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People bought a completely useless $999.99 app!

This is truly unbelievable but then fact is stranger than fiction. The story illustrates two things – the magnitude of human stupidity and the opportunistic temperament of charlatans.

The story of a completely useless app costing $999.99

On the 10th of July 2008, Apple launched their App Store with just 500 apps. It quickly became a great hit. Several people saw potential for their own gains. Amongst them was Armin Heinrich, a German programmer, who released his app on August 5, 2008.

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The app named I am Rich had a price tag of $999.99 (US), £599.99 (UK) and €799.99 (rest of Europe).
And what did it do? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

It simply displayed a misspelled message:

I am rich
I deserv it
I am good,
healthy &

In just a day, eight people – six from the US and two from Europe – had bought the app. However, after a complain, the app was taken down the next day.

The result – Armin Heinrich got $5,600–5,880 and Apple took $2,400–2,520 as fees.

Incidentally, only one out of the eight people had purchased the app accidentally and it’s assumed that they were the ones who complained. Later in an interview, Heinrich mentioned that Apple had refunded two purchasers of his app.

More useless apps on other online app stores

I Am Richer developed by Mike DG and costing $200 was released on Google Store for Android phones on February 23, 2009.

An app with the same name, I Am Rich, developed by DotNetNuzzi was released on the Windows Phone Marketplace on 22nd December 2010.

You see, people are continually being “phished for phools”.

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