Here at AppMuse, we regularly track the cost to develop a mobile app. Based on our research, app development costs can range from anywhere between $2,000 and $250,000, a variation far too expansive to have any real meaning. If you want to put a mobile app on the market but lack capital, sending the development offshore is, we admit, a seductive one. Run a search for “offshore mobile app development” and you’ll get almost 28 million hits. Assuming you have the time to wade through millions of web pages, you’ll find many eager developers in foreign countries, each promising to develop your app for the lowest price. All that said, “you get what you pay for” is a cliché for a reason. Here are a few reasons why saving some money offshoring your mobile app development may cost you in the long run.
- Legal documents won’t protect you: The online community will tell you that if you’re worried about the security of your idea, “you can always have the worker sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.” The problem with this, as the FBI learned, is that foreign NDAs aren’t “worth the paper they’re written on.” If you offshore your app development and run into problems, don’t count on much help from American law enforcement agencies to track down one rogue programmer in a foreign country.
- Difficulties vetting the programmer: We regularly tell our clients don’t pay to train an app developer. Before you commit to employing a mobile app developer, you should always take a look at the developer’s work, including downloading apps they have in the store and making sure the developer’s apps demonstrate the look and feel you’re after for your mobile app idea. When it comes to offshoring, however, you’ll often deal with middlemen, and it may be impossible to guarantee that a particular talented foreign developer will be the one working on your own project.
- Communication issues: There are two issues here: language and time. Many of the foreign developers working on offshore projects have only a passing command of English. Even if the foreign developer speaks “fluent” English, there can still be communication issues due to local usages and terms. In addition, the fact that most foreign app developers are on the other side of the world will make it difficult for you to reach them conveniently should you have questions, problems, or suggested input.
In sum, if you’re considering hiring a developer for a mobile app project, it’s often best to hire a developer based in your country. We’re not saying offshore development never works, just that you should know what you’re getting into – before you get into it.
Have an idea for a mobile app but need an experienced, U.S. or U.K based developer? Visit our U.S. quote sites or our U.K. quote sites. We’ll get you three free quotes from our network of U.S. and U.K. developers.