This evening, I was considering the costs of the two major notation packages.
Finale has a suggested price of $600. Various other versions feature pricing that is lower, but the lower the cost, the less functionality of the program. Sibelius has similar versions, starting at $500. Of course, educators get discounts. But you still need to buy a computer, perhaps add-on programs, and peripherals (USB MIDI Keyboards? Speakers?). I can’t speak to Sibelius, but there is a yearly update of Finale which costs about $125 with shipping.
Without a doubt, the full versions of Finale and Sibelius can do more than Symphony Pro. But they keep working on the app, and the other companies have had years to build their product. Symphony Pro has been available since January.
In addition, the iPad, with a basic model starting at $499, and Symphony Pro at $14.99, can–in many cases–replace the need for the $500-$600 software program, the computer, and the USB MIDI keyboard.
And that’s if you only use the iPad for one application.