Eight people bought the $999.99 “I Am Rich” iPhone app before Apple pulled it from their store this week, reports the Los Angeles Times. “Six people from the U.S., one from Germany and one from France dropped a grand for the gem in the first 24 hours it was available.” The developer, Armin Heinrich, made $5,600 from those sales, while Apple made $2,400. I am currently developing an “I Am Now Richer” app to try to sell to Heinrich, since he’s got some extra spending money. [Los Angeles Times]

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  1. Triborough says:

    I wish I thought up that scam. There is a sucker born every minute!

  2. RobGinNC says:

    I wonder how many of these weren’t fraudulent purchases?

    Anyone remember the ‘It Lifts and Separates!’ Citibank commercial from a while back? That’s what comes to mind here.

  3. Why? Just…why? If these weren’t fraudulent purchases…well, let’s just say those are probably people I wouldn’t want to associate with. I knew a girl once who blew off a $100 glass of wine like it was nothing. Same kind of people.

  4. HFC says:

    Good for Armin Heinrich.

    Apple shouldn’t have pulled the app. If someone buys, whether by accident, stupidity, they have a good sense of humor or whatever reason, that is the person’s choice. I’m tired of companies and governments trying to protect me from myself.

  5. MayorBee says:

    I can totally see where these people are coming from. I, for example, wipe my ass with five dollar bills. I used to use singles, but you know, inflation and all.

  6. Zerkaboid says:

    The guy who purchased because “he thought it was a joke” may be the dumbest of all. Why take the chance of losing $1000 just to see if something funny happens? Also, don’t you have to click through a couple confirmations before charges are made?

  7. ilovemom says:

    @HFC: Here here. I know it’s looked down upon here to blame the consumer, but isn’t this site all about being an informed consumer? They saw a product with a valid description of what it would do for them and bought it. Shame on them if they later realized that it was a waste of their money.

  8. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Is it going to be a post to read comments kind of day?

  9. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    Oh yeah? Well I roll my own cigarettes with 500 Euro notes…

    On topic: I still can’t believe there were people buying this ridiculous app. I just got my JesusPhone3G, and the app selection is mediocre at best. That one was just plain ridiculous. Perhaps if Apple opened up the SDK a bit more or I dunno, self-jailbroke the phone, there would be more useful apps available.

  10. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @HFC: Word, if you read the article, this is what happened, “I saw this app with a few friends and we jokingly clicked ‘buy’ thinking it was a joke, to see what would happen…” Well what a great idea, right? Whose fault is that? I guess, maybe, I sort of feel bad, but that’s between him and Apple. It’s not like it was some sort of malfunction, he bought it thinking it was a “joke.” Bright idea. “To see what would happen”- that kind of thinking leads to darwin awards

  11. ptkdude says:

    I’m sorry, but the “I thought it was a joke” just isn’t working for me. Would the guy go into a BMW dealership and buy the most expensive car on the lot, because he thought it was a joke? Hell no! Why on Earth would Apple (or any store) put up a “joke” product?

  12. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @HFC:
    If someone buys, whether by accident, stupidity, they have a good sense of humor or whatever reason, that is the person’s choice.

    5 bucks says the other 7 people just thought it was funny but since when is an accident a choice?

  13. randombob says:

    While I’m in the camp that thinks Apple should at least have an option to set up a shopping cart instead of everything being one-click buy…

    That said, if you see a button that says “Buy” and you click this so-called “Buy” button, and thus you “Buy” said product by clicking this “Buy” button, who’s to blame again?

    Oh yeah, that’s right, the app designer, of course, how could I forget…

    ?????

  14. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Not sure what HFC is referring to, but last time I checked, by accident is not a choice. But buying it, as described in the article, because you thought it was a “joke” is indeed a choice

  15. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: And a joke? Man that made me lol. That’sa cop out. Most see through excuse I’ve heard

  16. EBounding says:

    A fool and his money are soon…something something.

  17. HFC says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: @Rectilinear Propagation:

    I was referring to the article yesterday about the idiot clicking on it as a joke, buying it and then complaining it was an accident.

  18. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @HFC: Saw that, was about to correct myself. Yeah, I don’t feel bad. Maybe I *should* but I don’t. Accident my ass. He knew it would happen, needs a cop out.

  19. balthisar says:

    @edicius: Some people have more money than us, or live in credit debt more that we’re willing to.

    I don’t think I’d spend $100 on a single cup of wine, but I’m not a wine knower. On the other hand, I’d have no problem dropping $25 on a single snifter of tequila if I thought that it was one damned good tequila. But, not more than once on the same night, unless they have multiple, not-generally-available tequilas. More than two, and you get desensitized enough that you shouldn’t spend that kind of money on a third.

    People that can only drink Keystone might look at me as if I were spending money foolishly.

  20. azzy says:

    I sometimes feel like it’s too easy to buy from the app store. There’s not a lot of confirmation…

    but there are still a few steps:
    See button with price (in this case $999.99)
    Click on PRICE.
    Click on BUY
    Enter your password to purchase.

    I mean, good god man you’re clicking on the price and then “buy”. I think that means you’d like to buy the item for the price disclosed.

  21. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @balthisar: Hey don’t knock Keystone! My piss tastes better but it gets the job done

  22. tc4b says:

    I can’t remember the exact quote, but something like “No one ever went broke by overestimating people’s stupidity.”

  23. Shadowman615 says:

    @randombob: Apple does give you the option to use a shopping cart with iTunes. It’s just not the default setting.

  24. sir_pantsalot says:

    @azzy: Then I want to thank Apple. One thing that really chaps my @ss is applications that repeatedly ask you if you are sure you want to do what it is that you said you wanted to do.

    I work with a particular application and when I make changes to a file it goes like this:
    File/Save
    Sure you want to Save click Y/N
    Please Verify this is the file you want saved click Y/N
    File saved click “Ok”

    If you are a complete idiot you will find a way to screw things up no matter how many times an app tries to save you from yourself. For everyone else the app just gets annoying to use.

  25. mariospants says:

    kudos to the jackass who got away with making money with this thing. Likely he’ll have to return the cash, which means – in the end – the guy who thought “it was just a joke” will probably end up being right.

  26. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    All I hear is Nelson Muntz point and exclaim, “HA HA!”

  27. dasunst3r says:

    Can someone make an app called “I Am Frugal?”

  28. Benny Gesserit says:

    @ptkdude: Actually, I can almost buy their story.

    The website I use to buy replacement contacts has a ‘buy now’ button that I mistakenly assumed would take me to the typical “order summary then how are you paying then confirm” dialogues.

    Instead it goes to a page saying “They’ll be shipped in 24 hours and we’ll invoice you for the lenses.”

    If the fellows had never bought from iTunes before (like me) they may have assumed they’d get to a “pass or go” page before committing.

    Regardless, I’ve learned a lesson: Don’t click “BUY” on iTunes unless you REALLY mean it.

  29. ptkdude says:

    @Shadowman615: I use the shopping cart in iTunes, but it does NOT apply to the AppStore. Clicking the button to buy in the AppStore pops up a confirmation window, then after clicking ok immediately purchases the app.

    @azzy: This is the procedure when using the iTunes store from an iPhone or iPod touch. Using iTunes on a Mac or PC, you click on either the “buy now” button or add the item to your shopping cart. I am rarely asked for my password when buying items from iTunes on my Mac.

  30. ptkdude says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): The dude’s argument wasn’t that he thought clicking the button would add it to his shopping cart. He said he thought it was a joke.

  31. Ringl says:

    Well of course early adopters of “I am rich” have to pay a bit more. But that’s not taking into account the upcoming price drop where they’ll offer $100 refunds to anyone who already bought it.

    And don’t forget a year from now they’ll have “I am rich 3G”

  32. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @mariospants: Meh, bullshit-I hope he doesn’t have to return squat and I doubt he will.

  33. KyleOrton says:

    I know I’ve clicked the more information button instead of buy, so I don’t think it’s impossible for some to be an accident. This doesn’t excuse “I just thought it was a joke” guy, but I’m curious about the other purchasers.

    I think having a $1k app available for 1-click is irresponsible. Something like balancing a $1k vase somewhere on the shelves of a Wal Mart with a “you break it, you bought it” sign at the entrance.

    Both mistakes and accidents happen. I don’t hold Apple liable but I’m much more likely to shop with a company that doesn’t allow a mistake or accident to hurt their customers like that.

    If some kid was banging on his dad’s computer, I’d expect dad to own up to a complete collection of Barry Manilow or 15 Pink music videos, but $1k for 1 click is ridiculous.

  34. GodzillaDad says:

    It is also a possibility that this app was created as a means to funnel/launder money. I’m just saying.

  35. I think the oddest development out of this story is the procedure, or lack thereof, which Apple approves applications for the app store. It seems they let any and every app submitted go live immediately, then they review it after its already been live for a while, probably only after people start complaining about said app. Also, conveniently after Apple gains their 30% from the purchases.

  36. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @Neophiliack:

    Also, don’t you have to click through a couple confirmations before charges are made?

    Yes. At the very least, you must type in your iTunes password.

  37. randombob says:

    @Shadowman615:
    Apple DOES NOT allow you to use a shopping cart with THE APP STORE.

    iTunes: music purchases
    App Store: iPhone Apps

  38. HomersBrain says:

    I paid $999 for Apples app “I am now $1000 Poorer” and it worked perfectly

  39. ozacrot says:

    Does anybody have a cracked copy?

    /snark

  40. stinerman says:

    Yeah, but the people in France and Germany probably thought it was a great deal. $1000 is what, like 5 Euros these days?

  41. TheRealAbsurdist says:

    Why was this pulled? As far as I’m concerned, If people have so much money and so little intelligence that they would actually buy this, there is a moral imperative to separate them from as much of that money as possible before they do something even more stupid with it, like donating it to some televangelist or the RNC.

  42. Minigote says:

    Someone should make a knock-off version. Like in a slightly different shade of red. A-la those Luis Vaton (sp?) wallets and purses that were brown and covered with LV. I knew a lot of people who had ones only the LV was upside-down.

    I bet if you charged like 2 dollars, would would make more than the guy who made the original “I am rich” app

  43. Angryrider says:

    Bravo to those eight people, who may have been phished by Nigerian scammers.

  44. simonster says:

    According to Armin Heinrich’s website, “Only 7 people own the secet mantra !
    (Two bought it by accident – ‘one click’ – their money will be returned)”

  45. CapitalC says:

    The “type in your password” thing only works for the first app you download – even if it’s a free one. So if you come to the 2nd one and think that the $999.99 is a mistake or a joke and download it, it doesn’t ask you to confirm.

    Either way, Apple was foolish to put it up without there being any flags raised at the price and the people were foolish to buy it for $999.99 without it doing anything nearly worth $0.99.

  46. meechybee says:

    I bought one on Canal Street for $9.

  47. redkamel says:

    whats funny is no one would be impressed by it, since I doubt the non-tech public even knows about the app.

    I dont think it would think it would pull many chicks, which would be the only reason I could think of buying it. Or if you were so rich you spent money to make your friends laugh at how ridiculously rich you all are (which does happen. Never seen it with a grand though).

  48. mrearly2 says:

    The phrase “more money than brains” comes to mind.

  49. smirkette says:

    Apparently, looking at this guy’s website, he should have named it “I have a 10 year old copy of Photoshop.”

    That said, the creator & the buyers are all sad, sad people.

  50. smirkette says:

    P.S. I think the five “legitimate” buyers should club together, hire a programmer, and create an application called “I am Rich Mantra” to reveal the secret for $0.99 in the Apps Store. I bet they’d recover a fair amount of their money from curious onlookers.

  51. johnny121 says:

    Stories like this- make it REALLY tempting to feel superior to a certain percentage of the population.