How Do Mobile App Development Companies UK Compete With Outsourcing? Cost Isn’t Everything!

Mobile app development companies list of British and Ukrainian companies (the outsourcers) battling for glory

The increasing dependence on smartphones has boosted mobile app development markets all over the world. The UK remains one of the biggest tech hubs in Europe, offering stability, pro-business regulation, highest standards in cyber security and data protection.

The app economy in the UK is projected to reach £31bn by 2025. The Vision mobile report estimates there are around 8,000 mobile app development companies in UK. Most of the top outsourcing companies are based in London, however there are some significant players in Manchester as well.

In terms of pricing, the rates are fairly high indeed. Selected app development companies, ranked on Clutch charge up to $150 per hour on average. The rates are substantially higher than in Eastern Europe. In spite of these seemingly extortionate rates,  app development companies in UK still successfully compete with the outsourcing locations.

Apparently, cost is not the only concern when choosing the right agency. The UK app development market has more to offer in terms of the size of talent pool, quality and advanced skills in management. According to Progressive Policy Institute the number of jobs in app economy in the UK amounts to 330,000, namely professional app developers, designers, managers etc.

The earlier report by Vision mobile indicates approximately 75,000 qualified app developers in UK. Based on this research there are roughly 110,000 app developers in the UK. The numbers of iPhone app developers and Android app developers are almost the same, though iOS developers are slightly more numerous – around 47% are Android developers vs 53% being iOS developers. The aforementioned reports also claim that the majority of app developers are self-taught.

The list of top app development companies in the UK includes: Hidden Brains, Brightech, PocketApp Hedgehog Lab, 3 Sided Cube, Waracle, Mubaloo, Ampersand+Ampersand, Intellectsoft, Fueled, Red-C, Nodes, Nomtek, Zudu, Magora, Ready4S Most of these companies are based in London, also having offices in Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow as well as in the US and Europe. Intellectsoft has offices in US, Norway, Belarus, and Ukraine. Ready4S is also present with its office in Ukraine. Fueled is a US company with offices in the UK, which has developed an app for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Corporation Pop, Cleveroad, CTI Digital, Apadmi are the top app development companies in Manchester. Cleveroad has offices in Eastern Europe – in Ukraine and Poland.

UK mobile app development companies work predominantly with blue chip companies in finance, media, retail, entertainment, healthcare.  The key clients of the app development companies are BBC,  British museum, the Guardian, DMG Media, London Stock Exchange, Ernst & Young, LLoyds bank, American Red Cross, NHS, Waitrose, Shell, Porsche, Harley Davidson etc.  

UK best app development companies cooperate not only with big brands, but are interested in startups too. Hedgehog Labs is constantly supporting startups and has worked with Katchit (allows you to exchange details within seconds, including everything from your phone number and email to your social media accounts), FoodMood (helps you discover restaurants that serve your favourite dishes, and food that suits your mood). Intellectsoft UK was engaged to develop apps for Gismart music – an award winning musiс-making apps and games for mobile devices, Geozilla – an Open Family Safety Platform that enables users and family members to connect IoT devices via smartphones and SE RANKING – a cloud-based SaaS platform for SEO and online marketing professionals that provides a robust set of SEO tools.

State agencies like NHS (National Health Services), Scotrail, Transport for London normally choose the in-house developers rather than app development companies overseas, which makes sense in terms of making payments to local companies.

Apparently,  top-tier companies value cutting-edge solutions, outstanding experience and expertise that UK development firms can offer. Mobile app development companies listed in UK have been working with global corporations and well established brands, developing top awarded apps. Miquido, for instance, has created SkyScanner app, 3 Sided Cube – the Blood Donor app for American Red Cross, Mubaloo has created apps for HP, Cisco, and Bristol Zoo.

On Clutch there are 220 mobile development companies listed in UK and 334 – in Ukraine, which is quite surprising. On closer examination, it appears that service focus on mobile app development is higher among UK app development companies – up to 70%, while Ukrainian firms claim 20-30%. The most focused on mobile app development are actually the Ukrainian offices of Intellectsoft, Clevereoad, Ready4S.

Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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