A brilliant German businessman created and sold for $999.99 an iPhone application that did absolutely nothing except display a picture of a red gemstone. The point: show off to your friends that not only can you afford the luxury of an iPhone, you can also blow a grand on a useless piece of software. Naturally Apple enthusiasts were lined up to buy the software, until Apple removed it from their online store.

Its function is exactly what the name implies: to alert people that you have money in the bank. I Am Rich was available for purchase from the phone's App Store for, get this, $999.99 -- the highest amount a developer can charge through the digital retailer, said Armin Heinrich, the program's developer. Once downloaded, it doesn't do much -- a red icon sits on the iPhone home screen like any other application, with the subtext "I Am Rich." Once activated, it treats the user to a large, glowing gem (pictured above). That's about it. For a thousand dollars.

Apple apparently had some problems with I Am Rich. After initially approving it for distribution, the company has since removed it from the store. Heinrich, a German software developer, has yet to hear back from Apple concerning the removal. "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 with The Times today.

The "violation" is obvious! Only Apple is allowed to sell overpriced-yet-elegant status symbols!

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