I Am Rich’ for the iPhone

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I Am Rich

Consumption is a way of life in the United States of America. Whether it be food, drink, or the latest gadget to splash across the wide-screen, plasma, high-definition television screen, people of all walks of life are called upon to open their wallets to keep the economy strong. It is a lifestyle.

In the midst of this lifestyle, the iPhone has risen to the top of the heap as the gadget icon of the year for 2008. If you’re anybody, then you’ve got an iPhone and you flaunt it. The problem is that almost anyone can afford an iPhone thanks to the price drop that accompanied the release of the 3G version earlier this summer.

So how do you stand out in the crowd if the entire crowd has an iPhone? Well, if you aren’t fabulously wealthy, but just mildly rich, Armin Heinrich has just the application for you. It’s called “I Am Rich”, and it will cost you a paltry $999.99 USD. The author describes his application.

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. After pressing the (i) on the main page, a secret mantra will be shown. This may help you to to stay rich, healthy and successful.

I Am Rich screenshot

While some are outraged at the idea of this application being allowed on the Apple App Store, others think it is just plain ridiculous and stupid. I think the application is a work of genius and is bound to generate a few sales for the author ((However, it appears that the application has been removed from the App Store)).

I have long felt that corporate America views consumers as walking wallets. Based upon our behavior, I can see why this is the case. We purchase with reckless abandon. We fall prey to all forms of advertising and marketing, and if something goes wrong with our product or experience, we gripe and complain.

Then we turn right back around and patronize the same companies without a thought toward whether or not we have been heard. The art of the boycott has been lost in this country. Let me say that again.

The Art of the Boycott is Lost

Just a little something to think about. Morality based boycotts are common on the end of the producers, but consumers have seemingly forgotten how to affect change in a company. In America, taking your dollar somewhere else makes a company take notice and can sway them to correct the problems.

Try it sometime. If you receive less than satisfactory service or a defective product, take your business elsewhere. Not only does it get the message across, but it is a very empowering act.

But What About That iPhone App?

I was wondering to myself what the mantra might be. I came up with the following idea.

  1. Develop an iPhone app that does nothing, but looks shiny
  2. Price it for exclusivity on the App Store
  3. Profit!

So what do You think the “I Am Rich” mantra is?

Update

The LA Times has written an article that says 8 people managed to purchase the “I Am Rich” application before it was removed from the App Store. It also looks like the developer wants to keep it listed and is having a hard time contacting Apple to get it back into the store.

Apple, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, apparently had some problems with I Am Rich. After initially approving it for distribution, the company has since removed it from the store. Heinrich, a German software developer, has yet to hear back from Apple concerning the removal. “I have no idea why they did it and am not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store,” Heinrich said in an e-mail to The Times on Thursday. But Apple couldn’t pull it down before curious aristocrats had purchased it — eight 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, Heinrich said. That’s $5,600 in revenue for Heinrich and $2,400 for Apple, which collects 30% of each sale for “store upkeep.“ In the e-mail, Heinrich said there seemed to be a market for the program. “I am sure a lot more people would like to buy it — but currently can’t do so,” Heinrich said. “The App is a work of Art and included a ‘secret mantra’ — that’s all.”

Ian W. Parker

Ian is a husband, father, Linux expert, and Zumba instructor living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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