Remember BarMax? You’ll be forgiven if you don’t — chances are, it isn’t for you. That’s not to say it’s not good — it apparently is very good — but it’s only meant for would-be lawyers attempting to pass the Bar exam in California or New York. Or maybe you know it better as the $1,000 iPhone app. Yes, it’s that one.
What’s remarkable about the app is that it has actually worked well as a business. You might laugh at the notion of someone paying $1,000 (technically, $999.99, the highest price point Apple allows in the App Store), but plenty of people have. In fact well over 200 people have since the app launched earlier this year (with the New York one coming this past summer), company chairman Mike Ghaffary tells us.
BarMax continues to be the most expensive app in the App Store, but the price point is working because it’s such a better deal when compared to their biggest competitor, BarBri, which charges several times that for their Bar prep package. And while BarMax is the most expensive app, it’s also one of the largest in terms of how much data you’re getting — the app is well over 1 gigabyte in size.
Most importantly, the app is actually working. “Bar results just came out and our students passed with flying colors; from the data we can track, we estimate our passage rate to be well above the average pass rate for the jurisdictions we are in (California and New York),” Ghaffary says.
And on that note, the company is putting the final touches on the iPad version of their app. If 200+ people are willing to spend that much on a version on the small iPhone screen, the iPad version must seem like a dream come true. Ghaffary notes that the new app is a few weeks away from coming out, but they’re offering any TechCrunch reader who buys the iPhone version today a free copy of the iPad release when it comes out. When you sign up to use the app, you just have to mention “TechCrunch” in your registration.
The iPad app will be separate from the iPhone version — and yes, it will be $999.99 as well. So essentially, just for being a TechCrunch reader, you’re getting a free $1,000 iPad app, lucky you. This deal will run from today through December 31. Ghaffary notes that he doesn’t want any students getting some early study time in to be forced to wait, so buy away!
Shortly after BarMax launched, we noted that it took little time for the startup to scare the crap out of the incumbent, BarBri. Things still aren’t looking too hot over there as their parent company, Thomson-Reuters, has apparently put them up for sale. The company recently sent a note out to students urging them not to panic about this transition, but the model may have effectively been disrupted.
Meanwhile, Apple must love this app. For each copy sold, they’re pocketing a cool $300. Below, find an early screenshot of the iPad app.