Apple Pulls Thousand Dollar iPhone Application

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple has removed an unusual third-party product from iTunes: an iPhone screensaver costing $999.99. The product was listed by a developer named Armin Heinrich and sold through the iTunes Store's iPhones apps section, which allows people to buy add-ons for their phones.

This particular product, named "I Am Rich", did nothing but display a glowing ruby on a phone's screen (though if you clicked on the ruby, it promised to display a mantra for success.)

This wasn't a scam as such; Heinrich openly admitted it was useless in the product description, which read "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." (Source:

That the application made it onto iTunes in the first place is something of a mystery, and certainly undermines the idea that Apple is carefully vetting listings to ensure high quality.

The firm has already had to withdraw two other applications. The first, NetShare, allowed buyers to use their iPhones as a wireless modem, a blatant breach of the AT&T-iPhone service contract. Nullriver, the firm behind NetShare, said it was surprised it got approval for an iTunes store listing in the first place.

Apple also pulled BoxOffice, a movie listing service. Cyrus Najmabadi, the application's developer, said he was given no reason for the removal. (Source:

There's clearly something up with the way Apple is picking the applications to list on iTunes. It's a problem that needs sorting out quickly, because allowing outside developers to come up with new applications will help make the iPhone more attractive -- but giving even tacit approval to useless applications like 'I Am Rich' will only undermine the system's credibility.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet