The most expensive app on the iTunes store is BarMax. This app sells for $999.99, the maximum price allowed by Apple for an iOS app, and is designed for law students preparing for the Bar exam. Many will think that spending a grand on an iPhone/iPad app is outrageous but BarMax is actually a bargain. Were you to buy all the books and study materials that BarMax contains, you would pay nearly $3,000.
While BarMax serves a purpose and even justifies its price, there was an app on the iTunes store that sold for $999.99 and served no purpose other than to tell everyone that you are rich…. and stupid.
Apps developer Armin Heinrich released the I Am Rich app to the iTunes Store on August 5, 2008. The app contains a glowing red gem, and an icon that when pressed, displayed the following mantra in large text:
I am rich
I deserv it
I am good,
The application is described as “a work of art with no hidden function at all”, with its only purpose being to show other people that they were able to afford it, making it a Veblen good.
The app was on iTunes for only a day before Apple removed it. However, eight copies were sold before the app came down. Six US sales at $999.99 and two European ones for €799.99 netted between $5,600 to $5,880 for Heinrich and $2,400 $2,520 for Apple. Two of the buyers later requested a refund, proving that while they were rich enough to buy a $1,000 app, they were not stupid enough to keep it.
While $1,000 apps that says you’re rich are no longer available on iTunes, those who wish to proclaim their app richness can head on over to the Android Marketplace and download the I Am Richer app for $200, the max price imposed by Google. If that’s not rich enough for you, you can get I Am Rich (this one developed by DotNetNuzzi, but useless as the original) at the Windows Phone Marketplace for more richly $499.99, the price cap imposed by Microsoft.
While it’s not clear if the new I Am Rich or I Am Richer will really make you look rich, it’s 100% clear that the app will make you look really stupid.