“Free” is king of the mobile app stores, hence the rise of in-app purchases, but even paid apps usually only cost a few bucks. However, there have been some significant outliers. Let’s look at the apps that break the bank.
What qualifies as “expensive”?
Like our “Most Expensive Phones of All Time” list, we need to set some parameters for what we mean by “expensive.” When it comes to apps, there are two kinds of “faces.”
The first is realistically expensive. These are expensive apps that have legitimate reasons to be expensive. the second is gimmicky expensive, which consists of apps that are expensive just for the sake of being expensive. The infamous “I Am Rich” app is a perfect example.
Note: For this list, I’ll be combining apps from both categories. I will also focus solely on apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. I also mainly look at the starting price, but I included one for in-app purchases.
Zollinger Surgery Atlas: $119
One of the most common categories to find expensive apps is apps for the medical community. These are apps designed specifically for surgeons, doctors, dentists, medical students, and other healthcare professionals.
Zollinger’s Atlas of Surgical Operations (iPhone, Android) is one such app. Provides reference materials for a wide range of surgical procedures. The app costs $119, but it contains a lot of information that is very valuable to have with you if you are the target audience.
TC Classic with WordPower: $299
Classic TC (TouchChat) is an iPhone application for people who have difficulty speaking. Words are displayed on easy-to-read buttons and can be tapped by the user to be read aloud by the built-in speech synthesizer.
Custom buttons and voice recordings can also be added. Along with the word buttons, there is also a phonic keyboard. For people with autism, ALS, Down syndrome, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions, the $299 may be worth it.
Most expensive widget: $399
Let’s dive into the category of tricks. There is an Android app simply called “The Most Expensive Widget”. What are you doing? Absolutely nothing.
As the name suggests, this is just a widget that you can place on your home screen. It’s a $399 status token to show your friends. That is all.
Okay, now we’re really going up in price. CyberTuner is a professional piano tuning app for iPhone. It was programmed by a registered piano technician with “years of experience in tuning and concert preparation, as well as ‘in the trenches’ home tunings and repairs.”
$1,000 seems steep for a piano tuning app, but it seems worth it. At the time of writing, the app has a 4.8/5 star review with almost 50 ratings. People pay for it and like it.
app. Cash: $999
app.Cash, not to be confused with Cash App, is an iPhone/iPad app designed to replace physical cash registers. Coming in at a whopping $1,000, it’s still reportedly more affordable than traditional registration systems.
This app is a great example of some of the very specialized expensive apps in the app stores. The average person doesn’t need something like this, but for a very specific person, it can be life changing.
Basecamp 3: $99 per month
Let’s end with an application that will quickly become very expensive. Basecamp is a project management service aimed at keeping teams organized. It’s much appreciated, but can be expensive if your team is small.
Basecamp costs $99 per month, but the problem is that it’s a flat fee. So if you have a large team, $99 per month may be worth it. However, for an individual user or a small group, $100 per month adds up quickly and keeps increasing over time.
The world of expensive apps is very interesting. It shows how smartphones have become incredibly useful tools for certain industries and for people with very specific needs. There’s also a lot of nonsense in spending a couple of hundred dollars on a pointless app. Your phone is already expensive, so what’s a little more, right?
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