Cost of Outsourcing Mobile App Development in 2023
Posted Sep 22, 2022 11 min read
Supposing you’re about to launch a mobile app to take your business efficiency to the next level. Just like many modern companies developing mobile solutions, you want to expand your audience and increase the chances to succeed: in 2021 alone, there were over 6 billion smartphone users worldwide. And their number is still growing.
However, you still don’t have a clear idea of how much such a project will cost you.
Some claim that outsourcing is the most cost-efficient and time-saving solution.
So, is it true? And how much does it cost to develop an app in 2023?
We’ll do our best to help you find the answers.
This post will reveal:
- The factors that affect outsourcing app development cost.
- Approximate development prices.
- The reasons to outsource product development.
- The ways to benefit from outsourcing.
What Is Outsourcing Mobile App Development
When it comes to digital product development, there are quite a few ways to achieve the goal. Most of all, businesses choose between in-house and outsourcing solutions.
Outsourcing mobile application development is a relatively cheap yet highly efficient approach to building software. It involves finding and hiring a remote tech partner and entrusting the development process fully or partly. Outsourcing is a flexible and convenient solution in terms of staffing, budget, and project management.
Process of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
If you decide to outsource app development, it’s worth learning more about how this process goes.
Hiring a Reliable Partner
The initial step is to find an outsourcing tech partner capable of meeting your business needs. There’s a wide choice of mobile app development agencies. So to ensure the team you select is a perfect match, consider the following factors:
- Portfolio. Carefully examine the company’s works represented on their website. Pay extra attention to the case studies related to your project’s specifics.
- Customer reviews. Check platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms to ensure the team meets their clients’ expectations. Consider their reliability regarding project and time management.
- Communication. Finally, ensure the candidate team has good communication skills and is ready to stay in constant touch. Miscommunication challenge is often critical.
Defining the Project’s Requirements
Before the workflow begins, ensure to define your project’s scope and set all the necessary documentation. You should specify the essentials regarding your app’s size and complexity, the desired platform, features, and any other tech details. Besides, it’s worth mentioning any information about your business goals, market analysis, budget, and deadlines.
You will likely get a requirements document template from the hired development team.
Conducting App Development
The mobile app development process consists of several key stages:
- UI/UX design. The designers’ team works on your app’s layouts and creates the interface. UX designers ensure your product will be user-friendly, intuitive, and convenient for your audience. UI design is responsible for aesthetics.
- Frontend and backend development. The development team creates the code working with the chosen technologies. Depending on the number and complexity of the features, the development time and cost may significantly vary. So in most cases, it’s worth building an MVP first.
- Quality Assurance. It’s worth involving QA specialists as soon as possible. Constant testing ensures that no bugs have been missed. Otherwise, even a minor issue may become critical if not eliminated in time.
Even after your product’s launch, the journey is not complete. If you want your mobile app to evolve and remain competitive, the last stop simply doesn’t exist. So even if you don’t plan any significant updates in the nearest future, constant maintenance and regular optimization are vital.
Mobile app development is a complex and multilevel process requiring multiple specialists. Here is the full list of professionals needed to build a successful product.
Business analysts’ aim is to define the project goals by immersing themselves in your business specifics. They list the required features, approximately estimate your project’s budget and scope, and define the metrics. Analysts also conduct user interviews, market analyses, etc.
The average business analyst hourly rate is $19 – $54.
UI/UX designers’ work starts with building wireframes and a mobile app prototype. It allows testing UX efficiency. Then, UI designers will work on your app’s interface, visuals, icons, buttons, typography, etc.
The average UI/UX designer hourly rate is $20 – $61.
Mobile App Developers
Depending on your app’s specifics, like the chosen platform and tech stack, you should pick the development team whose expertise will be relevant to your needs. The engineers will ensure your mobile app’s performance and architecture.
The average Android developer hourly rate is $18 – $73.
An iOS developer earns approximately $18 – $59 per hour.
Quality Assurance specialists are responsible for testing your mobile app, detecting any bugs, and timely troubleshooting. It’s critical to have such specialists in your team since even minor errors may cause serious issues.
A QA’s average hourly rate is $14 – $29.
A project manager communicates all key milestones and tasks to the stakeholders, monitors workflow efficiency, and ensures the deadlines are met. They constantly contact the client, controlling the team’s performance and productivity.
A project manager’s average hourly rate is $17 – $53.
How Much Does Outsourcing App Development Cost in 2023?
Now, it’s time to reveal the cost of outsourcing app development. This section will focus on the factors affecting the price and popular outsourcing destinations.
What Affects Mobile App Development Cost
Among numerous factors affecting app development outsourcing cost, the following are the most considerable.
- The features’ number and complexity. Depending on how many features you want to implement and how sophisticated they are, your app’s cost will vary tremendously.
- The chosen platform. When choosing between native (Android or iOS) and cross platform approaches, prioritize the product’s goals and functions. Each solution has its pros and cons, yet many claim native apps to be more reliable.
- The team’s type. Another important factor is the development team’s type. You may build it in-house, outsource, or hire freelancers. The latter could suit a small project with several tasks to complete. However, a more complex app requires a meticulous and advanced approach, so we recommend turning to an experienced vendor.
- Location. Finally, the team’s location also matters. The professionals’ hourly rates mostly depend on their region’s specifics. The following section will reveal the main IT outsourcing destinations and their average prices.
Top Outsourcing Destinations
There are quite a few popular regions to outsource app development:
- North America.
- South America.
- Western Europe.
- Eastern Europe.
The table below summarizes approximate outsourcing app development cost depending on the chosen destination.
|Outsourcing region||Hourly rate range|
|North America||$80 – $270|
|South America||$30 – $70|
|Western Europe||$50 – $140|
|Eastern Europe||$25 – $80|
|Asia||$15 – $50|
Project Price Examples
Now, let’s compare application development cost and time scope depending on the project’s complexity. The following classification is based on the nature of the required features.
For greater accuracy, the calculations are based on Eastern European development costs.
A simple mobile app requires only the essential functions. It doesn’t involve any advanced UI/UX design and database solutions. Such apps normally serve just a few purposes and are hybrid (cross-platform). For example, an Uber-like app with simplified functions and interface is relatively inexpensive.
The developers will spend up to 4 months building such an app. Its approximate cost is $40,000 – $70,000.
Medium Complexity App
A basic app like an eCommerce platform involves more complex functions to serve more purposes. It may require custom design, API integrations, and more screens.
Basic app development will take approximately 6-10 months and may cost you $60,000 – $170,000.
An advanced app is multifunctional and involves numerous sophisticated features. It often means turning to the newest technologies like VR, AR, machine learning, etc. Complex apps are mostly developed for enterprises with a large audience, such as Netflix, Airbnb, and Slack.
An advanced app can be developed in more than ten months and may cost $170,000 or beyond.
Now, let’s sum up the mobile apps’ prices depending on their complexity.
|App’s type||Features||Approximate development time||Approximate cost|
|Simple app||Login, signup, profile settings, notifications, search, messages, etc.||1 – 4 months||$40,000 – $70,000|
|Medium complexity app||Messages, payment system, advanced security, location tracking, social media integrations, etc.||6 – 10 months||$60,000 – $170,000|
|Advanced app||In-app audio/video calls, online streaming, data synchronization, etc.||10+ months||$170,000 +|
Comparison of Outsourcing and In-house App Development
Many companies still hesitate if outsourcing is the best choice.
Well, let’s get this straight.
The main advantages of in-house development are manageability and direct control over the workflow. Some associate outsourcing with certain risks like time zone differences and a potential language barrier. However, you can address these issues by hiring an experienced team ready to stay in constant touch and provide efficient project management.
As for in-house development, there are a few challenges one can’t easily overcome. Firstly, hiring and training your team is complicated due to the current professional shortage. And secondly, onshore services are often way more expensive.
At the same time, outsourcing offers numerous benefits. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Benefits of Outsourcing App Development
Here are the key advantages of mobile app development outsourcing.
Despite a common belief that cost-efficiency involves compromising quality, many offshore teams are more experienced. Offshore developers have dealt with numerous different projects and gained sufficient expertise. In-house teams often need more time to immerse themselves in the project’s specifics and may lack the required skills.
Cost and Time Efficiency
Outsourcing offers flexibility regarding the development timeline and budget. Depending on the agreed-upon engagement model, you will enhance your chances of accelerating time-to-market, reducing cost, and meeting your deadlines. A good tech partner will also help you keep the budget within reasonable limits.
You can outsource the entire project or turn to an outstaffing model to bring additional expertise to your in-house development team. Outsourcing enables more flexible and convenient staffing models. You can choose the number of professionals and the degree of their involvement depending on your project’s specifics and current business needs.
4 Rules of Successful Outsourcing Mobile App Development
The following guidelines will help you get the most out of outsourcing your mobile app development.
1. Stick to Your Project’s Goals
Your project’s individual goals and objectives will shape the entire development lifecycle. Your outsourcing partner can help you quickly and effectively clarify them with the user and market research. The project goals directly affect development cost and timeline. So it’s a good idea to document the initial requirements and communicate them to the stakeholders.
At the same time, a professional outsourcing team will enhance flexibility, enabling you to shift certain development aspects if necessary.
2. Pick the Right Engagement Model
Before signing a contract with the chosen vendor, ensure to pick an engagement model that suits your project best. If you want to benefit from an agile approach, flexible workflow, and reduced time-to-market, a dedicated team or Time & Materials could be the right choice. Some turn to the fixed price outsourcing model, especially if the project has a predefined release date and clear budget limits.
3. Build an MVP
Building an MVP will allow you to verify the app’s viability before the full-fledged product launch. An MVP normally contains only essential features, so you can save time and cost by checking the audience’s reaction and fixing certain issues if required. With a good outsourcing partner, your MVP will bring a fast and effective result, enabling you to expand your app’s functionality later on.
4. Use Agile Approach
Agile method is widely used by outsourcing development teams to accelerate the workflow, increase productivity, and improve performance. An agile team is normally cross-functional and has advanced self-organization. It perfectly suits projects with no strict time and budget limits. The agile method involves no micromanagement and greater collaboration.
Why Choose Dewais for Outsourcing App Development?
Mobile app development outsourcing cost depends on numerous factors, so it’s quite hard to make an accurate calculation. Anyway, building a digital product is costly, especially when hiring an in-house team.
However, outsourcing can significantly reduce the development price. On top of that, a good offshore team will provide your project with the necessary expertise, flexibility, and effective management.
Hopefully, our post helped you learn more about the potential price tags and the development aspects that affect them most.
Looking for a reliable vendor to outsource your mobile app development?
We at Dewais are ready to help you out! Our experts can consult you on your project’s probable cost. We also offer flexible project-based partnership models.
Our developers are pioneers in the latest technologies and frameworks. So feel free to get in touch! Let’s discuss your ideas and make them real!