Kottke makes the case for “I Am Rich”, the $1000 do-nothing iPhone App:
Excluding I Am Rich would be excluding for taste…because some feel that it costs too much for what it does. (And this isn’t the only example. There have been many cries of too many poor quality (but otherwise functional) apps in the store and that Apple should address the problem.) App Store shoppers should get to make the choice of whether or not to buy an iPhone app, not Apple, particularly since the App Store is the only way to legitimately purchase consumer iPhone apps. Imagine if Apple chose which music they stocked in the iTunes store based on the company’s taste.
But on the flip side, here’s a screenshot of a comment from I Am Rich’s App Store page, from someone who claims to have purchased and been charged for the app accidentally. If everyone who “buys” this app is then demanding a refund or credit card chargeback, you can see why Apple, or perhaps its author, Armin Heinrich, would take the app down. And what makes me think it was Heinrich, not Apple, who pulled the app is that with the App Store, developers pay the refund fee. It’s entirely possible that Mr. Heinrich is already on the hook for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars in refund fees.
★ Thursday, 7 August 2008