I Am Rich

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I Am Rich
I Am Rich, as it appeared in the United States' version of the App Store, with a price of US$999.99
I Am Rich, as it appeared in the United States' version of the App Store, with a price of US$999.99
Developer(s) Armin Heinrich
Initial release August 5, 2008; 10 years ago (2008-08-05)
Operating system iPhone OS
Available in English

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:[1]

I am rich
I deserv [sic] it
I am good,
healthy & successful

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;[2] Vox writer Zachary Crockett called it "the ultimate Veblen good in app form".[3] I Am Rich was sold on the App Store for US$999.99, €799.99, and £599.99, the highest price Apple allows for App Store content.[2][4] The application was removed from the App Store by Apple without explanation the day following its release, on August 6, 2008 (2008-08-06).[3]

Purchases[edit]

I saw this app with a few friends and we jokingly clicked 'buy' thinking it was a joke, to see what would happen. ... THIS IS NO JOKE...DO NOT BUY THIS APP AND APPLE PLEASE REMOVE THIS FROM THE APP STORE[4] This is not a joke! I need someone from apple to help me with this scam. I saw this app with a few friends and we jokingly clicked ‘buy’ thinking it was a JOKE, to see what would happen….I called my visa card and they verified I was charged $999.99. THIS IS NO JOKE. DO NOT BUY THIS APP. BEWARE...[3]

Customer complaints for I Am Rich

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[4] netted $5,600 for developer Armin Heinrich and $2,400 for Apple.[3] 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.[4][5]

Reception[edit]

Discussing the app on the 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.[5][6][7] Without purchasing the app, FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil guessed that the secret mantra was "German for 'Sucker!'" (as Heinrich is German).[2][5] Wired'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.[8]

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."[4]

Similar applications[edit]

The next year, Heinrich released I Am Rich LE. Priced at $9.99, the new app has several new features (including a calculator, "help system" and the "famous mantra without the spelling mistakes.") to meet Apple's requirement that apps have "definable content". Some customers were disappointed by the new functionality, poorly rating the app due to its ostensible improvements.[3]

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.[9]

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.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Geheimnis von teuerster iPhone-Software" [Secret of the most expensive iPhone software]. PC Welt (in German). 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Crockett, Zachary (2015-07-23). "How to Charge $1,000 for Absolutely Nothing". Priceonomics. San Francisco. Archived from the original on 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  5. ^ a b c 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Frommer, Dan (2008-08-06). "Worthless, $1000 "I Am Rich" iPhone App Disappears (AAPL)". Silicon Alley Insider. Business Insider. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2009-02-26). "Wealth-flaunting app arrives on Android phones". Crave. San Francisco, California, USA: CNET Asia. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  10. ^ 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 2010-12-23. Retrieved 2010-12-22.