The $100 iPhone App You Might Actually Buy

When we looked at the 10 most expensive iPhone apps last week — ranging from $180 to $900 — most of them were for niche audiences like medical professionals and security managers, and not something most people would buy.

But here’s a $100 app for mainstream users: The new TomTom turn-by-turn GPS navigation app, which just hit Apple’s App Store.

The idea is to replace your standalone in-car GPS system — or never buy one in the first place — and use your iPhone instead. This is the latest step in the iPhone app revolution that’s taking many of the gadgets you own — like a portable gaming console or satellite radio — and turning them into apps on one device, running over the Internet.

At $100, TomTom’s app probably won’t lead the App Store’s best selling list, but it should do well. Assuming you use it for more than 10 months, the one-time fee will end up being a better purchase than other similar apps, which run as $10 per month subscriptions. (Though you may end up buying more maps or other upgrades in the future.)

And the TomTom iPhone accessory gadget — a dashboard mount with a built-in charger and GPS booster — could be a hit gift this Christmas. Good news for TomTom and good news for Apple, which gets a 30% cut from all iPhone sales.

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