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Friday Poll: What is the Most You Would Pay for an App?

A report surfaced today suggesting that Android apps are 2.5 times more expensive than iOS apps on average. The research group apparently took the top 100 paid apps from each platform and then averaged the price. While that may be one of the worst ways to come up with a comparison, in the end it created a nice headline to spark some conversation. Android users have always been referred to as “cheap” from competitors and even developers at times. We aren’t exactly sure if that reputation is fair or not, so we thought we would ask you straight up. How high are you willing to go on an app purchase? Is there a ceiling or do you top out at $1 or $2?

What is the Most You Would Pay for an App?

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  • whoster69

    It never ceases to amaze me how willing people are to throw money away…

    Case in point, I recently started looking for movie cataloging apps for my phone.  There area a bunch.  Several were free to try but cripped (something I don’t mind if I can get a sense of how the full program works otherwise forget it) and several only had paid versions.  I emailed several of the creators of the paid only.  It was amazing how many of them were outraged because I wanted to try their app before paying for it.  They thought it was totally legitimate to ask me to pay up front and then rely on their honesty to refund my money if I didn’t like it within the first 15 minutes.  An app like this takes more than 15 minutes to evaluate.  That is the first problem and frankly Google needs to get off their collective asses and up that to at least one day.  Second, most of the apps I tried were utter crap.  Several were buggy and wouldn’t even run properly.  

    Developers: Get a clue.  Offer apps with ads or a free but limited version so those of us willing to pay for apps can legitimately test them out.

    Google:  Fix this mess.  Android apps are getting WAY too expensive in many cases.  There is some evidence that Android app costs are outpacing their iPhony counterparts.  This is stupid to do and will only help Apple.  It’s bad enough with the whole permissions debacle.  Don’t let this be another black eye for Android.

  • thislandisyourland

    Select top paid apps from the top ten list in the Android Market: 

    2. Beautiful Widgets-$2.89
    4. Titanium Backup-$6.58
    5.Swiftkey X-$3.99
    6. ROM Manager-$5.99
    8.Root Explorer-$3.99

    Maaaaaaybe we pay more because our apps are more useful?  Not a single one of those apps can possibly have an official App Store counterpart.

    • TC Infantino

      Yep, and I bought all of those.  Worth every penny and more.  Though I don’t use two of them since I upgraded from the OG to the Rezound. 

  • thislandisyourland

    They averaged the top 100 apps and decided THAT was scientific?  Why not compare individual apps?  Each app category maybe?  That just seems desperately unscientific and not  thought through well.

  • Tutunkari

    It depends on the app. I tend to prefer not paying over $2 for an app, but if it’s something I use everyday (like SoundHound and SwiftKey X), I happily will drop $5 on them. Sorry, Titanium Backup, you’re just not worth $6+ because I only use you once per ROM install.

  • I paid $30 for the Slingbox app…I didn’t like that I had to pay that much but I wanted the ability on my phone

  • The app has to really, really good. The 1st app i bought was EVAC, it was free then the trial ended. i  Think it cause 2 bucks, the game was just to good. Plus it was like pacman but for the new generation, about 2 months later the dev made the paid app free. I guess he got lots of support from the paid app. I’ll buy apps if they are design well, easy to use and innovate on certain level that is not a copy of another idea. Devs are giving the option to remove ads with in-app purchases but they are hidden to the user devs needs to make it more aware but don’t stuff the $buy me buy me notifications annoying.

  • DroidVader

    I don’t understand why people won’t pay more for an app than their phone is worth. How manypphones have you purchased (or will you purchase)? How many times do you buy the same app? Once! Case closed. Obviously your not gonna buy a tower defense game for $400, but that’s not the point. As many have stated, if you value the app more than the cost, you will buy it.

  • jjjjjggggghhhh


  • Hmmm the thing about apps is there is never anything that I really “need” so spending more than 5 bucks on something that doesn’t serve a really useful purpose is hard.

    One app I considered was this 9.99 graphing calculator for class but then the professor said we couldn’t use phones so…It would have been a hell of a lot cheaper than a graphing calculator

  • It depends on the quality of the app. I set the bar based on how much I like trial. If no trial, they force me to make that decision in 15 minutes (makes their loss of a sale more likely; forces me to make a decision without thoroughly trying it out).

    When it comes to games, I consider how likely it is to get boring and how long it appears to be based on the comments. For apps, I consider how often I’ll use it and if I really need it.

  • Jamsil0877

    I think apps are too cheap and I’m not loaded or a developer. Developers need money if they’re expected to continue pushing the envelope!

  • No_Smoking

    wow im one cheap motha fudger. I thought .99 was going to be the mid range. but yes, im cheap. .99 cents is the most I would pay currently. xD

    • Tim242

      You cheap bastard!

    • Well how old are you though? If you’re like 15 and you don’t have a job then that makes sense. 

      • No_Smoking

        I’m 33 =P The fact that i’m unemployed plays a factor, but a very small factor. Since after thinking about it, even if I had a job, I probably still wouldn’t pay over a buck for an app. “most” apps I just don’t value over that. and the ones that I do value just aren’t important enough for me to buy. i.e. I’ve lived without them, I can continue to live without them (until it goes on sale anyway).

        I thoroughly enjoyed the .10c sale a while back on the android market though! =) 

  • fanboy1974

    For your everyday type of App I normally stay under $4.99.  But for specialized apps I would be willing to pay up to $20.   I will not buy “phone” games over $4.99 just because I picked up a Sony Vita 2 days ago. 

  • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

    I paid $9.99 for my Navionics app. I would have paid up to $100.00 if that’s what they were charging. Some apps are too important to be stingy over.

  • SecurityNick

    I paid $20 for Touchdown on my OG Droid.  When it 1st came out, I was really disappointed at the stock email app.  To be a real smartphone contender, even as awesome as that phone was, Google/Android was really screwed up on corporate email support. It didn’t even have an option for signatures. Even today the email app is still a long way from being great. So in my search for a replacement, I came across Touchdown. It was very similar to MS ActiveSync. It had signatures & a feature still missing in Android, true syncing of folders. But it was $20. I used it for quite some time & was happy, but it took a lot of space. eventually went back to the stock app. the only thing that I got mad about the price was that they gave it away for free for Droid X when it launched. oh well, if i ever want to use it i can always reinstall. Maybe Google will figure out how to do this app right one day.

  • Guest
  • Ivealwaysgotmail

    50$ For DSLR Remote HD… Wirelessly change all my settings on my T3i, Remote liveview, remote shutter release/close…. remote Saving and previewing full resolution images…… Worth….every…penny…..No question…

  • CeluGeek

    It depends on what kind of app and its feature set. I’m not paying more than $5 for a weather checker, yet I don’t expect to pay just $2 for a full-featured office suite.

    One thing I can tell you is, if I like the app, I’ll always rather pay for it than use a “free” version with ads. I use the ad-supported versions as trials: either I like it and pay for an ad-free experience or I uninstall it and move on.

  • Will

    Depends how specialized it is. For most apps, $5, maybe $10 for something awesome. For a specialized app in my field (where I’d expect the dev to have a harder time recouping cost by numbers), I’d easily pay $20, maybe up to $40.  Maybe more, if the App will save me more time and money than I’ll pay.
    Also, it’s worth saying that I’ll pay more for an app sold with a (non-crippled) Free version and a “Donation” version. In those cases, when it’s time to buy, I’ve already fallen in love with the App and want to help the Dev generously, rather than in crippleware/Pro version pairs (or worse still, apps with no free version) where I feel like the dev is milking me before I even know what I’m getting into.

  • 95% of the time, $3 is my soft maximum, because most apps just aren’t that big of a deal to me. However, if it was something really useful, and I had some kind of real-world proof that it works as intended (strong recommendation by this site or people I respect in the various forums), I’d pay well beyond that. I also try to donate to devs who offer free apps that I love, even if it’s only $1 here or $2 there.

  • I bought almost all apps during Google’s recent $0.10 sale.
    I know, I’m cheap but I cannot resist.

    • fvqu

      When was this, and what apps were on sale?

      • Around Christmas, ten apps were on sale for ten days

        • Clarification: 10 new apps were on sale every day for 10 days, with a few repeats.

          Many of them were crap, though, I must admit. A few gems.

  • izz

    $30 for LogMeIn. I used to use the web interface and think it was ok but the app is some much better. Its invaluable for my job, working in a shop as large as a football field and being able to see my computer screen at the other end is worth my own cash. I didn’t even consider asking for a reimbursement because of the convenience it provides.

  • tomgillotti

    I used to find alternatives for paid apps through third party sites until I read something in Droid-Life that talked about supporting developers, so now I will consider paying for apps and have in many occasions.

  • On my iPod Touch I bought the Documents To Go suite. I think it was $15. Quickoffice came on my Droid Incredible 2, so I didn’t have to buy it. In fact, I’ve yet to purchase any apps on my Droid. I agree with Droidzilla – there are a lot of free Droid apps available, so if the app costs money, there should be some added value.

  • Superior Android

    I paid $20 for an app in Cydia and I have no problem paying $20 for an app in the Market Place.



  • Tim242

    If it’s good enough, it doesn’t matter! I’m always on the lookout for useful, well-made apps.

  • If its good enough it doesn’t matter

  • boybert

    $1.99 is kind of my impulse limit; if it’s over that, I think more carefully before buying. That said, I wouldn’t say I have a definite maximum.

  • Nyce2beme

    We (android users) spent at least 200 all together on Apps and how many of us sill use them?

  • hldc1

    Please remove the link to that “article”. It’s pure garbage at best. I wouldn’t even wipe my ass with it if I ran out of toilet paper.

  • baobao22
  • Nysysiphus

    I dont mind paying a bit more for an app, i just wish there was a way to pay for additional licences (wife and sons phones, tablets) for a good app for us to buy a single app for all android devices would be 6x the normal price! Because of that I buy most apps/games from amazon, one account all devices sync to it and they don’t have my gmail etc on their devices.

    • boybert

      You could set up an “apps-only” Google account that you set up on all your phones, but isn’t associated with a meaningful Gmail (etc) account. Not the most elegant solution, but an idea.

  • Jmanin

    Paid $20 for TouchDown by Nitrodesk a few years ago and was the best money I ever spent on an app.

  • Korruptor

    $100 for Pleco
    $40 for TomTom (iPhone… where is the Android version?)
    $40 for Garmin (iPhone, too)

    • edaddy

      I wouldn’t pay even $1.99 for Tom Tom. Google Navigation FTW!

    • and google maps and navigation saves you $40 right there

  • Paid $14.99 for SPB Shell 3D

  • Droidzilla

    I don’t think Android owners are cheap at all. It’s just that with so many awesome apps that happen to be free, there has to be some sort of value added for a paid app. It seems that any old crap on the Apple App Store costs money, so iOS users just accept it. Android users know there’s a lot of good stuff out there for free, so we’ll only pay for something worth paying for.

    • Blood
    • RumbaCembe

      I like to follow my Somalian brethren and pirate apps 

    • Google

      yes everything cost on iOS. hahaha. you are clueless. please name one app that cost money on iOS but is free on android. oh that is right there are none. iOS apps are higher quality and developers like to get paid. this is why nearly every app is better on iOS and developed first for iOS. 

      • Derek

        I don’t know if it’s still the case, but when Angry Birds first came to Android it was free with ads. The iOS version was paid but ad free.

        • Google

          That is not the same app. One has ads and the other does not. It is like the free and premium version. I said the same app. 

          • Graham

            Bollocks, the app was the same. It was how it was monitized that was different.

      • onixblack

        Zenonia 4 by gamevil

      • feztheforeigner

        Angry Birds. The most popular game in the world…

    • iNfAMOUS70702

      whether you want to accept it or not theres more quality in the app store…a fandroid like you will never admit that iOS has superior apps though…seriously though whats wrong with supporting the devs? if you like an app then BUY IT

    • Zenaxe

      I (heart) my droids but the users are cheap bastards. Fact.

  • Kern

    I paid $15 for Docs2Go.

    • Alex

      i got that one for free on amazon market O.o

  • Bob Martin

    I paid $30 for slingplayer, $15 for office pro, and $15 for SPB Shell 3d so price doesnt matter to me

  • sahilm

    While 5 bucks is my normal limit, I do allow for exceptions like Titanium Backup if they’re really really good. 

    • islandak

      Exactly! Normally I consider up to $5. If I really see the value I’m willing to pay much more.

    • r0lct


      • Noyfb

        i have not paid for an app that cost more than $5, it just depends on your needs and wants, but i still pay 15 dollars a month for unlimitted 2 blockbuster movies or games. Yes, I’m the one guy keeping Blockbuster afloat. 

  • Jeremymgoddard

    I love how BGR declined to report on all the apps Android has to offer for free (Angry Birds is the first that comes to mind) that iOS and BlackBerry have to pay for. 

  • KevinC

    if the app is good enough, price doesn’t matter. you’re basically carrying around a small computer in your pocket, it takes as much work to develop some well done apps as it does for PC programs.  But why are people not willing to spend that kind of money for an app when they will easily for their PC?

    • EvanTheGamer

      Bigger screen versus smaller screen. You can do a lot more with a program on a PC with a bigger screen(and with keyboard/mouse) versus using the same program on a smaller device with no keyboard/mouse. Just how I figure it.

      • KevinC

        in some cases yes, but that should be reflected in the price.  i have no problem paying $25-30+ for apps that do a lot.

  • Arthur2142

    I already paid $29.99 for SlingPlayer Mobile, so I guess that answers that question! LOL

    • Damn! I forgot about that craziness.

      • TrevorSP

        Why is sling player so expensive?

        • If you can afford $200 for the box then you can affort $30 for an App.

          Why do you think that almost everything in the Apple store is above $30?
          Why do you think Samsung is charging $90 for a desk dock (hint: you paid $300 for the phone)?

          • Alex

            I disagree about that.  Samsung isnt charging alot because the original product costed so much.  They are charging $90 because they can.  Its the point where people are dumb enough to actually buy their piece of plastic for that much.

          • I think you misunderstood what I was saying.

            The dock is cheap for them to make.  They know that if you can spend $300 for a phone you are either very rich or very dedicated to the phone, meaning you are more likely to be willing to pay more for the dock.  The amount of the phone directly relates the the price people are willing to pay for the accessories.  If you get a phone for free, you probably aren’t buying expensive accessories for it.

          • TrevorSP

            I know that apps can get expensive I’m just wondering why a media player is a $30 app

          • Evileclipse

            I’m not trying to be condescending, but do you know what slingbox is? It is a box that you connect at home to your cable box, and then after downloading the app, you can control and watch whatever is on your cable box. It’s def not just a media player. If I had the money for a slingbox, I would gladly give $30 for that functionality!

          • TrevorSP

            Thanks for responding. I actually didn’t know what a sling box but was but know I get why that app is so expensive

      • Fkntwizted

        have that app also… $30 is tough but damn awesome product!

  • EvanTheGamer

    $4.99 and not a cent more.

  • How much you are willing to pay for an app reflects how much value it will give you.
    If it is worth $1000 then you will pay $1000.
    I’ve paid over $50 for a GPS app (when I had an iPhone obviously)
    I can’t imagine anyone having a max.

    • EvanTheGamer

      NO one in their right mind would ever pay $1000 for an app, EVEN if the app is really worth that much. Can always wait until there’s a price drop.

      • JakeS41

        Really? Because if I was a millionaire (I’m sure there is at least one who uses Android) I wouldn’t really care if something was $1k if, like they said, it had a thousand dollars worth of value to me. This is a classic case of thinking EVERYBODY has the exact same mindset as you. They don’t. Trust me. 

        • EvanTheGamer

          Let me rephrase…NO one that ISN’T a millionaire, or even anyone who would be willing to throw away a $1000 on an app that costs more than their phone.

          I wouldn’t, and TRUST me, others wouldn’t either. Anyways…this is dumb…I can’t think of any app ever costing $1000, unless of course it’s a government app or an custom app made solely for a company, etc. lol

          • JakeS41

            Unless this (
            http://most-expensive.net/android-phone) was their phone. Even not being a millionaire – it could happen. Don’t be so close-minded.

          • EvanTheGamer

            Oh yeah…it could definitely happen, I’m just thinking “why” would anyone want to spend that kind of cash on an app? Could just wait for a price drop, or find a cheaper alternative.

            AND DAMN, that phone looks sort of…steampunkish. That’s the first thought I had…wow, a really expensive steampunk Android phone. lol

          • Look at the I am Rich app for the iPhone (before Apple took it down).

            The app was a status symbol, if you had it people would think you were worth a lot of money.  Same reason why people buy things like Beats headphones.  The value of people thinking you were worth a lot of money was worth more than $1000 dollars to you.

          • EvanTheGamer

            But we’re talking about an app here, and not physical items.

            Sure, I paid a bit over $300 for my Xbox 360 Slim, because obviously, you get a lot of bang for your buck, but I don’t think any app, even an app that is $1000 is really worth $1000. The devs are just taking you for a ride if you think an app, any app is really worth that much dough. That’s just insanity.

            And that is just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

          • Bob Martin

            well said. i wouldn’t even buy a smartphone for $1000. $500 for a smartphone is my limit and even thats expensive. i will never buy an app that costs more than my phone.

          • Wrong.  You wouldn’t buy a current smartphone for $1000 because no current phone is worth the money.

            However, if there is a phone a couple of years down the line that benefits you more than the $1000 you will buy it.

          • Alex

            at least beats headphones actually are good.  If you have the i am rich app, nobody is going to care.  For gods sake, you can probably code an app (for android ofcourse…) yourself even if you are a beginner and name it i am rich.

          • Dliuzzo110

            The Guy was just making a point. Sheesh. Don’t take things so litteral

        • David Hayden

          I think a millionaire (not lottery winners) would have a better sense than to blow $1K on a phone application. 

        • RezCommando

          Mitt Romney paid $10000 for an app once.

      • Droidzilla

        If there were a $1000 app that allowed you to get free bacon for life, that would pay for itself in about two months. Feel free to substitute cars/women/acupuncture for bacon to get the point . . . if you’re a wuss. Free bacon > All.

        • I would buy it

        • EvanTheGamer


        • Alex

          Thats alot of bacon in two months.  bacon for AT LEAST 3 days alone may cost  $5-7???

          What im trying to say is that your gonna need to digest alot of bacon to get your money back.  Plus, lets not forget the health problems that come with the bacon.  Heart attack?  Check! = huge bill from hospital.  Therefore $1000 dollars of bacon through an app is not going to pay itself back.  If anything, just buy $1000 of bacon and skip the chance of a bug in the application.  Thatll last long enough.

          • Jharris2940

            Saturated fat is not bad for the human body and indeed does not clog arteries.. That is a fallacy that is easily disproven if one does a little bit of research. Polyunsaturated fats like those found in soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, and peanut oil ARE very bad for the human body however… they are poison chock full of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, as well as contributing to metabolic syndromes like Type 2 diabetes and yes, clogging arteries.

          • Royal2000H

            Sorry but in terms of good to bad it’s
            monounsaturated -> polyunsaturated -> saturated

      • ericl5112

        You would always buy things that are worth it to you.  Worth is just dependent on the person.

      • I would pay $1000 for an app in heatbeat if this app would be making me at least $100/month for the rest of my life.
        This app, for example, can potentially make a few thousands a month: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/barmax-ca/id345722008?mt=8

    • Bob Martin

      i wouldn’t pay for an app that costs literally 5 times more than my phone it will be on.

      • ericl5112

        So it would not be worth it to you.  The statement was you would buy an app for what it is worth.  Worth is not some universal number.

        • Bob Martin

          there is no app that is or ever will be worth $1000. at least not until smartphones r worth $5000 or more. i mean why would a dev go through the work to build an app worth $1000 and sell it for that amount when hackers can just upload the apk online for everyone to pirate it. sure someone would have to buy it but they would end up losing money on an app they probably spent a few years building. im sure u won’t understand the logic behind what i just said.

          • ericl5112

            I know your mom told you you were the most important person in the world, and every listened for your opinions, but that’s not true.

            People pay 10’s of thousands of dollars for apps.  There is a whole corporate world people always forget.  I repeat, value is subjective.  If something is not worth 10K to you, cool.  It very well could be worth it to someone else.