The First $1000 iPhone Application

It doesn't do much of anything! It's kind of expensive! And it's available now!

By  |  Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm

iPhone developer Armin Heinrich has released an application for the iPhone with two noteworthy characteristics:

1) Its primary function is to display a handsome glowing red jewel on your iPhone’s screen:

2) It sells on Apple’s App Store for $999.99, thereby explaining its name: I Am Rich:

(Okay, it does have one other feature: If you touch the “i” in the lower right-hand corner, you get “a secret mantra…[which] may help you to stay rich, healthy, and successful.” Unless Heinrich decides to hand out reviewer’s copies of I Am Rich, I may never learn what that mantra is.)

Heinrich, incidentally, also sells an iPhone calculator app which, at $4.99, most likely appeals to a wider, less well-heeled audience.

Apple’s policy for approving or rejecting iPhone apps has been a bit fuzzy: It keeps approving and unapproving Nullriver’s NetShare tethering utility, and pulled the seemingly innocuous Box Office movie info app. It seems possible that whatever person or automated system put I Am Rich on the App Store was asleep at the proverbial wheel. But if I it stays up–and I have to confess that the jokester in me kinda-sorta hopes it does–one thing’s clear: Practical jokes are acceptable.

At first, all this reminded me of the days when lots of wiseacres put stuff on eBay ranging from babies to kidneys to pieces of space station Mir to their own souls. The auctions sometimes got bids in the thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of dollars; eBay tended to look askance at such hijinks, and shut down the sales as quickly as it could. But those auctions differed from Heinrich’s offering in at least two crucial ways: The items in question were usually illegal or impossible to sell, and  “bids” were clearly pranks that eBay would never have enforced.

Heinrich’s app. on the other hand, is real and seemingly clearly explained, and the App Store presumably automatically charges your credit card once you agree to buy it. Wonder if anyone who isn’t rich has been silly and/or bold enough to make the purchase?

(Via Daring Fireball’s John Gruber on Twitter.)

Further thought: Other than me, most of the people who are blogging about this seem to think it’s an obnoxious travesty, and possibly insulting to iPhone developers who are trying to sell real apps. The non-jokester in me see the point. Betcha it gets pulled down–if nothing else, the hassle of dealing with anyone who “accidentally” buys it isn’t worth the pain for Apple…and neither is the distraction from all the useful, worth-the-money iPhone apps out there.

Further further thought @ 8:19pm: Hey, let’s conduct a poll!

Further further thought @ 4:26pm on 8/6: I Am Rich is now missing from the App Store. Big surprise!

 
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32 Comments For This Post

  1. monkeystick Says:

    I thought a friend of mine was kidding when he told me about this app..

  2. bud Says:

    I have heard that the Rotten Tomatoes App being pulled was not Apples Choice, but the app authors choice, to perform an upgrade (I think the app has been renamed, for whatever reason)

    But that raises another possible issue.. if a developer changes the name of their App, I suppose that by default pulls the earlier version under another name, from ever being upgraded. If a developer did not want to you to upgrade for no charge, but to buy again (if the app has a price) they just rename it. And possibly lose any publicity they had built up however.

  3. dcato33 Says:

    This is genius – seriously – this is free enterprise at it’s best – click off a few of those, there’s a down payment on that BMW.

  4. JazzMan Says:

    I’m so glad the powers that be at Apple decided that this I Am Rich farce of an App is worth putting in its store and NetShare isn’t.

    I mean who needs a practical App for using your iPhone as a modem when you can have a glowing useless gem on your iPhone for $1000.

    I think Apple arrogance and cocki-ness needs to be put in check. What’s Apple’s cut on the sale of a $1000 App?

    Yes, I’m grumpy.

  5. toby johnson Says:

    You forgot an option on your poll: “Wish I would have thought of this first”. Just like MillionDollarHomepage.com.

    Of course, I’m sure that it will also attract a slew of copycats as well. If it doesn’t get yanked, we’ll soon see “I’m Rich Too” apps selling for $500, then $100….

  6. Mark Carey Says:

    This app is genius way to bring free publicity to the developer. A smart move, I bet sales of his calculator app have already spiked. It’s kinda like link bait. Heck, technologizer took the bait! ;)

  7. Robert Rademacher Says:

    Damn…I wish I have developed that “5 minutes quickie” fool’s gold application and rack in their useless gold easily.

    The “I’m Rich” developer is very creative and ingenuity, as well as did a find job mocking AppStore’s approval process.

    Robert

  8. Sam B Says:

    A fiver says the “secret mantra which may help you to stay rich, healthy, and successful” is “Stop buying crap like this”.

  9. Brent Says:

    to pay $1,000 for a bottle of great wine is crazy, But I would do it, but this…please don’t indulge this person’s marketing ability to entice the people that have money to just blantanly pay just to prove that they can!

  10. Dub Says:

    Isn’t the point of a marketplace to have ridiculous extremes? The travesty of the Apps Store is that Apple is watching over it at all. Yes a case can be made for ensuring stable applications but after that it should be anything goes.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    http://rapidshare.com/files/135373203/IAmRich.ipa.html
    Not cracked tho

  12. American Male Says:

    Apple just removed this app from their online store.

  13. Michael S. Copeland Says:

    I personally think this is a genius idea. Hell if people want it, and have the money, they can get it. It reminds me a lot of http://www.blingh2o.com/. It’s more of a status symbol than anything else. I wonder what the $10,000 iPhone app will do?

  14. Joe Schmo Says:

    If you right click the pic above you can save it to iphoto, then sync it to your phone and use it as a wallpaper. All your friends will think you bought it. Ha Ha Ha.

  15. MarcosV. Says:

    I think I’ll write a “I’m a Billionairre” app that costs $1 million dollars. Heck, I’d only have to sell one of them.

  16. iPhoneCrazy Says:

    That’s crazy but hey, aren’t there enough fools to download it just to prove that they can! :) Please, don’t be one of them…
    Better go to Pikaba.com and win a free iPhone 3g.

  17. chishmishdeez Says:

    I will give u mantra for FREE: Dont become poor by $999…..

  18. Music Fan Says:

    Great application, but nobody will buy it :-)

  19. Mr. Nobody Says:

    First the phone was a rip and now the apps for it is an even bigger joke. Good Luck to apple and its business model.

  20. DJDanone Says:

    This app plays to a market niche of which most of the posters here can not relate with. By adding a high price tag, the creator of this app was banking on exclusivity as well as on a superstitious, “law of attraction” market niche of wealthy, self-made individuals. And this niche does exist, I have seen them. $1,000 for a hand held mantra reminded them they are successful, wealthy, or fabulous actually seems feasible to me. And he will need to have a high price, because the sheer size of the niche is much smaller in comparison to the mainstream. I applaud the boldness and creativity of this application. Just because you are not the customer of a business, does not mean it does not have its niche.

  21. British Boy Says:

    My friend who has a private jet bought this and he always boasts about it….

  22. Geoff Says:

    The “I am Rich” app is currently £0.59, which is around $0.99. By the looks of it, its the same glowing jewel and the same guy that made it.

  23. Capitalism at its finest Says:

    Ahhh capitalism at its finest indeed. I think it’s incredibly inteligent. Finally someone had the brains to prey on the rich. Why is everyone so upset? Did he take your $1000? If he did, your a moron and you deserve it. Get over it people. The guy clearly stated in the app description what it was about and what it did. They all knew what they were buying and so what if he made a few hundred thousand. Props to him

  24. Sid Says:

    $1000, are you kidding me? I also wish them luck trying to get average Joe’s to buy this.

  25. iPhone Apps Says:

    Honestly, this is brilliant. The ultimate status symbol app for iPhone owners. While I am very surprised it made it past the iPhone app approval process, I think Apps like this deserve a place in the appstore along all of the others.

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34 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Turulcsirip - Amy Says:

    [...] First $1000 iPhone Application | Technologizer: iPhone developer Armin Heinrich has re.. http://technologizer.com/2008/08/05/the-first-1000-iphone-application/ « előző | következő » Amy — 2008. 08. 06. [...]

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    [...] puedes lucir para demostrar que te va mejor que a los que no la tienen. Muy ingenioso. Fuente: Technologizer addthis_pub = [...]

  3. The First $1000 iPhone Application | Harry McCracken | Voices | AllThingsD Says:

    [...] Read the rest of this post Print all_things_di220:http://voices.allthingsd.com/20080806/mccracken-4/ Sphere Comment Tagged: Apple, Armin Heinrich, Harry McCracken, I Am Rich, Technologizer, Voices, iPhone | permalink [...]

  4. Turulcsirip - Vero "wHiTe" Says:

    [...] Listen, if I have a G laying around, I’m not bedazzling my iPhone. http://technologizer.com/2008/08/05/the-first-1000-iphone-application/ « előző | következő » Vero “wHiTe” — 2008. 08. 06. [...]

  5. "I am Rich" iPhone App costs a grand and does nothing | MostReviews.com Says:

    [...] The First $1000 iPhone Application [Tech Tree via Wired: Gadget Lab] [...]

  6. Hardware 2.0 mobile edition Says:

    [...] seem to think that it’s no more than a bit of fun, others seem deeply offended. Me, I wouldn’t buy it, and I wouldn’t like to click on it [...]

  7. Is There Any Good Reason Why Apple Should Pull The $1000 iPhone App? - BuzzYA! Says:

    [...] mantra.” But more shocking than this apparent waste of bytes and money is a number of prominent blogs which are calling for Apple to block the application. This is ludicrous. If someone wants to part [...]

  8. Tech News » Blog Archive » Is There Any Good Reason Why Apple Should Pull The $1000 iPhone App? Says:

    [...] mantra.” But more shocking than this apparent waste of bytes and money is a number of prominent blogs which are calling for Apple to block the application. This is ludicrous. If someone wants to part [...]

  9. Tech Scoop - Hot Technology Gossip » Is There Any Good Reason Why Apple Should Pull The $1000 iPhone App? Says:

    [...] mantra.” But more shocking than this apparent waste of bytes and money is a number of prominent blogs which are calling for Apple to block the application. This is ludicrous. If someone wants to part [...]

  10. Apple’s Gated Community: The Rich Not Welcome « Blurring Borders Says:

    [...] But more shocking than this apparent waste of bytes and money is a number of prominent blogs which are calling for Apple to block the application. This is ludicrous. If someone wants to part [...]

  11. My Diigo Bookmarks 08/07/2008 | AccMan Says:

    [...] The First $1000 iPhone Application | Technologizer [...]

  12. “I’m Rich” iPhone App - Not So Funny! : Republic Of Internets Says:

    [...] Armin Heinrich created an iPhone app that was selling for $999.99 at the AppStore. The story was reported for the first time yesterday and there was quite a bit of buzz on the blogosphere yesterday. But [...]

  13. $1000 iPhone App released - does nothing. | Completely Random Tidbits Says:

    [...] Technologizer (via wired) [...]

  14. “I Am Rich” iPhone App | Todaygadgets.info Says:

    [...] Technologizer is conducting a poll on whether or not the app should be pulled from the App store. So far it looks like most are in favor of keeping it. [...]

  15. Absurdistan (2) | info.michael-simons.eu Says:

    [...] I Am Rich. [...]

  16. Number of the Day - 1.000 | iDoctor - Internet Marketing Says:

    [...] I would love to know if someone bought the app already… Source: techologizer.com [...]

  17. links for 2008-8-7 | Hardly ever offline Says:

    [...] The First $1000 iPhone Application | Technologizer 1000 $ für ein sinnloses iPhone Programm, nette idee via <a href=”http://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2008/08/06/was-macht-es/”>BasicThinking</a&gt; (tags: iphone fun) [...]

  18. I Am Rich - aplicatie iPhone de 999,99 de dolari care nu face nimic | Jurnalistul.ro Says:

    [...] Site-ul Sillicon Valley Insider informeaza ca aplicatia a fost retrasa de pe iTunes, iar site-ul Tehnologizer.com realizeaza un sondaj daca aplicatia sa fie pastrata de catre Apple. …citeste mai departe, pe [...]

  19. “I Am Rich” - aplicatie iPhone de 999,99 de dolari care nu face nimic Says:

    [...] Site-ul Sillicon Valley Insider informeaza ca aplicatia a fost retrasa de pe iTunes, iar site-ul Tehnologizer.com realizeaza un sondaj daca aplicatia sa fie pastrata de [...]

  20. 1000 Dolarlık iPhone Uygulaması Olur mu? | alialtugkoca Says:

    [...] , Technologizer , Los Angeles Times Technology [...]

  21. Sinlung News - - Apple boots $1000 app Says:

    [...] “help you to stay rich, healthy, and successful”. As Harry McCracken, of Technologizer, who brought us this story puts it: “Unless Heinrich decides to hand out reviewer’s copies of I Am Rich, I may [...]

  22. “I Am Rich” - aplicatie iPhone de 999,99 de dolari care nu face nimic « construiesc ziua de maine Says:

    [...] Site-ul Sillicon Valley Insider informeaza ca aplicatia a fost retrasa de pe iTunes, iar site-ul Tehnologizer.com realizeaza un sondaj daca aplicatia sa fie pastrata de [...]

  23. Two Douche Bags Don’t a Good iPhone App Make | K's Weblog Says:

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  24. Techlusive Says:

    [...] the iPhone “I’m Rich” app, that person will be a [...]

  25. Does your iPhone-for-the-masses make you … | 3giphoneupdate.com Says:

    [...] Envision how awesome you’ll look if you put this on a Swarovski-encrusted 3G model—$$$!!! [Technologizer via [...]

  26. Does your iPhone-for-the-masses make you … | 3giphoneupdate.com Says:

    [...] Imagine how awesome you’ll look if you put this on a Swarovski-encrusted 3G model—$$$!!! [Technologizer via AppScout]n Source[consumerist]nShare [...]

  27. Does your iPhone-for-the-masses make you … | 3giphoneupdate.com Says:

    [...] Imagine how awesome you’ll look if you put this on a Swarovski-encrusted 3G model—$$$!!! [Technologizer via [...]

  28. Blurring Borders » Blog Archive » Apple’s Gated Community: The Rich Not Welcome Says:

    [...] But more shocking than this apparent waste of bytes and money is a number of prominent blogs which are calling for Apple to block the application. This is ludicrous. If someone wants to part [...]

  29. Teknovis » “I am Rich” iPhone Application Says:

    [...] more information about this application, and a screenshot, see The First $1000 iPhone Application and Apple removes $1,000 featureless iPhone application. It is free to view the red jewel using [...]

  30. When a Blackberry just won't do. - BlackBerryForums.com : Your Number One BlackBerry Community Says:

    [...] And the outrageous price is part of that status. Remember that crazy iPhone app called "I Am Rich that did nothing but display a red jewel on the screen? It cost $1000! And some fools actually [...]

  31.   6 Items That Exemplify Conspicuous Spending by StimulusResource.org Says:

    [...] I am Rich App – The $999.99 iPhone app entitled, “I am Rich” stirred up lots of controversy last year. The app itself flashes a computer designed ruby on the screen – and that’s it. The app is no longer for sale, but a similar one has been released just recently for $99.99 under the name “You are Rich.” [...]

  32. Free | HubLog Says:

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