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It's funny.  Laugh. Software Utilities (Apple) The Almighty Buck

8 People Buy "I Am Rich" iPhone App For $1,000 684

Posted by kdawson
from the more-money-than-good-sense dept.
FsG writes "In the first 24 hours that it was available, eight people bought a completely useless iPhone app for $1,000 a pop. This app does nothing except alert onlookers that you have a lot of money. The developer priced it at $999.99, which is the most you can charge on Apple's store. Apple has since yanked the app (without explanation as usual), while the inventive programmer walked away with $5,600."
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8 People Buy "I Am Rich" iPhone App For $1,000

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  • Reason why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 (980931) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:03AM (#24525415)
    It's because it got so much publicity. If not for Digg or Fark, no one would have thought twice about it.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:04AM (#24525443)
    This app is only going to grow in value when there only 8 copies in the world.
  • by Tatisimo (1061320) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:07AM (#24525509)
    At least one of them will make it freely available on bit torrent. Then we all can be iPhone rich!!!
  • well. (Score:5, Funny)

    by thhamm (764787) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:08AM (#24525537)
    modern alchemy. turn crap into money.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      modern alchemy. turn crap into money.

      I wish I could dig up a reference for this, but I'm at work and the google search might raise some eyebrows. :-P

      About a decade or more ago, I remember hearing that some artist canned his own poo, and then sold it to the snooty art people at $5K each.

      At the time, I remember thinking: that's brilliant, he managed to get people to buy tins of poo for that much money. Of course, if you never open it, it could well be a can of tuna and you'll never know. If you *do* open i

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:09AM (#24525575)

    It apparently adds the 'signed' tag to all articles on your website.

    I was wondering how that happened.

    Really - what's up with the newly-ubiquitous 'signed' tag?

    Ryan Fenton

  • by Baruch Atta (1327765) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:09AM (#24525577)
    buy this program.
    That is, if i was in that income bracket. Let's see, I make about $90k working for the state (very secure, you /.ers) so, $1000 is about one percent of my income. Now, I don't mind buying a frappaccio or other such for say, $5. 5/90000 is (where is that calculator?) .005% of my income. Yearly.
    Divide that into $1000 and you get $18 million. Or so.
    So, if I was making $18 million per year, yes, I would not think twice about dropping a grand on bubkes.
    • by Bandman (86149) <bandmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:24AM (#24525891) Homepage

      Looking at the economics of enjoyment, if you get the same amount of enjoyment, relative, from your coffee as you do from an application that doesn't do a damned thing, you need to improve the quality of your coffee.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cliffski (65094)

      Even if I was Bill gates, I would NEVER just throw $1000 away on something silly. Because I know the opportunity cost of that is $1,000 donated to some charity. That probably saves 20 kids eyesight in Africa for fucks sake.

      You have to be pretty amazingly selfish or stupid to throw that kind of cash away, no matter how much you have. It's just an insult to those living on a pittance.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:10AM (#24525603) Homepage Journal
    He clicked on "Buy" thinking it was a joke. Maybe he needs an update that makes it say "I am retarded" instead...
  • by darjen (879890) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:11AM (#24525607)

    If so, I'll give you $2000 for your iPhone. Email me your bank account info and I'll transfer the money asap.

  • by mrroot (543673) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:12AM (#24525625)
    I used to be a micro-isv for BlackBerry apps, but gave up after getting completely frustrated by the stupidity of users. I have lost count of how many times someone would simply buy my app without even trying the trial version first. I even had a few people buy it and then email me asking what it is supposed to do! Then there were the people who would buy it sight unseen and then not be able to get it working for whatever reason. The support load from these kinds of users just became too much for a one-person shop, so I woke up one morning and said f-it and closed up.

    The more expensive the device, the more likely you will encounter these wasteful consumers. I guess it is good if you are an ISV, and hats off to this developer for marketing a totally useless application to totally useless users.
  • One click buy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:12AM (#24525633) Homepage

    The guy who "accidentally" bought it was an idiot sure. (Assuming that part wasn't staged).

    Is it a good thing that you can buy something literally with one click? I find it reassuring that I have to enter my credit card details, then the little code on the back, and finally the long password that is only stored in my head.

    • by Thelasko (1196535) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:27AM (#24525959) Journal

      Is it a good thing that you can buy something literally with one click? I find it reassuring that I have to enter my credit card details, then the little code on the back, and finally the long password that is only stored in my head.

      I prefer the one click purchase. I find it horribly inconvenient to enter all of my credit card information and password. Besides, I never click any buttons acci

  • by Channard (693317) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:15AM (#24525693) Journal
    .. 'I am a rich asshole', which instead of having a red gem, sports a brown star.
  • CounterApp (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chief_Wiggum (1341031) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:16AM (#24525721)
    Now selling the "I Am Poor" App. Pay me $0.99 and you will receive a cardboard sign to hold up while you use an iPhone. Lets see Apple take this one down! In retrospect, how did you get an iPhone if you're poor? On second thought I really don't want to know.
  • Let's be honest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daveywest (937112) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:18AM (#24525759)

    Everyone who is complaining is jealous that ...

    A. They didn't think of the idea first.

    B. They can't afford it anyway

    C. If they did think of it first, they could have afforded it.

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:22AM (#24525851)

    An "I've Got A Really Big Penis" app that user must purchase from the App Store without using their hands and standing 12" away from their iPhone.

  • by LinuxDon (925232) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:22AM (#24525867)

    I guess that the problem Apple has with this is that when one person starts doing it, then others will follow.

    Before you know it, the entire store is full of useless apps selling for ridiculous prices. This of course makes the entire store look ridiculous, thus lowering the value of the store in total.

  • Make even more (Score:4, Insightful)

    by llZENll (545605) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:24AM (#24525887)

    Copy app and release as freeware, call it "I Am Smart"

  • by DriedClexler (814907) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:26AM (#24525945)

    This app does nothing except alert onlookers that you have a lot of money.

    And substance is nothing but the opposite of the void. Talk about understatement!

    "Signaling wealth" is a major part of sexual selection [wikipedia.org], in which a common strategy is to show that you're so wealthy that you can afford various things (the "handicap principle"). It generalizes to other species, for example, how peacocks flash their extravagant feathers to show how fit they are in being able to survive despite being burdened by such ornamentation.

    Signaling wealth is also vital in interspecies signaling, such as how gazelles demonstrate their "wealth" by stotting [wikipedia.org], i.e. showing how capable they are of fleeing predators.

    It's also been argued to form the basis for some altruism, in that people show how much they give to the poor to show how wealthy they are.

    So yes, signaling your wealth IS a useful product function. The problem with the app is not that it "merely" signals wealth, but that it ... doesn't, because it could easily be faked.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:43AM (#24526263)
    is the list of people who bought it
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:54AM (#24526483) Homepage Journal

    It costs 99$ per year to become an iPhone/iPod touch developer, so he only made 5500$. :P

    A bit off-topic but interesting fact: the iPhone/iPod touch screen is 480x320 pixels, making this 999.99$ "artwork" 0.0065103515625$/pixel. That's still a lot cheaper than 1$ per pixel [milliondol...mepage.com]. ;)

  • by argent (18001) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:56AM (#24526511) Homepage Journal

    The original article I read indicated that one of the buyers had been distracted when he clicked on the purchase link, and didn't realize he'd actually bought something. This is not that uncommon. A friend of mine accidentally bought a printer from the Apple store this way, and I bought an iPod Shuffle when I clicked on the "buy" link to see what the shipping would be... not realizing that Apple had implemented one-click buying. Now I was thinking of buying the shuffle anyway, and decided not to cancel it during the grace period, but I can easily see someone not realizing that they were looking at a receipt instead of a shopping cart until too late.

    I disable "one-click" purchasing, and I almost wish Amazon WAS able to prevent Apple or anyone else from implementing this dangerous scheme. It makes me think there might be a place for an organization that simply patented bad ideas to keep people from implementing them... it's no crazier than anything else happening in patents and copyrights these days.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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