Today, FBI director James Comey noted that the cost to the bureau to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook was more than what he would make in the seven years and four months before his retirement. Reuters busted out its calculators and determined that he would make $1.3 million in his time left as head of the government agency. So, you know, more than that.
While that seems like a ton of cash to circumvent the security of a phone, it's actually on par with what exploit merchants might be charging. In 2015, for instance, Zerodium offered a $1 million bounty for iOS 9 zero-day vulnerabilities.
The FBI is expected to use more third-party firms to extract information from encrypted devices. If it does, then, this sort of payout will soon become a regular occurrence.