Mobile App Dev

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Mobile Apps - Current Investments

Mobile app development is a thriving business in Australia, with the country standing at the 5th spot in terms of revenues for app developers and lies just behind the USA, Japan, the UK, and China. Furthermore, all the growth indicators point to further, and rapid, growth of this domain in Australia. A deep dive into the research is presented below.


According to a report published in Teks Mobile Australia, there were more than of 400 companies dedicated to mobile application development industry, which amounted to more than $300 million in 2017. The growth of the industry can be predicted from the fact that its rate of employment in 2017 was 10.5%, which was even greater than that of New York (USA).

The number of dollars companies invest in mobile app development process can be well understood from the average cost it takes to develop an application. In this regard, the survey report of Clutch, a B2B analytics company provides a breakdown of app development process, and the respective cost associated with each stage. According to the survey, conducted on 100 app development companies of the world, there are four stages in mobile application development process, viz, Discovery, Design, Development, and Testing and Deployment. According to the report, 51% of the companies spends up to $5,000 on research and discovery of the initial concept of app development. Furthermore, about 22% of the companies invest up to $10,000 and 14% of them spend somewhere between $10,000 to $25,000 on the app research. The potential of investment in the industry can be gauged from the fact that the Discovery stage is the cheapest among other stages of mobile app development process.

Another factors with which one can gauge the investment in the mobile application development industry are the estimation of hourly cost of app development and the average annual wages offered by the companies to hire app developers. According to Cleveroad, an analytics company, in Australia, it took $110 per hour to develop mobile applications on both the Android and iOS platforms. Australia is only second to North America, which was the most expensive continent in terms of hourly app development cost amounting to $150 per hour for iOS apps and $168 per hour for Android apps in 2015 (the most recently available data). According to Indeed, another business analytics company, in 2017, the Australian mobile application companies offered $80,300 to an app developer as an average annual salary, following Canada and the US, where they respectively offered $82,000 and $107,000 as an average annual salary to an app developer.

Another estimate about total investment in the app development can be gauged from the global estimate conducted by renowned app development companies around the globe. According to one such global survey, conducted by Savvy Apps in 2017, the largest app development companies invest between $500,000 to $1,000,000 in app development. Various agencies, including Savvy Apps, likely invest between $150,000 to $450,000, while smaller companies with only 2-3 employees, likely invest between $50,000 to $100,000 in mobile app development. Additionally, according to a report published by Digital Management, LLC in February 2016, most of the global enterprises, which invest up to $500,000 on mobile app development, have a return of investment within of 3 to 6 months.


The mobile application industry has been showing a significant growth in Australia. An important growth indicator, viz, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of the mobile application industry in Australia was more than 25% in the financial year 2015-16, in accordance with a report by Teks Mobile Australia. Also, "the country occupies the 5th spot in terms of revenues for app developers — behind USA, Japan, UK, and China. Mobile app development is a thriving business in Australia — and all indicators point to further, and rapid, growth of this domain in the foreseeable future."

The same fact can be gauged from a report published by Teks Mobile Australia in November 2015 (the most recently available data), which says that the penetration of smartphone increased by 2% from 76% in 2014 to 78% in 2015. The company also projected similar smartphone penetration growth of 2% for the next couple of year. Although, the growth is slow, but it nowhere indicates any slowdown in the app development industry.

Another indicator of growth in the app development market can be gauged from the fact that more than 80 million smartphone-based wearable devices were sold in Australia in 2015 (the most recently available data). This wide sale of wearable devices is attracting app development companies to Australia to develop better and advanced apps for wearable devices. According to Forrester, an analytics company, "the wearable segment of the mobile industry grew by over 220% in 2014," and the report predicted similar trend for 2015 as well.

In terms of app usage, the year 2015 survey results, by Teks Mobile Australia, revealed that about 70% people in Australia use mobile apps for social networking purposes.

The same survey results also revealed that the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, used in mobile wallets, is gaining huge attention by app developers in Australia. The usage of NFC has seen a significant growth of more than 350% in Australia. The survey results also predicted that more than 50% smartphones users in Australia would be using mobile wallets featured with NFC technology by the end of 2017.

According to App Annie, a mobile app analytics company, the main reason for the growth in the app development in Australia as well the world is the commercialization of app ecosystem by "products, brands, developers, media, agencies and of course the app stores."
The global revenue from app development industry which stood at $51 billion in 2016 is expected to "double by 2020 given a sharp 138 per cent increase of installed smartphones in the same period," mainly due to a global surge in the app ecosystem.

The future of the app development industry in Australia is bright and full of profitable opportunities. According to a report published by App Annie in 2017, the global app economy would amount to $6.3 trillion by 2021 in contrast $1.3 trillion in 2016. The figures not just include the revenue fetched from app stores, but also through other monetization schemes like in-app ads and mobile commerce. During the same period the global app users will increase from the 3.4 billion in 2016 to 6.3 billion in 2021, while the time spent on mobile apps will increase from 1.6 trillion in 2016 to 3.5 trillion hours in 2021.


To wrap it up, Mobile app development is a thriving business in Australia, and there were more than 400 companies dedicated to mobile application development industry, which amounted to more than $300 million in 2017.

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Mobile Apps - Trends


Research shows that there is in increasing trend in mobile app usage and development among Australian companies. More Australian consumers are buying smart phones, and more businesses are investing in mobile technology. However, Australians either abandon or do not engage with mobile apps that do not provide the same level of customer care as can be found in call (contact) centers, email, or well-curated web pages.

How Australians use mobile devices:

Our research turned up The Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2017. The study found that 88% of Australians have smart phones (the majority with 4G), which they use to access apps via their mobile phones more than 560 million times a day across the country. The survey also found that about 70% of Australians use mobile browsers to access online services such as bookings and shopping.

According to Nielsen, 85 per cent of our smartphone usage is in-app, equating to around an hour per day in Australia.

Trends in mobile-app usage and development:

One source reported that in 2017, mobile payment likely comprised about $60 billion dollars nation-wide. The same journal reports that Intel projects that the Internet of Things (the network of web-connected objects capable of sharing data) will rise to 200 billion things by 2020. Due to the projected increase in the number of IoT apps, businesses are expected to invest as much as $5.5 billion in mobile technology.

By contrast, the IDC reports that the traditional PC market defied global trends, increasing the market by 3.3% in 2017. Therefore, in spite of projections about the rise of app-usage and prevalent usage of mobile technology by Australians, more traditional forms of technological interfaces continue to be sought out by Australians.

However, it should be noted that, even though the PC market grew by 3.3%, tablet and mobile phone sales increased by 8%.

Issues faced by mobile-apps:

Despite increases in mobile-app usage, research shows that Australians will abandon mobile platforms that provide unsatisfactory user experiences. Customer care is still important to Australians. Therefore, 50% of Australians prefer websites and FAQ pages to mobile apps to answer common questions. In terms of direct customer care, 76% of Australians prefer email to in-app communication, and 71% of Australians prefer contact centers to in-app communication.


Businesses in Australia continue to invest in mobile technology and push for increased mobile-app usage due to the high (and increasing) number of Australians who use their mobile devices to access the internet. However, studies show that there is a fundamental issue in the way customer care is treated in-app, which causes Australians to abandon mobile platforms in lieu of more traditional methods of communication (like email, contact centers, and web FAQ pages).

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