Friday, January 29, 2010

Creator of hit iMussolini iPhone app sets sights on iPad

ROME — The creator of an application featuring speeches by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, a surprise hit among Italian iPhone users, said Thursday he is setting his sights on an iPad version.

"I will certainly make iMussolini compatible for the iPad," said Luigi Marino the day after Apple boss Steve Jobs launched the wildly anticipated tablet computer in San Francisco, expected in Europe later this year.

Italians are downloading iMussolini, which features audio, text and video of Mussolini's speeches, at a rate of around 1,000 a day, said Marino, who launched the software a week ago.

Already the best-selling application on Italy's online Apple store, it is priced at 0.79 euros (1.10 dollars), of which 0.49 euros go to Marino.

While Marino, 25, says he developed iMussolini as a historical tool, it has predictably attracted admirers of the wartime dictator.

Some have posted fascist slogans such as "Dux Mea Lux" (The Duce Is My Light) or "Duce! Duce! Duce!" on the application's page at the Apple App Store.

Apple has assured Marino that it would not remove the application from sale but is deleting any offending comments, he told AFP.

Marino said his product seemed to be appealing to "nostalgic people or people who are fascinated by (Mussolini's) historical figure".

"The price is low for this kind of application," Marino said, adding that he expected an updated version, priced at 1.59 euros, to go on sale in about two weeks.

The new version will offer more videos, a chronology of Mussolini's rule and a list of fascist slogans.

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