back to article Man buys $1,000 worth of iPhone pixels by accident

An American man has accidentally spent $999.99 on an iPhone app that does nothing but display a glowing red ruby. Dubbed "I Am Rich," the app is meant as a status symbol for the wealthy. But in reality, it's a scarlet letter for the gullible. As reported by our friends at Valleywag, a Jesus Phone user known only as Lee5279xx …


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  1. Kev K
    Paris Hilton


    thats just iDumb

    Paris - well cos Ms Prez can afford it cant she

  2. thomas newton
    Paris Hilton

    ... what a twat.

    even Paris isnt that thick.

  3. Jerome
    Dead Vulture

    Yeah right

    This absolutely reeks of publicity stunt. That's two stories this dickwad has duped you into publishing, simply by drawing a little red sparkly thing. For shame people, for shame.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    pity on the slow

    of course he doesn't, he makes them by iphone/ipod/macs/other cheap made in china rubbish....

  5. Nordrick Framelhammer

    What a surprise

    IamaposerPhone - Check

    Overpriced rubbish from Apple - Check

    Reminder that clicking buttons have consequences disabled - Check

    Whining wank when his own actions trap his finacial dangly bits in a vice - Priceless

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If someone really does get a grand's worth of value from the app then why should they not be allowed to buy it?

    Enough ego-polishers buy vanity plates (just a bunch of letters) and dick-extender cars which still get stuck in traffic just as badly as any rice rocket.

    So what's wrong with spending just a grand on some pixels?

    If some dumb fool buys vanity plates on a lark then decides he wants a refund should the whole vanity plate industry be stifled?

    Perhaps a wise solution would be for the iTunes 1-click to have a threshold and only work for purchases below, say, $20.

  7. Stan

    Darwin award

    How the hell do you comment on this? I mean there are things running around under my fridge with more brains than this guy, and then he goes on to blame the guy who wrote the app, apple, world+dog because it couldn't possibly be his fault, definitely worthy of a darwin nomination but not funny enough to deserve one. Still, it answers one nagging question, this is the guy they put "do not attempt to eat this item" notices on cars, TV's etc. for in the US

  8. Stefan



    There's nothing in this world more pitiable than a fool with money.

  9. ReUnpack

    that sucks

    Now pay up sucka!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    First accident

    Sounds like the first and biggest acciodent in this guys life was when the condom burst inside his mother!

    This application was removed when Apple needed the space on their app server for their latest offering, "I'm a dim itard!"

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Press play AND record, goddammit!

    Yeh, but he's not just stupid: he's also a victim of the worst most rubbishy piece of user-interface misdesign ever.

    Remember when there used to be cassette tapes? And you used to have to press PLAY and RECORD simultaneously before the mechanism would engage and start recording?

    And then some utter IDIOT went and thought to themselves "Oooh, press two buttons, that's a bit difficult, wouldn't it be so much easier if you only had to press one", and they went and invented one-touch record.

    And all of a sudden it became possible to record by accident. And any time you fumbled and hit the wrong button you ended up blasting a big silent gap over your music and it was really annoying.

    For god's sake! It's not an "annoying inconvenience", it's a "vital safety interlock that will save your ass time and again"! And some idiot thought we were better off without it, and as millions of ruined recordings down the years prove, we weren't. Not at all.

    Well, one-click anything is the same stupid dumb idea. "Oh, let's make it really easy to do something", when you don't WANT it to be that damn easy! It was a stupid idea when one-touch record was invented, it was a stupid idea when Win95 brought in Active Desktop with it's one-click-just-like-clicking-on-a-web-link[*] option and made it easy to accidentally launch an application when you didn't want to, and it's still a damn stupid idea now to make it possible to spend a grand with a single click.

    Err.. ok. Rant over. But it's still a lousy piece of UI.

    [*] - of course, then Internet Explorer went and made it so that clicking any random link on the web was pretty likely to result in you ending up executing a bunch of malicious applications anyway ....!

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. David
    Gates Horns

    Did he get his money back?

    Come on Steve give the guy his money back. After all he did buy an iphone and was duped by sort of trusting in the Apple brand.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Good news for the developer though!

  15. Tammer Salem
    Thumb Up

    Only in the USA

    Kinda reminds of the guy who microwaved his wet dog to dry it off, and ended up suing the company after his pooch got nuked!

    This story does't quite rate that high on the stupid-o-meter ... But keep them coming! Certainly gives me a right old chuckle.

  16. vincent himpe
    Jobs Horns



    A classic case of an iDiot (pronunciation: eye-deeot)

  17. Michael Wolf

    Typical American...

    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  18. Tim Spence
    Jobs Horns

    I see dead peop... no, err, both sides...

    ...while I agree this guy is stupid as hell, I also think it's a ridiculous application and devalues the AppStore's value as a serious application.

  19. adnim Silver badge

    Doesn't work

    The "BUY APP" button on the image within the news item doesn't work when I click on it... Do I have to go to the Apple iPhone web site?

  20. Fozzy

    Natures laws at work again

    One can only hope that this guy does humanity a favour and either removes himself from the gene pool or least does not pass on his defective genes by breeding

  21. Erik Aamot

    arm in hein rich ! .. ummm ..

    doubt that's a real name, however, I'd suppose the fellow or gal makes a damn good living selling simple, useless, low cost bobbles to people with money to burn ..

    truly inspiring !

    i'm sure some saud prince, while on a nice $250,000 trout fishing trip would just love a set of ruby, emerald, saphire and diamond encrusted gold spinning lures to catch rich fat fish with ! :)

  22. Adrian Esdaile
    Jobs Horns

    Is there a virtual Darwin Award?


    Can we get a Darwin icon?

    mv ~fool/.money /dev/null

  23. Zmodem

    i dont

    have a electronic filofax nor a hair style out of a duran duran pop video

  24. john doe


    enough said

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    wanna buy an iBiosphere?

    for $100,000, I will personally hand deliver ones own iBiosphere for their iPhone. All sales final & NO refunds. It comes with all kinds of real and exotic flora, fauna, bugs, alligators, water, mud and more. Hurry as I only have a total of 10. Each one is completely unique

    Once payment has been received, I will personally deliver product to you and install it on your iPhone.

    Amaze your friends, amuse your family, own your own piece of nature that no one can take away from you, for as long as you own your phone.

    For an additional $50.00, I'll include one authentic 16 oz bottle of water, taken directly from the actual iBiosphere. (note: bottles are collected directly from the the site, so shape, colour and condition may vary slightly.

    (c) (r) (tm) and Patent Pending.

  26. NoCo37
    Black Helicopters


    So. if the app was removed by Apple for this, does the App Creator / Developer have any recourse against Apple? By getting the app posted on the iTunes Store, I'd think that the Developer would have had to follow all the rules and TOS.

    If the Developer has recourse against them, then I see it as a nice 3 part scam.

    1) Create overly priced app and get media attention.

    2) Wait for someone to buy it then go crying to Apple about it.

    3) When Apple removes the app, the Developer goes to their lawyers and get some cash from Apple for failing to hold up their side of the deal.

  27. Geoff Mackenzie

    70 in a 20, officer?

    I thought the police had a sense of humour.

    What an eejit.

  28. Ron Eve
    Paris Hilton

    Oh Perleeease!!

    @iTwat - Love it...

    Lets see...

    "Contents may be hot"

    "Objects may be closer than they appear"

    "Do not step on the live rail"

    Who are these aimed at? For the rest of us 'caveat emptor' and common sense seem to work.

    As for it being a scam that Apple is somehow responsible for - where's the scam? The ad didn't promise anything that it didn't deliver, so no 'phony' (geddit!) advertising. Shiny Shiny Bling Bling - "I want I want..."

    And Armin Heinrich is an anagram of "A Rich Inner Him"

    /Mines the one with 'Vote for Paris' on the back

  29. Andy


    It's long been my suspicion that Apple users are easily distracted.

    Their overarching obsession with glowing bouncing crystals in their UI is a good example.

    Seems to me to be a sound business principle to sell trinkets to magpies and I'm surprised that Apple took the App down. I mean isn't "ridiculously expensive" part of their marketing strategy?

  30. Duncan
    Jobs Halo

    horses for courses

    if your willing to shell out like a drugged lemming for all the normal over priced icrap that apple curns out who to say you wont go the extra yard and shell out for this and really enjoy it. one mans plastic tat is another mans innovation.

    Personally I commend this app if only all the proceeds we given to poor children in Africa it would be perfect!

  31. pctechxp


    Don't have one click enabled and don't EVER store your card details on file.

    Tip for this guy's card issuer: this guy hasn't got a clue what he's doing and may cause a credit crunch aftershock, take away his card or initiate more stringent fraud prevention checks, phone him after EVERY transaction and ask whether he meant to make the transaction or whether he clicked buy/swiped his card as a result of his lack of intelligence.

  32. Stef



    Eh? Where is the fake app and where is the scam?

  33. Frank Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @bws re. iBiosphere

    I'd be very interested in operating a franchise for this product. Can you make a larger number of cheaper and less 'unique' iBiospheres in order to access a larger market? I'd be willing to operate on commission only for a while if you aren't willing to sell me a franchise license.

  34. Matt Bradley
    Paris Hilton

    @thomas newton, @Nordrick Framelhammer, @Stefan, @various AC's, @nearly everybody

    It's unsympathetic attitidues like this when an ordinary user makes a simple mistake, which will guarantee that WWW continues to be a bold and free new frontier for theft.

    Until we start dealing properly with stuff like this (by shutting it down and pressing charges where possible), and stop blaming the user for being foolish enough to be defrauded, this kind of thing will proliferate.

    Well done Apple for removing this scammer from iTunes so quickly. Just like the iPhone's app blacklist, this demonstartes Apple's desire to protect their users (stupid or not!) from malware and scams. Perhaps if MS had had a similar attitude 10 years ago, we might not be dealing with so many spams and scams right now?

    PH, 'cos she's probably more sympathetic that you lot.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Press play AND record, goddammit!

    Man... you've been holding that in *way* too long!

  36. aL


    that appdeveloper is a genius.. :P thats exactly the kind of stuff people buy.. "look my Jphone glows, i can be 47% snootier than you"

    the real wtf is that ITunes doesnt verify that you want to buy something (or that such a warning can be turned off) now thats just praying on the clumsyness of your users to trick them to buy stuff.. what is your kid or cat or whatever mashes the keyboard? suddenly youve bought a bunch of stuff by mistake..

    user unfriendlyness to improve sales? i think so..

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @john doe

    iTwat - brilliant

    My vote goes that should be entered into the El Reg dictionary and forever used to describe those idiots that think they are so cool because they buy overpriced Apple crap and feel that ownership of such an item conveys a small portion of the Jobs God complex entitling them to be really smug and try and point out how inferior us non-apple users are.

  38. Ascylto
    Jobs Halo

    St Stevie

    "Steve Jobs doesn't have a sense of humor. But he does take pity on the slow."

    See ... somebody loves Cade Metz!

  39. Sooty

    to be slightly fairer to the guy

    It would be very easy to buy something by clicking accidentally, ok he's a bit stupid for clicking on buy just to see what happened, and was then surprised when he bought it...

    But I was absolutely amazed the first time i bought an iphone app and got no confirmation whatsoever, especially since it asks for my password if i get even a free app through my phone app store.

    Up to that point i had only got free apps, so hadn't really thought about it. (although the reciept a few days later with "thank you for buying" and a massive list of apps on it caused a moment of panic) The 1click is ether enabled by default or has a tick to never see this message again box on a popup confirmation message that enables it.

    At the very least, i would expect you to have to key in your password to buy something, you know, basic security! Anyone with kids needs to keep them well away. The description of 1click in the options just says it doesn't use a shopping basket style ordering system, not that it removes all sanity checking before charging you! I'd expect click buy, enter password, hit enter, for 1click ordering at the very least.

  40. James Bassett
    Thumb Up

    Which is worse....

    Which is worse? The fact that he was so stupid he actually bought it or the fact that he isn't even embarassed enough to shut the fuck up and deny everything?

    Although all the other one-click purchase thingies I've seen do have a 60 minute (or so) delay on them so you can undo it if you realise you've been a total retard. Though that explains why it isn't a feature on iTunes. No need to stop and figure out if the user might be a total retard.

  41. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    So what if the app got pulled?

    Even with just that one sale the return on investment for the author must have broken all records!

  42. Léon

    @Adrian Esdaile

    If you're going to make an attempt at being geekish, please do it right and add a slash between ~ and the filename, else it won't work.

  43. Edward Rose


    Corporations spen millions on this sort of bling to put against their company slogan.

    I think it's damned good value for money.

  44. druck
    Dead Vulture

    @Michael Duke

    Talking of retards, this is the umpteenth topic I've seen that comment on SATA discs posted to. Where is the moderatrix?

  45. Jared Earle
    Dead Vulture

    A copy sold?

    I'm not so sure this isn't a hoax reported as news.

    "Kinda reminds of the guy who microwaved his wet dog to dry it off, and ended up suing the company after his pooch got nuked!"

    Yes, but only in so far as it probably didn't happen.

    You have to actively turn off the stupid guard to make this happen as reported. The safeguards are all there to prevent accidental purchases but a determined fool can get past them.

  46. Dennis
    Paris Hilton

    Is this a subscription service?

    I wonder will the developer send him another crazy fun app next month and charge him another $1000.

    And then another

    And then another

    And then another

    Everyone is laughing at this guy. Not too many people were laughing when Crazy frog starting making inroads into their bank account??

    But then I guess we are all to smart to fall for that one.

    Paris because she would spend $1000 on a loser boyfriend to make her look good. Much the same as what has happened here

  47. Graham Davis

    Oh cr@p!

    I didn't mean to send this comment!

  48. Mat Stace

    @ Darwin award suggestions.

    Folks who are suggesting a Darwin Award.

    Please can you tell the rest of us un-enlightened folks exactly HOW buying an iPhone app for $999.99 has improved the gene pool by removing himself from it?

    Or do you mean there should be a new award created for an inability to take responsibility for one's own actions?

  49. Thomas Swann

    "A scarlet letter for the gullible"

    haha :)


  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Darwin awards

    I think that to get anything other than an honorary mention in the Darwin awards, you have to remove your potential to reproduce, so your genes are removed from the evolutionary pool.

    Now a Jesus Phone app designed to do that would be awesome, perhaps in the firmware so everyone that buys one instantly qualifies for said award, and hence helps to corroborate the great theory.


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