An App is like manifestation of your Product or service on your customer / user’s handheld device. And as your business revenue streams rely on your software manifestation in the user’s device, sky is the limit for investing in your App.
As the App is developed, its features decide its budget. It is like more sugar you add, sweeter your offering will get. Say for example, the owner of this Blog wants to get an app for the blog. He already has his blog posts ready but needs to decide whether the App with a native iOS App, or Web App or a hybrid App. Further, he may want to have certain sections to be showing only paid content, that is an additional feature which would require a payments accepting setup complying with legal requirements for fund collections. He may want to add GPS tracking, or music or even video. Cost goes up with each enhancement.
A typical App development (for the masses) would cost you within the range of $5,000 and $ 10,000. It can get much higher depending on App functionality and complexity.
Plane-Jane Simple Apps can cost you anywhere from mere $500 to upto $5,000. You provide the content and have a clear idea of things to be included and representations to be made in the App.
An App running on a Database will push up to envelope from $5,000 to $ 50,000 as these involve algorithm programming, plus investment in back-end servers and infrastructure.
I am sure you would have tried several types of games on your iDevice (iPhone, iPad and iPod) and would have a good idea of varied combination of features in different Gaming Apps. They cost between $10,000-$250,000. A Candy Crush or a Angry Birds game would easily cross $100K.
Integrating your App to existing Apple infrastructure like Game Center, or with Facebook for ‘Saved Game history’ will cost more. For Example, Clash of Clans or Farm Ville.
To a certain extent you can picture this like a Car Sales Shop: You got the Cars ready for Sale, but how you build your Showroom around it along with requisite Salesmen, support staff, Call-center, Insurance Claim Desk and Servicemen is your call.