How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

Everyman and his dog these days has an app idea and that’s awesome, but not everyone has what it takes to succeed.

Android and iOS apps reached $133 billion revenue in 2021 The mobile app development industry is booming!

Post covid there are many industries benefiting from app development including healthcare and fintech and both established business and startups all over the world are succeeding in this space.

As an app development agency two of the questions we always get asked are “how much does it cost to develop an app?” or “can you provide me with ballpark estimates?”

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia? – A good range of what it costs to develop in Australia is around $60,000 – $300,000 depending on feature requirements, platforms and a multitude of other factors.

With that being said, multinational organisations have much larger budgets and fewer time constraints than the average start up. There are lots of moving parts to app development, therefore it’s key to understand the process and factors which will affect the cost.

As we have said many times before, app development is a journey so it’s important to get all of your ducks in a row and be fully prepared, educated and informed. So, how much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

Let’s find out……………

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia? – Branding & Design

If you are an established business the chances are you’ll already have your branding in place however if you are a new business/startup the first port of call will be a visual identity and brand guide. This will include colours, fonts, iconography and style guides for your brand.

You can enlist a digital designer to create your vision and the all important app icon, which will be what users see on their home screens or your app development team will have inhouse designers that can bring your idea to life.

A good brand guide can cost anywhere between $3000 – $5000. Of course larger organisations will have the budgets to spend more but it’s important to note that if you want your business to grow, then a solid, scalable brand is pivotal to its success.

Once your branding is in place, it’s crucial to move onto the app design in the form of UI/UX prototypes. At Media Shark we would not dream of developing an app without these! They are the foundation of the app. 

It is important to be able to visualise what the app will become. The UI/UX prototypes will visually show the user stories and how the user will interact with the app once it’s fully developed. It will confirm how many screens the app will have and which features will be included.    

If the app is going to be rolled out in phases with new features added in the future, it’s important to build the foundations correctly.

“The UI/UX prototypes are the blueprints to your house. You wouldn’t let your builder construct your house without first agreeing on the layout. Imagine if you changed your mind about where you want your bathroom or kitchen to go once built – it’s a lot easier to change your mind during the design phase than having to demolish and rebuild once it’s done!” – Tom Blake Media Shark Director

The average cost of mobile app UI/UX Prototyping is $12,000 – $25,000, depending on the amount of screens, complexity and the amount of platforms you are wanting to develop on.

For example, a business that wants to be able to licence their software to customers may need a mobile app, a backend and an admin backend – that’s 3 apps/platforms in total.

Whereas another business may only require 1 mobile app and 1 backend.

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia? – Native or Hybrid?

Native app development refers to building an app for a single platform, using programming languages also known as code which are specific to that platform. 

The official language for Android is Java, and for iOS it’s Swift. 

Whilst native apps may run faster and smoother than non native apps the cost of native app development is significantly higher as you will need developers that can programme in 2 different languages. This means your development hours and costs will be considerably increased. 

Native app development would generally be chosen for high level app development which includes making full use of the devices specific software including the GPS, camera and microphone.

Hybrid app development refers to the build of an app that can run on multiple operating systems. When developers build hybrid software/apps they only need to include once code for all platforms, allowing them to run anywhere. Hybrid app development can be less expensive but may not offer the same functionality and performance level.

Typically Native App Developmet is around 40% more expensive than Hybrid App Development

How much does it cost to develop an app in Australia?

A good question to ask yourself is – Why am I developing an app?

Are you looking to create a basic MVP with the view of securing investment?

Do you want the app to compliment your existing business?

Are you completely self funded and ready to throw your hat in the ring?

Once again, there are a number of variables including the amount of features and third party integrations, but here come the numbers:

The average cost of a basic app or MVP is $30,000 – $80,000 

The average cost of a mid range app is $80,000 – $110,000

The average cost of a high end app is $150,00 +

*average based on Media Sharks most recent app development projects 2021 – 2022

Trademarks and licences

If you are going to develop an app for iOS and android, licences for both app store and play store will be required. For the app store, you will need to register as an iOS developer. This will cost you a yearly fee of $99.

For the Google play store you will need a Google developer account, which is a one off cost of $25 

Server fees include things like domain access and AWS hosting, these can cost as little as $500 per year

Third party integrations refer to anywhere the app uses an API to borrow data and functionality from other apps. Examples include Stripe payment gateways for payments within your app, Firebase for instant messaging and Google maps for GPS.

Most third party integrations are free until you reach a certain number of users therefore once you start paying – the more succesful your app has become! 


There are a number of ways to develop your app, you may feel confident managing the project and conducting all the testing yourself. If this is the case then a freelancer may be the right fit for you. With that being said, some degree of technical knowledge would be beneficial. 

The average cost of freelance MEAN stack app developer in Australia is $130 per hour depending on level of experience

Fixed price app development is when the cost of the project is agreed and paid for prior to developers starting any work. This can be a great way to know where you stand in terms of timelines and costs however does not offer the flexibility to make changes once the project scope has been agreed and signed off on.  

The average fixed price developments costs in Australia are $60,000 – $300,000

Dedicated resource models are a great option if your software is going to have many phases and features rolled out gradually. Dedicated resources can perform many ad hoc tasks and offer a lot of flexibility in development.

The average cost of dedicated resource development in Australia is $16,000 per month per resource.  

(based on a developer charging $100 x 160 hours per month) 


At Media Shark we always advise our clients that the ongoing maintenance cost will be approximately 15% of the overall development cost. With constant updates and advancements in technology and smartphones it is important to keep your app up to date and functioning correctly. 


App Development cost – $95,000

Ongoing Maintenance – $14,250

Marketing and launch

App development is the tech that compliments your business and as with any business, a strong launch is crucial as this is where you will gain your users (customers base) and where you will build your brand awareness. The marketing and launch plans should be in place long before the app is complete. It’s important to build the hype and get people excited and anticipating the release of your app.

Some agencies may offer assistance with your marketing or you may benefit from a separate marketing agency/PR firm. 

At Media Shark we recommend an average budget of $30,000 – $100,000 for pre and post launch marketing. 

This can include your advertising campaigns, app store optimisation, creation of a website or landing page and a pitch deck for your investor and stakeholder meetings.

Final Thoughts

When starting off on your app development journey, it’s important to find a team that is going to be the right fit for you as this is the team you will be working alongside for a substantial period of time. 

Spend some time doing the research and talking to various people, companies and agencies as you should choose a team that has a clear understanding of your business concept and who can provide you with honest and realistic expectations of timelines and costs. 

The experts will also be able to guide you on the important things to consider before you begin and provide you with advice on your best route forward.

Remember to enjoy the process, this is your app and your business! 

Reach out to Media Shark with your app idea!