Future Case

Crossmedia, Social, Mobile, Business Modeling, Marketing, Research and insights

Mobile App Development: Tools That Help Developers Digging For Gold

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On the 5th of May, I posted an attempt by XXX  to answer the question XXX. Now lets see what the same research group thinks about ‘Mobile App Development: Tools that help developers digging for gold’. 

26 July 2011
By Egle Mikalajunaite

With the smartphone app market continuously growing it has become standard business practice, especially for media, consumer goods, automotive, and food companies to develop their own applications and benefit from a new channel to public and consumers.

Both publishers and developers taking up an app development project face a list of challenges, including, but not limited to:

  • High costs: App development services tend to be costly, especially for more customized, complex apps. Firms must decide whether it’s better to develop apps in-house or outsource them to an external specialized developer. It’s also worth considering regional differences in app service charges, and what additional costs offshoring might bring.
  • Reach fragmentation: Even more, with growing market fragmentation where Apple’s iOS is no longer the sole platform, it is not enough to have apps adapted to a single platform. To reach as wide as possible a user base companies often need to consider multi-platform development, which significantly increases expenses, and prolongs time to market. Companies need to decide on what platform to start with and how many platforms to cover.
  • Time to market: Developing a complex app for multiple platforms with a foreign developer can take 6-12 months, or even more. There are a variety of approaches that could help to reduce time to market. Developers in emerging markets tend to be cheaper but slower. Some developers are more experienced on multi-platform developer, whereas others have a better industry oriented portfolio.
  • Unmeasured risk: Many small, or medium sized companies, that have never published an app, have a very vague idea of what challenges arise in app development. It makes sense to consider a variety of ready-made white-label solutions, that have already been market tested, and often come with app distribution and management support

Key challenges in today’s smartphone app development market

Solutions for these challenges are not easy and depend highly on companies’ needs and motives for developing a smartphone application. Understanding the market helps companies to make the right strategic decisions.  (Find more in our new report The Market for Mobile Application Development Services” that gives answers to these questions.) To ease these challenges, tools that help to reduce application development cost, time to market and risks have poured into the market.

Solution tools for these key challenges

There are two main categories of those tools: industry specific and multi-platform development tools.

  • Industry specific white label solutions: Most companies that want a mobile application for marketing purposes and to have a presence in the smartphone ecosystem, do not need sophisticated software. They do not have in-house app development resources and outsource such projects. However customised app projects can cost tens to hundreds of thousands dollars per app. Many of these companies could make use of emerging industry specific solutions that come as white-label applications. They include a standard set of functionality and sometimes content, that represent common mobile use cases of a specific industry. Such solutions claim to reduce app project costs by as much as 90%, and reduce time to market from 3-6 months to 10-20 days or even less.

Based on our in-depth overview of  almost 40 white-label solutions, nearly 1/3 of these target such general marketing needs, followed by companies focusing on news and information, those selling goods via smarthpone apps and other common use cases.

  • Multi-platform development tools: Both in-house developers, and outsourcing companies, need to reach customers on multiple platforms. Developing separate customized applications for each targeted platform is costly and inefficient. A group of software vendors have tried to overcome market fragmentation problems by offering a variety of cross-platform development tools, aiming to ease the app migration process. Offering various combinantions of native and web app development, these tools claim to reduce the costs of additional applications by 80%, in addition providing app distribution and management services.

Despite the growing supply, the tool market is still in its nascent stage, and solution capabilities are relatively limited. Nevertheless, developers and potential app publishers already have quite a number of products to choose from. However, the majority of those tools make use of web-development technologies.

The mobile app development tool market

Naturally, growth of HTML5 and increasing web-app capabilities have reduced the need for native development, and companies with lower requriements will surely make use of these alternative app development approaches. In many cases it is worth while to give up a certain level of quality in order to reduce development costs. But for those targeting excellent user experience, and building successfull outstanding apps, native development will be the way to go at least for the next couple of years. Similarly, white-label apps will play a role only for long-tail apps. They particularly target small to medium-sized companies, who could not make it to the market otherwise.

The market for mobile application development services

The mobile app development service market is today already twice as big as the app download market, and will continue to grow over the next couple of years, wich presents a unique opportunity for mobile developers to get a share of the US$100 billion market.

Read our new report “The Market For Mobile Application Development Services“ and prepare yourself for the market with information about regional average daily rates, profit margins and development periods, insight into how to reduce outsourcing costs and tips on which platforms to choose for the best business opportunities.


The report includes:
1. Demand for mobile apps (now and in the future)
2. Average project size, daily rate, margin and development period (by regions)
3. Market size (now and in the future)
4. Costs for outsourcing
5. Cost reduction for development
6. Multi-platform solutions
7. Main customers
8. Platforms with biggest demand for apps (now and in the future)
9. Key trends and barriers to market (now and in the future)
… and much more

Click on the report cover to find out more:



The report will help IT service companies, app developers, app publishers, app store providers as well as consultants to access the market strategically.

It features 38 industry and 25 multi-platform app development tools that help to reduce development cost and time.
– Click here to preview the report and read the table of contents.
– To get further information about the report please call us (+49 30 60 989 3366) or write us an email.
– To get a one-on-one discussion with a research analyst please write an email


Written by Kees Winkel

July 26, 2011 at 15:32

3 Responses

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