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German developer causes ruckus with $1,000 iPhone app

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German developer causes ruckus with $1,000 iPhone app
Photo: A screenshot of the app from the iTunes store.
17:20 CEST+02:00
Armin Heinrich, a German software developer, has riled the tight-knit Apple community by developing an application for the iPhone that costs $1,000 – simply to show that the owner can afford it.

Called “I Am Rich,” the application merely puts a glowing red gem on a user's iPhone in what was perhaps meant as satirical take on how the popular mobile device has become a status symbol. It was briefly available in the Apple iTunes store this week for $999.99 (€646.81) before being yanked amid the protests of the iPhone community.

Apparently, several humourless iPhone owners were offended by the notion that someone might actually plunk down $1,000 for it, or that it was simply a prank cheapening the work of other independent software developers.

The Salzgitter-based Heinrich, who has also developed an iPhone calculator app for a more modest $4.99, did not immediately return a call by The Local.

But well-known blogger Jason Kottke said the controversial application wasn't any different than any other form of conspicuous consumption.

“I Am Rich isn't the most clever piece of art, but it's not bad either,” Kottke wrote. “Is paying $5,000 for a wristwatch or $50,000 for a car when much cheaper alternatives exist really all that different than paying $1,000 for an iPhone app?”

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