I Am Rich was something that should have never appeared in the App Store, it surely should not have been bought by any user. Imagine paying $1,000 for an absolutely useless app. Well, that is what the I am Rich app was all about.
Apple had taken down “I Am Rich” — a $999.99 iPhone app that did nothing, from the iTunes App Store less than a day after it was released. Was it worth German coder Armin Heinrich’s time to make the useless app?
What is the I am Rich app?
On August 5, 2008. Armin Heinrich releases I Am Rich, then distributes it via the App Store. The description of the I am Rich app was pretty straightforward: “a work of art with no hidden function at all.” The singular purpose that I Am Rich served was to show that you have the money to afford it.
I Am Rich was an iOS mobile application that was developed by Armin Heinrich, it was distributed through the App Store. When it was launched, the screen only contained a glowing red gem, which was just an icon that, when pressed, displayed a mantra in large text.
Uses of useless app
Let’s make it clear: I Am Rich did not serve any useful purpose. Its only function is exactly what the name implies: it was to show people that you had money in your bank. It was a simple piece of software; all it did was “displayed a glowing red gem and an icon that, when pressed, it used to display the following mantra in large text:”
- I am rich
- I deserve it
- I am good,
- healthy & successful
- I Am Rich app was being sold on the App Store for $999,99 which, at the time, was the highest price allowed by Apple.
You would be right to think nobody would buy such a useless app, however, you are wrong. Back in 2008 eight people had purchased the application. Eight! A useless app for a thousand bucks!!
The app was then taken down on August 6, 2008, a day after its premiere.
The Times article also confirms that Apple, and not Heinrich were the ones who removed the app. And as with other apps, it’s removed, Apple did not provide an explanation as to why it removed the app.
“I have no clue as to why [Apple] did it, I’m not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store,” Armin Heinrich, the app’s author, commented in an article published in the LA Times.
How many people bought the “I am Rich” app from the app store?
As the newspaper suggests, the reason for taking down the app could be the infamous screenshot that was circulated all over the Web.
Someone had bought the app thinking it was a joke. “(…) I saw this app with a few friends, and we jokingly pressed Buy (…) to see what happens. I forgot my wife had “iClick” activated on my laptop, it bought the app for $999. I called my Visa card; they verified that it was charged for $999.99 (…). This is not a joke. Do not buy the app, and Apple please remove this app from the App Store.”
As eight people had bought the app, Heinrich managed to earn $5.600. While Apple pocketed $2.400 in commission.
While this does not sound good, the whole story has somewhat of a happy ending. The user who had left the review that you can read above was refunded the money, as well as another person who also bought the app by accident.
“I do not want to collect money from people who did this by accident, I am glad that Apple returned the money for two orders”, Henrich said to LA Times.
I Am Rich’s lifespan was short but it did not go unnoticed. It was showered with an intense media backlash. At Silicon Alley Insider it was described as a “scam”, “worthless”, as well as a “scammy rip-off”. FOXnews.com along with Wired also chimed in and commented negatively.
Though it can be guessed why the app was removed, as it was a joke that smells like a scammy rip-off, and it’s not the kind of bad-taste liability Apple wanted to have on its brand-new platform. However, it may be would have been a good idea for Apple to do a better job at communicating with the coders regarding why it was shutting the apps down.
Though I Am Rich was taken down, that was not the end of the story.
The next year, Heinrich released I Am Rich LE which was priced at $9.99. Compared to the original, I Am Rich LE was feature-rich, on top of the mantra mentioned above, it housed a calculator along with a “help system”.
In 2009, Mike DG developed an app called I Am Richer which was published in the Google Play store (when it was known as the Android Market). The app was listed at $200.
Google did not remove the app from its offerings. In 2010, the Windows Phone Marketplace saw the publishing of I Am Rich by DotNetNuzzi which was priced at $499.99.
How to download the I am Rich app now?
Do you somehow want to download the I am Rich app? Well, the short answer is you can’t, at least not the original I am Rich app by Armin Heinrich since Apple removes the app from the app store long back. However, you can purchase the aforementioned I Am Rich LE for iPhone, but why you would want to beat my rationale thinking.
You can download the I am Rich app by DevaanshApps on the Google play store for free, if you wish to know what the original, I am Rich app looked like.
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