Globally, there is a revolution going on. Every old business is moving online and every new business has an online presence from the inception. As an upshot, the mobile app industry has seen significant growth in the last few years. As of the first quarter of 2019, there were 2.6 million android apps and 2.2 million iOS apps are available online to download. But if we flip the picture, we can see the not so exciting state of mobile apps. More than 80-90 percent of mobile apps fail to establish a strong user base. Well, there are a lot of reasons behind it. But probably, the main reason why a mobile app fails to attract a decent number of users is the wrongly chosen mobile app development approach.
What is the mobile app
7 years ago, when I started the mobile app development
company, we used to follow the very straightforward process - a startup approaches
us, we understand their requirements, give them the quotation and start
development. Since only business-ready and potential entrepreneurs were jumping
into the online ecosystem and earning well out of the untouched market, they
always agreed to pay high for the app. But soon, the market started
intensifying and early-stage startups started struggling to earn enough which
covers their app development cost. As a result, the whole startup ecosystem was
dying. However, many app development companies emerged as a ray of hope by
introducing many mobile app development approaches that give flexibility to
So, mobile app development approaches are nothing but
the ways of developing mobile apps for different startups having different budgets,
requirements and time windows. The underlying purpose of having many app
development approaches is to meet the requirements of all individual startups.
Currently, there are two very popular mobile app development approaches
available in the IT industry. One is custom app development and the second is
app white labeling. We’ll compare both approaches, but before that, we have to
discuss the significance of choosing the right app development approach.
Significance of the right
mobile app development approach
App features, app deployment time and app development
cost are the 3 main concerns of any startup. And every startup has different
priorities for each of these concerns. For instance, a startup having a decent
capital fund and original idea can ask for a custom app and pay more for it.
While a startup struggling to raise funds and having no novelty in the business
idea can’t afford to pay more for the app development.
If we think the same in the broader term, a ‘wealthy’
startup can opt for a custom app that comes costly but offers all custom and
unique features. Whereas, a ‘poor’ startup can only opt for app white labeling
which comes at the pocket-friendly price and offers only common app features.
What is a white-label
Specifically, in the IT industry, a white-label
solution is considered as the re-branded version of the original app. For
instance, if a mobile app development company develops apps for the trending
app categories like Uber-like app, on-demand apps, and e-scooter app and gives
the same developed app with minor UI changes and the logos of startups to all
startups who wish to have the same kind of app, the apps they provide is called
white label app.
What is a custom app
As the name suggests, when a mobile app development
company allocates its resources to develop an app only for a single startup in
order to achieve custom requirements, that approach is called custom app
development. Custom app development is the most preferred approach of the
medium-large scale startups as they are having a unique business idea that can
only be implemented with the app having unique features.
So, now when you know the definition of the custom app
development and white label app solution, let’s discuss the benefits both
approaches are providing.
White label solution or
custom app development: which one is better?
Following is the very detailed comparison between these two approaches on the fundamental criterias.
For a startup, cost matters the most and thus, it is topping our list.
- Custom app development: In custom app development, the mobile app
development company has to invest its most expensive resources for a very long
time to satisfy your custom requirements. And if your custom requirements are
so unique that they have to push boundaries and find totally new technology,
then they have to invest more expensive resources. Meaning, the cost of the app
development rises significantly. Not just while developing, they also have to invest
in expensive resources for the app designing as well as app testing. For all
such resource-heavy processes, all mobile app development is charging a minimum
of $20k which can go beyond $100k for the custom app development.
- White label solution: Sincean app development company sells already-developed apps with minor modifications to more than one startup, they charge very less for that. Although, some companies let startups wish for more aggressive modification in the app. For such modification, they charge a bit extra. But overall, you can acquire a white label app under $10k.
2. App development time
App development time matters as the late deployment of the app in the market can sometimes make your app second choice of users!
- Custom app development: When you select custom app development, you
have to fire-up a conversation with the app development company many times just
to make them understand your custom requirements. Once they understand your
requirements and start developing, they have to develop an app from scratch
which requires a lot of time. And the situation gets worse when they encounter
any problem beyond their expertise. Generally, an app development company takes
a minimum 90 days to develop a custom app.
- White label solution: Since the mobile app development company has already developed an app, they can deliver it to you with some minor UI changes and your business logo, within 30 days. And even if you ask them to add a few custom features in it, it won’t take longer than 45 days.
No matter how futuristic features you offer to your
users, if there are bugs in those features, users will soon alter their choice.
- Custom app development: When a startup pays for the custom app
development, app development company does not only develop the app from
scratch, but they have to test it separately to eliminate the bugs before
market launch. Now, here is the thing worth mentioning that not all mobile app
development company can test the app precisely and deliver the completely
- White-label solution: A white label solution is a big deal for the mobile app development company. They can earn more by selling a white label solution to more than one startup rather than a custom app to only one startup! Because of this reason, they don’t want to goof-up and so, they test the app aggressively. They always make sure that there isn't a single bug in their white label solution. And even if their white label solution has some bug, some other startup has already informed them and they already have fixed it. Meaning, the white-label solution always comes totally bug-free which is, by the way, a big relief!
While inception, you don’t need an app that manages
high traffic. But when your app becomes popular, you’ll need an app that
accommodates many users at once.
- Custom app development: When you choose custom app development and
pay huge for it, app development company should make your app scalable. But
they charge you server fees and many other hidden charges regardless of the
number of visitors.
- White label solution: A startup that pays for the white label
solution doesn’t get the scalable app. But in the future, when the user base
will increase, the startup can upgrade its app to support high traffic by
paying a fee. Yes, you have to pay a fee here too. But here, at least, you
don’t have to spend while your app only getting 1000 visitors a day!
In the nutshell:
If you are an early-stage startup, your
business idea is lacking novelty, you have fewer funds and time, you have to go
for a white label solution. And if you are having a great business idea, has
enough funds and time, you should go for custom app development. It is as easy
About the Author:
Vishal Virani is
a Founder and CEO of Coruscate Solutions, which offers a white label
e-scooter platform. He enjoys writing about the vital role of mobile
apps for different industries, custom web development, and the latest