What are white-label mobile apps? What are their advantages and disadvantages?

March 16, 2020

Android app development has been rapidly evolving over the last decade or so. As per the current estimates, there are over 2.9 million android mobile applications available on Google Play Store. As you can see in the chart below, the Play Store was launched in 2008 and since then the number of android apps has only multiplied with each passing year.

White Label Mobile Apps

What are white-label apps?

A white-label android app is developed by company A but then sold off to company B, C, D and so on. When company A develops the android app, it can do it in 2 ways. Either the app development can be done as SaaS (software as a service) or else it can be a backend code that is plied to multiple vendors. As you can see, there are several differences in the two approaches.

An SaaS app can be modified only to a limited extent, has an almost fixed UX design, works on a robust code, and has unlimited scalability. Such an app development requires much less effort from company B to work on it, because most of the features are embedded along with a significant degree of modularity. 

A backend code-based white label android app can be extensively re-engineered by the buyer company, has no fixed user experience design, and is customizable to a great extent. However, it usually doesn’t have a robust code and is limited in its scalability. 

A custom android app development, on the other hand, involves building the app from scratch with the exact specifications that company B wants. It is a longer-term project, with extensive use of resources. Right from solution architect to the UX designer, the company A needs to employ a full set of resources that work dedicatedly on app development.

What are the advantages of using white-label android apps?

  1. Low Initial Investment: If a start-up company wishes to enter the android app development market with minimal initial investment, then white-label apps are the way to go. By paying a fraction of the cost, company A can get an app that is quite similar – if not exactly- as per their expectations.
  2. Fast Turnaround Time: For a company looking to capture a market segment quickly, they may not choose to waste any further time and instead go for a ready-made solution to hit the market. For example, there are dozens of car-pooling apps around the world. If a company wants to encash that opportunity in a city where there is no such service, they may get an instant solution and deploy it to the market for quick gains.
  3. Proven Features Set: Company A might have decided to launch an app to gauge the market size and understand user expectations. They may not have the required experience to work out the feature set of android apps and hence might decide to trudge the beaten track in order to minimize their chance of incurring a loss. 

What are the disadvantages of using white-label android apps?

  1. Lack of custom design: With a white-label android app development, you may not have the full freedom to change user experience design.  Hence, the android app may not create a different and better experience for the end user.
  2. Quality of code: The company B may not have full control over the quality of code that is being used in the android app development. The code may have malicious elements, may be prone to crashing often, and may not achieve good performance.
  3. Cloud-based setup: Some white-label android apps are cloud based and hence do not allow the company B to download it entirely. That may severely limit the secrecy of code and thereby compromise its efficacy.
  4. Scalability is limited: A white-label android app development may not offer you the required scalability. It might prevent you from scaling up due to limitations in either the code or the cloud setup.
  5. Play Store rejection: It is common knowledge that with white-label android app development, you may have to face rejection after submitting it to the Play Store. App stores prevent clone apps from getting listed and that might be an embarrassment for you. 

What is the best way?

According to most experts, the best way is custom android app development because it has much lower risk of failure. The cost is more definitely but the advantages are too big to be missed. A white-label app might seem like a juicy shortcut but that can prove to be a disaster in the making! All the best to you search for android app development partners.