchmarks. In automated testing, a program is used to run a “test suite” automatically, with the QA writing code for the test cases. Automated testing offers numerous benefits and is widely adopted, although manual testing remains crucial. Ultimately, automated testing saves time and money in the long run while still ensuring thorough testing of the product.

Time required to build the app

Developers are the most significant cost for any mobile app project. The complexity and number of features in the app will determine the development time, and therefore, the budget required. Apps that take years of work from specialised app developers, such as those with expertise in design, engineering, or marketing, are the most expensive. For instance, Uber’s Seed Round was $1.6M, primarily due to the significant investment in developers. However, Uber has raised $25.2B to date, indicating that they didn’t build the Uber we see today for $1.6M. Therefore, such costs should be factored into your plans. You may not need millions to get started, but eventually, you will need to pay developers a substantial amount of money. It is essential to consider where the funding will come from, whether it will be generated by revenue, capital raising, or funding from the CFO. Moreover, complex features such as push notifications, offline mode, or augmented reality may require specialist skills or senior and lead developers, increasing the mobile app development costs by several hundred dollars per hour. Testing is an integral part of the mobile app development process, which includes manual and automated testing. Automated testing is more widely adopted and provides various benefits, including quicker testing and cost-effectiveness in the long run.

Do you have a budget in mind for your app?

When asked about the cost of developing a mobile app, I often say that the cheapest one we’ve built was $5,000 (which was 5 years ago and a very basic app) The more you invest in your app’s development, the better the quality and your chances of success. Generally, a higher budget means better quality, more functionality, and greater scalability. However, it’s important not to get too caught up in specific features that may only be used by a few people, as they can quickly add up and increase costs unnecessarily. As an experienced team, PDE has seen it all and can provide advice on cost-saving measures and where to allocate your budget most effectively.

Do you have a timeline in mind for your development?

This is a crucial factor to consider, as it has a significant impact on the cost of app development. If you have a tight deadline, and time is of the essence, the costs will increase dramatically. It’s widely known that adding more people to the project to reduce time is not a straightforward solution.

The average cost of app development in Australia

The average cost of app development in Australia

Australian people have a great liking for mobile devices and tend to use various mobile applications. They frequently download native, hybrid, or web-based apps. To assess the cost of developing an app, it is crucial to identify the type of app you intend to create. Having designed and developed apps for more than a decade, we usually classify our app projects into three main size categories.

 Small5-10A single platform, limited integration<$200k
 Medium10-15Cross-platform, simple integration$200k-$600k
 Large20+Multiple personas, fully native, multiple platforms, complex integration into existing systems$1m+

The cost of developing your app will be largely influenced by the type of app you want to create. The number of views, complexity of features, integration requirements, number of platforms, and specific features your app needs will all affect the cost. For instance, if you plan to develop a gaming app that will be downloaded and used by over 100,000 people on any device in a month, it will be much more expensive to build compared to an app with fewer features that is limited to a specific number of devices. The platform(s) you choose to develop your app for will also have a significant impact on the cost. Developing a native app for a single platform may be slightly cheaper as it only requires coding for one platform and does not involve the additional work of designing, developing, and testing on multiple platforms.

Cost Estimates for Android and iOS Applications

Mobile apps have become a crucial tool for business owners to increase their conversion rates and sales. However, the cost of building Android and iOS apps is an important factor to consider. According to an article by Entrepreneur, iOS apps are generally cheaper and faster to build compared to Android apps.

Why is app development so expensive?

Developing mobile apps can be expensive due to the complexity of the process and the limited availability of skilled developers. Unlike websites, app development requires specialised skills that are not easily transferable. Developing apps is more akin to building desktop software such as Word or Excel, as apps are installed software that come with their own set of complexities. If you want your mobile app to be highly rated and well-received in app stores, it will require a significant investment. Conversely, a low rating or negative reviews can lead to lost revenue and customers. As noted by Forbes, while the app itself may be inexpensive, the expertise and skill required to develop it can be costly due to the complexity of modern app development.

Can you build an app without any funds?

In short, the answer is no. Many people try to find ways to build an app for free, but what they don’t realise is that skilled app developers are in high demand. If you want someone to work on your app, you either have to offer substantial equity or pay them. Giving away too much equity can be problematic, as your cap table will fill up quickly and you may end up giving away a significant portion of your company. If you’re confident that your app will be successful, why would you want to give away so much to someone else? Instead, focus on raising capital or finding investors who can help fund your project. If you want a high-quality, custom app, it’s best to invest in a skilled app development team who can understand your goals and work within your budget to deliver a quality product.

Mobile App Development Agency in Perth that’s best for the price

Would you like an experienced app development Perth company to collaborate with you and ensure that your app serves its purpose and is engaging and enjoyable for your users? Imagine working with a transparent partner who offers a consultative approach to identify your needs, conducts collaborative workshops to involve your stakeholders, has expertise in mobile app solutions and ideas, provides ongoing design and development support, and has a proven track record of mobile app success. PDE not only offers the most skilled app experts for the entire life cycle of your app development but they are also located in Perth, providing the highest quality output on every project from a leading Australian app development company.

Contact our team to elevate your brand and stay ahead of the competition, and find your digital edge today.

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