Put this one into the, "You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me," file. But it's gotten so serious that Apple Inc. was forced to take action.
The story making the rounds on the net has now been confirmed, that not just one poor shmoe, but eight of them, plunked down $999.99 to buy the "I Am Rich" application for the Apple iPhone from the company's new App Store.
What is the app? Its developer dubbed the software as the ultimate status symbol, a picture of a red gem that appears on the iPhone menu screen, meant to show anyone who looks at it that the device's owner has got enough money to drop a thousand bucks on a useless piece of software.
Sounds pretty stupid. But some would say the same about a $3,000 Louis Vuitton bag, or a $50,000 Roger Dubuis watch (though those ARE beautiful), or even the iPhone itself (blasphemous, I know.)
Meantime, Apple has apparently found nothing funny, or even status-elevating, about the 'I Am Rich' application and has removed it from the App Store. A bummer for its German creator, developer Armein Heinrich, who tells the Los Angeles Times that he doesn't understand why the app was removed, that he wasn't violating any rules, and that buyers should be given the choice to buy or not to buy, and that it shouldn't be ruled by Apple. Which, by the way, profited from this brief saga nicely. Heinrich tells the Times he netted $5,880 after Apple's standard 30 percent cut, or $2,520.
Apple removed the program, er, scam. Apple isn't commenting -- at least not yet -- on what the company plans to do with the spoils it reaped from all this.
Message seems to be: Program bad. Profit good. Oh, and be super careful with that one-click instant buying option. Those touch-screens can be sooooo sensitive.
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