Short answer: it depends.
Long answer: as anything else in this sense, iPhone/iPad applications development takes time and resources. And as we all know, time is money. So, when you are asking “how much does an iphone/ipad app cost?” you already have to know what kind of app it will be and respectively how much time it will take to develop such an app.
Our experience tells us that getting something to work on the iPhone/iPad is pretty easy. Getting it polished takes a long, long time!
There are apps that could take a week to get “up and running” in the app store. There are others, that could take an experienced Objective-C developer at least a month or so of development time (150+ hours), plus a week or two of a graphic designers time (50+ hours). And that could be a pretty optimistic estimate of time. Note – this is the time to get the app with all its functionality just “run” on the iPhone/iPad. Testing and tweaking to produce a high quality application would probably add another month.
For a developer who is entirely new to Objective-C but has a couple years of development experience in a few other languages anyway, it would be reasonable to add a month of development time for ramping up. (Ofcourse, this won’t be the case if we develop your app)
Getting to the numbers: Guru.com shows Obj-C developers with hourly prices of a pretty large range, but ones that are talking specifically about Mac development seem to be at least $50/h. 200 hours (development + graphic design) at $50/h is $10,000.
Also, a negotiation can be established for a percentage of sales in exchange for a lower rate, which can come handy when a low budget is questioned.
Although time is a leading factor for iPhone/iPad apps development price, there are other dependencies as well. These can be the apps scope/area, its complexity, ownership, development risks. Yes, when a mobile application of any kind is about to be developed, the risks must be assessed.
Every software project, whether mobile or otherwise, follows a similar model to calculate the value of production. The price depends, the time for production – too. The more you understand the formula, the better we will work together. If you are looking for a professional manufacture of mobile software, contact us. We will make the best of what we can to help.