The ‘I Am Rich’ iPhone app debacle – brilliant or moronic?

August 10, 2008

The \'I Am Rich\' iPhone app debacle - brilliant or moronic?Anyone with even a passing interest in Apple products couldn’t have failed to have heard something about the ‘I Am Rich’ application that caused such a wealth of copy to be written over the past week. But was the glorified screensaver costing $999.99 an inspired piece of marketing or just moronic?

The iPhone App Store has some weird and wonderful apps on it that may only appeal to a niche cross section of iPhone and iPod Touch owners. But the ‘I Am Rich’ app really took the biscuit. It was developed by Armin Heinrich as “a work of art with no hidden function at all.”. In other words, it was a red ruby screensaver that came with a secret mantra to help keep you “rich, healthy and successful.”

I don’t need to tell you what it looked like as someone has very kindly recorded a walkthrough of the app and uploaded it to YouTube. Behold this glorious work of art.

Yes, that was it – a simple red ruby display and a (now not so) secret mantra. The mantra has to be the funniest aspect of the whole thing, as not only is it just a sentence anyone could have come up with, there is a misspelling of the word “deserv”, and a complete lack of punctuation. Are you now jealous that you didn’t get your hands on this application before Apple decided to pull it from the App Store?

Heinrich claims to have sold eight copies of the app before Apple got to it, and the question has to be asked: how stupid can people be? Even if you’re rich, you don’t go wasting your money on something that serves absolutely no purpose. Is there no charity that these people want to donate to? Have they actually got a life?

So the app is quite categorically moronic. But Heinrich is a genius. He is thought to have earned about $5,600 for his efforts, and that’s no small amount of cash for creating a useless product. Even Apple made $2,400 from the eight sales because of the 30% they take from every App Store purchase.

The ‘I Am Rich’ application – if you bought it, you are an idiot, but if you are Armin Heinrich, then you are Godlike.

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