Time: 2008-08-10 Click:
Remember that dumb little iPhone app that was asking poor saps to shell out $1000 for a picture of a ruby? (I know, how could we forget that.) When I first saw that app, one of the first things that went through my head was wondering who would be dumb enough to buy it. The second thing was the hope that nobody would be unfortunate enough to click on that buy button by mistake. Since then, it was removed, but not before a whole 8 people "purchased" it.
Six people from the US, one in Germany and one in France each purchased the app, all in the first 24 hours it was available on the App Store. One of them explained to The Register that he and his friends clicked the buy button expecting it to be a practical joke. He knew he was sorely mistaken when he saw the $1000 charge to his Visa, and warned others away from the app in an iTunes review:
"THIS IS NO JOKE," he says. "DO NOT BUY THIS APP AND APPLE PLEASE REMOVE THIS FROM THE APP STORE...APPLE MUST MUST MUST START TO SCREEN THESE FAKE APPS AND RIDICULOUS SCAMS."
It's difficult to tell which is worse, the fact that people actually gave money for it or that Armin Heinrich, it's developer, still believes that he did nothing wrong. "I have no idea why they did it and am not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store," Heinrich said in an e-mail.
"I am sure a lot more people would like to buy it -- but currently can't do so," Heinrich said. "The App is a work of Art and included a 'secret mantra' -- that's all."
It's surprising that Apple even let him get as far as he did.