Mobile App Cost + Budget Planning

Do you want to start or grow a business? Developing a mobile app can be a great way to do that, but it’s not easy. An average mobile app cost to develop is around 25,000 USD (32,000 AUS), and it can go up from there with more complexity.

But that high cost doesn’t mean you can’t save some money. Read on to learn more about the cost and how to pay for a mobile app.

How Long Does It Take to Build?

One of the first things to consider when determining mobile app cost is the time it will take to create. You’ll need to account for all of the hours your app developer will spend on the project.

A basic app can take about three months and is a good option if you’re on a budget. However, it can take up to nine months to build a somewhat complex app.

If you want something incredibly complex, it will also cost more. And that doesn’t include the ability to put the app on multiple platforms since different versions can also take longer to build.

Cost vs. Quality

Another thing to consider is quality and how it relates to cost. You could design the app yourself or hire another beginner developer. However, you won’t get the best quality result.

More experienced developers know how to create more complex features. They can also do basic developments more quickly than a beginner.

Successful mobile app developers know how to be flexible. They know how to develop ideas that will be profitable.

Working with an app developer can help you answer common questions. The investment will be worth the time and frustration you save if you developed the app without a professional.

How Will I Pay?

You should also think about how you will pay the mobile app cost. When budget planning, you should consider if you can afford to pay in cash. If not, you have a couple of options.

First, you could ask your developer to make instalment payments. Then, you can pay off the cost over time.

You can also look into venture capital to help pay for the mobile app. Venture capital is becoming more popular in Australia, and it can be an excellent way to fund your mobile app.

But you should also consider if your mobile app developer will want digital payments or a cheque. Think about how you can get the payment to your developer.

What Will Be My Payment Terms?

Before you start working with a mobile app developer, you should both sign a contract outlining the project and your payment terms. A contract can protect you and your developer if someone decides not to fulfil their end of the deal.

Consider if you will need to pay a deposit before the project starts. Determine if you will make payments on a regular schedule or at certain milestones in the app development process.

If your developer does not keep working, you should know how you can get them to keep working or to get your money back. That way, you can save on your mobile app cost if you need to find a new developer.

However, you also need to make sure you pay them on time. Then, you can keep progressing through the development process.

What Is the Warranty/Guaranty of This Software?

Mobile app development trends can change. But you should know if you will have a warranty or guarantee on your mobile app.

Consider how much support your developer will offer after you publish the app. If you need to update the software, think about if you will need to pay more for that.

Then, you can account for those extra costs when budget planning. Some developers will fix glitches and make updates after you release your app, and it may not add much to your mobile app cost.

Still, it’s something to consider before you start working on a mobile app. Then, you can make sure you choose the right developer or company for you.

How Do I Arrange a Project Cost?

If you find a developer or company that you want to work with, you can arrange a project cost. You can compare a few costs from different developers to determine what will fit your budget.

When meeting with developers, give as much detail as you can about your plans. Talk about how complex you want the app to be.

Tell the developer about what platforms you want to release the app on. Ask questions about their processes and the timeline they expect will work for your project.

Then, you can get an estimate of the cost of mobile app development. If you can’t afford it, you can look to various resources for funding.

What Government Support Will I Receive?

The Australian government provides a few funding options for small and medium businesses. You can use some of these funding sources to pay for your mobile app development.

One excellent option is the Research and Development Tax Incentive. It can reduce the cost of researching and creating your app by lowering your tax burden.

You could save up to 43.5% on your taxes with this incentive. Your company will need to review the process to determine if you’re eligible for the incentive.

Another excellent program to consider is the Accelerating Commercialisation Program. It offers a grant match of up to $1 million, and you can also get portfolio services and commercialization guidance.

Who Owns the IP of the Product?

You should also consider whose intellectual property (IP) the app will be. While the app design is probably your idea, your developer will be writing the code.

Before you agree to work with a developer or company, ask them about IP ownership. Australia has strong IP laws, so you don’t want to break any of them.

If you want to own the IP, you should make sure your developer is willing to give that up. That way, you can get the app you want without sacrificing any ownership.

How Will I Be Protected?

Your contract should also include information on what to do if the app doesn’t end up how you want it. Consider if you can ask for revisions or if that will affect your mobile app cost.

If you retain ownership of the app IP, you should also consider what you can do if the developer steals your idea. Review the contract, and don’t be afraid to take it to a lawyer before you sign it.

Because the cost of mobile app development can be high, you don’t want to risk anything. If you don’t feel comfortable with something in your contract, ask to change it.

It’s better to adjust things now so that you can protect yourself and your business. You want to have the perfect contract and agreement for any app development project.

Will the Vendor Provide Me a Source Code?

You should also ask for the source code from your vendor or developer. The source code is what your developer will create when making your mobile app.

Source code exists for all apps and programs. Sometimes, it is open-source, meaning anyone can access and edit it. However, you will probably want the source code to be proprietary.

As long as you have control over the source code, you can control who can use your app. No one will be able to make changes.

Owning your source code is essential if you decide to make changes without your initial developer. You will retain control over your business, so ask for the vendor to give you the source code.

What Is the Durability of This Software?

It’s easy to consider if a physical item is durable. But software durability is just as important for your mobile app cost.

If your app isn’t durable, you will need to spend more money on repairs and updates. But if it is more durable, you won’t have to update as often. That can bring down the cost of mobile app development.

Plus, you can release an excellent app and know it will work for a long time. While you will probably need to update it in the future, you can push that off.

Will My Product Cost Increase?

Unfortunately, you may not easily be able to answer how much does a mobile app cost? Your developer can give you an initial quote, but the cost may increase.

If you decide to add more features or release the app on more platforms, that will take more time and money. You may also need to pay more for app updates and changes.

When budget planning, you should account for some extra spending. You don’t have to have twice as much money as the original quote. But you should have enough to act as a buffer for any changes you want to make.

How to Save Money

One of the easiest ways to save money on a mobile app is to look for a good solution in your budget. While you do need to have some money, you don’t have to go crazy.

Your first mobile app should be simple and easy to create. Then, you can find an affordable developer who can make it for you.

But that’s not the only thing you can do to save money. Consider a couple of options you have.

Feature-Wise Detailed Pricing

First, you should consider how a developer charges for an app. Ask if they have an average price for adding certain features.

That way, you can ensure your app design includes everything you need. You can always add more features later, but make sure your initial budget is enough to create a basic app.

If you find that your final app design will cost more than your budget, you can determine what to cut. Having a list of features and their prices can help you cut down on the cost quickly so that you can still get a good quality app.

In-Depth Project Analysis

You can also do an in-depth project analysis to figure out how you can save money. Consider if you really need the app to work in a dozen languages.

Think about what features you need for the app to function. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

The more in-depth you can get, the more accurate your initial quote will be from your developer. Then, you can plan for your spending and avoid surprises during the mobile app development process.

Three-Step Process of Product Development

As you develop your app, you should follow a three-step process. This will keep you and your developer on track.

You can go through each of the steps, and you can analyze the cost of mobile app development for each. Then, you can see where you can cut costs without sacrificing quality.


Your app prototype will be the first draft. It should show what the app will look like, and you can make any changes to the design.

A good app developer will also show how the final app will function. You can start with a sketch on paper or in a digital program to make it interactive.


Your MVP is your minimum viable product, and this is the version that you can release to the public. It should contain enough features and value that people can use it or purchase it.

You should also include some sort of feedback loop to improve future versions. Asking for reviews is a great way to get feedback on how people are using your mobile app.


After you release your MVP and get some information from users, you can develop the final product. This will have everything you want in the app.

While you will have future updates, the product is far enough along to work well. You can use it like you would any similar app that already exists.

Evaluating Your Mobile App Cost

When deciding to develop an app, you should consider the potential mobile app cost. Developing an app can cost thousands of dollars, and it can take a lot of time.

Make sure you have the funds and the time to devote to making your app a success. That way, you can grow your business and revenue.

Do you need some help in developing a mobile app? Contact us to start your project.


Joseph Bridge is a seasoned professional in the field of business development, currently serving as the Business Development Manager at EB Pearls, a dynamic and innovative company in the technology sector. With a strong track record of driving growth and forging strategic partnerships, Joseph brings a wealth of expertise to his role.

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