Do You Have an Idea For a Mobile App?
If so, the question that you might be asking yourself is: how much does app development cost? It’s a good question and one that we want to help answer.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the factors that impact mobile app development costs in Australia. We will tell you how much professional app developers charge and how we do it at Bilue. Lastly, we will give you tips on how to reduce your mobile app development cost if possible.
Before diving into the world of app development, it's important to understand what it actually means. Although it may seem simple, grasping the concept is crucial to comprehend the process of developing a mobile app.
What is App Development?
The process of Mobile App Development involves creating a piece of software for mobile or computer devices. It includes the design and implementation of the software. App developers create various types of apps, such as native apps, web apps, or hybrid apps.
How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?
When making an app, don't just consider design and development expenses; there may be additional hidden costs. You should be aware that there can be many other costs involved. You’ll need money to cover developer accounts, data storage, updates/maintenance costs, marketing, and many others.
It's crucial to consider these extra costs from the beginning. In our experience at Bilue, many projects fail due to a lack of funds, often because the app owner didn't think about these added expenses.
For example, successful mobile apps don’t start and end with writing the code. Your customers will need to find and download your app, and that’s where marketing comes in. The cost of successfully marketing a mobile app depends on the competition, target audience, objectives, and goals. In the end, you can spend as low as Zero dollars (that’s right a bit ol’ donut) or 1000s of dollars – what is important is that you recognise that your app can fail if you ignore app marketing.
At Bilue, we have seen it all. With our industry expertise, we will guide you in making smart decisions with your budget.
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 Android developer’s account, and Apple charges $USD99/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 Bilue, we recommend setting aside 15-20% of your app development budget each year for maintenance. This is a basic guide to start with, but maintaining your app is very important for its ongoing success.
- Third-Party Services: Common third-party services used in app development include automated chat, collaborative tools, DNS services, and more. Typically, you can get these services for $100 to $500 per month.
The money you need for your project depends on many factors, and the costs mentioned above can be very different. For instance, Australia's major banks don't spend only $10,000 per year on hosting costs; it's much more than that. Each app is different. Cost will vary depending on the complexity and functionality of your app. Whether you need to support iOS or Android, or both, whether you need to keep adding features, or if you just need to “keep the lights on”.
After 11 years, our app developers at Bilue have found the most cost-effective ways to develop apps of any size on any platform without compromising quality.
Factors That Impact the Cost of Building Mobile Apps
The app world has never been so big. A staggering 87% of the Australian population is estimated to own a smartphone by 2026. But if you want to make your apps, how much does it cost? Here is what the experts at Bilue say.
Type of App
The cost of your mobile app project would also depend on the type of app you want. According to our app developers, creating a native iOS app will cost less than a mobile hybrid app. However, a mobile hybrid app will cost less than building native apps for both iOS & Android.
What Do You Want Your App to Do?
Apps are hugely varied, from games and utility apps like shopping lists or banking apps to business apps for time sheets or fleet management. Businesses that need an app will have different requirements than those who just want a game on their phone. This impacts how much time app developers need to spend and the cost.
For example, if you’re a large enterprise, expect to spend upwards of $1M on your mobile app. By the time you’ve integrated it into your business and your various systems of record, created or migrated user accounts, built APIs, designed your app, and built your app, the costs will add up pretty quickly. At Bilue, we’ve built apps for as little as $170K and as much as $3M+ for larger enterprises.
The more extensive your requirements, the greater the number of development hours that you will require and the associated cost. For example:
- Will your app be connected to third-party systems?
- If your app is meant for the international market, that means considerations for other languages outside of English.
- Should the app work online and offline? Does the app always have to be connected to the internet to be fully functional?
Quality Assurance of an App
You want your app to work well and look good. This requires experience testing on several platforms and devices. Testing is an integral and often overlooked part of the mobile app development process.
At Bilue, we love to help mobile app owners get their products out the door quickly. Our native and cross-platform professional teams, including our Mobile QA Specialists, have a proven track record of testing apps on the most popular devices.
Testing can be divided into 2 methods: manual and automated testing. In manual testing, our mobile QA specialists carry out testing directly on the mobile device, following predefined benchmarks. In automated testing, a program is used, and the QA writes code to run a “test suite” automatically.
Automated testing has been widely adopted and provides various benefits. While manual testing is still necessary, automated tests allow the product to be tested more quickly, and in the long run, it saves time and money.
Time Required to Build the App
Developers, developers, developers. Far and away, the biggest cost of any mobile app project is developers.
The longer it takes to develop the mobile app, the bigger the budget needed. Additionally, the more complex the app is with more features, the bigger the budget needed.
The most expensive apps are those which take years of work from professional app developers who specialise in just one or two areas, such as design, engineering, or marketing. You might be wondering why Uber’s Seed Round was $1.6M? Developers, developers, developers.
Side note: Uber has raised $25.2B to date, so no, they didn’t build the Uber you see today for $1.6M.
You need to factor these types of costs and this type of thinking into your plans. You don't need millions to start, but eventually, you'll have to pay developers a significant amount of money. Consider where it might come from:
- will you be generating revenue by then
- or will you need to raise capital or
- or ask the CFO for funding?
Complicated features like push notifications, offline mode, or augmented reality may need skilled and experienced developers. All these come with increased costs that will push up the mobile app development cost by hundreds of dollars per hour.
What Are Your Budget Constraints?
When people ask our app developers at Bilue what a mobile app costs, we like to say: the cheapest we’ve ever built was $30K (that was 11 years ago, and it was an awful and cheap app), most expensive was over $3M (that was for a large enterprise customer, and they wasted a lot of money).
The more you want to invest in the development of your app, the more you’ll get from it. The better the quality, the better your chances of success. Generally, higher quality and greater functionality or scalability reflect your budget. But don't focus too much on specific features that only a few people use, as they can quickly increase the cost.
Bilue's experienced team can guide you on saving money and using your budget wisely, thanks to our extensive expertise in app development.
What Are Your Timelines?
Timeline is an important consideration and has the most impact on the cost of app development. If you need to expedite the process, if time constraints are an issue, your costs will skyrocket.
Adding more people to a project does not always result in developing the app faster. If you haven't read The Mythical Man Month, you should. It was written in 1972, but we think it still applies today.
Average Cost of App Development in Australia
Aussies love their mobile devices and enjoy using several different mobile apps. The most common apps they download are native, hybrid, or web-based.
To determine the cost of your app, you must first identify the type of app you wish to develop. After designing and building apps for over a decade at Bilue, we generally bucket our app projects into 3 broad-size categories.
The type of app you are looking to develop will have the largest impact on how much it costs. Factors such as the number of views, feature complexity, integration, number of platforms, and what specific features your app needs all play roles in determining cost too.
Creating a game app for over 100,000 users in a month on any device will be more expensive to develop. This is in comparison to an app with fewer features for a smaller number of devices.
The type of platforms you are developing for plays a substantial role in how much your app costs. Apps made for one platform are typically cheaper. This is because they only require coding for that specific platform. There is no need for additional work, such as designing, developing, and testing on multiple platforms.
Price Estimates for Android and iOS Apps
Mobile apps have become an indispensable tool for business owners. An increase in conversation rate and sales can be achieved by using both Android and iOS apps.
So what does it cost to build them? Generally speaking, as supported by this entrepreneur article, iOS apps are cheaper and faster to build when compared to their Android counterparts.
Why is App Development So Expensive?
Creating apps is usually expensive due to the extensive work and shortage of skilled individuals involved in the development process. The development of apps is subtly different to your average website, and as such, the skills are not entirely transferable. Coding for apps is more like building a Desktop App (such as Word or Excel) than it is like building a website. Apps have more complexity than the web because they are installed software with their own set of features.
To have a highly rated and quality mobile app in App stores, you will need to spend money. A single low rating in the app stores will make you lose customers and revenue, which means losing money.
Writing in Forbes, Gregory Raiz rightly points to the fact that an app in itself is cheap, but the skill required to create one is what is expensive. This is because of how complex app development has become in recent times.
Can You Build an App Without Any Money?
Short answer, no.
Many people tend to look for ways to build an app for free, and we can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been pitched – it’s like Uber but cheaper (often by Sydney cab drivers).
What people often do not understand is that developers with app development skills are in high demand. In order to get someone working on your app, you’re either going to have to give away substantial equity or you’re going to have to pay them. There’s only so much equity you can give away, and as your cap table grows with more and more developers owning parts of your company, you could easily end up being the person that gave 10% of their company away 11 times.
If you’re so certain that your app will succeed, why would you want to give all that away to someone else? If you need to find money, focus on doing a capital raise, finding a Venture Capitalist, or finding an Angel who will invest.
If you want a custom, well-developed app, then it is best to invest in the development process and app development experts like Bilue, who understand what you’re trying to achieve and can work with your budget and deliver you a quality outcome.
Bilue: Mobile App Development Agency That’s Best for The Price
Do you want your app developed by an experienced app development company that will work collaboratively with you and your business to make sure the app delivers on your purpose and that it’s engaging and fun for your users?
Working with a transparent partner who offers a consultative approach to uncover your needs, delivers collaborative workshops to engage your stakeholders, are expert in mobile app solutions and ideas, and provides ongoing design and development support with a proven track record of mobile app success is the dream, right?
In addition to offering the most talented app experts for the whole life cycle of your app development, Bilue is also based in Sydney and Melbourne. The highest quality output on every project from a leading Australian company in app development.
Trusted by Customers and Developers
Being a leading app developer in Australia doesn’t come as easily as it sounds, but we are always up for the challenge. We are a top mobile app development agency in Australia. We build great apps and create awesome user experiences for your customers