I Am (Not) Rich

First off, everyone knows I’m not Rich.

I wonder if Rich (and people who share his name) get this app for free or at least for a discount.

I’ll back up; so by now, you’ve probably heard about the “I Am Rich” iPhone app that popped up briefly a couple days ago in the App Store. The app costs $999.99, which apparently is the highest price allowed by Apple and provides the following:

The red icon on your iPhone or iPod touch always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this.

It’s a work of art with no hidden function at all.

And it also includes a mantra to help you stay “rich, healthy and successfully”.

When this story surfaced earlier this week, I thought it was a hoax. Apparently, it’s real. Apple took the app down shortly after the blogosphere got a hold of it, but even so, it seems that eight people have purchased this gem (pun intended).

What’s not entirely clear is if these eight Richs intended to do so. This iPhone screen-grab has been circulating the Intertubes, so who knows if these are valid numbers.

All this begs the question: Did Apple do the right thing when it pulled the “I Am Rich” app?

As with all good debates, viewpoints differ; I tend to agree with Jason Kottke. Because the app didn’t (apparently) violate any of Apple’s terms for the App Store that it should have been allowed to remain.

What do you think? Find the comments and contribute your two (or 99,999) cents.




  1. Classic. If I were really Rich, I would've plunked down that cash just so I can sport that jewel on my ifon. Not. I do wish I was the one who thought of that gem… just so I could get on TUAW or even Techcrunch.

  2. This whole thing cracks me up, especially since 8 people bought it, joke or not. Oh, and the whole Rich thing. Lulz.

    The bigger issue is that Apple can censor apps w/no explanation, even if they meet the t/c. Sure, we know they can, but the fact that they do seems wrong.

  3. Rich people don't get rich by buying $1000 iPhone apps. 😉

    That being said, it's inside the TOS, BUT it is bad for 1 click purchasers. Also, with hundreds of developers trying to get into the program and nary an ssh client to be found, it is a little ridiculous.

    Get the screenshot and be pseudo-rich.

  4. I don't think they should have removed it.

    If it said that it did something that it didn't actually do, then yeah, remove it. But it said exactly what it did.

    Unless you make crazy amounts of money, why would you even ponder buying it?

    I'm mad I didn't think of something like that!

  5. Meh, I don't mind rich people buying shiney trophies that perform a function like an expensive car but something like this just proves vanity has taken over the reasoning lobe of their brain.

    I don't see Apple as censoring the apps; rather, they're protecting the public from being scammed by spending an extravagant amount for an app that is only an icon. They would do the same if an app claimed to do something it didn't.

  6. Ah, but they might get rich by selling a few of those, according to the LA Times article says Heinrich made $5,600 off the eight he's sold so far.

    The one-click problem is evidenced by the guy who bought it as a joke. If that's true, the joke was on him, especially when his wife catches him.

    Funny you mention a thought that I head, i.e. using the image copy function in Safari from my iPhone, copying it and using it as my wallpaper.

    I'm going to do that right now 🙂

  7. Totally. Like many, I bounced over to the App Store to check it out on Tuesday, but it was already gone. I absolutely would not have tried to buy it as a joke though.

    Based on the coverage in the LA Times, I think we can assume that of the six people in the US who bought it, there are several in LA. Plus, having lived there for a while, I'm not at all surprised.

    It is a genius idea, and he should get paid and be able to keep the app up, maybe with a “this ain't a joke, so joke-buy at your own risk” warning.

  8. Apple took this (and a few others) down with no warning or explanation to the developer. I don't see a protection angle here.

    There are two types of buyers for this app: 1) people who have the money and want the app, i.e. customers and 2) people who think it's a joke.

    Throw up a warning, which I'm sure Heinrich wouldn't mind, and you can deter the second type. Where's the scam? Scam indicates there's something rotten.

    It's not Apple's job or responsibility to protect people from themselves.

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