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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

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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  • 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

  • Re:Hilarious. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cromar ( 1103585 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:09AM (#24525579)
    Completely! This is the future of application design, mark my words ladies and gentleman. It's kind of like paying thousands for a pair of shoes that are less useful or durable when you could buy a $20 pair at Pay-Less. Now if only I can figure out how to get in on the luxury app market...
  • Apple's retarded. If people want to pay for something, let them pay for it! Buyer beware, etc. but what's Apple afraid of, that their handset rumored to have an elitist following has an even more elitist inner "circle o' jerks"? (yeah, yeah, that's what she said)

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:25AM (#24525919) Homepage

    The problem with making up a reason as you did, i.e., saying that Apple could be sued, is that the same reason could be applied to any app that Apple sells. And considering that far less people would buy the $1000 app, the chances of a lawsuit would be far less in that circumstance.

    Can you come up with an actual, i.e., not a made up reason, why this specific app and only this specific app should be pulled? I won't be holding my breath.

  • Re:Hilarious. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:30AM (#24526055) Journal

    I am not a snob, and am aware that price != quality.

    But I have found that going for a $20.00 payless shoe is not the best way to keep feet that don't smell like dead rodents.

    Generally shoes that are 40-60 at marshalls (use cash) can hit the price/quality sweet spot far better than really really cheap junky shoes.

  • Re:well. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:34AM (#24526123) Homepage

    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 it, you've destroyed your, er, valuable art piece consisting of canned human excrement and now have an open tin of crap.

    Either way, the guy who sold it was a genius. The people who bought it were idiots. :-P


  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:37AM (#24526161) Homepage
    Why is it there is always someone who has a grandma/old mom/old person that uses everything and we're told we have to cater to the fact that this person's grandma/old mom/old person has apple sauce for brains?

    If you mom has issue with buying overpriced things online then she shouldn't be allowed to shop online.

    The app, imo, is totally valid as long as it does what it claimed even if it's over priced because no one forced you to buy it. Apple should reinstate it.

    I've not used an iphone but I find it highly unlikely that, when you buy things, with one click nothing is said and you're automatically charged so no one has an excuse if they've purchased it.
  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:48AM (#24526365) Homepage

    "Because it makes the Apple brand look bad"

    To whom? Where is your support for this? And exactly how does the sale of a third party app make the Apple brand look bad?

    "People spending $1000 on an app that does nothing but be expensive underscores the idea that the iPhone is a useless toy for people to show off extravagance.

    It does not do nothing. It displays a glowing red gem. That's something. You might not want that something, I certainly do not want that something, but that's our subjective opinions. Apparantly, 8 people did want it and that was their subjective opinions.

    Let's me ask this, did you buy every app at Apple's store? No, why not? Is it because some of the apps, heck, most of the apps do not fill any need you might have? Does that mean that all of those apps should be pulled too?

    "Apple doesn't want to be a brand of over-indulgence."

    God I hope you recognized the irony of that statement!

    Once again, give me a reason why this particular app should be pulled. Just so you know, I've given up holding my breath.

  • by EvilNTUser ( 573674 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:52AM (#24526437)

    Apple doesn't believe in the free market. If it did, you could buy an iPhone without a contract and install any application you want - like all the other smartphones on the market.

    Before anyone points out that in a free market Apple can do whatever it wants, keep in mind that this doesn't prevent it from violating the spirit of said market. Bundling products like that used to be illegal in many countries until the telecoms lobbied the governments enough. The same logic that's used for open document standards can be used here: you wouldn't want your choice of car to force you into a certain chain of gas stations.

    Or your choice of mp3 player dictate your choice of player software, for that matter...

  • 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.

  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @11:59AM (#24526583)
    I bought a 24" iMac by mistake once because of the one-click purchase 'feature' of the Apple online store. Not only did they refund me the money, they paid the shipping return fees as well. All just because I'm stoopid.
  • Re:Hilarious. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:04PM (#24526699)

    Now if only I can figure out how to get in on the luxury app market...

    I can't find the source, but I remember hearing a story about NYC fashion design student whose senior thesis involved her buying expensive name brand clothing and then clothing from Target or Walmart and then swapping the tags that are sewn into the necklines.

    She went to a consignment shop and asked more (of course) for the cheap clothes with luxury tags on the cheap clothing and less for the luxury items with the cheap tags on it.

    As it turned out the clothes original from Wal Mart/Target sold quickly while the luxury items (even though priced cheaper) did not sell because of the tags.

    Of course this could be an urban myth.

  • by houbou ( 1097327 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:04PM (#24526701) Journal
    No I don't agree with Apple at all in yanking the application away. 1) Free Market Enterprise. 2) The people's right to choose what they wish to buy 3) The product was useless, but also harmless 4) This product wasn't even immoral to anyone, seriously, there was nothing threatning, illegal, nonewhatsoever to this product. C'mon, that's simple to me. I wouldn't buy the product, I don't have 1000$ to blow on a such a thing, and even if I did have the money, I wouldn't be advertising it, but the truth is, whoever programmed it, sold it as a luxury item, with no hidden functionality. Whoever would wish to buy it, should do so. To me, that's fair. Apple is being unAmerican here, ironically enough. Those who complain seem to forget that in the end, nobody forces them to purchase the app. They are just jealous they couldn't own it. The price set by the developer is HIS choice and HIS alone. He was following Apple's guidelines as to how expensive it can be, but the truth is, if Apple was fair, they would apologize for removing it, they would put a disclaimer that the product is useless and they wouldn't bow to anyone's pressure about this. Sometimes, I swear, but common sense is truly the worse of oxymorons.
  • Re:Because (Score:5, Interesting)

    by croddy ( 659025 ) * on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:19PM (#24527003)
    The programmer asserts that I Am Rich is a work of art. I tend to agree. There is a lot of expensive software in the world, and right alongside it is a lot of freeware and free software that performs the same functionality (sometimes less, and sometimes much more). Heinrich has found a function for software that cannot be performed by something that's not expensive -- you can't affirm "I Am Rich" with an Iphone application that costs nothing. It also serves as an interesting critique of a marketplace Apple has created for the exchange of goods that have no marginal cost to produce.
  • by jchawk ( 127686 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:29PM (#24527221) Homepage Journal

    You're missing the point. Leave it as a free economy and allow the user base who purchases apps to bubble what's selling to the top.

    Apple already has a means to deal with this. This application would have been at the dead-bottom of "Top Paid Apps" category.

    And if you're too stupid to read the price, type in your password and accept a $1000 purchase well then you probably don't deserve to use a fork either.

  • Re:Reason why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Abreu ( 173023 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:36PM (#24527383)

    I work in a company that sells what might be called a "luxury service" (vacational memberships), and I really groan every time I get people who want to cancel their contract when they finally figure out that they actually can't afford it.

    I even got a guy who lied about his income on his membership application because he wanted to impress his girlfriend... And the idiot felt he was entitled to a refund for his down payment.

    Apple should deny any and all refund requests from these idiots, and fight the credit card chargebacks that will inevitably ensue.

  • Re:Reason why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by johnpowell ( 876333 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @12:38PM (#24527419)
    The folks who bought this app can reverse charges on their credit cards and get their money back. Then the onus is on the vendor to sue for payment - don't think that's going to happen.
  • Re:Reason why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enleth ( 947766 ) <> on Friday August 08, 2008 @01:06PM (#24527911) Homepage

    The polish EMPIK shop chain (they sell books, press, games etc. and definitely are a big box retailer by the Central European standards) does. I've bought a few games there, installed them and, in some cases, found out that they won't run on the GMA950 in my laptop. I was given a full, no-questions-asked refund, I just had to ask for it within a week of the purchase. They accept the cost (can't just put the thing back on the shelf without the factory-made shrinkwrap seal) for the convenience of the customer. Actually. it's required by the trade law in Poland, but some smaller shops try to weasel out of it using the factory seals as an excuse ("the thing is in used condition, the law is about unused products") - EMPIK, however, doesn't.

  • Re:Hilarious. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @01:46PM (#24528681) Homepage

    Oh, I know that I'm speaking against the grain by de-valorizing geek tastes. But if you think that clothes fashions are just about impressing strangers, you're wrong.

    Here's a dirty little secret: it's fun. It's a kind of aesthetic play in itself. It's a way of manipulating cultural semiotics and actually saying things, implicitly, about sociocultural roles. It is how classes maneuver for position.

    And, like I said, it's fun.

    The indifference to one's public appearance evinced by some geeks is, in my view, a kind of rudeness, or at least an inability to recognize that we not only perceive our environments: we are also part of them, part of the visual landscape for everyone else. (The kind of solipsism that I'm talking about is the sort of thing you see when, as David Sedaris puts it, Americans visit European cities dressed as if to mow its lawns.)

    The fact that you modded your case does not make it superior. It may be a piece of crap. However, it may have been fun to do, and I'll agree that the experience of making something is more valuable than the experience of just buying it. That does not tell us anything about the value of the object, however: I could make you a cheese sandwich, but I assure you it will be inferior to anything you could buy at the French Laundry.

  • Missing the Point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bobobobo ( 539853 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @02:13PM (#24529143)

    The GP was implying that a pair of quality shoes, and a quality bed are not always part of a fashion show. A pair of quality shoes will cost more than a $20 pair at payless. They'll also last much longer. The difference is very noticable if you're an active individual, on your feet or walking around all day.

    Likewise with a quality bed, you're paying for comfort. People don't often brand-name drop with beds. Same with the cookware, that the GP mentioned. People who cook often will swear by quality wares.

    Granted there are plenty of instances where the difference between a $20 pair of jeans and a $100 pair is just the label, but that's not the case everytime. There are people willing to spend a premium on an item to get more quality, rather than just wanting to show off. Though there are instances where the two intersect(Apple consumers I'm looking in your direction).

    Furthermore, it's funny and ironic that you would lambast the GP for wanting to "show-off" his designer handbag and sneakers, when you're doing exactly that with your super-mod pc:

    My Deathstar PC is for *me and my guests* to look at and enjoy.

  • Re:Reason why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kat_skan ( 5219 ) on Friday August 08, 2008 @02:31PM (#24529465)

    Why not? He didn't misrepresent the product. He didn't fail to deliver it. He didn't even trick anybody into buying something they didn't want. Legal action seems like a pretty reasonable response to a chargeback in this case.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.