$1000 iPhone App Does Nothing

Customers at Apple's online iPhone store recently had the opportunity to buy a program called "I Am Rich." True to its name, it cost $999.99.

The program, created by Armin Heinrich, a German software developer, displayed a large red ruby on the iPhone's screen. And that's it. Nothing else. The product description read:

"The red icon on your iPhone always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this. It's a work of art with no hidden function at all."

Eight people actually purchased the program before Apple removed it from the site. One of them complained that he bought it thinking it was a joke, only to discover a charge for $999.99 on his credit card.

This program walks the fine line between a prank and a scam. The concept is kind of funny, but Heinrich is apparently keeping the money that people paid. I wouldn't find that funny if it was my money.

Pranks Scams Technology

Posted on Mon Aug 11, 2008


They might have gotten some serious cash for this. Some materialistic types will do anything to prove wealth.
Posted by Loganp3  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  01:41 PM
If it were my money, I wouldn't hand over my credit card details to something I thought was a joke. :roll:
Posted by Madmouse  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  01:46 PM
How is this a scam?
The description says it does nothing, and it doesn't do anything. Seems to me he got what he paid for 😉
Posted by Chris  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  03:11 PM
why wouldn't he keep the money? because it was a lousy deal? is that how it works, if I spend my money on something stupid, I can have it back?
Posted by bb  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  08:54 PM
I don't get it. It's stupid, but if you're enough of a snob to pay $999.99 for something that very clearly states that it's "a work of art with no hidden function at all", why should you get your money back when it proves to be exactly what it promised?

I'm all for condemning scammers, but this doesn't really seem to be a scam. Like the creator says, there are probably people out there who are rich and stupid enough to want something so pointless.
Posted by Canaduck  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  11:06 PM
Yeah, people with extra money are always paying extra to get something extra that doesn't actually do anything extra overall. You can get through life just fine with a $20 wristwatch, but plenty of people spend thousands of dollars on watches that don't really do anything different from the less expensive ones. It's all about the status of the higher price tag, not about the watch itself.

If you authorise somebody to take a certain amount of money in return for something when you don't actually want your money taken, then making a fuss when they take the money is just being twice the idiot that you were originally.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  10:35 AM
"I wouldn't find that funny if it was my money."

Wait a sec! You would knowingly pay for a bauble that explicitly says does nothing, then be upset that it does nothing?!?
Posted by Corwin, The Master Physicist  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  11:59 AM
How soon until one of the nine phones shows up on ebay? I agree people got what they paid for, read the description, what is not to understand. Now watch someone make even more selling their phone with the ruby, only nine known to exist....
Posted by HFK  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  06:20 PM
> I wouldn't find that funny if it was my money.

No, but I bet you'd learn not to do stupid things like pay out big money for a stupid IPhone app...

> Now watch someone make even more selling their phone with the ruby, only nine known to exist....

HA! Then only to find out it's a software app that people have pirated and distributed all over the internet!

Posted by Oloodyhell  on  Thu Aug 14, 2008  at  01:05 AM
At least one person I saw complaining had accidentally ordered it with their 1-Click turned on. There may have been similar complaints.
Posted by Dusty  on  Thu Aug 14, 2008  at  11:39 AM
Yep, Dusty, I bet it went like this:

"Ah jeeze, the wife's gonna kill me when she finds out... Gotta get a cover story."
"Lessee, lessee,,, Er, I had the silly thing set to single click! Yeah, that's the ticket!"
Posted by Captain DaFT  on  Fri Aug 15, 2008  at  11:16 PM
"I Am Rich" means the software developer is now. . .
Posted by Captain Obvious  on  Sun Aug 17, 2008  at  11:27 PM
'"I Am Rich" means the software developer is now. . .'

I wouldn't say having eight thousand dollars quite makes you rich, but it isn't bad for a day's work.

Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of my new iPhone product, "I Am Foolish."
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Aug 18, 2008  at  09:12 AM
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