iPhone and iPad

iPaid A Lot: The 10 Most Expensive iOS App Store Downloads

Guy McDowell 17-05-2013

expensive ios appsVarious magazines and TV shows have been dedicated to the finer things in life, or at the very least the more expensive things in life. Forbes has The World’s Most Expensive Billionaire Homes list, World’s Most Expensive Cars list and so on. Robb Report gives you a monthly dose of hedonism and then there are websites devoted to simply the most expensive things the hoi polloi can buy, such as BornRich.com and TheMostExpensive.com where you can find whiskey worth more than my liver and kidneys on the black market.


Where do these people get this kind of money? Are these things really worth that much, or is that just the price they put on them because they know rich people do stupid things too? Who knows. But here at MakeUseOf we’ll keep our extravagant spending somewhat useful. Let’s take a look at the Most Expensive iOS apps available to those with caviar dreams and champagne wishes.

Keep in mind, most of the really expensive iOS apps are related to the medical field, since knowledge is obviously so valuable. I’m going to avoid those apps and look at the ones that are a little more extravagant.

10.  Sexy Finger Print Test HD ($99.99)

expensive ios apps

The author claims that this app has had a million downloads in just 180 days. If my math is correct, that would mean his revenue has been about… $99 million dollars. Somehow I don’t think this is an accurate claim. That and the fact that an iPad or iPhone can’t use their touch screen to scan anything tells me this guy is full of it. Or is he? Maybe it does work. Maybe I am sexier than I thought and my finger print can tell me, in HD nonetheless! Maybe… but at $99 we’ll never know.

9. Water Globe ($219.99)

expensive ios games


I’m beginning to think that iOS app developers think everybody has way too much money and not enough brains. Ubiquitous Muffin offers you the chance to have a snowglobe on your screen that you can stir up either by shaking your phone or using your finger. Whoopitty doo! What may be even more sad is that they also offer some very basic games like Boingg Pachinko and Clownbop for the same fantastic price of $219.99. Seriously?

8. BizjetMobile ($249.99)

expensive ios games
Now we’re getting something cool and potentially worth the money. BizjetMobile allows people to connect their iPhone or iPad to an aircraft’s satellite phone and data link. On some smaller aircraft, they may have a satellite data link that goes relatively unused in terms of bandwidth. By connecting an iPad with this application on it to the airplane’s satellite link controller, other BizjetMobile enabled devices can connect to the SLC via Bluetooth.

This makes voice calling and SMS messaging a reality without investing in super expensive phone equipment. This could be ideal for the small charter operator to offer to their jet-set clients.

7. SafeSession Voice Encryption ($299.99)

expensive ios games


While you’re jetting around and chatting on BizjetMobile, you may want to secure your conversation so no one can get your corporate secrets. If that’s the case then SafeSession Voice Encryption is for you. However you have to make sure that your confidants also have the software installed. Personally, I think it’s worth the money just to say to my wife on the end that we’re ‘Going Secure’. Spy-factor coolness included at no extra charge. If you’re not a high-paid spy, maybe you can opt for the Android version of cellular security How To Protect Yourself From Government Cellphone Surveillance [Android] Let's face it, these days the likelihood that you are being monitored by someone is rising all the time. I'm not saying that everyone, everywhere faces the threat of cellphone surveillance, but there are plenty... Read More .

6. Barcelona vs Madrid ($349.99)

most expensive ios games

I’m just as much of a soccer fan as the next Canadian, so maybe I’m missing something when I see that I can play a soccer game, with only two team choices, for $350. From the screen shots, it looks like a nice game and I’m sure it’s fun. But I could just about buy a ticket to a Barcelona vs Madrid game for that kind of coin. Or at least to an Edmonton Oiler’s game. This one must be for people far richer and more football savvy than I am.

5. Tap Menu ($399.99)

most expensive ios games


Now this one appeals to the epicurean in me! I’ve been known to drop as much as $50 in a restaurant including free soda refills, so you know I’m a player! But seriously though, sometimes a great meal is worth the price no matter what. I think Air Vision is definitely on to something here with their iPad menu system. Imagine having a classy high-end restaurant where the specials really are special and the menu may change nightly. You walk in with your beautiful arm-candy date, the garcon shows you to your table and instead of ratty paper menus he places iPads in your hands. Wow factor guaranteed! I’d go eat at a place that had this, just for this reason.

4. Mighty Brace Pro ($499)

most expensive ios games
If you’ve ever bought braces for your children, you know that they really are a luxury item. Or at least they are priced like a luxury item. But what wouldn’t we do for our children? Mighty Mouth has developed the Mighty Brace Pro to aid kids in knowing how to take care of the expensive gear in their mouths. It’s intended for dentists and orthodontists to buy to share with their patients. So at $499 plus the free Mighty Brace Home App that kids can download to keep kids engaged in taking care of their braces and oral hygiene. Yes, this a medical app, but it’s also a luxury that can really pay off in a perfect smile for years to come. I think this one is worth the money.

3. Preeb ($799.99)

iPaid A Lot: The 10 Most Expensive iOS App Store Downloads preebs

The description for this app is a bit confusing, but if I have it right, Preebs is a location-aware billboard advertising small-screen extension. So you pay $800 bucks for this app and if you happen to walk by a billboard that is also participating in the Preebs program… “something” might happen. It might present you with an interactive game, a coupon or messages from other Preebers who have gone this way also. I can see the point in this kind of application, I just can see even rich people spending $800 to get advertised to, even more. I don’t think they care about coupons. If you do, maybe you want to check out Roximity Roximity: Delivers Relevant Offers & Deals to You Based on Your location [iOS] Read More  – it’s free.


2. Alpha Trader ($799.99)

iPaid A Lot: The 10 Most Expensive iOS App Store Downloads alpha trader
Who typifies big money in modern media more than the Gordon Gecko wannabe stock trader? Nobody, that’s who. Now here’s an app that can make your dream of big stock payouts and roller coaster rides on the Nikkei a reality. Alpha Trader has more options than Warren Buffet. Or not. I really don’t know a whole lot about the stock market, but this application seems to have built in market intelligence to assist in turning difficult guesses into easy decisions for the experienced trader. I can actually see that maybe $800 is a small investment for a tool like this to the stock trader. Maybe by investing in this app and learning to time the market, you could make enough to afford (and enjoy) the number one most expensive app.

1. VIP Black ($999.99)

expensive ios apps

Ever heard of American Express’s Black Card? Maybe you have, but chances are you and I will never get one. Invitation only my fellow pedestrian friend. Privilege has its privileges.  The Black Card is the easy way for celebrities and tycoons to drop down a card and pay for a helicopter ride, or a helicopter itself.

VIP Black is playing to that crowd with its mega-rich concierge service. Concierge is a wonderful French word for someone who will do anything you ask, if you have the money. Normally, I don’t like large quotes, but I just can’t say it better than they can:

VIP treatment allows members to geo-locate partner venues and receive extra-special experiences through surprise gifts, welcome packages, complimentary room upgrades, exclusive rates, priority access, and other unique privileges. For premium members VIP treatment is available across our global range of luxury partners.

Partners include Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, Virgin Limited Edition (Necker Island, The Lodge Verbier, and more.), Firmdale Hotels, and many other premium brands, venues and services around the world. Membership covers all aspects of the luxury lifestyle including butlers, theatres, personal trainers, private jets, a concierge, casinos, personal styling… And much more.

Now don’t think you can just scrape up $1000 and get the VIP App and access all this wonderful luxury. No, there will be verification that you are a High Net Worth Individual with income in excess of One Million Pounds!

Is it really worth $1000? If the lottery pays out this weekend, I’ll let you know.

The Take Away

Like everything else in life, you can spend as little or as much as you want on iOS apps. If you happen to have expensive tastes and a thick bankroll, then this is just the tip of the iceberg for your high-rolling ways. Maybe you want to have your iPhone bejewelled as well.

What do you think of these expensive iOS apps? Would they be worth the money to you if you can afford them? What’s the most expensive app you’ve bought? Was it worth the money? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. sam
    August 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    speaking of expensive, I came across NAVIGON Europe the other day for 89.99 plus in app purchases for new map data.

    I don't have this app, but maybe it's really cool. Maybe someone will tell me.

    [Broken URL Removed]

  2. Bhuvanesh
    July 21, 2013 at 12:43 am

    The most I've ever paid for an iOS app has been $20 for SkySafari. Beautiful astronomy app with the ability to navigate the night sky, find objects from its huge database, figure out what to look for using the built-in Sky & Telescope interactive sky charts, simulate celestial events and control motorized GoTo or PushTo telescopes. Well worth it, in my opinion.

    • Jon
      July 28, 2013 at 4:25 am

      You should have downloaded "Star Chart" first, it might now be close to what you got with your $20 app but it might be just about the same thing. One of the better free apps I've downloaded...

  3. Airin M Wesley
    July 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Well, the most money that I've spent on just one app was about $50.00 and it was supposed to be either a Remote Desktop app or a private VPN app. It was neither. :(

  4. Awesome
    July 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I jail broke my iPod and got the VIP Black app for free using AppCake

    • Guy M
      July 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      So you've illegally downloaded an app to your warranty-voided phone, that you can't use anyway because you haven't got a registered account with the provider? I don't get it.

  5. yuyuwine
    May 23, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Wow! They are really expensive! I usually download some free games such as iSwinging and cube. I wonder there is someone to buy these gold apps?

  6. Andy Taylor
    May 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I am most definitely in the hoi polloi (true meaning) section of society. The most I've ever paid for an app is £ Freeeeee!!!

    The strange thing is that not all of those free apps have been worth the money.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 22, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Ain't that the truth? Makes me wonder just how judicious Apple is in its approval process.

  7. Joseph Villalobos
    May 20, 2013 at 12:49 am

    The most I've paid for an app is $30.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      If you don't mind me asking, what was the app? And do you feel it was worth the $30?

  8. anakim
    May 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Talk about a fool and his money. It's a market thing - it's like someone buying a Suzuki Jimny for $25k or a Range Rover for $140K. Unfortunately, with the latter, price doesn't buy you reliability as I know to my cost ;-(

    • Guy McDowell
      May 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      So true. The difference in reliability of products is so marginal these days, compared to say the 1970's. Of course, you can still get a lemon.

      I find the most important factor is how you use and maintain a product. Take for example million-mile Mercedes and Volvos. Those are good cars, but if the owners didn't maintain them meticulously and use them with great respect, they wouldn't make a hundred thousand miles, let alone a million.

  9. Christopher Webb
    May 18, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Who is buying this stuff?

    • Guy McDowell
      May 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Beats me.

  10. Doc
    May 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    "The author claims that this app has had a million downloads in just 180 days. If my math is correct, that would mean his revenue has been about… $99 million dollars." Actually, Apple takes 30% off the top, so the app writer's made $69.3 million...supposedly.

    • Kevin H
      May 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      It's still a heck lot of money.

      • Dave Parrack
        May 18, 2013 at 12:43 am

        Which is how we know it's BS. If anyone earned $69.3 million from an app they would take the money and run. And never look back.

      • Doc
        May 18, 2013 at 3:10 am

        Given the little amount of work Apple had to do to put it on the iTunes store, it's a heck of a lot of money for Apple...$30.6M just for hosting the crap.

  11. macwitty
    May 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Have had a look at some of them and just shake my head. Anyhow, Tap Menu is a bit more understandable if it works well. It is for restaurants who use iPads as menu card and the same license will work on all of their. Have seen some restaurants using iPads and some of them have not found the best app for it

  12. null
    May 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Bunch of phooeeeeeeeee. With $1000 I can book a plane ride to an island get a hotel for the night. Eat. Tip the waiter. Go Party for the night then come back to my room and got home in the morro.

  13. Carol Wilkerson
    May 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I bet even Alec Baldwin wouldn't buy into any of these apps. LOL What a hoot. I'm with you, I think these app developers see gullible buyers everywhere. I'll stick with Angry Birds thank you!

  14. Caitlin Cahill
    May 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I would bet some of these prices were due to a developer fat-fingering the price when submitting it to the store. $499 for a kids app about braces - I can't imagine any person thinking parents would pay that for a kid's app. MAYBE $4.99.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      The Braces app is for a dentist to buy to help kids. They only pay the $499 once. The kids get to use it at the office and the free braces website at home. So, it's inexpensive in that manner.

  15. Vijay Pereira
    May 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    amazing article.. but its just for fun.. whos gonna waste money buying such apps?? :P

  16. Lee
    May 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    One thing I think I should mention, if someone sells 1 million copies of a app that costs $99, they wont make $99 million. Apple takes a certain percentage of your profits. From a quick google search, it looks like they take 30%, so the developer would actually make 70% of $99 million which is $69.3 million.

    • Kevin H
      May 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      That's still a lot more money than is realistic.

    • dragonmouth
      May 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      Don't forget all the middlemen who get their cut, and all the taxing authorities. By the time everybody gets a cut, the developer is lucky if he winds up with $11.37. :-)

    • Guy McDowell
      May 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      I said revenue, not profit. Revenue is how much income is generated prior to costs, taxes, etc. What's left over is profit.

      Either way, the developer is obviously lying.

  17. Dave Parrack
    May 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I don't know, Apple fans are easily parted with their cash anyway, so this is just an extension of that foolhardy more-money-than-sense culture.

    • Richard
      May 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      Oh, how I love people that make asinine comments like this any time Apple comes up as a topic. Because you can't afford it, doesn't mean it isn't worth the money ;)

      • Dave Parrack
        May 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

        Whether one can afford it or not doesn't change the fact that Apple products are overpriced, and those who purchase them are easily persuaded to spend more money than they need to do.

        Oh, and it was a joke! :)

        • Chris
          June 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm

          I have a MacBook Air and my dad has a Asus ZenBook. Both are untrabooks and priced competitively. They're almost the same price and made of aluminum. I don't see why you think it's overpriced?

        • Dave Parrack
          June 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm

          Congratulations on having money. Spend it wisely.

    • Chris James
      May 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Apps like this aren't created because "Apple fans are easily parted with their cash." Apps like this are created by people who think that "Apple fans are easily parted with their cash." The number of units sold is another question.

      As with anything else, Apple fans part with their cash when, for them, the value of the product exceeds the value of the cash and that of alternatives—taking into consideration such factors as the value of ease of use, the value of one's time, and the cost of upkeep. Hopefully that's not too much rocket science for you.

      • Dave Parrack
        May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

        That isn't rocket science at all, it could more accurately be described as economics.

        I'll have to add "distinctly lacking in a sense of humor" to my list of personality traits for Apple fanboys ;)

        • Chris James
          May 17, 2013 at 8:43 pm

          Yes, I would add it if I were you. "Apple fanboys"—the only kind there are—pay all that money, and for what? They should do as all PC and Android users do: keep their money, their wits, their wit and their joi de vive too. Instead, they give these all up. And all their money to boot. Not only isn't it rocket science: it's the opposite of rocket science.

        • Dave Parrack
          May 18, 2013 at 12:41 am

          You've enlightened me. I didn't realize Apple fanboys were required to leave their wits, wit, and joie de vivre (FTFY) at the Apple Store door.

          The opposite of rocket science would be mole religion. Does this qualify as mole religion?

  18. Scott M
    May 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

    The prices are insane.I agree with Dragonmouth if I had the cash for these I would have my Valet take care of things.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Yeah, I kind of have to agree as well. I'd still have a smartphone, but booking stuff and such would be my secretary's responsibility.

  19. David Moreira
    May 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

    That VIP Black app... jeeezus!

  20. Rene Bernal
    May 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

    i want them all..crap!

  21. dragonmouth
    May 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

    If I was willing spend that kind of money on iOS apps, I wouldn't dirty my hands, I would hire someone to take care of such plebeian things as minding my iDevice.

  22. Brian
    May 17, 2013 at 3:56 am

    "hoi polloi" means common people.

    • Guy McDowell
      May 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      You are right! This is just another case of growing up and hearing a phrase misused constantly. Damn you Mother! Why didn't you learn Greek?!

      I also probably should have known, being a Classicist. Boo for me.

      • Brian
        May 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

        If it makes you feel any better, I also made that mistake for years.

        • Guy McDowell
          May 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

          Thank you Brian, it actually does make me feel better. :)

        • Don Richardson
          May 21, 2013 at 3:11 am

          In Australia, Gough Whitlam, one of the top politicians of the early 1990's, started a following who used 'hoi polloi' to mean the rich and powerful. It took years to die out, but it is still misused occasionally.