White Label App Guide

App Development
White Label App Guide
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: December 26, 2023

With 4.32 billion mobile users around the globe and 230 billion mobile applications downloaded in 2021, smartphone apps are becoming a must for many brands across industries.

A mobile application can help you gain a competitive edge, boost brand recognition, increase consumer loyalty and help you establish a strong relationship with your consumers.

To introduce your own mobile app, you can either develop one from scratch or use a ready framework, known as a white-label app.

We'll examine the types of white-label apps, compare white-label and custom apps, and take a look at the development process.

By the end, you’ll be able to decide if a white-label app is right for you!

What Is a White Label Mobile App?

A white-label mobile app is a mobile application developed by a third party that can be rebranded under a different company.

If you purchase a white-label app and offer it under your own brand, your customers can then download the app directly from Apple App or Google Play stores.

Most white-label applications are specific to certain industries and include a set of common industry-based features.

For example, eCommerce apps include search filters and a checkout process, while a white label app created for restaurants includes features that allow customers to order food, set up a delivery or make reservations.

A white-label mobile app is most beneficial for:

  • Start-ups that are not willing to commit to substantial spending
  • Businesses that are the first and only to offer their products or services in a specific market area
  • Businesses that don’t need complex functionalities, such as eCommerce brands that do not use discount or bonus systems
  • Companies that conduct most of their business offline, such as gyms, beauty salons, florists, mechanics, dry cleaners or taxi companies
  • Companies that want to test how the market will react to a mobile app

Why do white-label apps make sense for these businesses?

Because white-label apps are quick, easy and affordable to develop.

Whether you need to speed up the presentation of your products to beat your competitors, test market reactions or simply engage with your customers, white-label apps can help you achieve that.

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Types of White Label Mobile Apps

Depending on their technical characteristics and the features they offer, white-label apps can be divided into two main groups: single-tenant and multi-tenant, where a tenant refers to you, as the app customer.

To illustrate the difference:

  • Single tenants (customers) reside alone in a single building, isolated from other buildings nearby. This single-apartment building has its own facilities and security.
  • Multi-tenants (customers) reside in different apartments within a single apartment building. They share specific building facilities and security systems.

Single-Tenant White Label Apps

A single-tenant white-label app is a singular application copy provided to the customer. This means you will receive a separate application customized for your brand to the extent allowed. The same app will be used by other companies, branded with their own elements.

To build single-tenant apps, developers use the same backend code they have used for other customers.

With one customer for the specific environment, single-tenant white-label apps may be pricey.

Multi-Tenant White Label Apps

A multi-tenant white label app is an application that has a fixed set of features and uses the same platform for all other customers (known as tenants) while allowing adjustment of the UI design.

This type typically uses the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, where a service provider hosts your application in the cloud and makes it available to you over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Compared to single-tenant white-label apps, multi-tenant apps are a cheaper and easier option because the cost for the environment is shared among the customers.

Sharing the same cloud environment means all apps on the server are affected by activities such as updates or bug fixing.

Get connected with the right app development agency for your project.

White Label Mobile Apps vs. Custom Mobile Apps

So what’s the difference between a white label app vs. a custom mobile app? Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Design
  2. Functionalities
  3. Customization
  4. Scalability
  5. Support & Maintenance
  6. Security
  7. Cost
  8. Turnaround Time

1. Design

A white-label app is created to satisfy the needs of multiple vendors in the same industry. It has the same appearance except for the colors, labels or brand elements added by your company. This decreases the possibility to demonstrate your brand identity look and feel.

A custom app allows you to create a unique user interface by adding animations, different fonts or graphics to make your brand easily recognizable.

2. Functionalities

A white-label app offers limited functionalities because it is created to meet the requirements of multiple businesses. For example, it can lack functionalities that allow you to segment your target audiences.

A custom app is tailored to meet the specific needs of your business and target groups. As such, it includes everything you need, from reporting and historical data to controlled access and automation.

3. Customization

A white-label app was not specifically designed and developed for your brand, hence the level of customization and personalization is low.

A custom app you develop from scratch follows your specific requirements and includes the features you chose to meet the requirements of your customers and represent your brand identity.

4. Scalability

A white-label app is created for a specific design or platform. It does not scale when you move it to a different operating system (OS) version or another device. To make it fit the requirements of a new platform or device, you must wait for a scalable version from the vendor or create a similar app with the help of a development company.

A custom app creation gives you the freedom to design and develop an application that can work across various platforms and devices as your business grows.

5. Support & Maintenance

A white-label application has a code that has been tried and tested in different environments. Once the app is published, you get guaranteed maintenance and support to help reduce coding errors and bugs.

A custom app has an increased risk of bugs and coding errors. Each component of your application must be tested when you add new elements to ensure error-free operation.

6. Security

A white-label app does not allow you to alter your application code, which leaves you little control over your app’s security. Typically, if you need a security audit, you will need to use the services of a software development company.

A custom mobile app you develop from the very beginning, which leaves room for code adjustment, code testing and more. You can also conduct mobile app testing to improve its performance and security.

7. Cost

A white-label app is extremely affordable due to its ready-made framework, designed and developed to fit the needs of multiple companies.

A custom app is more expensive because you pay for project management, design, development, quality assurance, maintenance and support.

8. Turnaround Time

A white-label app allows you to enter a market niche quickly without wasting additional time and effort. This is especially beneficial in regions where you pioneer a product or service to gain rapid profits.

A custom app is associated with hours of designing, developing and QA testing, which makes the development and launch process slower.

How Are White Label Mobile Apps Developed?

From eCommerce app development and travel app development to blockchain application development, white-label applications can be a great asset to your company.

To create a white-label app, contact a company that specializes in application development outsourcing.

The process of white-label app development typically includes the following steps:

  • Select a single-tenant or multi-tenant white-label app
  • Decide what UI/UX features to customize
  • Set up a UI/UX customization dashboard to allow the customer to customize their UI on their own
  • Choose a server
  • Implement error monitoring

If you are considering building a white-label mobile app with mobile app development companies, make sure you choose one with a proven track record.

To find the right fit, research app development directory listings on trusted B2B websites such as DesignRush where you can filter the companies by their area of expertise, location, rates, clients and reviews.

Expert Insights on White Label App

We have asked agency experts: Which industries resort most to white label apps and why?

Stacy Matviienko, Business Developer at Empat:

"As the Business Developer at Empat, a seasoned startup studio with almost a decade of experience, I am excited to share our wealth of expertise and insights on the use of white label apps across various industries. Here's a look at some sectors where white label apps have become a staple, along with the compelling reasons behind their
widespread adoption:


Retailers often turn to white label apps for their online stores. These apps offer a swift and cost-effective means of establishing a mobile presence, enabling retailers to customize the apps with their unique branding and features without hefty investments in app development.


Healthcare providers, especially smaller clinics or individual practitioners, leverage white label apps for appointment scheduling, telemedicine, or patient management. This strategic move allows them to concentrate on delivering care instead of diverting time and resources into app development.

Real Estate

Real estate agencies and property management firms utilize white label apps for property listings, virtual tours, and client communication. This enables them to establish a mobile presence without making substantial investments in app development.

In essence, these diverse industries share a common goal: the swift deployment of a mobile solution without the time and expense associated with custom app development. White label apps offer a ready-made solution, customizable to meet specific business needs and branding requirements. At Empat, we understand the power of white label apps in propelling businesses forward, and we're here to help others leverage this potential for their success."

Key Takeaways on White Label Mobile Apps

A white label mobile app is a mobile application designed and developed by one company and re-sold to another one, in order to customize it and use it for their brand.

There are two types of white-label applications: single-tenant and multi-tenant apps, which share different technical characteristics and features.

White-label mobile apps differ from custom apps in their:

  • Design
  • Customization possibilities
  • Scalability
  • Functionalities
  • Cost
  • Security
  • Turnaround time
  • Maintenance and support

If you need some additional guidance and support, reach out to a professional app development company to help you select the white-label app you need, according to your business goals and target audiences.

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