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How to Outsource Mobile App Development in 2024?

Tech Researcher

Novikova Darya

Tech Researcher

December 1
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As an entrepreneur in the ever-evolving digital landscape, you may have already faced a number of tough choices. And picking the right outsourcing development partner is probably one of them. We totally get your concern about delegating mobile app development to specialists you’ve never seen and would like to dispel your worries. 

In this piece, we’ll answer the question about how to outsource app development in 2023, the cost of outsourcing mobile app development, and share insights on how to navigate this process successfully. 

Benefits of outsourcing mobile app development

Why do many startup owners opt for mobile app development outsourcing? Is it worth following their lead? If you’re still wondering what’s cool about outsourcing, here’re are the foolproof reasons to consider this option.

Cost saving

When you choose to outsource app development, you can wave goodbye to the hefty costs of hiring an in-house development team. You have cart blanche to collaborate with any outsourcing providers in any budget range you consider reasonable. 

The only challenge is finding the team which can satisfy your personal quality-price ratio (don’t worry, we’ll elaborate on the cost of outsourcing mobile app development later in this post).  

Access to global talent

If you’ve already done some research on your local market, you must understand that sometimes it’s just impossible to find the right fit for your project in your own “backyard”. 

With outsourcing, you can broaden your search geography and tap into some of the best minds from across the globe. In fact, working with offshore teams may not only be more cost-effective but also bring a different perspective that you didn't even think about. 

Quicker time-to-market

Established outsourcing companies have streamlined processes for clients wishing to outsource mobile projects. They follow industry-standard methodologies, utilize efficient tools and frameworks, and have refined workflows. 

This structured approach optimizes the mobile app development process, minimizes errors, and reduces time-consuming bottlenecks, resulting in faster delivery.


Many startups don’t have the resources to hire and retain in-house specialists and prefer to outsource app development. Whether you need additional developers during peak times or reduce the team size during slower periods, outsourcing offers the flexibility to adjust the resources based on your specific needs and stay agile as you expand into new markets.

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Types of mobile app development outsourcing

There are several approaches to the classification of mobile app development outsourcing. Let’s consider the most popular ones:

  • Staff-based: dedicated team and staff augmentation;
  • Relationship-based: outsourcing company and freelancers;
  • Location-based: offshore and onshore outsourcing.

Staff-based: dedicated team VS staff augmentation

Dedicated team

If you’re opting for a dedicated team model, this means that you partner with an outsourcing company to assemble a team exclusively for your project. It feels like the team becomes part of your company for a certain period of time and works solely on your project from start to finish. They are fully committed to understanding your business objectives, aligning with your company culture, and delivering high-quality results.

Why should you consider outsourcing a dedicated team?

  • Your company hasn’t recruited any in-house developers yet
  • Your company has no free resources to start a new project
  • You don’t want to bother yourself with the challenges of the hiring process

There are several business models in software development, including the build operate-transfer model and classic outsourcing. In particular, a software development outsourcing model provides a seamless transition and allows businesses to leverage the expertise of an outsourcing partner while retaining control over the team in the long run.

Staff augmentation

This model involves supplementing your existing in-house development team with talents from an outsourcing company. It allows you to empower your team with specific expertise in a short time frame. In other words, staff augmentation is a great way for companies to get extra help without investing time in recruitment.

Why should you consider staff augmentation?

  • Your company needs to fill the gap in your team fast
  • You don’t plan to hire a full-time employee for this role
  • You don’t have time for a lengthy onboarding process

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Relationship-based: outsourcing company VS freelancers

Outsourcing company

In this approach, you establish a long-term relationship with an outsourcing company that handles specific tasks or projects for you. Such companies typically have professionals with diverse expertise to provide mobile app development services according to any business needs. Established teams have well-defined processes and workflows which result in smoother project execution and timely delivery.

Why should you consider collaborating with an outsourcing company?

  • You have no previous experience in building development teams
  • You want to delegate risk management to a partner
  • Your project has complex functionality and tight deadlines
  • You’re considering long-term collaboration


These independent professionals usually work on a project-by-project basis and offer attractive rates. They possess specific skills and offer their services to multiple clients simultaneously. Working with individual contractors can be a viable outsourcing option for startups. 

Why should you consider collaborating with freelancers?

  • Your project is simple and short-term
  • You have a limited budget range
  • You’re looking to tap into niche expertise or a very specific domain

Location-based: offshore VS onshore outsourcing

Offshore outsourcing

This type of mobile app development outsourcing involves partnering with a company or a team located in a different country or even continent, often in a different time zone. By outsourcing tasks offshore, startups can win more time to focus on other business activities and plans. In fact, offshore experts can offer great quality at compatible prices which are 2-3 times lower than in the US or Canada.

Why should you consider offshore outsourcing?

  • You’re looking for high-quality service at a reasonable price
  • You haven’t managed to find the needed tech talents in your location
  • You’re ready to invest time in management and well-organized communication (since the time zone difference can reach up to 10 hours)

Onshore outsourcing

Domestic (or onshore) outsourcing involves collaborating with IT companies or experts located in the same country or region as yourself. They are the easiest option to reach out as they speak your language, share your mentality, possess insights about the local market, and have the same legal system which can provide greater peace of mind.

Why should you consider onshore outsourcing?

  • You want to have direct control over the development process
  • It’s vital to ensure real-time communication
  • You are not on a tight budget

How to outsource app development in 5 steps

When you’re taking your first steps in mobile app development, searching for an outsourcing partner may seem a bit challenging. But having a well-thought plan is halfway to success. As such, we’ve listed 5 essential steps to outsource app development you can incorporate.

Step 1: Identify your project goals & requirements

Even if you’re a newbie in app development, try to outline some project requirements, such as the app's purpose, main features, and target audience. This information will help you to articulate your app idea and project scope to the potential outsourcing partner and ensure that the team understands your vision and expectations.

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Plus, when you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, you can easily assess whether a particular outsourcing vendor has the required experience and resources or not.

Step 2: Estimate your app development budget 

Starting app development is like embarking on a grand voyage. As such, understanding your financial capacity is crucial for making informed decisions and finding an outsourcing team that you can afford. Additionally, having a budget estimation empowers you during the negotiation process. You can clearly state pricing, payment terms, and project deliverables based on your budget range.

Step 3: Decide on the suitable outsourcing type

Earlier, we’ve discussed in detail the types of outsourcing you can consider. But before making any decisions, consult the following questionnaire to be 100% sure:

  • Do you have an in-house development team? If yes, do they have all the needed areas of expertise to complete the project? 
  • What kind of dedication are you expecting from your outsourcing partner? Who will be responsible for managing the development process?
  • What’s your expected time to market? Do you have any deadlines?
  • What’s your expected budget range? Will you be able to find investment for the project, if needed?
  • Do you consider working with an overseas team? Or is real-time communication a must?

The answers will provide you with a better understanding of what kind of development team (or specialists) you’re looking for.

Step 4: Draw up a shortlist of outsourcing vendors

“But how to find the one and only vendor to outsource app development?!” – if this question has just popped up in your head, here’re a couple of hints on how to navigate the research:

Check out popular review websites. Seek out client reviews, testimonials, and interviews on websites such as Clutch, The Manifest, and GoodFirms. In addition, don't forget to explore video reviews. These provide a more interactive avenue to understand the experiences of previous customers. With visual and auditory cues, video reviews can paint a comprehensive picture of the vendor’s reliability and proficiency in mobile app development. They provide a glimpse into the actual experiences of previous clients, highlighting the vendor's strengths, weaknesses, and overall performance.

Explore portfolios. By reviewing previous projects, you can gauge the vendor's proficiency and determine if the development team has experience in creating mobile apps similar to the desired functionality, complexity, or industry focus.

Consult your network. Tapping into your network of connections (e.g. on LinkedIn) is a nice chance to consult with industry experts and advisors who have already traversed the outsourcing landscape and can provide some recommendations.

Step 5: Select your partner & establish a solid contract

Once you’ve identified the perfect fit to outsource app development, make sure you create a comprehensive contract that covers all the details: the scope of work, timelines, deliverables, payment terms, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, and other relevant aspects. 

Ensure that both parties agree on the terms and conditions before proceeding. And don’t hesitate to seek legal advice if needed as the protection of your interests should come first.

Cost of outsourcing mobile app development

When it comes to the question of outsourcing costs, startups have the freedom to balance quality and affordability. Apart from obvious factors such as app complexity, team size, and urgency, you should decide on the geographical location of your outsourcing team.

American and Canadian average hourly rates for outsourcing developers typically range between $70–$150, based on the rates provided by Clutch. Many startups can’t go for such pricey solutions and opt for the cost-saving potential of experts from Eastern Europe (Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia). 

European developers charge around $40–$60 per hour while possessing a solid tech background, excellent command of the English language, and a rich pool of experience. By leveraging the expertise of European professionals, startups can enjoy significant cost savings without compromising on quality.

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Summing up

Embarking on the outsourcing journey may seem a risky endeavor as the market is saturated with countless outsourcing development companies but not all of them live up to the promise of delivering exceptional quality. By following the tips we've provided, you can navigate the process and reap the benefits of outsourcing mobile app development with no sweat.

As always, you’re welcome to reach out to SolveIt experts to discuss your app development needs! Don’t hesitate to check out our dedicated team service page and book a free consultation.

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