I Am Rich
|Original author(s)||Armin Heinrich|
|Initial release||August 5, 2008|
|Last release||1.0 / August 6, 2008|
I Am Rich is an iOS application which was formerly distributed using the App Store, and developed by Armin Heinrich. When launched, the screen only contains a glowing red gem and an icon that, when pressed, displays the following mantra in large text:
I am rich
I deserv [sic] it
I am good,
The application is described as "a work of art with no hidden function at all", with its only purpose being to show other people that they were able to afford it, making it a Veblen good. I Am Rich was sold on the App Store for 999.99 United States dollars, 799.99 euros, and 599.99 pounds sterling, the highest price Apple allows for App Store content. The application was removed from the App Store by Apple Inc. without explanation the day following its release, on August 6, 2008 .
While the application was available, eight people bought it, at least one of whom claimed to have done so accidentally. Six US sales at $999.99 and two European ones for €799.99 netted between $5,600–5,880 for developer Armin Heinrich and $2,400–2,520 for Apple. In correspondence with the Los Angeles Times, Heinrich told the newspaper that Apple had refunded two purchasers of his app, and that he was happy not to have dissatisfied customers.
Discussing the app on Silicon Alley Insider website, Dan Frommer described the program as a "scam", "worthless", and finally "a joke that smells like a scammy rip-off" on August 5, 6, and 8, respectively. Without purchasing the app, FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil guessed that the secret mantra was "German for 'Sucker!'" (as Heinrich is German). Wired magazine's Brian X. Chen described I Am Rich as a waste of money to "prove you're a jerk", and contrasted the expenditure with donating to cancer foundations and Third-World countries.
Heinrich told the Los Angeles Times' Mark Milian that he had received correspondence from satisfied customers, "I've got e-mails from customers telling me that they really love the app [... and that they had] no trouble spending the money."
On February 23, 2009, CNET Asia reported on the "conceptually similar" app, I Am Richer, developed by Mike DG for Google's Android smartphone operating system. The app was released on the Android Market for the cost of US$200, a limit imposed by Google, who has no objection to the application.
With the same name, the I Am Rich that was released on the Windows Phone Marketplace on December 22, 2010 was developed by DotNetNuzzi. Described by MobileCrunch as equally useless as the original, this app costs US$499.99, the price cap imposed by Microsoft.
- Wagenseil, Paul (2008-08-06). "'I Am Rich' iPhone Application Retails for $1,000". FOXNews.com (New York City, USA: Fox News Channel). Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- Milian, Mark (2008-08-07). "Apple removes $1,000 featureless iPhone application". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California, USA: Tribune Company). ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- Frommer, Dan (2008-08-08). "'I Am Rich' Dude: I Made $6000 From My Dumb iPhone App (AAPL)". Silicon Alley Insider. Business Insider. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- Frommer, Dan (2008-08-05). "Apple's iPhone-App-Approval Mouse Falls Off Treadmill: Buy The $1000 App That Does Nothing (AAPL)". Silicon Alley Insider. Business Insider. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- Frommer, Dan (2008-08-06). "Worthless, $1000 "I Am Rich" iPhone App Disappears (AAPL)". Silicon Alley Insider. Business Insider. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- Chen, Brian X. (2008-08-05). "Pay $1,000 For an iPhone App; Prove You’re a Jerk". Wired (San Francisco, California, USA: Condé Nast Publications). ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- Shankland, Stephen (2009-02-26). "Wealth-flaunting app arrives on Android phones". Crave. San Francisco, California, USA: CNET Asia. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- Kumparak, Greg (2010-12-22). ""I Am Rich" App Shows Up For Windows Phone 7 At The Bargain Bin Price Of Just $499". MobileCrunch. TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2010-12-22.